Restaurant Reviewer, NY Daily News
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig
Gleaning from diets ranging from the Masai to the Maori, Laura Ingalls Wilder to the Lakota, Incas to Indonesians, Nourishing Traditions challenges modern and new-fangled (what author Sally Fallon refers to as “politically correct…nutritionally incorrect”) ideas about food in favor of traditional and ancient methods of preparing and preserving.
Fallon is profoundly influenced by the writings of Weston A. Price, a renowned Alfred Kinsey-esque figure in early twentieth century American Dentistry who published a series of ethnographic nutrition studies across a vast and diverse spectrum of indigenous cultures. He found that those who stuck to “traditional” diets, relying on fermented grains, raw milk, organ meats and animal fats maintained almost perfect teeth, bone structures, and physiques while often reaching the century mark free of disease. Those that switched over to “Western” diets based on bleached grains, pasteurized milk, processed foods and an emphasis on low fat became, within a generation, in Price’s words “punier”, “sickly”, “weak” , “malformed”, and devastated by a host of diseases and ailments that their ancestors had never experienced.
For added kicks, each page also features sidebars presenting recipe-related culinary literary excerpts.
Here’s a pair of go-to recipes (using ingredients found on any self-respecting desert island) I’ll share with three of the mermaids that can often be found basking on my desert island.
-- Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt
MARINATED FISH IN COCONUT CREAM
(recipes adapted from Nourishing Traditions)
1 pound whitefish, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon whey
¾ cup coconut milk
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
Boston lettuce leaves
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Mix salt with lime juice and whey. Toss with fish and marinate at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. Drain the fish. Add coconut milk, scallions and optional tomato and garlic. Serve on Boston lettuce leaves and garnish with sesame seeds.
Note: I usually use 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and skip the lettuce and tomato. Serves 4.
4 very ripe large plantain bananas
or 8 small red bananas
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil or lard
¼ cup of honey
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
Piima cream or crème fraiche for garnish
Peel bananas and cut lengthwise. Saute in batches in olive oil or lard, transferring with a slotted spoon to an oblong Pyrex dish. Make a mixture of orange juice, honey and cinnamon. Pour over bananas and bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes. Serve in bowls with a dollop of cultured cream. Serves 4.