Monday, February 18, 2013


Last week I learned some fascinating information about every child’s least favorite food (and what has now become my most favorite) Brussels Sprouts. According to Now I Know, a daily fact email that I highly recommend subscribing to if you’re the type of person who want to have super random cocktail party conversations,  the reason children don’t like sprouts is biological!

Brussels sprouts contain a chemical compound in them which triggers a response from the bitter-detecting taste buds on our tongues. And as Popular Science notes, we lose taste buds as we age, and the bitter taste therefore isn't as strong as we get older. But children take the full brunt of the bitterness. Further, PopSci argues, children's aversion to bitter foods isn't just stubbornness, but perhaps evolutionary -- the overwhelming taste signaling, perhaps, a toxin in the food being eaten. 

And for those grown-ups who still don’t like them, well, they’re just genetically messed up.

As reported by the BBC, a typical person has "25 types of bitter receptors" on their tongues. But some people -- "due to their genetic make-up," as stated by Dr. Lisa Methven, a food and nutritional services professor quoted by the BBC -- have more. Dr. Methven estimates that these people are super-sensitive to bitter foods -- "they experience the bitter tasted up to 60 times higher than someone with an average number of taste buds."  Understandably, these people typically hate Brussels sprouts.

Fortunately for both The Husband and myself, our genetics are normal…at least regarding our bitter receptors.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sausage and Pepper Perfection

Growing up in an Italian household, there were some staples; spaghetti with meatballs (my family calls it gravy...the stuff you put on turkey is brown gravy), chicken or eggplant Parmesan and of course, sausage and peppers. My dad would always put in both the Sweet Italian and the Hot Italian sausage and let it cook down for hours. When dinner came around, we would eat it in a bowl, on top of rice. I realize that the rice thing throws some of you off. I grew up eating rice with a fair amount of things that The Husband doesn't agree with, lentils with rice, chili with rice, ect, but I love it.

But I digress. As we're working on cooking from home more, I decided that on a cold snowy Sunday, I was going to make some comfort foods. So two pounds of sausage, 6 peppers, and a bunch of tomato sauce later, I was able to  bring some of my childhood into our kitchen. This recipe is really easy, more than anything it just takes time. You can even do it in your slow cooker! But since I was home, I figured I'd make it in my stock pot. We had leftovers for 3 days, which was lovely because The Husband is back working in the ER and so he could have something substantial to eat before his shifts. You could also freeze it, but that would mean you have room in your freezer....which I don't.