8 #Reasons why #expensive #restaurants #serve #tiny portions

1. The smart idea!

According to a study, most people these days spend a minimum of 10-12 minutes of their time at the restaurants and cafes in clicking pictures of the food. And this duration increases when the plating and aesthetics are a little more unconventional. Behind all this is the appealing plating and serving styles of these high-end restaurants that serve small portions of food and use the plate as a canvas board in weaving a story with flavours. But the question is, why do they do so? Is it just the matter of creativity or something else? Here, we have tried to decode 8 such reasons that make these restaurants serve tiny portions. For instance, to maintain the high-standard and keeping the niche crowd in mind, the luxury restaurants source the ingredients from various places that increases the production cost of the dish and as a result, it also affects the end price of the dish. So, to make the dish affordable, they are served in small portions. Also, while most of the restaurants offer 3 or 4-course meals, luxury or high-end restaurants start at 3 and take it up to double figures. The small portions help the guests to enjoy the full spectrum of tastes that are on offer. The idea of small portion has a logic of building an image of the dish in the visitor’s mind. According to a study, small portions excite the guests to try the meal and understand the nuances and it also makes the meal more memorable. Read below to know more about the trend.

2. Cost of ingredients

To maintain the high-standard and keeping the niche crowd in mind, the luxury restaurants source the ingredients from various places that increases the production cost of the dish and as a result, it also affects the end price of the dish. So, to make the dish affordable, they are served in small portions.

3. Small is elegant

 

With time, the trend of minimalism has entered in the food world too and the high-end restaurants have started considering ‘small is elegant’. It is believed that the guests coming to such hotels/restaurants prefer to taste different varieties rather than just filling up their stomachs.

4. Tasting menu

While most of the restaurants offer 3 or 4-course meals, luxury or high-end restaurants start at 3 and take it up to double figures. The small portions help the guests to enjoy the full spectrum of tastes that are on offer.

5. Design and art

Earlier plating was important, but these days, it involves a proper research work on aesthetics, art, design in context to the particular menu. Considering the dish as a ‘creation’ or ‘work of art’, small portions provide enough space to make the dish look visually more appealing.

6. Increases attractiveness

Here, the concept of ‘less is more’ is at the core. The restaurants work on the concept of ‘good things come in small packages’ and in the age of social media, the small portion with attractive plating helps in creating a buzz too.

7. Perceptual contrast

The idea of small portion has a logic of building an image of the dish in the visitor’s mind. According to a study, small portions excite the guests to try the meal and understand the nuances and it also makes the meal more memorable.

8. Before boredom sets in

According to taste psychology, our taste buds get used to a flavour after 4-5 bites. The concept of small portion kills the boredom and helps the mind to register the taste for a longer period.

9. Small portion is smart portion

 

The high-end restaurants have developed a mindset in the market that small portions when priced high make people like them more, going by the psychology that expensive food is good food.

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The story of fat: a cheat sheet on how we gain or lose fat

Given that most of us obsess about fat gain or loss, here’s a cheat sheet on how we gain fat, what we can do to lose it or prevent ourselves from gaining it in the first place

The story of fat has four main chapters: creation, storage, mobilisation and oxidation. The first two were what people were worried about back when food was scarce and life was active. The next two are what we are worried about today when food is abundant and life is sedentary.

Raj Ganpath is an NCCA-accredited personal fitness trainer; a certified coach in fitness, nutrition, barbell and kettlebell training and a Functional Training and Senior Fitness Specialist, with over 5,000 hours of coaching experience.

Creation

Let’s rewind a few thousand years to a time when food storage was not an option — no freezers, refrigerators, pickling; no grains even. There was only food that had to be hunted or gathered and consumed right away. If it was not consumed, it got spoilt. During such a time, you can appreciate that storing food and energy for later use was a big deal.

For humans and other animals, only a certain amount of energy could be stored. This function is very similar to how any device with a built-in battery functions. We charge up (i.e. eat) and then go about our day until we are low on energy and our functionality is affected. And then we need to charge up again to get back to normal functioning.

Our bodies convert the food we eat into energy (just like how petrol is converted into energy in a car or bike) and use it for the various functions from respiration to heavy lifting. After using up what is needed, the remaining energy needs to be stored for later use. And this is where fat comes in. Irrespective of what we eat, if we end up with more energy than we need, the excess is converted into fat.

Storage

Once created, the fat needs to be stored somewhere accessible so it can be used later when there is not enough food or when we have to do any activity until our next charge-up time. And the perfect place for this is adipocytes a.k.a fat cells.

Adipocytes are where fat (in the form of triglycerides) is stored. Each of us has a certain number of fat cells and this number is determined during adolescence (this number seldom goes up or down, even given our efforts to gain or lose fat). But the cool thing about these adipocytes is that they can accommodate more and more fat and keep growing larger as the amount of fat in them increases. So this pretty much gives the body an unlimited energy storage option.

While this was very useful back when we were hunter-gatherers and food was sparse, this isn’t helping us today when food is abundant. That is, most of us end up consuming excess energy on a daily basis and this is causing our fat cells to load up more and more fat, which results in us becoming, well, fat. Now, how do we use up the excess energy in the form of fat?

Mobilisation

Once stored, the fat is available as a solid source of energy for the body. This energy can be used by the body for any and all activity, but only as long as there is no more free energy added to the system. In simple terms, we have fat in our fat cells and we can use that for fuelling our activities and thereby lose fat. But this will happen only if we don’t consume more food than we need on a daily basis.

So, if we need 10 calories and we eat only 5 calories, the remaining 5 calories will be pulled out from our fat stores. But if we consume10 calories, nothing changes. And if we end up at 12 calories, we’ve added more fat to our existing fat storage. So the first step to mobilising fat from our fat stores is to be in a calorie deficit. This can be done by eating less than needed or by increasing calorie expenditure by moving more, or both. This is where the “eat less and move more” mantra comes from. While too simplistic a solution, it is true at the fundamental level.

Note that, for some people, hormonal dysregulation and other systemic issues make it hard for fat to be mobilised out of fat cells (while posing no issues when storing!) and this in turn makes it hard to lose fat. But this happens only in very rare cases.

Oxidation

Oxidation or fat burning is the process of putting your stored energy to work. Scientists call this ‘internal bodily fuel consumption’. Fat, which is stored as triglycerides in the adipocytes, is released, thanks to hormonal action. These triglycerides, through a process known as lipolysis (a breakdown of the stored fats), are reduced to two distinct components: glycerol, processed by the liver for further use; and fatty acids, which are released into the bloodstream. The fatty acids are transported to the mitochondria (the portion of a cell that produces power within each cell). In the mitochondria, the fatty acids are oxidised, producing usable energy. It is this process that we refer to as “burning fat”.

Now, a #blood #test that can #detect #disease in its earliest stages

The researchers created microelectromechanical resonators that can detect biological markers in small amounts of blood that they believe could be used to detect a myriad of diseases.

The plate-style resonant sensors allow sensitive, inexpensive detection of biomarkers that can signify disease, illness or trauma.

Scientists have come up with a test, which they say could detect signs of a disease in its earliest stages.

The Purdue University researchers, including Jeffrey Rhoads, George Chiu and Eric Nauman, created microelectromechanical resonators, or small vibrating sensors, that can detect biological markers in small amounts of blood that they believe could be used to detect a myriad of diseases, infections and different medical conditions at early stages.

The plate-style resonant sensors allow sensitive, inexpensive detection of biomarkers that can signify disease, illness or trauma.

“The goal here is to find the disease so early that you can treat it without invasive surgery,” Rhoads said. “The test looks for a particular protein related to a disease, so you could use this for the detection of many different diseases.”

The sensors use a piezoelectrically actuated resonant microsystem, which when driven by electricity can sense a change in mass. The sensitivity of the resonator increases as the resonant frequency increases, making high-frequency resonators excellent candidates for biomarker detection, Rhoads said. The method also is much faster and less expensive than other types of medical tests.

Rhoads said they discovered a way to conduct the test that identifies a minute amount of protein in a very small amount of blood. One of the first uses for the test could be the early detection of traumatic brain injury in athletes, particularly high school football and soccer players.

Research into the effects of repeated head impacts on high school football players has shown changes in brain chemistry and metabolism even in players who have not been diagnosed with concussions, Nauman said.

The newly-developed test can detect minute amounts of proteins, including protein from glial cells, which surround neurons in the brain. The proteins are secreted in relatively high concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid of victims of traumatic brain injury. Prior studies have found that a small amount of fluid leaked through the blood-brain barrier and got into the bloodstream of victims.

The test also is inexpensive so a high school football team could do several mass screenings a season, Rhoads said. The test also could be used for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, Nauman said. “You can basically look for general neurodegeneration, not just in athletes.”

The researchers believe the test also could be used to detect countless other diseases. They are looking for licensees to use the test to search for other small amounts of protein that are early signs of disease. The paper is published in IEEE Sensors Letters.

#Childhood on the #platter

Take a trip down memory lane with these dishes inspired from the days gone by!

Have you ever noticed how your eyes light up when you notice the candy floss guy standing at the corner, reminding you of the days gone by when as a kid, you would pester your mother to buy you one? And now, when you don’t need permission, you never end up buying it! Well, food is a lot about making connections and our city chefs know that. Tanvi Choudhary, the founder of Papacream, tells us, “We wanted to create something on our menu that people can connect with, and create an experience that takes you down memory lane.” On Children’s Day, we suggest you get a taste of your childhood on the platter with these dishes that take you straight to the good ol’ days…

Dish: Bombay Ice Cream Sandwich

At: Bombay Brasserie

Description: A trio of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream sandwiched between Jim Jam, Nice and Bourbon biscuits. Go down memory lane when childhood was synonymous with wafer biscuits, jujubes, gems and chocolate sauce.

Price: ₹195

Dish: Jim Jam Macarons

At: Sassy Teaspoon

Description: The Jim Jam raspberry jam certainly has its place in nostalgia. So, how about having a macaron filled with raspberry flavoured butter cream, dusted with red velvet crumbs? Closest you can get to that taste!

Price: ₹55

Dish: Mobar Sundae Sandwich

At: Monkey Bar

Description: Does layers of cake, ice cream, nuts, Nutella, cream, jello and tutti-fruity seem like your childhood’s on the plate? Well, the Mobar Sundae Sandwich is just that, a multi-layered sandwich that’s delicious as sin!

Price: ₹200

Dish: Pop-O-Bar

At: Bar Bar

What happens when you give a savoury makeover to your all-time favourite choco-bar? The Pop-O-Bar! Taking the choco bar as inspiration, the good folks at Bar Bar have added an element of fun in it with crunchy roughly crushed salted caramel popcorn.

Price: ₹169

Dish: Old School Lollies

At: SpiceKlub

Description: How about a tempting mix of Bournvita and chocolate kulfis, specially when they are made on a stick at your table? That’s the Old School Lollies for you!

Price: ₹535

Dish: Jim Jam Ice Cream Sandwich and Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Float

At: Papacream

Description: Get a bite of childhood with the Jim Jam Ice Cream Sandwich, which is not only sandwiched between the biscuits, but the ice cream itself is Jim-Jam flavoured. The Hot Chocolate Ice Cream float is a take on what we have all loved having while growing up, the ice cream float but this time, with the added goodness of hot chocolate.

Price: ₹150 for both

Dish: Parle G Cheesecake

At: Farzi Cafe

Description: The ever-reliable Parle G has always been our go-to biscuit and this dessert is almost like a tribute to it. Put together with cream cheese and rabri, this one packs in loads of flavour with the sweet rabri, sour cheesecake and crunchy Parle-G flavour.

Price: ₹325