[Sca-cooks] menu planning for dietary restrictions

Tom Vincent Tom.Vincent at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 13 08:35:16 PDT 2006

I've noticed a couple of trends in this discussion:

1. The comparison between low-fat/low-salt cooking and modifications to 
accommodate vegans, lactose-intolerance, nut/mushroom/etc allergies, and 
so on.

2. The repeated implication that 'flavor', 'tasty' & 'yummy' are 
incompatible with low-fat/low-salt recipes or recipe modifications.

About #1: If over 60% of the population was allergic to nuts, it would 
really be crazy to include nuts in just about *any* feast dish, wouldn't it?

 From the Surgeon General 

      The United States is experiencing substantial increases in
      overweight and obesity (as defined by a BMI ≥ 25 for adults) that
      cut across all ages, racial and ethnic groups, and both genders.
      According to self-reported measures of height and weight, obesity
      (BMI ≥ 30) has been increasing in every State in the Nation. Based
      on clinical height and weight measurements in the 1999 National
      Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 34 percent of
      U.S. adults aged 20 to 74 years are overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9),
      and an additional 27 percent are obese (BMI ≥ 30). This contrasts
      with the late 1970s, when an estimated 32 percent of adults aged
      20 to 74 years were overweight, and 15 percent were obese.

So, a few considerations as to reducing fat & salt in feast recipes can 
help present a healthier atmosphere for all attendees, whether they're 
watching their diet or not...and at no damage to anyone. A change with 
an upside but no downside? That's a good change to make.

About #2: The fondness for the feel or flavor of fat in a dish can be 
'unlearned' just as changing from whole milk to 2% or from sugar-sodas 
to diet sodas or from salty snacks to healthier snacks can be learned.

We adapt to healthier breads, ingredients, techniques, meats.

Many people use ground turkey or chicken in place of ground beef and 
haven't bought or missed ground beef in many years.

Others haven't bought white bread or refined sugar in years.

For people who've adjusted to the flavor and texture of 2% milk, whole 
milk tastes like melted butter or cream.

So saying that a low-fat/low-salt dish isn't going to have the flavor of 
its 'full-fat/full-salt' original recipe (if, in fact, it ever actually 
*had* an original recipe).

Hopefully a time will come when the revised recipe will be the norm and 
the original will be considered an aberration, an archaic, obsolete, 
unhealthy version.

The Vikings who settled in Greenland arrived at a time of global warmth, 
so there were trees and grassland for their settlement. However, as the 
'Little Ice Age' grew and the Vikings destroyed all the trees, they were 
forced to rely on fishing and seal hunting as their land animals 
succumbed to the cooling weather. Eventually, those that didn't return 
to Iceland perished, unwilling to adapt to changing conditions.


grizly wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> Gotta admit, I got the same sort of inference out of the words I read.
> Mayhaps a different varuation of the ideas expression would help us reach
> the conclusions you are drawing and expressing to us in the discussions?
> I agree that exceptionally tastey dishes can be made without any or greatly
> reduced X ingredient.  Taking off the breading and eliminating the frying
> step can make a lovely dish . . . but then we've created a difierent dish
> entirely, and could have started with a fricasse or some such braised idea
> in the first place.  Sure you lose loads of flavor not developing the fond,
> but that can be modified with acids and sweets and bitters elsewhere in the
> dish.  Oils carry and adhere flavors to the tongue, and give mouthfeel . . .
> these will be changed if a recipe is changed.  No frying means a different
> flavor and texture profile entirely, which is not evil or repugnant; just
> different.
> niccolo difrancesco
> I've even thickened a braised dish with breadcrumb, egg yolk AND liver paste
> for some reason (it was in the recipe and made a real flavor differnce as
> well)
> _______________________________________________
> Sca-cooks mailing list
> Sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> http://lists.ansteorra.org/listinfo.cgi/sca-cooks-ansteorra.org

Tom Vincent
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and
carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list