Gluten Free In Maui {Restaurant Review: Maui Brick Oven}

Here’s a restaurant review of a gluten free restaurant we ate at in Maui this year. It is 100% gluten free and very tasty. I’ll be posting more restaurant reviews on my food blog and re-blogging them here. Stay tuned for a review of a  delicious gelato / crepe restaurant in Ottawa, Ontario we ate at a few weeks ago.

Chocolate, Of Course!

writing prompt from writing class:  chocolate or vanilla?

 

Gift from my husband — he knows me well!

 

I love dark chocolate – the higher the concentration of cocoa in the chocolate, the better, although it can be bitter-tasting. Milk chocolate is definitely smoother but for me it lacks the oomph factor dark chocolate provides. You really know you’ve eaten chocolate when you have a piece of Lindt 80% dark chocolate.  My love of chocolate was overindulged a few years ago when my husband and I went to the chocolate festival in British Columbia.  Samples abounded at the chocolate fair and at the tour we took of the chocolate making factory.  I even like the smell of chocolate, and have purchased chocolate scented lotion and lip balm infused with cocoa. Should I chose to I can look at chocolate every day – a chocolate website, http://www.virtualchocolate.com/ has chocolate “wallpaper” you can download for your computer’s desktop – calorie-free of course.

Chemically Crafted

There’s a food item out that appears to contain no actual food – a beverage called Orange Cream Soda by a particular manufacturer. I knew it was coming; there is less and less “real” food in purchased food items these days unless one eats organic or all natural.  It’s all modified this (such as modified milk ingredients and modified starch) and additive that (such as caramel color).
I rarely drink soda, but, wanting a change, I ordered this soda the other night at dinner.    Curious, since it was $4, I looked at the ingredients label, expecting to see it was made from all natural, organic ingredients.  What I found was anything but, despite the sales pitch on the label which states:
A rich, Orange Cream Soda, hand-crafted with the freshest and highest quality ingredients, with the complexity and character of lemon, lime, Chinese Ginger, nutmeg and botanicals. We proudly present our Orange Cream Soda, hand-crafted with only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, including a blend of select oranges, mandarins, and real vanilla. This recipe’s added complexity and character comes from a blend of lemon, lime, Chinese Ginger, nutmeg and botanical extracts including lemon grass and angelica root. Enjoy this truly classic Orange Cream Soda recipe, originally crafted by our master brewers.
Here’s the ingredients
Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (to Protect Taste)Natural and Artificial Flavor, Modified Food Starch, Erythorbic Acid, Yellow 6, Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin, Brominated Vegetable Oil.
Um, if it contains oranges, mandarins, vanilla, lemon, lime, ginger, nutmeg etc. should it not say that on the ingredient list?
Let’s break this “hand crafted with the finest quality ingredients” beverage down shall we:
High-fructose corn syrup is made from corn. After it’s milled, the resulting starch is processed into a syrup. By adding enzymes, the syrup is converted into fructose. Glucose syrup is then added to the mix to make high-fructose corn syrup. The most common form of the syrup contains 45 per cent glucose and 55 per cent fructose.
There are some studies, listed on the cbc.ca link, that suggest consumption of  HFCS plays a role in elevating triglycerides, as well as contributes to liver disease, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease.
prepared by treating the native starch to change the properties of the ingredient in order to enhance their performance in different applications (increase stability against heat, acid, to change texture, etc.)
  • Yellow No. 6 is a synthetic (i.e. man-made) food dye.
  • Citric Acid is
manufactured by a submerged fermentation process from a glucose and/or sucrose carbohydrate substrate. http://www.cargillfoods.com/wcm/groups/public/@cseg/@food/@all/documents/document/na3014920.pdf  
Basically it sounds bacteria (like mold) is added to glucose or sucrose  to ferment it.  Yum!
  • I wonder what glycerol ester of wood rosin is and if I will get a splinter drinking or eating something that contains it. Also known as “ester gum” it is
an effective weighting agent for adjusting the density of citrus oils and improves stability in beverages.http://www.ticgums.com/products.html?page=shop.browse&category_id=17
  • Finally there is “brominated vegetable oil” (BVO) which has been
patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant, and banned in food throughout Europe and Japan, BVO has been added to sodas for decades in North America. Now some scientists have a renewed interest in this little-known ingredient, found in 10 percent of sodas in the United States.  For more info: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2011/brominated-battle-in-sodas
Does that mean by drinking something with this in it, I won’t spontaneously combust?

I’d like to see another label added to commercially prepared foodstuffs:

No real food was harmed in the making of this item. 

At least that label would be an accurate one.