MATT PRESTON takes a look on the bright side of life.
Breaking the cycle of frequent griping that has plagued this column recently, Matt Preston canvasses the things that actually make him happy.
I HAVE become aware that this column has been somewhat whingy,whiny and even a little angry recently.This is not totally who I am and actually quite a lot of things make me happy (though I’m also aware happy copy is never quite as marketable as angry headlines).
Nut butters made with not just peanuts but also almonds or cashew nuts are being replaced with the likes of sunflower, pumpkin and watermelon seed butters in hip households.They “share the same good-fat profile of nut butters, but may offer an alternative for those with nut allergies”, according to the Kind 2019 Healthy Snacking Trend Report, whatever that is (it sounds authorative).
I’ve always loved fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi. I love them for their probiotics, I love them for their texture and flavour, and I love them even more since Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences reported that the short-chain fatty acids in fermented foods help strengthen the bond between the gut and the brain and improve appetite signalling – a lot of stuff going on to basically tell the brain “stop eating, fatso, you’re full”. But please, please, please could someone just find a way to stop them too often smelling of bum?
CRAFT BUTTER Hand-churned, house-made, so cultured it can recite French romantic poetry, in French – the craft butter fad has so much about it to make me mad, but then as I sat with fellow butter aficionado Gary Mehigan at the three-Michelin-starred L’Arpège vego-temple in Paris and had a butter so good it should have been classified as a class-A drug my bigotry melted away.After the third pat everything was forgiven. Hand-churn away, my all-culturing creamery chums.
Long have chefs and scientists debated the prospect of creating dining pleasure by handcrafting meals tailored to diners’ preferences and tastes.Witness Davide Scabin’s theory of the Scabin scale unveiled more than a decade ago. Now there’s talk the future of healthy fine dining will be bespoke menus based on your blood type or your DNA. Companies like Thriva and 23andME are using blood biomarkers and DNA testing, respectively, to select what they say is the best way for each client to eat.
EATING MORE OF THE STUFF THAT ACTUALLY THRIVES HERE. Kangaroos, goat, camel and carp all seem perfectly adapted for the Australian environment. They don’t need tonnes of grain and lakes of water stolen from our waterways to make them grow in an environment to which they aren’t suited. The trouble is that their success can also prove a threat to the very environment that sustains them so, well, what better way of keeping their numbers in check than by eating them?
WEIRD THINGS BEGINNING IN ‘K’
It isn’t just kangaroo – I’m becoming a fan of koji, kefir and homemade kombucha which is looking set to be the ‘real thing’ of the 2020s. I don’t include komboffe or kafbucha in this list.
I loved those old baking dishes with the geometric patterns in hot orange and sunshine yellow around the edge, so my current idea of getting that same style sort of pattern tattooed around my biceps is more exciting than intertwined barbed wire, garlands of ink flowers or some tribal armband tattoo that has no cultural significance to my heritage. I’m just not so sure how good it would look when the colours lost their lustre and, unlike that old pyrex dish, I can’t dump my left arm down at the op shop.
Once the dullest vegetable in the crisper draw, it’s now becoming so much the veg of the moment I’ve dedicated a whole paean to it (read it on our website). Just one word of warning for any unqualified, ex-model, ayurvedic-loving, wellness bloggers out there. If you see yourself as creative, intense and expressive and therefore a Vata personality type, be aware that broccoli (and – double whammy – cauliflower) can cause anxiety and imbalance in Vatas like you. So best stick with your kale, silajit and weird flesh-eating mushrooms.
Sweet and delicious, scarlet prawns need little more than a lick of flame to make them sublime. Let’s see more of them sustainably caught and nurtured.
Ignore the fact that Miranda Kerr and the supermodel set have currently pitched their hat at this latest incarnation of wonder green juice. Perhaps the attraction is that it tastes so bad it must be good for you.To make it more palatable hit it with lemon juice and a pinch of salt. To read Matt’s love letter to broccoli or his columns on the things that make him mad head to delicious.com.au.