June 08, 2016
I recently received a free copy of Reader’s Digest in the mail asking me if I’d like to subscribe to the magazine. Frankly I was taken aback by this and said to myself, “Is Reader’s Digest still around?” I haven’t seen this publication in years and it looked quite different to me.
However, when I leafed through I found myself sitting down and reading closely. Reader’s Digest has not lost its touch: the articles are succinct but timely, the jokes and cartoons are as funny as ever and, best of all, it’s chock-full of interesting information. In particular, I really liked the one titled What’s the Difference? by Kelsey Kloss who explores the subtle differences between the staple foods that most of us buy and eat. Here’s a short version of this list that appeared in the May 2016 issue. Let’s take a look.
True yams have rough, scaly skin, purple or red flesh and are often starchier than sweet potatoes. But they’re hard to find in American supermarkets. Often orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are called “yams” to differentiate them from white-fleshed sweet potatoes.
Pasta dough is made from wheat and water. It has a stronger, more elastic texture than noodles and is usually dressed with sauce. Noodles are made from a soft paste of eggs plus flour and served in a broth.
Both are water with carbonation, but club soda has additives that give it a slightly saltier taste than seltzer.
Jam is fruit chopped, crushed and cooked with sugar so it is chunky while jelly is made from fruit juice boiled with sugar that results in a firm, gel-like texture.
These can be used interchangeably. Both refer to the same fibrous legume that has a bit of a chestnut flavor. Garbanzo is Spanish while chickpea is the English term.
Almost genetically identical, these can be used interchangeably in cooking. Peaches have a soft, fuzzy skin while nectarines have a fuzz-free, smooth skin and are smaller than peaches. Both grow in white and yellow varieties.
Plantains are members of the banana family and are ready to use when green. Bananas are high in sugar; plantains are high in starch. This makes them better for cooking – they’re often treated as vegetables.
“We all scream for ice cream” because it is made with milk, cream and often egg yolks. Then it is churned quickly to make it light and fluffy. Gelato has more milk and less cream and is churned slower. This results in a silkier texture and a stronger flavor than ice cream.
Cold-brew has become increasingly popular. Coffee grounds are steeped in water for a day. The essence is then diluted with water and served chilled. On the other hand, iced coffee is brewed hot with half the usual amount of water and poured over ice. Cold brew is made with cooler water, so it often has a mellower, less acidic taste than iced coffee.Shaun Nelson-Henrick
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October 22, 2020
I just read an article that sounded – to me at least – like “a canary in a coal mine” or an early warning of danger. This piece, written by Joe Pompeo, appeared in the May 2020 issue of Vanity Fair magazine with the title “The British Tabloid Invasion” and a subtitle that read, “How the Daily Mail is conquering American gossip.”
The paparazzi horde, La Dolce Vita, 1960 – photo courtesy of Vanity Fair
October 14, 2020
Apparently the good old U.S. is a nation of “not great” sleepers. Really? And I thought I was the only one! According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it was revealed that one out of three Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. Yikes!
October 06, 2020
I think we’re all taken by the incredible mystique of the famous French fashion house, Hermès that has been with us for two centuries and is still owned and operated by the same family. From its beginnings in fine equestrian leather goods, they are – in the tumultuous year 2020 – best known for their handbags and many other items.
My image of Hermès has always been rarified products at equally rarified prices so imagine my surprise when I recently received a very stylish publication of theirs in the mail.