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What Are Some Cooking Myths that Don’t Help?

What Are Some Cooking Myths that Don’t Help?

It’s true to say that we all have some cooking techniques or use some cooking method that we thought helped with the flavor and aids our culinary skills. Well there are plenty of cooking myths out there that just need to be blown apart. This answer found in Quora helps to blow away some of those things we believe that simply, aren’t true. What are the cooking myths that are not real?

Here’s whatJonas M Luster, an experienced chef, has to say about it –

” Some of the more common ones:

You can not “sear meat to seal in juices”

This is a TV-chef myth. It comes up all the time on the telly, which doesn’t make it any more true. In fact, the act of searing the outside of meat actually makes it more porous and therefore more likely to give off juices under pressure. This pressure does not have to be manual, the mere exposure to heat forces the muscle (almost all traditional cuts are muscles) to contract and therefore expel juices from the item.

You can’t stop those juices, but you can work with it. Searing at great heat and then finishing your meat at lower heat, letting it rest for a while after cooking and before serving, preserves the second-largest amount (top for that is still Sous Vide cooking) of juices.

    You don’t have to keep whipping cream or it “falls apart”

    I am guilty of that myth myself. Always the strict and fun-removed cooking instructor I want my students to sweat some. But the truth is, when whipping egg whites or cream, stopping in the middle and picking it back up a few seconds later (when that arm gets too heavy) doesn’t make your whip fall apart. If anything, it helps by allowing the structure to set and firm up a little. Just don’t remove your whisk, leave it inside your liquid at all times, and restart at medium speed, not at full bore.

    Speaking about myths, you don’t need a special whisk for stuff. The whole idea of whisking is integration of air into a liquid – get the one with the most spokes, cheap or expensive, and if you still find yourself having issues use two whisks at once, you’ll see the insane difference.

      “Crowding Pasta” is OK in 99% of all cases

      My mother believed this one to be true, too. Plus those idiot TV cheflebrities with vaguely Italian names who think that a grandfather from Rome and a vacation in the 80s makes them “Italian” keep perpetuating it. Unless, and that’s really the only time, you make your own, 100% semolina (it’s not a good mix to begin with), pasta and do not rest/dry it, you don’t need to fill a huge pot with lots of water for some product. As long as all of the pasta is covered, crowding is never an issue. Add enough salt to make it, as my Italian chef always said, “taste like theAdria“, NO oil (never, ever), and bring to a light, not rolling, boil. And, voila, perfect pasta every time.

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        Bonus: No, it’s perfectly OK to buy your pasta

        A foodie myth. Apparently, I am told, only home made pasta is worth it. Well, that’s a myth. Good bought pasta contains exactly the same stuff you’d put into it. Unless it’s ravioli (in which case you have to make it yourself to get stuff inside), buying pasta is completely acceptable and done anywhere and everywhere. Yes, that includes Michelin-starred places.

        Clarification:Barilla and other durum-extruded pastas are different from home made pasta in contents and taste. They’re not worse or better, but different. When I refer to store bought pasta it’s the stuff you buy at a pasta shop, not a supermarket.

          Salt and Yeast – not as incompatible as you think

          Cooking school myth. “Don’t put salt on the yeast, you’ll kill it”. Active dry yeast, double-rise yeast, all those kinds, don’t get too bothered by salt. If you are using bakers-loaf yeast (the alive kind in a block), salt can act as a desiccant and implode your yeasties, but if you bloom or add into dough just the packet yeast everyone else uses don’t worry about salt touching it.

            Pasta does not (should not) be rinsed

            THAT one is one persistent myth. Many people I know seem to like to cook their pasta, then shock it. And that, firstly, doesn’t stop the cooking process as quickly as one would assume, and – secondly – washes off all that nice starch covering the outside of the pasta. This, in turn, leads to thinner sauces, lack of sauce-pasta adherence, and to a drying of your pasta. Cook until 80% doneal dente,then just remove and let stand and finish cooking while you set up the sauce.

              Adding salt doesn’t make your water boil faster

              Adding salt actuallyraisesthe boiling point of water. The amount of salt we add to cooking water, however, is way too low to make a discernible difference to the things cooked in it. Salt seasons food, it acts hygroscopic in some cases, and in the case of pasta it actually counteracts some of the starch cohesion while cooking.

                Santoku knives aren’t worth it

                Get a chef’s knife. Buying Santoku doesn’t make you more sophisticated or for better cuts. French knifes (the slightly curved blade kind, known as “Chef’s Knife”) work like saws – one slices them across the surface and the blade’s miniature ‘teeth’ cut through the product. Santokus work like axes – by pushing apart the cut. For this to work, Santoku have to be insanely sharp, thin, and be made of extremely good steel. Such technology does not come at a $200 price.

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                Stick with a chef’s knife, it’s better.

                  Lard is healthier than you think

                  Lard has less saturated fat, more unsaturated fat, and less cholesterol than an equal amount of butter by weight. It also contains no trans-fats while Margarine and Shortenings do. The “Lard is bad for you” myth was started by the hydrogenated vegetable oil producers who wanted to push butter and lard off the shelves to make room for their chemical crapola.

                    One does not “caramelize” onions

                    Onions brown, they do not caramelize. For caramelization to occur, sugar has to be present in mono- or disaccharide form. In onions, the amino acids are deprotonated and react with the sugar’s carbonyl group. Why is that important? Well, it’s bad form not to call a spade a spade (onions arebrowned, notcaramelized) and it’s important to cooks since, alas, temperature requirements are different.

                      It doesn’t matter how often you flip meat

                      The “flip once” team and the “flip often” team are both right and wrong at the same time. It does not matter, for even cooking, how often meat is flipped. Most of the internal cooking process works through liquid redistribution as the muscle contracts and expands accordingly.

                      McGee seems to favor “flip often”. He told me three years ago that he was on the fence, leaning towards no difference between the two. Since this seems to have changed (though I still find no difference in my own work), flip often if you wish, either way it won’t harm the meat :)

                        The “heat” is not in the seeds

                        Capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) can be found anywhere in fruits that hold it (yes, chili peppers are fruits), but the highest concentration is actually in the placental layer of the fruit, the white flesh. Seeds have very little of it, actually, the heat comes from capsaicin that adheres to the outside of the seeds when the white flesh is cut.

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                          Baking Soda does nothing for your fridge

                          Baking soda does not absorb bad smells. It’s an Arm & Hammer myth and scientifically false. How would baking soda DO that, anyways?

                            One does not “cook out all the nutrients” when cooking veggies

                            – Bonus: raw vegetables are not better (a major myth, lie, and source of massive income for some charlatans selling ‘raw food’ diet books)

                            Most vitamins are unaffected by heat. Many of the minerals and vitamins in food are, actually, much more completely absorbed in the stomach when cooked beforehand. To re-iterate: raw foods are not, at all, healthier.

                              MSG is NOT bad for 99.9% of all Americans

                              The “Chinese disease” is a myth. A very small number of humans have an intolerance to glutamates (much less than, say, to salts or sugars) and will feel adverse effects. MSG itself, however, is not harmful in the least to most anyone. To “poison” someone with MSG the amount would have to be so humongous, the food would taste like crap and be 90% MSG.

                                Gluten is NOT bad for 99.5% of all Americans

                                In 2005 a few niche providers of gluten free food saw an “in” and started maligning this age-old, completely harmless, substance. Today you can buy “gluten free” dog food, which is as much an abomination as the diet quacks and health food snake-oil vendors who claim that a gluten free diet has any positive effect on people. People with coeliac disease, however, must observe a gluten free diet.

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                                  Alcohol doesn’t “burn off”

                                  Your grandmother’s Rum Cake or that red wine in the sauce won’t get you sloshed, but there’s nothing you can do to food with alcohol in it, short of rendering it inedible, that will remove all the alcohol. Cook without it if anyone in your family has an intolerance.

                                  It violates everything basic chemistry taught us about alcohol, yes. Find a a USDA study I participated in and from which I draw my conclusions here:http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foo…

                                    Marinades or special concoctions do not “tenderize” meat

                                    Neither one permeates the meat very deeply. Don’t believe me? Buy a cheap cut and some “tenderizer”, pour food coloring into the solution, and put your meat into it. A day later cut it open – only a very shallow outer layer will be dyed. Marinades adhere to the outside and permeate into the meat fractions of a millimeter, but they flavor, not tenderize, the meat.

                                    Yogurt based marinades penetrate deeper and do tenderize. In general, still, the old-wife’s tale of marinades “penetrating deep and tenderizing” is a myth.

                                      When you burn yourself (happens to anyone), don’t add ice to the injury or flour or anything else!

                                      Adding ice to a burn will only damage the tissue more (think freezer burn), flour is a bad idea, also. When you burn yourself rinse with cool, not cold, water to stop your skin from cooking, add antibiotic ointment, cover, let heal. See a doctor for anything bigger than 5cm.

                                        “Well Done” meats aren’t inherently safer than medium rare or rare meats

                                        Muscles are great things. One of the cool things about them is their ability to be completely shut off against many food borne illnesses. Most any, close to 99% of all, food borne illnesses are found not in the muscle but – through cross-contamination – on its outside. Once that part of the meat is exposed to the heat of a pan most of them are dead, too. Two caveats: ground meat and, a pet peeve of mine, those “tenderizer” needle stamps. Both will, if it is present, introduce nasty critters into the inside of the muscle or product. If you use ground meat grind it yourself after washing off the outside of the meat with water, working extremely cool all the time. ”

                                          Here’s the link to the original answer

                                          Featured photo credit: chef by seasonal kitchenvia Shutterstock

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                                          Last Updated on February 20, 2019

                                          13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

                                          13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

                                          Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

                                          Why is this so critically important to you?

                                          The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                                          Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                                          1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                                          Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                                          When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                                          • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                                          • The man facing the judge.
                                          • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                                          • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
                                          • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                                          • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                                          These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                                          Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                                          Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                                          2. Accept Your Fear

                                          Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                                          We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                                          And here’s what can be done.

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                                          3. Get Some Perspective

                                          I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                                          And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                                          That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                                          We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                                          So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                                          • Are you really at risk?
                                          • Will this kill you?
                                          • Which leads us on to..
                                          • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

                                          4. Hold a Hand

                                          As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                                          Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                                          We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                                          Ask yourself:

                                          • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
                                          • Could that really happen?
                                          • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
                                          • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                                          By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

                                          5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

                                          This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                                          Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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                                          The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                                          It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                                          For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                                          Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                                          6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                                          I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                                          Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                                          Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

                                          Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                                          Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                                          Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                                          7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                                          Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                                          I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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                                          It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

                                          One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                                          Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                                          It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                                          8. Assume the Worse

                                          If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                                          Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

                                          • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
                                          • Think about how they feel about champagne?
                                          • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                                          And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                                          When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                                          Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                                          9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

                                          If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                                          Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                                          Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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                                          10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                                          One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                                          11. Go with Fear

                                          When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                                          I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                                          Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                                          One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                                          However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                                          We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                                          12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                                          And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                                          The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                                          What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                                          13. Own Your Fear

                                          Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                                          We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                                          You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                                          More Resources About Fighting Fear

                                          Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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