The Making of Sweetened Kaong

It was my first time cooking a sweetened kaong. I looked over the web for an established procedure with no success. It seems the information about it is rare. I asked mom and dad and they told me the traditional practice.

two kilograms kaong meatEach kilogram of kaong should be added with one kilogram sugar. The sugar should be dissolved and cooked first in water before adding the kaong meat. That is to prevent too long cooking time which causes unnecessary toughening.

Cooking time and amount of water were not declared so I need to do the guessing myself.

I washed the kaong meat several times to remove the sour smell. Kaong meat are kept in tumblers with water. The water is changed once a day every day to avoid souring.

I cut each meat into three to four parts depending on original size, using scissors. The meat was slippery and hard to held. I got used to it after a while. The job would have been faster if I have a tool similar to egg slicer.

chopped kaong meatTo approximate the amount of water needed, I transferred the kaong meat to cooking vessel. Added water just enough to make the kaong float. Scooped out all the meat. Set the stove flame to low and slowly added two kilograms sugar while stirring. I let the solution boil until it was down to previous original volume (the amount just before addition of sugar). I dropped all the kaong meat and continued boiling for another 15 minutes.

the sweetened kaong meatProblems encountered:

The product was perhaps harvested by a novice kaong meat harvester. Some were too hard that I could not cut it with scissors. Some were too soft, not even worth slicing. Some had the right chewy texture. How I wish all had the right chewy texture.

three kaong meat with different softness

 

The above image shows three kaong meats with different hardness. From left to right – toughest, chewy and softest.

After adding the kaong meat, the water became too much and less viscous and the kaong became less. Perhaps the too soft meats disintegrated. I scooped the excess syrup and added more sugar to compensate for the loss sweetness.

The vessel I used was also the one I used to roast the dried chili. Sister said she washed it thoroughly several times but a residual chili flavor seemed left behind and mixed with the sweetened kaong. The result was a sweet kaong with mild chili after taste. It was unexpected nice result.

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. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

The Deceiving Moldy Sweets In Jar

jelly in jarThese jelly looks attractive. Looks good with no signs of deterioration. Look again, top view with cap removed. There are two patches of mold growth.

opened moldy jellyA jar packed with sweets such as jelly and jam can be very deceiving. Inspect the top surface carefully before deciding to buy. Do not buy if the surface is not visible, cap is covering the headspace, the label is covering the headspace or the tamper proof seal is translucent. There is no way to assure whether it is good or not other than opening. In case you are desperate, do open it immediately after paying. Then return if bad.

Reasons for moldy incident:

Molds need to meet three conditions for growth; moisture, carbohydrate and oxygen. Notice it growing on old moist rice but not on old dry rice.

The mold on top of jelly met all the three conditions. The jelly is rich in sugar, it is about 60% sugar. It is indeed moist and perhaps have enough available water. Improper sealing allowed the oxygen entry.

Do I need to mention that this jelly was improperly processed?

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. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Temperature Masking the Sweet and Salty Tastes

I found this cheese less salty. I found it less delicious too. You can’t blame me. Most commercial cheeses I have tasted were all salty. Perhaps it is one of the standard taste of cheeses, it should be salty. It is a homemade cheese. The maker might be a health conscious fellow. He loves cheese but want it kidney friendly.

homemade cheese in disposable microwavable plastic

It was a home made cheese. Though it had no ingredient listing, we were expecting it to have less preservatives and shorter shelf life. We were keeping it in refrigerator to help preserve its palatability. Every time I was preparing a sandwich, I was doubling the cheese quantity to compensate for the lesser taste.

A while ago, she left the cheese on table. Its temperature equated to room ambient heat and became softer. I prepared my regular sandwich again and surprised. The cheese became too salty. I remembered suddenly, higher or colder temperature masks taste. These mean I was getting too much salt with every sandwich I made.

Other popular examples of flavor masking:

Regular softdrinks seem less sweeter cause we usually drink it ice cold. Energy drinks such as Cobra and Sting are too sweet even at ice cold temperature. Imagine how sweet are they when not.

Every time mom prepares buko fruit salad, she is making sure it is very sweet. She know very well that sweetness will lessen significantly at freezing stage.

Commercial ice cream are actually very rich in sugar. Our sense of taste are not sensitive enough to perceive the real sweetness.

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. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

what not to take when having dry cough | Doctor's advice

Let as admit it, we often resort to home remedies when having dry cough. The common remedy methods often originated from relatives, home, tradition, books, experiences and internet. It may or may not be effective depending on type and severity of symptoms.  It even worsen the illness sometimes.

According to doctor’s advice, the following should not be taken when suffering from dry cough.

1) Anything sweet. Pure sugar, honey, candies, menthol candies and sore throat lozenges such as Strepsils.

2) Hot and lukewarm water. This includes hot coffee, tea and hot soups.

3) Anything salty. The pure salt, mixture of water and salt, salty junk foods and salty dishes.

4) Any fruits. The real reason is not clear but I think it is related to sweetness. The sweet orange and astringent calamansi are included in listing.

5) Anything cold. It simply worsen cough. Like entering a air conditioned room and cold places.

The reasons to refrain taking items one to four – They tend to dry the throat more resulting to more irritation, pain and coughing. Many websites are recommending items one to three. They were also include in my previous articles, “What am I taking to cure sore throat and cough“, “Roasted Calamansi, Heavy Sugar Syrup and cough” and “Pointers and Myths While Experiencing Common Colds and Cough“.

The doctor’s advice is to take a sip of plain drinking water frequently. Water moisten the throat relieving irritation, pain and coughing.  If symptoms persist see him in her office for proper prescription.

Spices such as onion, ginger, cayenne pepper and turmeric can be taken as first aid only. Their effect wear out immediately when the hot spicy sensation ceases. Spices only mask irritation. It never take it away.

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. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Make A Sweeter Bread For Rural Customers

I heard about this tip when I attended a Bakery Summit at Word Trade Center. I was not writing for this blog back then so details like when and source person were not important.  The summit had exhibits and seminars.  One of the staffs of bakery supplies spoke for the seminar. He gave some tips for bakers and baker wannabes. One of the tip he said was to make a sweeter bread for rural customers and less sweet for urban people.  He elaborated it further. Bake a sweeter bread if most of the customers are from C and D brackets and less sweet if from classes A and B.

Why?

The explanation behind. C and D classes people have lesser money to spend. They tend to select bargain products like buy one take one, combo and affordable foods like noodles and canned sardines. A sweeter bread is like a combo product, a bread and a spread in one. They prefer sweeter breads so they can enjoy it even without buying a separate spread.

On the other hand, A and B classes have plenty of money. They often buy a spread of choice together with the bread. In a sandwich, the spread flavor is more important than of bread’s. Bread sweetness is ignored.

Note: This refers  to a plain bread like loaf and monay.

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. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Panutsang Bao Sweetened Cassava Slices

I was thinking what to do with panutsang bao. I never knew that she had her own idea. She got some cassava and cooked some sweet stuffs.

Here is the simple sweet recipe.

Ingredients:
Panutsang bao, chopped
Cassava, sliced
Water

Procedure:
1) Slice cassava and set aside. Make it thin. Thin slices absorb sugar more efficient.

cassava strips

2) Chop panutsang bao and drop in boiling water until dissolved.

chopped panutsang bao

3) Add cassava slices. Continue boiling until the syrup become sticky. Lower the flame to avoid scorching.

panutsang bao sweetened cassava slices

Look like a golden brown banana chips. It is yummy sweet but not crispy.

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The recipe was contributed by Irmalyn Vicedo, my better half. Again, she failed to list measurements. How many times should I tell her to do so.

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. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.