by Eric Pollard, Executive Chef

Dealing with an upset stomach?

Sometimes, through the use of medications to help us with our medical issues, we have some side effects that can be undesirable but unavoidable. An upset stomach (nausea) can be one of the most common side effects of many medications. Did you know there are natural foods that can help? Cultures all over the world have been settling stomachs with food for centuries before scientists formulated medications to help. Below is a list of great naturally occurring remedies for upset stomachs.

  • Ginger
  • Peppermint
  • Star Anise
  • Papaya
  • Banana

Foods to avoid:

  • Fried foods
  • Sodas
  • Dairy
  • Raw vegetables

What is an amuse bouche?

An amuse bouche, or translated simply to amuse the tongue, is something chefs use to “wake up” your taste buds before consuming a meal so that you can taste the complexities of his cooking. Or so you will hear from old school French chefs. What’s actually happening is the astringent flavors in the amuse bouche are curious to the taste bud and cause the capillaries protecting the taste buds to open. This allows more of your saliva carrying flavors from the food access to the hairs on the taste buds that pass the message to your brain about what you are tasting.
Examples are: cured meats, sharp cheese, asparagus, garlicy foods

What is a palate cleanser?

Palate cleansers are something you eat or drink to reset your taste buds after eating one item before starting on another. Palate cleansers typically take liquid form or something that will melt into a liquid in your mouth such as sorbet. Quite often they involve an acidic citrus. The point of a palate cleanser is to clean the hairs on the taste bud removing any gummed-up food particles left from other foods allowing you to properly taste something different.

Benefits of the one two punch of amuse bouche and palate cleanser

Sometimes after some medical procedures including chemotherapy, our taste buds are inundated with terrible, sometimes metallic tastes. Our mouth does not like these flavors so it tries to protect itself. It quickly closes the capillaries surrounding the taste buds to insure no more of these flavors get through. Often, it’s too late! Saliva has brought some of these bad tastes into the capillaries before it shuts, trapping the flavors within the taste bud. It’s like locking the doors to your house after a burglar has come in. At that point you are now trapped with a burglar. By using the amuse bouche we are re-opening those capillaries and following it immediately by the palate cleanser that comes through and cleans out that bad taste. The combination can be used for anyone that is experiencing the problem that “everything tastes bad”. The amuse bouche alone can be used for anyone who “really just can’t taste anything”

Recipes from the chef

Cream of asparagus soup

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • ½ large white onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut off white part of the asparagus spears and chop the remaining asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Chop your onion in the easiest manner you see fit leaving them in 1 inch pieces. Add your oil to a sauce pot and get it hot (look for waves in the oil). Add your asparagus, onion, and whole peeled garlic cloves. Sauté in oil until asparagus becomes soft. Play with the temperature you are cooking with to insure you do not burn the garlic. Dump all the ingredients from the pot into a blender with the heavy cream. Blend until smooth. Pour the contents of the blender back into the pot, heat and season with salt and pepper. For best effect you want your soup to be asparagus and garlic forward.

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