Tagged: products

Are you allergic to anything rare or expensive?

A truffle hog allergic to black truffles

Have you ever heard of any woman that is allergic to diamonds? Well, I haven’t.
I once saw a homeless in America asking for money and he would swear to God he was allergic to coins.That was hard to believe.

But my question is specifically about food allergies.

Do you know anyone that is allergic to something like Almas caviar? These are roe (or eggs) of the beluga sturgeon, a fish that is found primarily in the Caspian Sea. The eggs from a 100+ year old beluga can cost around AUD $13,750 per kilogram.

So what about Kopi Luwak coffee, are you allergic to it? This is most expensive coffee in the world, prepared using coffee cherries that have been eaten by a little catlike animal called Asian Palm Civet, partially digested, and harvested from its feces.
The beans are then rinsed, sun dried, roasted and brewed and eventually ready to be made into a cup of coffee.
People will eventually pay around $440 per kilogram for this cat’s poop coffee from Indonesia.

What about saffron? White truffle? Black truffle?

The truth is that I’ve grown up playing barefoot in the grass, I’ve always shared my food (yep, and the germs too) with other kids and maybe for all of that I’ve grown up healthy and allergies free.
I can actually eat anything and I’ve never had a single sensitive reaction to products or food.

Until recently when I tried black truffles.

Black truffles are highly prized edible mushrooms that grow underground on the roots of trees.
Looking for truffles in open ground is almost always carried out with truffle hogs (specially trained pigs) or more recently, dogs.
Production is almost exclusive to Europe with Tasmania as the big player outside of Europe.
They are rare and very time consuming to find so that is what makes its price quite special too: AUD $ 3.00 per gram. (what a bargain!!! )

Since moved to Australia, I’ve eaten black truffles four times and in all those occasions, I felt extremely sick afterwards. Think of my tummy as one of those poor kids’ club where the richest kid of the neighbourhood (the little truffle) is not welcome and he is expelled as soon he comes in.
Honestly, this is the weirdest reaction that my body had to any sort of food!

A doctor told me once that our t-cells are like us: they learn to become good fighters by fighting. I really believe on that theory so I think the issue is that my body is just not used to it. So in this case I should either blame mum for never have used black truffle to cook for our family of 6 or maybe one of the friends from my childhood public school who never had a black truffle sandwich to share!

So maybe one day my breakies will be all about black truffles on scrambled eggs, Almas caviar on toast sprinkled with saffron, matching of course a cup of Kopi Luwak.

But while it doesn’t happen, I will continue avoiding black truffle just because I’m too allergic to it.

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Acai bowl with Banana and Granola

Acai. Proudly Brazilian born and bred.

There’s so much talk about the acai I hardly know where to start with. The most interesting thing is that each new study proves more and more nutritional benefits of this berry.

Acai and guarana have been used by Amazonian indigenous tribes for centuries as foods that gives energy before a fight or long hunting trips. In fact the name of the fruit is of Tupi-Guarani origin and means “fruit that cries” or “fruit that leaks”.

Nowadays this Amazon pearl is consumed worldwide and is considered one of the top 10 natural superfood being part of diets, production of cosmetics and medical treatments.

The truth is that I love acai bowl with banana and granola. The taste did not please me the very first time I tried it but from the second spoonful I was addicted to the mixture.
I remember all the wonderful summers my family spent in Ilhabela and how we used to finish the afternoon in the sunny days (after going to the beach and having BBQ) with a nice acai bowl with fruits and granola.

Is it fat?? Unfortunately yes. The fruit has high caloric value and should be consumed in moderation.

Acai Bowl, Saturday afternoon at Coco Mar restaurant, Dee Why

And just in case you still not convinced, here are some key properties of the acai:

  • It has high amounts of vitamin E; so it is a natural antioxidant and helps fight free radicals;
  • It is rich in fibre and thus helps in bowel habits;
  • It is rich in iron, important mineral for our bodies and that fights anaemia;
  • It contains considerable protein, element that acts in the repair and construction of tissues and are essential in the diet to lose fat;
  • It has a large concentration of calcium, which is essential for building bones and teeth;
  • It has a high content of vitamin B1, as well as help stimulate appetite, ensures the proper functioning of the nervous system
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Wild Hibiscus – Flowers in Syrup

Wild Hibiscus - Flowers in Syrup

Here in Australia I’ve learned to like sparkling wines. It is a very popular drink here especially among women.
It is an excellent drink for sunny days, to have while enjoying a good laugh with the girls, a gossip or perhaps a time to discuss issues that are critical to our survival: hair, nails, shoes, handbags and so on.

The boys usually make fun of us and they say that serving sparkling wine with a fresh cherry in the glass is very old fashion.
Until one day when my friend Melissa introduced me to edible hibiscus flower: a flower preserved in syrup and made to be served in champagne and sparkling wine.

Flor de Hibisco

Besides more elegant than the cherry, the flower adds a mild sweet flavour to the drink. Best of all is that the flower is edible!

The hibiscus flower in syrup is hand-crafted in Australia. Each jar comes with approx 10 flowers and it costs around 10 Aussie dollars.

The flower falls to the bottom of the glass and the bubbles make the petals to open slowly. We can have a drink and then reach the flower on the bottom of the glass. So yummy!

It has a soft gelatinous consistency and a taste similar to raspberry.
My friends are getting very chic!

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