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Fun stuff from around the web

Grab a coffee and spend some times perusing our blog.

Gizmodo has a great article looking at why Asian food tastes so, well, Asian. The short version is that we in the West tend to pair our food flavours – Blue cheese shares 73 flavour compounds with chocolate. But Asian food works in the opposite way, Asian recipes seek out the contrast in flavours making Asian cuisine distinctly different to European dishes.

If you like food pairing then you will love foodpairing.com. Here you can find interesting food pairs that can help take your personal cooking to new levels. For example, who knew that oysters and Kiwi fruit made a good combination?



Super-cute video of a baby flipping through a magazine and finding it frustrating that the pages swipe ok but the images don’t respond to finger gestures, nor can she scroll.



There is science behind why chillies are hot and our new favourite youtube scientist, powerm1985, eats an incredibly hot scotch bonnett and while his mouth and brain melts he attempts to explain the science behind what is happening.

Before we get to the video here’s a brief explanation – basically the chilli molecule capsaicinoid is picked up by the same receptor we use to taste vanilla. But the capsaicinoid tricks the neurons in the taste receptor sending a signal to the brain saying something is on fire. So the brain increases the heart rate, starts you sweating and increases endorphins etc. Interestingly, capsaicinoid is not water soluble which is why drinking water does nothing to reduce the burning sensation.

Now there’s an evolutionary reason for this. Birds are not affected by chillis at all. They can eat chillis all day long and not be affected by the heat. Only mammals feel the heat. A theory for this is mammals have teeth and tend to grind/destroy seeds – which is not very good if you’re a plant trying to spread yourself around. Birds, however, don’t have teeth and thus the seeds pass through the bird coming out intact. We could extend this explanation out further by suggesting humans may hate the burning sensation but we LOVE the endorphins our brain releases after eating them. So in a funny way, chillis have ensured their survival by creating something humans like and want to cultivate which works out well for both species – I’m not a scientist but it is an elegant explanation as to why we haven’t rid the earth of chilli plants if we found them so disagreeable.

Here’s the video with a scientist on fire trying to explain it all to you:



You’d think we all see and perceive colours the same – after all, blue is blue right? This fascinating clip from a BBC documentary shows how language affects the way we understand colour.
Quite amazing:



According the the notes, the squid is dead and the sodium in the soya sauce reacts with the nerves in the squid causing it to dance. Probably not something we’ll put on the Spirit House menu – it’s macabre and fascinating all at the same time.



Here’s a great video that explains the relationships, tastes and peeling tips for a wide variety of Asian tropical fruits:


Can’t wait to visit the Or Kor Tor market on our next tagalong food tour of Thailand to buy some.



Grab the kleenex – here are two of my favourite Thai life insurance ads.

This one gets really philosophical – I love it:

Damn allergies :-)



Thai ads can be very clever – here’s a great series of ads for Cheers Beer:

I’m going to do some digging and try to find you how Thais do insurance ads – there won’t be a dry eye in the house.



The answer to the obsessive compulsive cook in your life.
Now when the recipe says ‘ cut into 1cm cubes’ or at 45 degree angles, this chopping board is the dream
kitchen gadget.

Interestingly, cutting things to a uniform size does actually mean the items will all cook uniformly and may actually make you a better chef.

Buy the OCD Chef Cutting Board from the neatorama shop.



A few weeks ago 3AW featured Spirit House on a talkback segment about ‘ magical places’ – they were swamped with callers from Victoria who’d been here and raved about their experience. As a follow up, they contacted Helen for an interview to find out the history and inspiration behind the Spirit House – so grab a cup of coffee and let Helen explain a bit of the Spirit House story.



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