Bananas world’s most popular fruit.

Bananas world’s most popular fruit.

Bananas are the world’s most popular fruit, with more than 150 countries cultivating over 105 million tonnes every year. However the banana is not a fruit, it is a herb that grows up to 15 metres high. There are nearly 1000 banana varieties which are divided into 50 groups. The most familiar of these is the Cavendish variety, that is grown for the export market. Origin of bananas. Bananas are a staple crop for tropical farmers, they offer a readily absorbed, easy to digest source of carbohydrates and vitamins. The history of the banana dates way back into the ancient world. Archeologists believe that bananas were first domesticated in the Kuk Valley in New Guinea, around 8,000 BC. Domestication of the banana appears to have spread from New Guinea to the Philippines and then across the tropics, from there it is most likely that domestication ocured in India, Indonesia, Australia and Malaysia. Buddhist literature references the banana in 600 B.C. The Japanese were harvesting specific banana varieties, in order to use their fibres for textiles. Using special techniques involving lye soaks they were able to produce textiles soft enough for kimonos or coarse enough for a table cloth. Bananas developed to a worldwide trade commodity in the early nineteenth century. Merchants shipped them from the Caribbean to markets in America and Europe in the early 1800s. Merchants visiting local marketplaces would ship small bunches to overseas markets, marking the beginning of the banana’s place in the global trade market. The banana was first introduced to New York in 1804 where curious customers were sold them as a novelty fruit....
Basil – King of Herbs – A Kitchen Essential.

Basil – King of Herbs – A Kitchen Essential.

Basil (scientifically known as Ocimum basilicum)  is one of the most frequently used herbs in kitchens throughout the world. It has many culinary applications, from sauces, to soups ,salads and desserts this fascinating herb adds depth to a variety of dishes across the whole menu. The herb is highly fragrant and used for seasoning. The leaves are most commonly green, some varieties have red or purple hints. It looks similar to mint, which is no coincidence as they belong to the same family. There over 60 different varieties each with their own characteristics. Sweet basil has a rich aroma and is bright, varieties such as lemon basil, cinnamon basil and anise basil, each have subtle taste similarities which is reflected in the name. Origins of Basil. Basil is believed to have it’s origins in India, it has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years and is used throughout the world. Ancient records dating to 807 A.D indicate that it may have originated further east than India, in the Hunan region of China. The ease of which basil can be grown indoors has seen it migrate further and further west. The word has Greek origins, coming from βασιλικόν φυτόν (basilikón phutón), meaning royal/kingly plant. It is often called the king of herbs and the royal herb. Basil Varieties. There are lots of varieties of this herb, and several related species and hybrids which are also called basil. In Italian cookery the variety used is often called sweet or Genovese basil, where as in Asian cookery Thai, Lemon and Holy Basil are commonly used. When using basil in recipes, it is generally added...
Avocado – The South American Super Food

Avocado – The South American Super Food

The avocado has been part of the diet in Mexico for a long time. Archaeological evidence traces the consumption of the avocado in central Mexico almost 10,000 years. In this period people were simply gathering wild avocados. Research suggests that the cultivation of avocados began around 5,000 years ago. Domesticated avocado trees were grown by Mesoamerican tribes such as the Incas, the Olmecs and the Mayans. It was 16th century Spanish explorers who were the first Europeans to eat avocados. Avocados had spread from Mexico through Central America by the time of the Spanish conquests. Avocados were brought to Europe by the Spanish, from there they were sold to other European countries including the U.K. Avocados were first grown in Florida by Henry Perrine in 1833. It was not until the early 20th century that they became a commercial crop, as they gained popularity in California, Florida and Hawaii. They gained more widespread popularity in the U.S during the 1950’s when people started putting them in salads. Avocado (b)all(s) in the name. The name avocado comes from the Aztec word “ahuácatl” which means testicle. This could be due to the shape or that the Aztecs believed it to have aphrodisiac properties. The Spanish then evolved “ahuácatl” to “aguacate” and eventually “avogato” before becoming avocado. The fruit was first known as an “Avagato pear” in English, due to the shape resembling that of a pear. It would later be known as an “alligator pear” because of the alligator like skin. The term avocado would later become the common term. The origins of the word  guacamole translates to testicle sauce or soup. Guacamole derives from the Nahautl Indian word, “ahuacamolli”...
Curds and Croust – Cornish Cheese

Curds and Croust – Cornish Cheese

We are very excited to be adding another fantastic Cornish product to our range, Curds and Croust are a delightful selection of local cheeses. Based in Redruth the team behind Curds and Croust led by master cheese maker Martin Gaylard, make an artisan range of hand crafted soft cheeses. Each of their four cheeses is made using Cornish milk, that is sourced within 30 miles of the dairy. This delightful range will work wonderfully as part of a Cornish cheese board and would compliment many of the artisan products in our Plough to Plate range. All of these cheeses are available in rounds of 1kg and 165g, making them perfect for retail and food service. The Curds and Croust Cornish cheese range. Miss Wenna – a Cornish brie. Made using Cornish milk to produce a creamy brie. This cheese is smooth and mellow, with a wafer thin rind and a subtle aroma. Boy Laity – a Cornish Camembert. A traditional mould ripened Camembert that is rich, bold and buttery in texture. The Truffler – a Cornish truffle brie. A delightful combination of creamy Cornish brie and the earthy characteristics of truffles. Russet Squire – Cider washed cheese.  This cheese is bathed in Cornish cider to give the rind an unique russet look to the rind, making it possibly the most decadent cheese in the range. (Coming soon). Curds and Croust? When making cheese the milk is separated into solids known as curds and liquid called whey. Curds are white, and have a slippery gelatinous feel. In the early stages of cheese making they are very acidic and it is during the lactic fermentation...