Drawing the line between Pies and Pastries

Drawing the line between pies and pastries

Some of us interchange the meaning of pies and pastries to one another. We just know that these yummy treats can be fried or baked to perfection. We always imagine a pie as a round crust stuffed with choices of meat, fish or fruit. While pastries often fall in the sweets or desserts category. When other people hear the word “pies and pastries” they assumed only the rich could afford it and it came from the Western part of the world. Don’t be intimidated because our country, the Philippines, has its very own set of these wonderful delicacies and you will definitely miss half of your life if you waltz away from it.

 

First things first, let us have pies and pastries 101. Our ancestors from the New Stone Age (9500 B.C.) made primitive pies from oat, wheat, rye and barley filled with honey and set over hot coals. A little fast forward in the past, food historians believed the Ancient Greeks molded the first pie pastry mixed with flour and water. Later on, the Romans as they conquered many territories also adapted pie making and included it on their secundae mensea or dessert course.

 

Conversely, what is the origin of those delectable pastries? To clear things up, as Oxford Dictionary stated, a pie is “a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry.” So, basically, a pie is one of the types of pastries out there. It is not quite clear which civilization started pastry making. The Egyptians have their own version of small sweet cakes. In Ancient Greece, they made cakes called obelias’ which means offering. Let us not forget the Romans who mixed flour, oil and water to form a pastry stuffed with meats or fowls then baked.

 

What we are certain of being the controversial “Pastry War” did happen during the 1838-1839 between Mexico and France. With an account in Encyclopædia Britannica, it is a “brief and minor conflict between Mexico and France, arising from the claim of a French pastry cook living in Tacubaya, near Mexico City, that some Mexican army officers had damaged his restaurant.”

 

Well, that is a lot of stuff to take in, right? To lighten up the discussion, as we mentioned before, we have our own pies and pastries we can easily buy at our local bakery shop. Examples of which are egg pie, buko pie, mango cream pie, banana cream pie, langka or jackfruit tart, cassava cake, and brazo de mercedes. Indeed, pies and pastries are more than just sweet treats. It also shaped our taste buds into searching for something irresistibly tasty and good.

 

5 Kinds of food that fit in 3D printing

From my previous article, 3D Printing Meals in Space and Right at Your Table, we talk about the idea of 3D food printing. In this article we will discuss the kinds of food that can be printed and that actually exist today.

Chocolate

Chocolate 3D printer

3D food printing caught the eye of one of the biggest chocolate company in America, The Hershey Company. According to Nasdaq, William Papa of Hershey Company says: “We believe that innovation is key to delivering relevant, compelling consumer experiences with our iconic brands. Whether it’s creating a whole new form of candy or developing a new way to produce it, we embrace new technologies such as 3D printing as a way to keep moving our timeless confectionery treats into the future”. To develop and produce a 3D printed chocolate, Hershey Company takes their step to team up with 3D Systems and signup a multi-year of the joint development agreement. However, this is not the first sign of 3D printed chocolate in the world; there are such companies that have already been developing techniques for 3D printed chocolate.

Pizza

pizza 3D Printer

For the sake of astronauts’ health, System & Materials Research awarded NASA to study and develop a 3D pizza printer with $125, 000 worth of funds. They are planning to make a 3D food printer that can last for as long as 30 years since astronaut’s missions can last for several years. The process of this 3D printer is, first, it will print the first layer of the dough onto a heated plate, then it will lay down the tomato base that is stored in a powdered form that will be mixed with water and oil, and then, lastly,add in the “protein layer”, like pepperoni, salami and ground beef.
Watch this video on how 3D printer prints Pizza:

Pancake

Pancake 3D printer

The market for pancake nowadays is thinking of a new way to produce unique and highly complex pancake styles. Eating an Eiffel Tower pancake is potentially really interesting. The Californian Festival Maker Faire developed a new food printer which is called the PancakeBot. This 3D food printer enables users to create a highly complex shaped collection of pancakes such that, when stacked together, it is possible to recreate an Eiffel tower and other structures. This will surely inspire every user, especially kids, to have fun with their food.

Watch this video on how 3D printer prints Eiffel Tower Pancake:

Ice pops

ice pop 3D printer

The Netherlands, a new company in Amsterdam,is developing a 3D food printer that will print on-site ice creams; this is called MELT ice pops. The idea of this 3D food printer is that it can be used at festivals and events. Why this printer looks more interesting is because its users are able to print their own design such as printing user’s own head or a drawing using a 3D scanner. However, printing and creating an ice cream is very complicated, that’s why the company is using a CNC-machine that will drill a sculpture in the block of ice. To make MELT ice pops possible, there are 61 people who have donated a funded the project to make the 2745 euros worth of machine possible.

Chickpea nuggets

chickpea nuggets 3D printer

This vegetarian nugget that is made of chickpeas, garlic, spices, bread crumbs, olive oil and salt is created using 3D food printer. Lynette Kucsma, the co-founder of Natural Machines says that this 3D food printer can also produce hash browns, cookies, brownies, and crackers. The latest 3D printer of Natural Machines in Barcelona is a 3D printer that can produce any kind of food that is made of dough and paste or stiff liquid such as pies and pastries, bread, and pasta.

Images from: 3dprinting.com

3D Printed Meals in Space and Right at Your Table

3D printing: Food in the Space

Image source: techcrunch.com

Did you ever wonder what is in a space menu? Yep, space, as in outer space. Do astronauts also store frozen fruits and vegetables aboard the ship? Could they toss a dough to make pizza? Obviously, flipping or tossing items outside the Earth’s atmosphere, even inside a space shuttle will land at nowhere. Zero gravity, remember? You toss something and it will just float and mock at you.

Space dining started from squeezing “baby food” concoctions in a tube-like or toothpaste container. The first man who ate in space was John Glenn in 1962. His meal was an applesauce squeezed from a tube. Their initial assessment was the food was not fun and delicious to eat. NASA made amendments and necessary changes to improve the food system of astronauts. Being sent to space is already a huge fit; it would be a nice consolation if the food tastes better, right?

In the first space expeditions, astronauts lose weight because of unappetizing and bland tasting food. They manifested bone loss or decrease in bone density and blood circulation problems. This is why astronauts must be in their optimum health condition before takeoff and as they perform certain tasks.  They’re lucky enough if they managed to maintain their weight after the mission.

Since the tube meals, food systems had improved in a way it is similar to a normal setting. Food preparations involve rehydration, thermo-stabilized, irradiation, or eaten straight from a flexible pouch or easy-to-open can with the use of spoon or fork. Their meals are freeze-dried, packed in flexible pouches and cut open by a scissor.  Solids are lighter than liquids. Beverages are in powdered-form and diluted in water before drinking. The food is, aside from tasting better, packed with vitamins and nutrients. They could choose from a wide array of meals or requesting their own menu before takeoff.

Because NASA’s main priority is the welfare and health of their astronauts, they ventured into a technology that is now on the rise called 3D Printing or additive manufacturing. The first tries with this type of technology were not edible at all. Pioneers sampled on parts of vehicles, aircraft, robots, and the human body. This gave birth to a branch of 3D printing called 3D bio-printing where million lives could be saved.

Now, another stem is branching out, the 3D food printing. Many attempts were made but NASA is the first one who took a big leap. According to a report, “NASA has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract to Systems and Materials Research Consultancy (SMRC) of Austin, Texas to study the feasibility of using additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, for making food in space.” The fund costs US$125,000 and SMRC’s Anjan Contractor heads the six-month grant.

This project will help feed crew members to withstand deep-space missions such as colonizing Mars or exploring distant galaxies that may last for about 15 years or so. Contractor’s team will create powdered-ingredient cartridges with a 30-year shelf life. This is an alternative if ever it is impossible to cultivate plants on the Red Planet.

Earth could benefit, too. Some experts assumed 3D food printing could lessen world hunger. Imagine the ease and convenience of printing burgers in a massive scale enriched with vitamins and minerals – and perhaps cholesterol-free as well. Thru this technology, meals can be customized based on the person’s dietary needs. When that time comes, 3D food printers will soon stand beside our kitchen counters.

Watch out this youtube video of printing a 3D Pizza:

Check out the 5 Kinds of food that fit in 3D printing here!

Traditional Ways to Preserve Food

Tropical preserves. Fruit preserves. Jam and jellies. Whatever you fancy calling it, the sure thing is you will never run out of options. Try flavors such as mango, banana, raspberry, strawberry, or grapes. Fruit spreads are the tangy, sweet and delectable delights that boost our energy in the mornings. Put your preferred amount on a piece of bread and prepare yourself for a burst of goodness. Before this article turns into an advertising piece, let us go back to the subject matter.

The creation of a wide variety of jams, jellies, and preserves did not originate out of boredom. It is one of the food preservation techniques invented by our ancestors. Almost any produce goods could be preserved, which started from the Pleistocene period. A time where a freezer or to be specific, electricity wasn’t invented yet. Our ancestors were mostly travelers and warriors, and the need for long-lasting food is necessary for them to survive the harsh weather and surroundings. So they thought of indigenous and sometimes, crude ways to preserve food for later consumption. We still apply some of these today, such as:

Freezing or Refrigeration

refrigerator

Image source: www.thriftysue.com

The principle lies in this method is the colder the food, the slower the bacteria or harmful microorganisms to breed or live. First practiced mainly in Europe around the Middle Ages, where extreme Scandinavian winters were experienced.

Exclude Air

20130305-dry-age-steak-food-lab-08

 

Image source: www.seriouseats.com

Specifically oxygen. A sealed container prevents the entry and growth of bacteria. This is possible thru canning or vacuum treatment. Usually, the food must be boiled first as this preserves the food as well.

Drying

Picture-7

Image source: www.omick.net

Any produce goods such as fish, meat or fruit exposed under the sun or heated inside an oven reduces moisture in the food thus prevents bacterial growth.

Curing or Salt

Salt-Curing-Hams

 

Image source: momprepares.com

A Salt is a natural moist absorber and stops the proliferation of bacteria in a salt-laden food. Since the ancient times, the Romans and Mesopotamians used this natural food preservative.

Pickling

pickles-1

Image source: bitchingkitchen.com

This is the process of soaking or submerging food in a liquid solution such as vinegar or brine and often mixed with other spices or herbs. The now processed food is stored in an airtight bottle or jar, another food preservation method.

Smoking or Roasting

Picture-7

Image source: www.oliverthring.com

The oldest form of food preservation. How old? Since men discovered fire, so it was in the Early Stone Age, approximately 800,000 B.C. They knew eating raw food is unhealthy.

After they learned cooking meat or fish over a pit of hot twigs, dry leaves or stones, it became a popular cooking method.