Everything you ever wanted to know about cooking, but were afraid to ask; 'E' E-Numbers to Extracts
A sysem of tracking additives in our food, the ‘E’ apparently stands for European union. The numbers stand for each chemical. There’s 1600 of them, so make wiki your friend, it has a complete list…
- E100–E199 (colours)
- E200–E299 (preservatives)
- E300–E399 (antioxidants, acidity regulators)
- E400–E499 (thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers)
- E500–E599 (acidity regulators, anti-caking agents)
- E600–E699 (flavour enhancers)
- E700–E799 (antibiotics)
- E900–E999 (glazing agents and sweeteners)
- E1000–E1599 (additional chemicals)
You really need to have some science experience to interpret each and every one of these.
Easiest thing to do is buy fresh food, meat & veg, wholesome natural foods…
Remember, the longer the shelf life, the shorter yours…
Earl grey Earl Grey tea is a tea blend with a distinctive citrus flavour and aroma derived from the addition of oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a fragrant citrus fruit.
Traditionally, the term "Earl Grey" has applied only to black teas that contain oil of bergamot as a flavouring.
The earl of Grey was a guy back in 1830’s. Charles Grey, former prime minister. Cruel parents, naming Him after a Tea bag…
First time I ever tried Earl Grey, I thought they hadn’t rinsed their cups, tasted like dishwash liquid.
Guess it’s an acquired taste.
Early; Early is a good thing, mostly…
It’s good to get to work early!
Early season fruit, or veg is going to cost you a fortune, anthing early commands a premium price; supply & demand.
Early mornings are not everybodies friend, Me I get up when the sun comes up….
Ears; The ear is the organ that detects sound. As it comes, usually from an animal, if it can be eaten it will.
True, some cultures, Indonesians I think, eat Pigs ears.
Apparently Pigs ears makea nice purse, not as nice as silk apparently…
Vegetables have ears as well, as well as eyes, hearts, skins… Corn has ears! A husk of corn is an ear!
Don’t tell secrets in Corn fields!
Earth; aka The world, the planet we call home, 3rd rock from the sun.
Is it really as crazy as the flat earthers believe? How do we know? A couple of photoshopped images from NASA (NaZa) is all we have to say the earth is round, like a marble.
Ancient texts see the world as a flat plane inside a globe with the sun and the moon rotating above us.
Believe it or not, last time I looked out a plane window, I could see flat earth for miles and miles, not dropping 1 inch per mile in all directions… But I’m just Me, wouldn’t want to challenge mainstream science, or NASA (an occultist organisation founded by Nazis)
Back on topic, Earth is also known as soil, or dirt.
Making dirt from cake crumbs and presenting edible gardens is a popular dining theme now, edible earth, taking us back to our childhood when Mum came out and found us eating dirt…
Earth almonds; aka Tiger nuts. They are an edible tuber grown in swamps, from a sedge plant.
A word of warning, do not mistake Earth Almonds for Tiger Nuts. It could be the last thing you ever do!
Earthnut is a common name for several unrelated plants which produce a subterranean edible seed, fruit or root.
Such as, apparently, Truffles, or Peanuts, aka Groundnuts. Neither of which is a nut.
Truffles are a fungi which grows underground, not a nut...
Pea-nuts are a legume, not a nut either, so go figure...
Maybe they mean the flat earth believers?
Earthenware; Aka Pottery, aka terracotta, unglazed, porous baked clay. Not really used so much in modern cookery, more of a necessity from days gone by.
Only real instance I can think of, is using Terracotta flower pots for baking bread.
Earthenware is usually weaker, therefore thicker than the likes of Porcelain.
Earthenware is more a branding exercise these days, Many plates and ceramics are marketed as Earthenware.
Easy; Easy and greasy? Pub grub! Food prepared mostly in a deep fryer.
Easy, if it was easy, anyone could do it, so you might as well stay at home.
People dine out, not just for sustenance, but for an experience.
Diners are looking for something unique mostly, they don’t want easy, easy goes under.
Well planned, properly executed menu’s which demonstrate a Chef’s skills and experience do not come easy.
But with the correct planning they can be easy, a good Chef will make it look easy, it doesn’t have to be hard.
If you do your Mise en place, your preparation for service, plane everything out, get the team on board, service goes like clockwork.
But you gotta do it hard sometimes to make it easy, just a matter of picking what times you want to do hard to make it easy…
Some shortcuts make life easy, and I’m a great believer in shortcuts, but if they backfire on you it’s going to double your work, not so easy after all.
Was that easy?
Eclairs An éclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. The dough, which is the same as that used for profiterole, is typically piped into an oblong shape with a pastry bag and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. Once cool, the pastry then is filled with a vanilla, coffee, or chocolate-flavoured custard (crème pâtissière), or with whipped cream; and then iced with fondant icing.
Éclair, apparently means ‘like lightening’, in that they disappear like Lightening!
As for Choux paste previously, you must let Eclairs dry out, otherwise they flop! Best thing is to turn oven off and let them cool down with the oven. Do yourself a favour and put a sticky note on the oven control. Been there before, forget the Meringues, Croutons, Eclairs; turned the oven on…
E-coli ; Escherichia coli aka Coliforms, aka E. coli, is a Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium of the genus Escherichia that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms…
That’s the official description, note, E coli lives in the lower intestine of animals, that is the last part of the intestine, so where is E Coli likely to be found?
Why do we wash our hands? Why do we take such care ‘dressing’ our meat for consumption? E coli.
Symptoms; makes for an unpleasant time, usually downstairs action, less vomiting…
E-coli is one of the most common bacteriums in our world, but can easily be contained by proper hygiene procedures, wash your hands, eliminate cross contamination, keep your food clean.
It’s a really nasty thing to go through, food poisoning, and it’s something I really abhor, Unknowingly being poisoned by someone eses poor food hygiene practices.
I’m really really careful I do not poison anybody, and it’s simple to do!
Farm lot beef where the animals are kept in stalls and fed on Maize, up to their knees in their own excrement, no wonder there’s such an E-coli epidemic, situations like that, they ge around by adding bleach to the meat products, rather You than Me!
Some E-coli variants, and there are many, are useful, apparently…
This might put you off artificial sweeteners…
Aspartame is made from the excrement of a GM E-coli!
Edam; Edam is a semi hard cheese of Dutch origin.
It’s often sold waxed, that wax is to protect the cheese, don’t eat it!
Edam can be eaten as a young, or fresh cheese, it also ages and dries or hardens as it ages.
Edam is a lower fat cheese, a healthier option at only 28% fat!
It’s a good melting cheese, good as a pizza cheese.
Edible; Edible is a word that divides the world, it’s Black and White, it is Edible, can be eaten, or not.
Then again, maybe there’s shades of Grey, somethings are edible; you can eat them, but maybe you shouldn’t!
Like a Pig will eat it’s own shit, does that make it edible? Maybe We need to redefine Edibe into things that Humans can eat? Eat without serious side effects perhaps? You can eat shit if you want, but don’t expect a happy ending! And please clean your teeth, and rinse…
Some things are edible, even tasty; some Mushrooms for example, but they wil seriously ruin your day if they’re poisonous! (Perhaps at a lower dosage they will turn some lights on in your brain?)
So poisons can be edible….
So perhaps Inedible is a better descriptor?
Eel; Eel, a short name for a long fish! Smoked Eel, Jellied Eel, to some these are luxury products.
Eels aren’t as numerous as they once were. They get a bad reputation cos they look nasty!
I used to fish for Eels, late nights walking up a stream with a spear.
As a kid, Me and my mates ‘found’ an Eel net, someone had left it in a creek, full of Eels…
They take a bit of killing, they have a nervous system down their backs, and they generally pretty hard to handle, they’ll twist and turn like a Snake, and will climb back down your spear towards you…
All that taken care of, We’d take them home, ‘dress’ them and hang them out to dry before smoking them.
We had a patch of bad weather once, so I hung them in the shed, smoked them a few days later; bit into a mouthful of maggots! Not enough airflow perhaps, but put me off Eel for a long time.
Again when I was a kid I met a Hermit, lived on an island, Robinson somebody; He had a section of creek fenced off, and full of 6 foot Eels. They weren’t his pets, they were His dinner!
I’ve seen some pretty big Eels, seen them take a young Duck off the water, but nothing big as Mr Crusoe’s.
Don’t confuse Lampreys for Eels, Lampreys are different, they look the same, but have sucker mouths!
Egg; Eggs the Ovum of a bird, fish or reptile. That’s what an Egg is!
In the case of domestic eggs, eggs that we eat, they are more properly described as ‘the unfertilised ovum of a bird’, pretty much a birds menstrual period…
We have egg laying machines in our back yard, they also function as pest control, soil aeration and mobile fertiliser plants.
Eggs are ubiquitous, near every culture throughout the world harvest eggs, wether from Turtles, Fish (Caviar), Emu’s, Quail etc.
They are like seeds, power packed with all the nutrients to develop into an entire living animal.
Culinary uses, they are divided into functions; as a whole food, that’s boiled, poached, fried etc, any occasion where you eat an egg as a meal.
In my browsing history I came across some old posters, warning of the dangers of eggs, more cholesterol than a big mac. But it’s cholesterol we can use.
Nowadays they,ve gone back on that, an egg a day is okay…
A good egg vs a bad egg? Bad eggs will float if they real bad, or roll blunt side up.
That’s because Eggs are porous, they lose moisture and the air bubble inside grows.
When you break an egg, which is a skill in itself; not to get shells, or break the yolks, tap it on a flat surface…
A fresh egg will have a good thisk shell, not thin and brittle. When you break it on a plate, there should be 3 parts, a white which should hold it’s form, a higher ‘plateau’ which should sit above and on top of the outer white, and a proud yolk.
How many sides does an egg have?*
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
I had a meme once showed an egg and a chicken lying in bed, the rooster looking satisfied, smoking a cigarette, and the egg flustered and in tears, guess that answered that…
So back to functions..
- Bind ingredients in dishes such as meatballs, crumbing etc.
- Leaven such baked high-rises as soufflés and sponge cakes.
- Thicken custards and sauces.
- Eggs emulsify mayonnaise, salad dressings and Hollandaise sauce
- Coats or glaze breads and cookies.
- Eggs clarify soups and coffee and retard crystallization in boiled candies and frostings.
- Eggs add color, flavor, moisture and nutrients to baked goods such as cakes.
- As a finishing touch, hard-boiled eggs often serve as a garnish.
Storage, citizens are divided as to wether to refrigerate, or leave on the shelf.
Best practice is to refrigerate for safety, eggs are notorious contact associates for Salmonella, but they need to be room temperature for aeration and baking.
So keep them cool, bring them out an hour before baking, sorted!
Keep them away from fish, onions, garlic, strong cheeses or anything with a strong flavour, eggs are porous and absorb smells.
1000 year old eggs are not that old really, they just look that way…
Peeling hard boiled eggs can be a mission; I was told, cook an egg in cold salted water for 9 minutes, refresh and peel. I’ve been doing this for years, but doesn’t really work…
Recently I heard to drop them in HOT salted water, 3 minutes, then refresh. Just make sure your egs aren’t cold, or they’ll crack…
I could write a whole chapter on eggs, have some boiled eggs for sustenance, but I’ll keep it simple…
Which came first?
*How many sides?
Two, an inside, and an outside!
Elder; Respect us, ‘cause we been there and done that and have scars to prove it!
No I’m talking about Elder-berries, Elder-flowers; not the Elders that come knocking on your door, spreadin the word of the Lord either…
Elderberries are a fairly rare use in culinary menu’s, can’t say I’ve ever really seen them used at all?
Seems some things are popular inventions, some not so much; perhaps somebody should start a trend?
They are used in the production of Sambuca, you can make Jellies & jams from the ripe berries, and Elderberry wine, argh!
That takes me back; A long time ago in a land far far away Elder trees were used, mainly as hedgerows on Rural estates. Enterprising farmers used to hobby-brew Elderberry wine. That’s stuff was potent, could strip paint with it!
I can recall hedges of Elder, the berries would stain everything, and birds would carry that stain, leaving Elder stained deposits everywhere.
Don’t eat unripe Elderberries (not that you would!) They convert to Cyanide in the body.
Elder-flowers apparently make a nice cordial!
Elephants ears; Don’t get upset here, we’re not going on safari to separate an actual Elephant from it’s sound organs!
Elephants ears are a fried pastry! Kind of a doughnut, or a fry bread, formed in the shape of an Elephants ear.
There’s also a plant called Elephants ear!
Elk; You call it Elk, we call it Wapiti! It’s a large Deer. They were imported into New Zealand as a Game animal, and there have remained ever since. We have the smaller Red Deer, and the Wapiti!
Must say, they do taste good, whatever you like to call them. I address this mostly, later on under Venison, which is what we turn Elk, or Wapiti into, a transformation via a piece of lead!
Empanadas; Filled and folded pastries; Spanish in origin’ much the same as Cornish Pasties, Samosa’s, Calzone… The Spanish have been everywhere, and took Empanadas with them, pretty simple concept anyway; take some filling, fold it in pastry, done…
I could go on, pretty hard to pin down an Empanada, they much the same over many cultures, prepared with many ingredients, and finished in myriad ways..
Emulsion; An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible (unmixable or unblendable). That’s the base definition as it applies to paint, film etc.
Same thing works for food. We can have 2 types of emulsions; Temporary and Permanent.
A temporary emulsion is where you take 2, or more immiscible liquids, combine and agitate. I don’t mean agitate, like become nervous, or make trouble; agitate as in shake or whisk together.
The two substances will combine, but eventually separate.
A temporary emulsion, or Viniagrette is usually a ratio of an oil and an acid. No set rules apply to ratios or ingredients.
Mustard helps bind an emulsion, because it’s a seed, therefore a starch, it slightly thickens an emulsion and helps to bind it.
A permanent emulsion is similar to a temporary emulsion, it has a base oil, and an acid; usually Citrus or Vinegar, again any oil you like (although I’ve found EVOO very difficult as a mayonnaise); with the addition of Mustard, and egg yolks.
Egg yolks contain the magic ingredient; Lecithin, that’s the emulsifying agent.
Enchiladas; An enchilada is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce. Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, seafood or combinations.
Enchiladas are usually associated; in my mind anyway, with the hottest of Chilli sauces; ‘burning ring of fire’.
A quick search confirms that, Enchilada is a loose interpretation; “add chilli to…”
Endive; aka ‘Frisee’ Endive’s a leaf vegetable of the Chicory family, or Genus if you like?
Much the same as a Lettuce to all intents and purposes.
Endive, or Frissee is usually found in Mesclun, or salad mixes. Makes a pretty little garnish; nice to include on a menu, as it sounds exotic…
There's a second Endive, more correctly known as Witloof, it is an actual Chicory; more a broad leaf, similar to Cos, or Romaine if you like?
English Muffins; English Muffins are the flat, often sold as split Muffins. They are designated as ‘English’ Muffins, as they truly originated in Pommieland; Also to differentiate ‘English’ from ‘Cake’ type Muffins, or Fairy cakes or cup cakes if you like.
English Muffins are the base of Eggs Benedict, don’t try making Eggs Benny with a cup cake, then wonder why it’s not working…
I believe they are popular in Scottish restaurants also? Bacon & egg Mc Muffin…
Entrecote; Entrecote is a French term for a steak. I always thought it was part of the fillet; that’s what they teach in the cook books.
Apparently I’ve been operating under a strong delusion…
Entrecote, now, is a steak from opposite the fillet…
To clarify this I looked up the original interpretation, translated from French, Entrecote means; between the ribs.
Therefore Entrecote can be whatever you want t to be, so long as it’s a rib cut.
I’m sticking with Fillet, as it’s truly between the ribs, as in under the ribs, straddling the spine.
But if you like it can be; Rib eye, Sirloin (back steak or Porterhouse) or Scotch fillet(Cube).
Confused? Names are often duplicated, upgraded like an app’, or otherwise changed to regional variations. There are no fixed rules…
Escargot; Escargot sounds exotic, but if you ask Me this is scraping the barrel of edible ingredients. I can understand people appreciate these delicate morsels (tongue firmly in cheek); but Snails?
I worked in a fine dining French restaurant, many many moons back, and we served Escargot.
Standard Recipe, served in their shell, grilled in Garlic Butter, we actually bought the shells separately, so we’d re-use them again and again, after cleaning naturally.
I was curious to try them once, and my Chef encouraged Me, but snails? Sorry, some things I can’t do…
But eventually I braved up and tried one! To my surprise, I was right, they were disgusting!
They tasted like dirt and had the texture of an overcooked Mussell. But then again, they were canned, not exactly fresh…
Before you rush out to the garden to try a few snails; Escargot are specially prepared, for starters (sic) they are special breeds of Land snails, usually fed on vine leaves. To prepare them, as with any crustacean or shellfish, you need to purge them, starve them, or feed them on something ore palatable.
We have snails in our garden, rather than use poisons we go on snail patrols, round the garden with a torch and a bucket. Usually we can wipe out an entire colony on any given evening. If I see any in my garden or on the fence they get a flying lesson. Or a speedy introduction to Evolution, I thow them over the fence onto my neighbours concrete drive; they can adapt and grow wings, or die trying. So far, this species is slow to adapt…
Espresso; Yeah, let’s get that taste of snail out of my mind…
Espresso or Expresso? Why can’t it be both?
Espresso is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.
Espresso is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods, has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and has crema on top (a foam with a creamy consistency).
As a result of the pressurized brewing process, the flavors and chemicals in a typical cup of espresso are very concentrated.
Espresso is the base for other drinks, such as a caffè latte, cappuccino, caffè macchiato, cafe mocha, or caffè Americano.
Espresso has more caffeine per unit volume than most coffee beverages, but because the usual serving size is much smaller, the total caffeine content is less.
To reduce the water content, in this context; of food.
We reduce a liquid by boiling, that is evaporating the water off it, concentrating the remaining solids, thereby intensifying it’s flavour.
Evaporation has a strong link with Drying, but they not always the same. Dried things are dried, in the sun, or in an oven.
Evaporated foods may be evaporated by boiling in a vacuum, such as concentrated Bullions, Tomato paste.
Evaporated milk is then forced into a giant oven, of sorts, and then dried to milk powder, once 80% of the liquid is evaporated, in an evaporator!
Evian; Bottled water! Check that Evian label in a reflection; Naïve!
Evolution; Evolution is the change in heritable traits of biological organisms over successive generations due to natural selection and other mechanisms.
Evolution may also refer to: an accumulation of change over time, or other technical usage of the term in biology as well as in other disciplines.
Evolution in this instance applies to foods and recipe’s; they evolve over time, they change, go in and out of fashion, get re-invented and re-interpreted, even deconstructed and reconstructed.
But Evolution A la’ David Attenborough and ‘Science’; is a lie.
If you didn’t get that, it’s a lie.
The story of creation is well documented, and along comes ‘science’ and refutes creation with an assembly of half thought out theories which have been validated by another scientist, in a university funded by people pushing that agenda…
I’ve had to re-write this topic, among a couple of others since I originally scripted this 5 or 6 years ago.
Back then I believed what I was told; now I know better, and it’s steered me back again to the same story I put aside years back as stories and anectdotes, rewritten and re-interpreted over generations.
Even Charlie (Chuck?) Darwin had second thoughts, it was just a theory, an observation; as He even said, if ‘the missing links’ were absent, his whole theory goes out the window.
This is a huge topic; you can look it up yourself for a full expose’, I’m just going to give it a light dressing, a quick window treatment…
How come apes are still apes? Why didn’t they all ‘evolve’ to Humans? Where’s the fossil record of the millions of variations required?
As I mentioned above, what really kills it, as a theory, is; Inter-dependance. See Charlie never had a microscope, didn’t know what a cell was, didn’t realise the mind bogling intracy of DNA.
Inter-dependancy states; one part of something (say a cell) cannot function in parts, it needs to be entire and fully functioning to operate.
Where did DNA come from? How did the very first cell originate? How did it reproduce itself?
Answer: It can’t.
EVOO; Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Olive oil is one of the purest oils, simply squeeze an Olive and you have Olive oil, Extra virgin actually.
The extra virgin part means it’s the first pressing of the Olive, the best of the best, crème de la crème.
The Rest of the Olives, after the first pressing, is subjected to chemical torture to render ou the remnants of whatever oil remains.
I always read ingredients; I see Margerine, branded as ‘Made with Olive oil’, Olive pictures on the packaging. Read the label 20% refined Olive oil, not extra virgin. Leave it on the shelf.
EVOO’s vary by climate, region, type of Olive, but are always branded as Extra Virgin; don’t buy anything else.
A good Olive Oil is full of anti-oxidants and has health benefits, use it for everything you would use oil for. Except one small flaw, don’t overheat it EVOO burns easily. Perhaps that’s the way it’s meant to be? Overheating oil is very dangerous!
An extract is a substance made by extracting a part of a raw material, often by using a solvent such as ethanol or water. Extracts may be sold as tinctures or in powder form. The majority of natural essences are obtained by extracting the essential oil from the blossoms, fruit, roots, etc., or the whole plants, through four techniques:
Expression when the oil is very plentiful and easily obtained, as in lemon peel.
Absorption is generally accomplished by steeping in alcohol, as vanilla beans.
Maceration is used to create smaller bits of the whole, as in making peppermint extract, etc.
Distillation is used with maceration, but in many cases, it requires expert chemical knowledge and the erection of costly stills.
The distinctive flavors of nearly all fruits, in the popular acceptance of the word, are desirable adjuncts to many food preparations, but only a few are practical sources of sufficiently concentrated flavor extract. The most important among those that lend themselves to "pure" extract manufacture include lemons, oranges, and vanilla beans.
The aromatic principles of many spices, nuts, herbs, fruits, etc., and some flowers, are marketed as extracts, among the best known of true extracts being almond, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, lemon, nutmeg, orange, peppermint, pistachio, rose, spearmint, vanilla, violet, and wintergreen
Essence; Chemical-created essence
The majority of concentrated fruit flavors such as banana, cherry, peach, pineapple, raspberry and strawberry, are produced by combining a variety of esters with special oils. The desired colors are generally obtained by the use of dyes. Among the esters most generally employed are ethyl acetate and ethyl butyrate. The chief factors in the production of artificial banana, pineapple, and strawberry extract are amyl acetate and amyl butyrate.
Artificial extracts generally do not possess the delicacy of natural fruit flavor, but usually get close enough to provide real service and convenience when true essences are unobtainable or too expensive.
Youth in Asia?
Euthanasia; not teenagers in Bali! Youth in Asia…Killing things!
As a Chef you may have the opportunity to euthanise various creatures, usually crustaceans, kept in a tank and selected by a customer.
Salt water crayfish can be drowned by immersing them in salt fresh water, or being put in the freezer. Either way this will take an hour or longer, while your customer taps his fingers on the table and gets drunker and drunkerer...
They just want the harsh necessities taken care of and that creature in their stomach.
So it is up to you; Chef, to process this living creature into a meal asap.
Another method is to plunge the animal into boiling water. This kills them almost instantly. But for that instant they will trash about in the pot full of boiling water, and scream.
Yes Crayfish can scream!
They will also drop off all their legs as they can do this in an emergency situation in their own natural environment.
The kindest way to euthanise any animal as I see it, is as quickly and cleanly as possible.
With Crustacea, a knife driven between the ‘horns’ on it’s head will kill it almost immediately, much kinder than allowing them to die of hypothermia, or drowning.
I used to have to euthanise live crayfish, i would have the cray set out on my board, replete with the executioners axe, an old knife we kept especially for this occasion; I would, if I could attract the attention of a service girl and kill the cray in front of them.
Probably a bit mean when I think about it, funny at the time, kinda like pulling a girls hair in the playground!
For you hunter/gatherer types out there, if you have in your possession a live animal which requires termination, a knife between the ribs or into the throat, there’s no nice way, but bleeding is the quickest; if you can’t just shoot it?