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Shortcake is a sweet biscuit (in the American sense: that is, a crumbly, baking soda- or baking powder-leavened bread, known in British English as a scone), and a dessert made with that biscuit.

Shortcake is typically made with flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, salt, butter, milk or cream, and sometimes eggs. The dry ingredients are blended, and then the butter is cut in and mixed (or "combined" until the incorporation resembles cornmeal. The liquid ingredients are then mixed in just until moistened resulting in a wet batter. The batter is then dropped in spoonfuls onto a baking sheet or poured into a cake form, and baked until set.

The most famous dessert made with shortcake is strawberry shortcake. Sliced strawberries are mixed with sugar and allowed to sit an hour or so, until the strawberries have surrendered a great deal of their juices. The shortcakes are split and the bottoms are covered with a layer of strawberries, juice, and whipped cream, typically flavored with sugar and vanilla. The top is replaced, and more strawberries and whipped cream are added onto the top. Some convenience versions of shortcake are not made with a "shortcake" (i.e. biscuit) at all, but a base of sponge cake or sometimes a corn muffin.

Though today's shortcakes are usually of the biscuit or sponge-cake variety, earlier American recipes called for pie crust in rounds or broken-up pieces, which was a variety still being enjoyed in the 20th century, particularly in the South.

Though strawberry is the most widely known shortcake dessert, peach shortcake, blueberry shortcake, and other similar desserts are made along similar lines. It is also common to see recipes where the shortcake itself is flavored; coconut is a common addition.
Published by Art99 on May 6, 2008
The word ratatouille comes from Occitan "ratatolha". In is also used in French ("touiller," also means to toss food). Ratatouille originated in the area around present day Occitan Provença (French: Provence) & Niça (French: Nice). It was originally a common dish, prepared in the summer with fresh summer vegetables. The original Ratatolha de Niça used only courgettes (zucchini), tomatoes, green and red peppers (bell peppers), onion, and garlic. The dish known today as ratatouille adds aubergine (eggplant) to that mixture. Many restaurants make their own ratatouille with some "sugar and spice" to enhance the flavor.

Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish, but also may be served as a meal on its own (accompanied by rice, or simple doesbread). Tomatoes are a key ingredient, with garlic, onions, zucchini (courgettes), aubergine (eggplant), bell peppers (poivron), some herbes de Provence. All the ingredients are sautéed lightly in olive oil.

There are two common ways to prepare ratatouille. The ingredients can be cooked separately and combined together towards the end of the cooking time; alternatively, the garlic, onions, zucchini, aubergine, and peppers can be cooked together for an extended time over low heat, and combined with the tomatoes when soft and beginning to brown. The key to either method of preparation is making sure the vegetables, and especially the aubergine, are cooked sufficiently.

When ratatouille is used as a filling for savory crepes or to fill an omelette, the pieces are sometimes cut smaller than in the illustration. Also, unnecessary moisture is reduced by straining the liquid with a colander into a bowl, reducing it in a hot pan, then adding one or two tablespoons of reduced liquid back into the vegetables.
Published by Irene on Apr 19, 2008
PARIS - The French parliament’s lower house adopted a groundbreaking bill Tuesday that would make it illegal for anyone — including fashion magazines, advertisers and Web sites — to publicly incite extreme thinness.

The National Assembly approved the bill in a series of votes Tuesday, after the legislation won unanimous support from the ruling conservative UMP party. It goes to the Senate in the coming weeks.

Fashion industry experts said that, if passed, the law would be the strongest of its kind anywhere. Leaders in French couture are opposed to the idea of legal boundaries on beauty standards.

The bill was the latest and strongest of measures proposed after the 2006 anorexia-linked death of a Brazilian model prompted efforts throughout the international fashion industry to address the repercussions of using ultra-thin models.

Conservative lawmaker Valery Boyer, author of the law, argued that encouraging anorexia or severe weight loss should be punishable in court.

Pro-anorexic Web sites
Doctors and psychologists treating patients with anorexia nervosa — a disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming overweight — welcomed the government’s efforts to fight self-inflicted starvation, but warned that its link with media images remains hazy.

French lawmakers and fashion industry members signed a nonbinding charter last week on promoting healthier body images. Spain in 2007 banned ultra-thin models from catwalks.

But Boyer said such measures did not go far enough.

Her bill has mainly brought focus to pro-anorexic Web sites that give advice on how to eat an apple a day — and nothing else.
Published by Irene on Apr 17, 2008
Event : THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2008

Duration : Trade: 21 – 23 May 2008 (10.00 – 18.00 hrs)
Public: 24 – 25 May 2008 (10.00 – 20.00 hrs.)

Venue : IMPACT Exhibition Center, Muang Thong Thani
(Challenger 2-3: 40,000 sqm.)

Organized by : Department of Export Promotion, Ministry of Commerce,
Royal Thai Government
Koelnmesse GmbH (KM)
The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC)

Supported by : 1. Department of Agriculture Extension – Bureau of Farmers Development
2. Department of Industrial Promotion
3. The Institute for Halal Food Standard of Thailand
4. Food Processing Industries Club, The Federation of Thai Industries
5. National Food Institute Thailand
6. Thai Food Processors’ Association
7. Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association
8. Thai Frozen Foods Association

Exhibit Profile : Food & Beverage Featuring, Halal Food, Food Technology,Food Catering, hospitality,Servicces and Retail & Franchise

Exhibitor Profile : Local and Overseas Manufacturers / Exporter, Importer, Agent, Distributor And Service Providers

Visitor Profile : Food Importers / Wholesales / Distributors, Food Manufacturers & Processors, Supermarkets, Department Stores, Grocery Stores, Fast Food, Hotel & Restaurant Chains & Franchising etc., from all over the world

Contact : Department of Export Promotion Food and Health Products Export Promotion Center
22/77 Rachadapisek Rd., Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900 Thailand
Tel: (662) 512-0093-104 Ext. 296, 484
Fax: (662) 512-2670
Or Thai Trade Centers or Office of Commercial Affairs,
Royal Thai Embassy in or near your country

Fair Application : Local Exhibitor (Thai manufacturer / Exporter)
Please contact:
Thai Chamber of Commerce, Trade Fair Organizer Department
150 Rajbopit Road, Bangkok 10900
Tel: (662) 622-1860-70 Ext. 647, 648, 203, 208
Fax: (662) 622-1880
Exhibitor (Thai Importer/ Agent/ Distributor-Imported Product)
Please contact:
Expolink Global Network Limited (Representative)
B.B. Building, 21 Fl., #2112, 54 Sukhumvit 21 (Asoke Rd.,)
Klong Toey Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110 Thailand
Tel: (662) 640-8013 Ext. 18
Fax: (662) 664-2076

Overseas Exhibitor
Please contact:
Koelnmesse Pte Ltd.
152 Beach Road, #25-05 Gateway East
Singapore 189721
Tel: +65-6396-7180
Fax: +65-6294-8403
Published by Thaifex08 on Apr 15, 2008
Pasta is an Italian food made from a dough using flour, water and/or eggs.

There are approximately 350 different shapes of pasta. A few examples include spaghetti (solid cylinders), macaroni (tubes or hollow cylinders), fusilli (swirls), and lasagna (sheets). Two basic styles of pasta is dried and fresh. There are also variations in the ingredients used in pasta. The time for which pasta can be stored varies from days to years depending upon whether the pasta is made with egg or not, and whether it is dried or fresh. Pasta is boiled prior to consumption.

The word, pasta, can also denote dishes in which pasta products are the primary ingredient, served with sauce or seasonings.

There are many ingredients that can be used to make pasta dough. They range from a simple flour and water mixture, to those that call for the addition of eggs, spices and cheeses, or even squid ink to the dough.

Under Italian law, dry pasta can only be made from durum wheat semolina flour. This flour has a yellow tinge in color. Italian pasta is traditionally cooked al dente (Italian: "to the tooth", meaning not too soft). Abroad, dry pasta is frequently made from other types of flour (such as farina), but this yields a softer product, which cannot be cooked al dente.

Particular varieties of pasta may also use other grains and/or milling methods to make the flour. Some pasta varieties, such as Pizzoccheri, are made from buckwheat flour. Various types of fresh pasta include eggs (pasta all'uovo). Gnocchi are often listed among pasta dishes, although they are quite different in ingredients (mainly milled potatoes).
Published by Irene on Apr 13, 2008
Dinner among female friends can often play out like a game of Texas Hold'em. One woman places an order — grilled chicken salad, dressing on the side. There is a pause. All eyes shift to the woman next to her, suspense building as she carefully weighs her next move. Will she see her? Will she raise her? Another grilled chicken salad it is! And so it goes around the rest of the table until it's clear they are four of a kind.

A group of women ordering the same meal seems innocent enough — unremarkable, even — but there's often something far more complicated lurking beneath the surface. "Women are amazingly accurate at knowing how much other women around them eat," says Patricia Pliner, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. "Whether their friends polish off their plates has a powerful effect on what they eat." This need to consume no less or no more than the next girl is almost visceral — and many who experience it would sooner admit to a cocaine habit than a competitive-eating one.

As with many female insecurities, cultural standards are at least partly to blame. Eating a lot alone is one thing, but doing so in public, in the presence of thin friends, can make you feel as if you've fallen down on the job of being an American woman, somehow punking out on the part of the social contract that suggests dieting makes you ladylike. One of Pliner's studies actually proved this: Test subjects read phony food diaries — some depicted women who ate small meals, while others were about women who ate larger meals. The small eaters were perceived to be more feminine, more concerned about appearance, and better-looking than the larger eaters.
Published by Kristine on Apr 12, 2008
Coffee contains several compounds which are known to affect human body chemistry. The coffee bean itself contains chemicals which are psychotropic (in a way some find pleasing) for humans as a by-product of their defense mechanism. These chemicals are toxic in large doses, or even in their normal amount when consumed by many creatures which may otherwise have threatened the beans in the wild.
Coffee contains caffeine, which acts as a stimulant. For this reason, it is often consumed in the morning and during working hours. Students preparing for examinations with late-night "cram sessions" frequently use coffee to keep themselves awake. Many office workers take a "coffee break" when their energy is diminished.

Recent research has uncovered additional stimulating effects of coffee which are not related to its caffeine content. Coffee contains an as yet unknown chemical agent which stimulates the production of cortisone and adrenaline, two stimulating hormones.

For occasions when one wants to enjoy the flavor of coffee with almost no stimulation, decaffeinated coffee (also called decaf) is available. This is coffee from which most of the caffeine has been removed, by the Swiss water process (which involves the soaking of raw beans to absorb the caffeine) or the use of a chemical solvent such as trichloroethylene ("tri", or the more popular methylene chloride, in a similar process. Another solvent used is ethyl acetate; the resultant decaffeinated coffee is marketed as "natural decaf" because ethyl acetate is naturally present in fruit. Extraction with supercritical carbon dioxide has also been employed.

Decaffeinated coffee usually loses some flavor over normal coffees and tends to be more bitter. There are also coffee alternatives that resemble coffee in taste but contain no caffeine (see below). These are available both in ground form for brewing and in instant form.

Caffeine dependency and withdrawal symptoms are well-documented; see Caffeine for more on the pharmacological effects of caffeine.
Published by Kristine on Apr 10, 2008
Coffee is a widely consumed stimulant beverage prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plant. Coffee was first consumed in the 9th century, when it was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia.From there, it spread to Egypt and Yemen, and by the 15th century had reached Armenia, Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa. From the Muslim world, coffee spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe and the Americas. Today, coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide.

Coffee berries, which contain the coffee bean, are produced by several species of small evergreen bush of the genus Coffea. The two most commonly grown species are Coffea canephora (also known as Coffea robusta) and Coffea arabica. These are cultivated in Latin America, southeast Asia, and Africa. Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. The seeds are then roasted, undergoing several physical and chemical changes. They are roasted to various degrees, depending on the desired flavor. They are then ground and brewed to create coffee. Coffee can be prepared and presented by a variety of methods.

Coffee has played an important role in many societies throughout modern history. In Africa and Yemen, it was used in religious ceremonies. As a result, the Ethiopian Church banned its consumption until the reign of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. It was banned in Ottoman Turkey in the 17th century for political reasons, and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe. Coffee is an important export commodity: in 2004, coffee was the top agricultural export for 12 countries, and in 2005, it was the world's seventh largest legal agricultural export by value. Some controversy is associated with coffee cultivation and its impact on the environment. Many studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and certain medical conditions; whether the effects of coffee are positive or negative is still disputed.
Published by Kristine on Apr 10, 2008
A muffin is somewhat like a small cake, and though it does resemble a cupcake in that they both have cylindrical bases and rounded conical tops, they usually are not as sweet as cupcakes and generally lack frosting; savory varieties (such as cornbread muffins) also exist. They generally fit in the palm of an adult hand, and are intended to be consumed by an individual in a single sitting. A muffin can also mean a different baked good, the smaller, disk-shaped English muffin, although this usage is uncommon outside Britain. As American style muffins are now sold in the UK, the term can refer to either product, the context usually making clear which is meant. There are many varieties and flavors of muffins made with a specific ingredient such as blueberries, chocolate chips, cucumbers, raspberry, cinnamon, pumpkin, date nut, lemon, banana, orange, peach, strawberry, boysenberry, almond, and carrot. These ingredients are then baked into the muffin.
The traditional English muffin is very different from the American variety. The English muffin is yeast leavened and predates the baking powder leavened muffins. This produces a type of muffin with a thick, fluffy pastry and is usually baked as a disk typically about 8 cm in diameter. It is usually split into two, toasted and buttered, and bears a vague resemblance to a crumpet or pikelet. It also is eaten cold with a hot drink at coffee shops and diners. Fannie Farmer (a young adolescent girl) in her Cook Book gave recipes for both types of muffins, distinguishing between "raised" and adding instructions for a version that is nearly identical to today's "English muffin". Here the raised-muffin mixture was cooked in muffin rings on a griddle, and flipped to brown both sides, producing a grilled muffin. Farmer indicated this was a useful method when baking in an oven was not practical.
Published by Irene on Apr 8, 2008
The most characteristic and ancient element of Greek cooking is olive oil, which is present in almost every dish. It is produced from the trees prominent throughout the region, and adds to the distinctive taste of Greek food. The basic grain in Greece is wheat, though barley is also grown. Important vegetables include tomato, aubergine, potato, green beans, okra, green peppers, and onions. Honey in Greece is mainly flower-honey from the nectar of fruit and citrus trees (lemon, orange, bigarade trees), thyme honey, and pine honey from conifer trees. Mastic is grown on the Aegean island of Chios.

Greek cuisine uses some flavourings more often than do other Mediterranean cuisines: oregano rigani, mint dhiosmo, garlic, onion, dill, salt, and bay laurel leaves. Other common herbs and spices include basil, thyme and fennel seed. Many Greek recipes use "sweet" spices in combination with meat, for example cinnamon and cloves in stews. Greek flavour is often characterised by the use of mint and nutmeg. Other typical ingredients are lamb, pork, kalamata olives, feta cheese, grape leaves, zucchini and yogurt. Dessert items are dominated by nuts and honey.[1]

The terrain has tended to favour the production of goats and sheep over cattle, and thus beef dishes tend to be a rarity by comparison. Fish dishes are also common, especially in coastal regions and the islands. A great variety of cheese types are used in Greek cuisine, including Feta, Kasseri, Kefalotyri, Graviera, Anthotyros, Manouri, Metsovone and Mizithra. Some dishes use phyllo pastry.

Too much refinement is generally considered to be against the hearty spirit of the Greek cuisine, though recent trends among Greek culinary circles tend to favour a somewhat more refined approach. Typical Greek food is simple, colorful and packed with robust flavours. Although many dishes show influences from the Greek past, they have a distinctive style of their own which has changed little over the years. Greek cuisine has a long tradition of fine cooking and the full range of Greek dishes usually remains undiscovered by the tourist.
Published by Irene on Apr 4, 2008