Thursday, 13 November 2008

Hot dish

I'm not at all interested in the antics of so called celebrities (nor their media-clogging diet regimes), so not sure if I dare admit that I just happened to be watching Celebrity Come Dine with Me earlier this evening ... But it was funny to see Jimmy Osmond looking like one of his much older brothers - was it Wayne? Yes, I know it was way back when having 'celebrity' status still required a modicum of talent, charm and professionalism.

How wonderful to see that Jimmy is still as charming as ever and still demonstrating a healthily human approach to eating - as well as paying ongoing attention to his spiritual well-being: he certainly appeared to be emotionally better adjusted than some other of the eclectic mix of guests.

I noticed that fellow diner, Nicky Clarke, was wearing one of those ultra-stylish scarves, though his penchant for colourful trousers was rather curious. Perhaps he chose them to match his face after a liberal application of chilli pepper? Judging by his gravity-defying hair, he must rub chilli into that too... look out for a new secret recipe spicy formula shampoo on the shelves of your local supermarket soon.

Talking of the fashion for red ingredients, I read something in a newspaper today about lypocene – the substance that makes tomatoes red and gives some other vegetables their rich colour. Did you know that storing red-coloured fruit like tomatoes at room temperature rather than in the fridge doubles the level of beta-carotene and boosts the food’s content of cancer-fighting lypocene by 20%? Apparently, at Ohio State University in Columbus, they even created a unique orange coloured ‘tangerine tomato’ that allows one to absorb more than twice the level of lypocene than from standard plum tomatoes. Oh, and it's said that cooked tomatoes provide for a better absorption rate of lypocene than when eaten raw...

Which brings me on to the subject of the rather original hot tomato dish available from ShopCurious… a quirky, ripe-red retro piece, (probably around the same vintage as Jimmy O), that would certainly make for an unusual gift. You could always use it to serve up crudités and seasonal nibbles at your pre-Christmas drinks party – just fill with saucy lypocene-packed salsa and so long as the guests don’t eat too much, their faces shouldn’t turn orange.

Will you?

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