CDO Funtastyk Young Pork Tocino

CDO Funtastyk Young Pork Tocino. Di gawa sa inahing baboy! Not made of mother swine or culled pig. Walang salitre – no saltpeter.

funtastic tocinoTocino was my mom’s usual buy when we were studying in elementary to intermediate school. Most tocino by that time were home made, made by meat dealers or retailers who want to salvage their unsold and near deterioration commodities.

It can also be made of rejects or culled pig. Old pigs, male or female, not capable of giving profitable number of offspring are candidate for culling or removal from herd.

The common homemade tocino. Reddish, more fats and cartilages,  chewable to tough meat, slightly sweet and yummy pork taste.

young pork tocinoFuntastyk Young Pork Tocino. Reddish. Less fat and cartilages – I found none honestly. Juicy soft – young kids and elderly will have an easy time eating. Sweet – I find it too sweet, blame it on my tongue which like less sweet foods. Fair pork taste – based from my own experience, chicken taste better as it gets older. The same goes true for other animals.

The tocino ingredients are sliced pork, sugar, water, pineapple juice, iodized salt, phosphate, sodium benzoate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, natural food coloring and FD&C No.40.

funtastic tocino ingredientsA tocino is never a tocino without a member of curing salt family, either potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite. Any of the substance gives the characteristic red color and unique tocino taste.

The product may not contain any salitre if the term only refers to potassium nitrate. However, all three substances may form carcinogen nitrosamines. See Differences among salitre, saltpeter…

Differences among salitre, saltpeter, prague powder, curing salt, potassium nitrate, sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate

I will try to differentiate the following term to avoid confusion. Reading from other sources is still recommended as I cannot guarantee its accuracy. One thing is for sure however, all term listed below may cause health problems.

prague powder
curing salt
potassium nitrate
sodium nitrite
sodium nitrate

What is Salitre? It is a Tagalog term or maybe a borrowed language from Spaniards. Aka saltpeter.

Salt peter is a collective term referring to three substances, the potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite. Not sure which came first but I think it was the potassium nitrate. If the term salitre only refers to potassium nitrate, then the claim “walang salitre / no salpeter added” is true.

All three substances shares the same function in food industry. They are strong oxidizing agent use to prevent growth of bacteria especially the botulinum bacteria. It also give the characteristic red color to meat, dull brown instead if not added.

Degradation occurs when meat is heated. Degradation product called amines combine with nitrite forming nitrosamines – a well known carcinogen. Sodium nitrite, obviously, is not recommended. Potassium nitrate and sodium nitrate are used instead cause nitrate do not bind with amines. Sodium nitrate is preferred cause it is more heat stable. However, both nitrate substances convert to nitrite inside human body and may bind to available amines. Nitrosamines are also formed when the cured meat is cooked over high temperature for prolonged period.

The prague powder , aka curing salt or the pink salt. According wiki, prague powder 1 contains 93.75% table salt and 6.25% sodium nitrite while prague powder 2 contains both sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite.

Refer to “Curing Salt / Prague Powder, Composition and Safety Issues” to know its side effects.

Please Identify This Cassava Defect, brown to black varicose like veins

For the sake of quality control, all items in a batch should have same appearances. Any with properties that differ from the norm will be deemed as reject. Imposition strictness depends on purpose.

I was peeling cassava. Size did not matter as long as it’s young, not woody and white in appearance. I discarded one piece, it had several root attachments, hard too peel and might be too hard to eat. There was no yellowish cassava. Based from my experience, yellowish color is sign of too old crop, more than years. Its texture is hard, too hard to eat.

I rejected this cassava too. It has brown to black varicose like veins on surface and deep down the flesh. Perhaps it is a crop disease. No pictures found on net. Do you know what it is?

Note: The narrow spiral incision around is a knife made cut. I stored it in refrigerator for more than 12 hours before taking pictures. The spiral cut got wider after refrigeration.

varicose vein cassava onevaricose vein cassava threevaricose vein cassava two

First Trial, Boiled Young Corn for Making Cornicks

From the article, “The Old and New Cornick Story“, cornick or corn nuts are prepared by soaking corn for three days, changing water everyday, rinse drying and then frying. It said that water soaking is done to restore the original kernel size that was loss after drying.

There was a hint of the required maturity, matured corns with dry husk at the time of harvest. Matured corns are removed from cobs and dried before selling to market. However, it is not stated that young corns are not fit for making cornicks.

Note: I am referring to young corn for boiling and merienda purposes. Those which are sold on side streets and public markets.

boiled young corn cobFirst trial. Raw young corn was not available at the moment, I used boiled young corn instead. Removed them manually from cobs using bare fingers. Then deep fried in oil over medium heat for about three minutes.

boiled young corn kernelsCorns turned golden brown. Some popped causing the burst of hot oil droplets. Kernels became crunchy but half empty. Eating it was not enjoyable.

fried young cornYoung corn lacks starch and cannot be used for making cornick. I will continue this when other materials became available.

Ripe Saba Banana for Making Banana Chips

I did a banana chip making demo. The director took a sample, ate it and commented,”the banana chips tasted like raw bananas, mapakla pa“. Of course it did, it was made of green bananas. As stated in my previous note, “Using Raw Bananas and Artificial Flavors for Banana Chips“, ripe bananas are not fit for chip making. Artificial banana flavor is used to mask the raw taste.

Well, the following changed my belief.

Mom gave me ripe Saba bananas yesterday. I set aside two pieces for my little crazy thing. The rest went to boiling water the next day, as nilagang saging.

I removed the banana peels. Cut off and ate both ends. Sliced thinly, about 1-2 mm thick.  Then fried the slices in oil over very low flame for ten minutes. This method is from the idea of “How to Make Cassava Fries“, cook the slices before browning occurs.

ripe saba banana slicesThe browning started from center and edges. Getting wider and wider until the ten minutes time frame. It was not crunchy while in oil and immediately after removal. It became crispy after two minutes of cooling.

Crunchy dark brown banana chips with a bitter sweet taste and unpleasing appearance.

ripe banana chips oneripe banana chips two