Study confirms prehistoric cheese-making

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Chunks of Swiss cheese. Photo via Wikipedia and the Creative Commons.

Researchers analyze fatty acids extracted from pottery found in northern Europe

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with being a choice gourmet item for foodies, cheese has been a staple in many cultures around the world for centuries, as a transportable and digestible dairy product.

New research shows that cheese-making probably pre-dates previous estimates by quite a while. After analyzing fatty acids extracted from unglazed ceramic pottery, scientists say prehistoric people in northern Europe were making cheese as long as 7,000 years ago.

“Before this study, it was not clear that cattle were used for their milk in Northern Europe around 7,000 years ago,” said Mélanie Salque, a PhD student from the University of Bristol and one of the authors of the paper. “However, the presence of the sieves in the ceramic assemblage of the sites was thought to be a proof that milk and even cheese was produced at these sites<” Salque said. “Of course, these sieves could have been used for straining all sorts of things, such as curds from whey, meat from stock or honeycombs from honey. We decided to test the cheese-making hypothesis by analysing the lipids trapped into the ceramic fabric of the sieves,” she said. Continue reading

Friday Fotos: Sweets!

Tis the season …

The goal of a long Eurail quest — a Belgian Waffle! Click on the image to read the story.

The goal of a long Eurail quest — a Belgian Waffle! Click on the image to read the story.

FRISCO —It’s almost frightening how many pictures of sweet deserts I found in my photo archives when I started compiling this #FriFotos post. I had to ask myself, “Did I really eat all that?” But sweets (in moderation) are one of life’s great joys, whether it’s a simple Snickers bar or an an elaborate soufflé cooked by a French chef, or even a homemade blueberry pie. So indulge vicariously in this week’s awesome international Twitter chat. After all, you can’t take in any calories just by looking at photos — I think! Continue reading

Health: Tackling the obesity epidemic

Good, but not so healthy.

Mix of policy options needed to discourage junk food consumption and encourage healthy lifestyles

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With obesity rates still on the rise in North America, governments are under pressure to take stronger regulatory steps to curb rising health-care costs for maladies such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

A recently published series of papers from the University of Alberta examines some of the options available for policy makers seeking to promote healthier eating, including zoning restrictions on fast food restaurants, mandatory menu labels, higher taxes on junk food or even incentive-based approaches for pursuing a healthier lifestyle.

“Since eating and physical activity behavior are complex and influenced by many factors, a single policy measure on its own is not going to be the magic bullet,” said Nola Ries, of the university’s Faculty of Law’s Health Law and Science Policy Group. “Measures at multiple levels — directed at the food and beverage industry, at individuals, at those who educate and those who restrict — must work together to be effective.” Continue reading

Morning photo: Austrian soul food

Not noveau, just down-home cooking …

The all-time classic Wienerschnitzel, which involves pounding a pork or veal cutlet into tender submission and coating it with thick flour-egg-breadcrumb crust.

SUMMIT COUNTY — When it comes to food, I’m not too picky. I can appreciate a good burger, a tasty veggie salad, spicy enchiladas and more, but I definitely have a soft spot for Austrian food. I spent many summers along the Danube back in the 1960s and early 70s, helping my Oma harvest fruit and veggies from her garden, and visiting the local butcher shops and bakeries, so each time I return, I revel in the memories that food are so good at evoking. After all, we don’t eat just to nourisn the body, we eat to feed the soul.

Leave a comment at the end of the post and tell me what your favorite Austrian food is.

The pastry case at any self-respecting Austrian bakery features at least a dozen types of fruit and cream-filled concoctions that will give you a daily dose of calories in just one helping.

Continue reading

Friday photos: A few Austrian treats

It’s all good …

Austrian pastry shops are all about treats.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Spending time traveling in Austria and Germany and visiting family is a treat in itself, and the amazing pastries, hearty farm-style meals and fresh summer fruit are the icing on the cake. From simple pleasures like fresh poppy seed rolls for breakfast, to more complicated items like apricot dumplings, it’s all good. Here are a few of my favorite Austrian treats for this week’s edition of #FriFotos.

Austria’s all-time classic treat — Wiener Schnitzel.

Continue reading

Colorado: The blooms are bursting just in time for Arapahoe Basin’s July 20 alpenglow dinner and wildflower hike

Colorado menu featured at A-Basin’s latest summer event

Alpenglow lights up Arapahoe Basin in mid-May. Photo by Bob Berwyn.

Chiming bells growing near the Continental Divide. Photo courtesy Arapahoe Basin.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s growing season for wildflowers and produce may be short compared to other parts of the country, but it’s always sweet. Arapahoe Basin will highlight both this Friday (July 20) with the alpenglow dinner and wildflower hike at the Black Mountain Lodge.

Chef Chris Rybak is planning an all-Colorado menu for this event in the popular series, and there are still a few spots left. You can sign up online at A-Basin’s website.

Eating locally produced food is a great way to support Colorado ranchers and farmers, especially in a tough dry year like this, and it’s also makes sense environmentally by reducing the carbon footprint of the food you consume (think about trucking food all the way from California).

Chairlift rides up the mountain are between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and the dinner starts with light hors d’eouvres and live entertainment. Chef Rybak will begin serving the Colorado-themed meal at 6 p.m. and you can work off some of the calories with a twilight hike back down the mountain to the base area starting at about 8 p.m. Continue reading

Friday Fotos: For sale …

Market madness …

Everything was for sale in this brightly lit toy shop on the corner of a residential neighborhood in Corfu. I love the inscription above the door. Can anyone translate?

SUMMIT COUNTY — With a lifetime’s worth of forest fires happening in just a week, I almost forgot about my favorite Twitter chat, #FriFotos. But it only took a quick scroll through the Summit Voice travel archives to put together a fun set for this weeks’ theme, For Sale.

Join the fun every Friday by uploading your pics with the hashtag for that week’s theme, which is announced every Tuesday by #FriFotos founder @EpsteinTravels.

It also made me realize once again that I’m not much of a shopper, unless it comes to food!

The best dumplings in Colorado are for sale from the Three Sisters at the Boulder, Colorado Farmers Market.

Continue reading

Colorado: BBQ Challenge returns to Frisco June 14-16

Main Street is cookin’

These guys don’t just cook — they ROCK!

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Who’s got the best BBQ in the Rockies? We’ll soon find out, as about 60 teams from around the country compete in the 2012 Frisco BBQ Challenge, which has become one of the premier BBQ cook-offs in the country. And along with the ribs, sausages and chicken, enjoy a 5K run, pig races, live music and even a tour of the Breckenridge Distillery in the company of the winning team.

After Friday’s kickoff concert by the Motet, live music continues through the BBQ challenge weekend with  Fishbone, Sons of Bill, CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band.

BBQ sales open to the public at 11 a.m. Saturday (June 15), with chef demonstrations in the evening and live music from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Bring the kids Sunday for the pig races and more concerts. Check out the full BBQ Challenge calendar online at the Town of Frisco website. Continue reading

Health: Curry ingredient found to boost immune system

Indian curry dishes. Image via Wikipedia and the Creative Commons.

Discovery seen as pathway for new medical treatments

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with being the perfect foil for a frosty Singha beer, eating spicy Thai or Indian curry might just boost your immune system.

Scientists at Oregon State University have discovered that curcumin, a compound found in the cooking spice turmeric, can cause a modest but measurable increase in levels of a protein that’s known to be important in the “innate” immune system, helping to prevent infection in humans and other animals.

This cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP, is part of what helps our immune system fight off various bacteria, viruses or fungi, even if  they hadn’t been encountered before. Continue reading

Health: Pizza-as-vegetable battle heats up again

Colorado Congressman Polis seeks to restore common sense to school nutrition policy

Pizza may be good, but it’s not a vegetable, according to Congressman Jared Polis. IMAGE VIA WIKIPEDIA AND THE CREATIVE COMMONS.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Congressman Jared Polis squarely aimed his political guns at agribusinesses this week, unveiling a bill that would roll back last year’s “absurd decision” by Congress to define pizza as a vegetable in school meals.

At issue are U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines issued last year that would have prevented pizza from being counted as a vegetable in school meals. But after intense lobbying by the frozen food industry, Congress backed down and decided that the smear of tomato paste on a slice of pizza qualifies as a “vegetable.” Continue reading

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