As faith communities across the country prepare for services this weekend, the shadow of the horrible tragedy of Sutherland Springs is fresh on everyone’s mind. One local Reverend, Fr. Bob Goolsby takes a measured view of how we all can move forward in the spirit of faith and hope. Share
Share Twitter User @umamistreetfoodThanksgiving is perhaps the quintessential American holiday. The fourth Thursday in November provides a moment to reflect on the good fortune of the past year and a chance to share a meal with friends and family. Iconic images of Thanksgiving place America’s native bird, the turkey, at the center of the feast, as are corn, pumpkins and other indigenous species. Unlike other holidays including Valentines Day, Halloween and even Christmas, though, the flavors of Thanksgiving are savory rather than sweet. And just as there is a history to the Thanksgiving menu, so too, there is a history to the holiday’s primary taste: umami. Most Americans are taught, although this is changing, that there are four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. However, more than a century ago, the Japanese chemist Kikunea Ikeda posited a fifth primary taste, which he called umami. In an effort to describe this new taste in 1912, he suggested: “An attentive taster will find … something common in the complicated taste of asparagus, tomato, cheese, and meat, which is quite peculiar and cannot be classified under any of the above mentioned qualities sweet, sour, bitter, or briny. It is usually so faint and overshadowed by other stronger tastes, that it is often difficult to recognize it unless the attention is specially directed towards it. “The existence of umami as a basic taste like sweet, sour, salty or bitter seems “new” to the American palate. But in my research on US food systems in the 20th century, I’ve found that the recognition of umami followed the spread of Asian cuisine in the US decades ago. A taste is bornIn order to better explain this subtle taste, Ikeda attempted to describe the difference between umami as it is found in food and its pure form. By way of analogy, he explained: “Had we nothing sweeter than carrots or milk, our idea of the quality of “sweet” would be just as indistinct as it is in the case of this peculiar quality. Just as honey and sugar gave us so clear a notion of what sweet is, the salts of (the amino acid) glutamic acid are destined to give us an equally definite idea of this peculiar taste quality. “Based on over two years of research, he was convinced that another – “new” – basic taste existed. He found umami in “fish, meat and so forth” or in foods with high-protein content. Ikeda’s “discovery” of umami was based as much on his mastery of physical chemistry as it was on his own taste experiences and the flavors endemic to Japanese foods. Japanese cuisine, more than European and Eurocentric cuisines, is centered on umami as a foundational element and is a key taste in the Japanese palate. The two foods Ikeda focused on to extract glutamic acid were konbu and bonito, the key elements in dashi – a savory broth ubiquitous throughout Japanese cooking. As it happens, both konbu (a dried brown kelp) and katsuobushi (bonito or skipjack tuna which is fermented, dried, smoked and flaked) contain large amounts of glutamic acid. In fact, miso soup, a twice-daily habit in most Japanese households even today, is a combination of two strong umami flavors, dashi and miso (a fermented soy paste). Ikeda also singled out soy sauce as a food that amplifies umami. In particular, soy sauce, with its high salt and glutamic acid content, was an excellent example of how salt intensified the taste of umami. As research in umami took hold in the second half of the 20th century, scientists found that umami was far more complex than any of the other basic tastes. One of the first major breakthroughs was the discovery that compounds other than glutamic acid produce umami. For example, both MSG – a combination of salt and glutamic acid – and other acids each produce distinct umami flavors. But when they are combined, the perception of umami is more than the sum of its parts. No other basic taste has this capability to ratchet up taste perception. Getting to know umami in the USIkeda’s and the Japanese palate was trained to experience umami, unlike palates in either Europe or the United States. By the end of the Vietnam War, though, shifting immigration patterns to the United States included more East Asians from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, China and South Korea. These immigrants brought a variety of new cultural influences to the US, particularly on the West Coast. By the mid-1980s, when Japan Inc dominated headlines and was thought to threaten American prosperity, Chinese restaurants were more common than Italian ones, and sushi, whether loved or reviled, defined Japanese food for most Americans. Immigration and assimilation of East Asian flavors into American cuisine as well as a plethora of industrial foods that incorporated glutamates made umami a far more common taste and altered the American taste landscape and the American palate in the late 20th century. Eating soy sauce, tofu, fish sauce and other foods high in glutamates not only integrated East Asian flavors into the American palate but also wove those communities into America’s social fabric through the sense of taste. It took until the early 2000s for the scientific community to recognize umami as the fifth taste. So as you are eating your Thanksgiving turkey with gravy and relishing all the side dishes, such as mushrooms, brussel sprouts or stuffing, that make the meal delicious, remember the savory taste of umami only became obvious once Americans assimilated the flavors of distant lands into their everyday lives. That’s something for which we can all be thankful. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/the-asian-roots-of-umami-the-fifth-taste-central-to-thanksgiving-fare-50699.
Darjeeling: The Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union (DTDPLU, affiliated to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha) will stop the dispatch of tea from Hill tea gardens from Thursday. The Joint Forum of Tea Unions will stop the plucking of leaves in the tea gardens from March 11. The move comes in protest against the non-payment of arrears in around 60 percent tea gardens in the Hills.This is the time of the premium first flush tea, which is exported. “In January 2018, the daily wages of tea garden workers had been increased by Rs 17.50. However, in most of the gardens in the Hills, the increment took effect from March 2018. A year has passed and the arrears have still not been paid,” stated Balam Tamang, president, Darjeeling sub-division committee, DTDPLU. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseTamang stated that upon hearing about the blockade of tea dispatch, the Darjeeling Tea Association has called for a meeting of the management of the gardens that have not paid the arrears and trade union representatives on Friday. “We will stop tea dispatches from Thursday. Depending on the outcome of the meeting on March 8, we will decide on our future course of action,” stated Tamang. The Joint Forum (conglomeration of 6 unions) has launched a dharna at the Darjeeling Tea Association. “We will hold gate meetings from Thursday till March 9. If arrears are not paid by March 10, we will stop the plucking of tea leaves from March 11,” stated J B Tamang, convener of the forum. It may be mentioned that there are 87 tea gardens in the Darjeeling Hills.
Travelweek Group Share Thursday, January 19, 2017 Posted by Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman now accepting reservations << Previous PostNext Post >> GRAND CAYMAN – Reservations are now open for Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman, the multi-million-dollar renovation project situated on Grand Cayman’s famous Seven Mile Beach.Nightly rates start at US$229, depending on room type, for stays beginning after Feb. 4. Each of the 285 rooms will feature a work desk, walk-in shower or tub, 55-inch LCD television, high-speed Wi-Fi, Keurig coffeemaker and more.Other hotel amenities include the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, now open during the resort’s soft opening phase. Following shortly thereafter will be License to Chill Bar and Margaritaville Coffee Shop. A complete soft opening will also include 109 guestrooms, the resort’s main pool and a signature steakhouse called YARA.Once complete, Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman will feature an activity pool with a waterslide, a large pool with swim-up bar, a zero-entry kiddie pool area, an adult-friendly pool, live entertainment, retail shops, complimentary kids club, 24-hour fitness centre, flexible meeting and event space, an on-site Red Sail Sports Desk, and six food and beverage venues.More news: Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agency“We have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to create an incredible, one-of-a-kind island getaway and we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone, opening reservations,” said Michael Evans, executive vice president of HHG Holdings, the ownership group for Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman. “We look forward to welcoming guests for what we know will be an unforgettable Caribbean escape featuring warm, authentic Caymanian hospitality and of course, the Margaritaville lifestyle!”For more information go to MargaritavilleResortGrandCayman.com.
Posted by Air Transat slashes domestic fares for Canada’s 150th anniversary Tuesday, April 25, 2017 Share Tags: Air Transat, Canada, Promotions TORONTO — Air Transat is encouraging Canadians to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with summer deals on flights connecting Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.Clients have until May 1 to take advantage of these offers. With the promo, one-way fares from Vancouver to Montreal start at $234, Toronto-Vancouver from $243, Toronto-Montreal from $111, Vancouver-Calgary from $124, Toronto-Calgary from $242, and Montreal-Quebec City from $119.“Canada is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, and we are pleased to offer flights that will allow travellers to explore more of it,” says Annick Guérard, President and General Manager of Transat Tours Canada. “In addition to travelling with the company named Best North American Leisure Airline by Skytrax, Air Transat’s clients will also benefit from our inflight entertainment system and will have the option to upgrade to Option Plus or Club Class.” Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
Alex Keerma TORONTO — A new 192-suite adults-only resort-within-a-resort has elevated the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort, one of the destination’s top all-inclusives. Mexico-bound clients will also find a brand new 122-room stand-alone property in Los Cabos for the luxury market.In the north hotel zone of Puerto Vallarta, the all-inclusive Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort has expanded its offerings with ‘The Hacienda’, adding an additional 192 suites for a total of 451 guest rooms.Hilton Puerto VallartaThe adults-only space includes four suite categories and features unique amenities such as private patios, terraces with Jacuzzis and rooms with swim-up pools. General Manager Hernan Vanegas says the upscale enclave will be surrounded by lush vegetation “and will be characterized by its privacy, stand-out design and personalized service that will maximize the experience for this adult-only section”.Vanegas adds: “In a destination as multifaceted as Puerto Vallarta, we seek to provide guests with authentic experiences that complement the beauty of the location and highlight its Mexican heritage.”In addition to an expansion on the rooms, The Hacienda will incorporate new culinary offerings including: La Catrina, a fine dining Mexican restaurant; Talavera overlooking The Hacienda section’s main pool; El Pozo, a wet bar offering exotic cocktails; La Serenata, an outdoor terrace surrounded by lush vegetation and Mexican music; and ‘El Rincon’, a gourmet deli.The Hacienda accommodation at Hilton Puerto VallartaFor the incentive and convention clients, the hotel will offer more than 21,15 square feet of meeting space, divided in two main ballrooms – 1,500 and 850 people in theatre style respectively – both divisible in breakout rooms.Meanwhile Montage Hotels & Resorts has expanded its footprint in San José del Cabo with Montage Los Cabos, a 39-acre seaside resort set within secluded Santa Maria Bay, known as one of the destination’s best beaches for swimming and snorkelling. Montage Los Cabos has 122 guest rooms and suites and three private Casas as well as four dining concepts and three pool experiences. There’s also walk-in access to swimming, diving, snorkelling and non-motorized water activities, the 40,000-square-foot Spa Montage, fitness centre, Paintbox children’s program, indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, and a variety of off-site experiences and programming.Presidential Suite pool at Montage Los CabosStarting in late 2018 guests will be able to play 18 holes at the Fred Couples Signature Golf Course located at the adjacent Twin Dolphin Golf Club.“Expanding our portfolio into Mexico is an incredible milestone for our company,” said Alan J. Fuerstman, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Montage International. “Montage Los Cabos is located in one of the most spectacular locations in all of Los Cabos and offers guests and residents the opportunity to experience the authentic spirit of Mexico, coupled with the exceptional service culture for which Montage is known.”Ocean view room at Montage Los CabosThe resort’s signature restaurant, Mezcal, is a modern Mexican kitchen featuring reimagined interpretations of ancestral culinary traditions, with specialties including octopus tiradito, crispy pork belly taco and a traditional tamal de rajas. Other dining venues include the beachfront Marea for breakfast, lunch and dinner with views of the Sea of Cortez, and Paletas, a contemporary marketplace serving everything from freshly baked Mexican pastries to gourmet sandwiches.An introductory offer gives guests US$100 resort credit for each night and a $300 per night resort credit for stays in a suite or residence. Credit is applicable towards a variety of resort experiences including dining, Paintbox and Spa Montage. Monday, June 11, 2018 About Latest Posts Alex Keerma Latest posts by Alex Keerma (see all) WestJet adds to network, nonstop flights between Austin and Calgary – May 3, 2019 Senior Travel Advisor – Peterborough Office – April 12, 2019 “I didn’t know she was married”: Kimpton’s social experiment inspires new themed rooms – March 6, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Tags: Hilton, Los Cabos, Mexico, Montage Hotels & Resorts, Puerto Vallarta Share Resort news from Mexico’s Pacific Coast with debuts in Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos