Making Ice Cream At Home

Some friends made ice cream at home yesterday. It was really good and made me wonder what the science behind making ice cream was… Why did it involve salt? So after a little research, here are two good articles on the chemical process and the uses of different types of salt:

Explains the salt chemistry behind the ice cream making process:
From Chemistry.about.com

This article explains why some salts (like epsom) doesn’t work (it has to do with the range where it can lower the melting point of ice in below freezing conditions):
Sciences360.com

Katjes Berry Cassis

I went to The Fiesta grocery store near my house and noticed the international aisle for the first time. It wasn’t a huge selection of stuff, but what they did have was very interesting. I picked up a few things and will write more about those later. Today, I’m trying Berry Cassis. Berry Cassis is made by Katjes and is a German. Its a fruit snack, a bit like a Gummy Bear in consistency but not a candy product. It’s black currant flavored, which is quite good. I don’t know how to describe the flavor… a bit like a cranberry, but stronger.

http://www.katjes.com/

http://www.katjes.com/our-products/berry-cassis/

 

Obesity in America

Very good video produced by Reason.tv regarding the fight against obesity.  In general, the ‘good intentions’ of creating laws to control behavior is pretty useless and gives government the green light to find other ways to restrict freedom.

There are all sort of examples of laws created to ‘help’, the most controversial of late is New York’s Mayor Bloomberg banning sodas larger than16 oz.  If the people really wanted this, then wouldn’t they just stop buying the smaller soda?  There is, of course, some pricing strategy that promotes buying a larger soda (price per oz is a little less if you buy the larger drink) and then once you buy the larger drink, you may fee obligated to drink the whole thing.

Still, it doesn’t seem at all appropriate for a city to ban a particular size of product.  Maybe, for his next law, he’ll ban larger clothing with the idea that if you can’t buy extra large sized clothing, you’ll be forced to loose weight.  A part of me is thinking I shouldn’t write things like that lest it comes true.

An even more surprising ban comes from Reason’s Nanny of the month.  A federal prosecutor filed to ban raw milk, making the statement that citizens don’t have the freedom to eat what they want. Link to Nanny of the Month

Food Truck Controversy

Food trucks have been making a lot of news in the past couple of years. Just to be clear, we aren’t talking about the usual “roach coaches” that go out to industrial areas and construction sites.  This is a new generation of food trucks that sell gourmet food and are targeting upscale locations, such as downtown or commercial areas – targeting office workers.

The difference between these trucks and the “roach coaches” is that the food being sold is very high quality usually at a lower price compared to surrounding restaurants.  The other difference is that the areas these trucks are going to are usually locations where there are established restaurants (industrial and construction areas don’t usually have nearby restaurants).

So that has lead to cities creating ordinances banning the food trucks from certain areas.  These bans take on a few different flavors.  For example, it can be 1000′ from an established restaurant, prohibited in certain neighborhoods or areas, or (my favorite) 1000′ from a school.  The reason that last on is my favorite is that it would seem that you’re banning good food from being in the vicinity of the school cafeteria (remember, these are gourmet trucks).  It’s also important to note that these trucks are also licensed by local authorities and follow food handling laws.

It sounds like that these laws are being created to protect brick and mortar restaurants.  I think there is also an element of localities ‘loosing’ control since there is no permission required and possibly a loss of local tax (I would guess the last issue is the biggest problem for cities).

Both the Wall Street Journal and The Reason Foundation has published several articles and videos on this topic.  Here’s a link to the most recent video:

Food Trucks vs. The Establishment