Soapy Margarine

This margarine taste a bit soapy. Well. I am not surprised.

opened margarine

Margarine. Base on wikipedia and youtube, it is emulsion of water in oil. Eighty percent of which is fat, 16 % water and the rest are others that perhaps added to prolong shelf life and make it taste better. Basic formula as it suggest, taste bland. The tasty and popular brand you know might be less or healthier than your favorite cooking oil. Maybe more dangerous.

Margarine and soap share the same key ingredient. It is not surprising for an oil refinery to produce margarine and soap. In other cases, a margarine manufacturer making soap as alternative income source and vice versa. The two products, clearly, need separate processing plants. However, they may choose do it with minimal walling. Separate buildings but in proximity. Then same truck for logistics. Strict protocols are needed to prevent margarine getting soapy taste and odor. Soap on the other hand, getting some margarine attributes may not be a big deal.

I actually saw a company making both at the same time. So the scenario above is not based on science and speculations.

Even if that is not the case, a not well protected and handled product may get undesirable flavor whenever given opportunity. Speaking of margarine, they are usually plain wrapped with wax paper and seen in chilled section of groceries. In any case the logistic, grocery owner or the consumer do the forbidden thing, it gonna have the unpleasant soap taste.

From the website canitgobad.net, one of margarine signs of spoilage is the soapy taste.  Soap is made from oil through saponification process. Random presence of alkali and heat  is likely to trigger this process.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Bit Sizes Sapin-Sapin

The first time we bought sapin-sapin, while we were on trip, it was in a big wooden tray, bilao. It was lined and covered with banana leaves / or plastic.  I could clearly remember which. The traditional and more attractive for me is the banana leaves of course. It is suggestive of its traditional preparation, home made.

The vendor gave us several cellophane. It served as gloves for ripping the kakanin apart. We enjoyed it boodle fight style. We stored our leftover in extra sando bag. Kinda convenient for cowboys like us. Not for others of course. Now that sando bags are banned in most areas. Where are they gonna put in all the unconsumed part? Brown paper bag is a bad choice.

Here is the sample solution. The sapin-sapin is pre-cut to bite sizes. Almost bite sizes. It took me two before finishing one small block. Real bite sizes would be better. Wrapped individually and the latik ( coconut milk curds) was in a separate package. All were together neatly in a clear lunch box style packaging. Anyone can get one, unwrapped, sprinkle some latik and enjoy in style. Anything left can be kept safely for later, until its expected edibility.

bite size sapin sapin

I think, more can be added to it. Like adding a wooden toothpick. Trying not to get the hands messy. Then a few napkins in case things goes out of control. Not everyone has napkin in their bag, especially the men. And, changing the clear box to paper. Caring for environment should also be taken into consideration.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

The Insulin Plant

Insulin, hormone naturally produce by our body to regulate blood sugar level. Not too low and not too high either. It is released by specific organ whenever sugar or carbohydrate of any sort is taken in. Due to genetic reason and or unhealthy lifestyle, sometimes old age. The specific organ may fail to do its essential job. That is when the diabetic condition comes into play. I am not a medical practitioner so I know very little of this thing. However, I am pretty sure a lot of diabetic people need to take regular insulin maintenance and at the same time monitor their blood sugar level.

Popular natural maintenance is bitter gourd, the ampalaya. Some have learnt to eat it raw. I learnt it also after marriage. Cooked, not raw. It is simply too bitter for my taste buds. According to some testimonials, regular ampalaya intake combined with proper diet and regular exercise can keep blood sugar in check.

Insulin plant. I knew it immediately after hearing the words. It is something that can be taken as replacement to the original thing. Perhaps not the original name. People may have named if after finding out its desirable effects. If I say “insulin plant”, it is self explanatory. No need for lengthy explanations. Insisting it is effective usually suffice.

insulin plant

For the time being, the plant can be bought for 100 pesos a pot. Sure it will go lower as the number of cultivators rise. Only one pot is needed in most cases. It grows easily with minimal supervision. Let us say anyone can build his own insulin plant empire provided he has enough land area.

They say, not what I say. It is a good diabetic maintenance . Medical practitioners will surely argue with this. Any evidence that is not part of official clinical trials or surveys are purely hearsay. Alright! If they say so, then so be it!

There is no harm in trying this plant for a day or two. Chew two leaves leaves in the morning and two in the afternoon. Monitor your blood sugar level. You may continue or not depending on the result. You may still stop even if the result is promising. The choice is all in your hands.

I tried chewing a leaf. It was not bad. A sharp spicy and sweet taste that quickly dissipates. Then a lot of fibers with a faint grassy flavor.

Getting it in processed form is a good thing. Great way to introduce it to your friend, kids and relatives. There are rejections, usually, when unknown plant is presented to someone. It might be poisonous. Never taste good. It often goes away when it is processed and nicely packed.

insulin puree

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Muscovado, Lowering The Cost

Wow! Forty five pesos for 500 grams. Nicely packed and FDA approved. It was so affordable. From our current sources, the average price is 160 a kilo. If I get two of the previous, the price will only be 90 pesos. Cheaper by 70 pesos. Can be cheaper if they have a ready kilo packaging.

low cost muscovado

If they can get it down to this price point, then why others are selling it for very high cost? There are two reasons. First are the middlemen. Every person who handle the product has to add their own margin, enough for their pocket income plus extra to cover taxes (percentage and income taxes) and other mandatory fees. In case the product very source is not protecting its distributors and retailers, it is wise to by directly.

Second is the expected health value. You won’t get diabetic if you use this sugar instead! Imagine the cost of medications and the hardships of not able to do things you want for the sole reason you are sick. Better spend the hard earned money for not so delectable, expensive but healthy alternatives, than getting cheap and getting sick later. Sugar is sugar but muscovado health claims relies on its crude processing technology.

A friend once told me. Farming, the organic way should be less costly. There are no commercial farm inputs like fertilizers and pesticides. Their organic counterparts can be gathered from the farm itself. Maybe he is right or maybe not. There might be some crops that suits this routine. However, if maximized per area farm output is desired, commercial farming is the way to go.

If the seller at the same time is also the manufacturer and farmer. There is no middlemen to meddle with the price. He can go into price war without worrying of losing much income. Can go even lower if the by-product of cane juice extraction is used as fuel. Fuel to reduce the liquid to its crystal form. The traditional crystallization process involves long hours boiling. Its absence equates to lpg and electric cost.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Coffee Stain

You are so focus on your coffee that you never pay attention to less important thing. The stain it creates. Ohh! There are few instances. The moments it accidentally spilled on your clothes. I bet it was so annoying. It happened to me several times so I know well how it feels. There is always an option to change clothe if where you live is comfortably near or you have an extra. A cowboy style, always ready! On the other hand, the only choice is dry it patiently in front of electric fan, or, better yet, a freezing cold air con. It is ugly while still wet and ugly still after drying. It leaves a shade with prominent border. Often looks like a roughly drawn map.

Those annoying memories came back when I noticed this stained coffee filter. There must be a way to treat this filter clean.

stained coffee filter

Okay! We will not talk about cleaning. We will talk about the less important thing. The stain pattern. Notice that it always create a ring on your shirt?

Let us go back to coffee filter for a bit. In a normal drip process. Coffee grounds is place on filter then water is pass though it to extract. The filter is conical and the direction of the liquid is toward gravity. More particles pass trough the lowest point (the tip) so more stains are trapped in the end.

In white and poorly coated mug. The stain tends to get darker toward the bottom. Coffee is often drink like wine, sip by sip. The upper part, near the brim is less exposed while lower is more. More often than not, there is a bit of liquid left to dry after. That where the darkest stain shade lies.

Things get different when it spilled accidentally on table. Whatever the shape of the stain is, it always has distinct, darker shade border. Assuming the suspended particles are equally distributed and the dome shape of spilled liquid. The dome center should have the most particles. The center must also be darker when it dries out.

coffee stain on table

Coffee stain formation has interesting law of physics. The thinner part of the dome dries first. However, as it dries, the suspended particles flow toward the edge, making it darker. Thanks to livescience.com for pointing out. This coffee behavior is attributed to its rounded molecules. On the other hand, oblong and other molecule shapes holds to each other more strongly leaving a more uniform color upon drying.

Is this important? Maybe or maybe not! In any case you want to print your edible wrapper with edible ink, coffee derived pigments may not be a wise choice.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.