The Elegant Cook

M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Cook Notes

M-J's Japanese Ginger Jar

Posted on April 7, 2016 at 1:45 PM

M-J stores candied ginger in this antique jar made in Japan for export.

Health-Promoting Cayenne Pepper

Posted on December 21, 2014 at 8:35 PM
  Four Benefits of Cayenne Pepper, at Natural News 

Elegant Cayenne Pepper Plant

Cayenne Pepper: a Health-Promoting Fruit, Used for Spicing Many Dishes

Capsaicin-Rich Cayenne Peppers are a Heart-Tonic and Anti-Inflammatory Fruit
      Click Here to Read M-J's Main Website, Elegant Survival

Elegant Pantry

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Pimenton de la Vera

Posted on March 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Image">; </iframe>" target="_blank">Pimentón de la Vera, the smoked paprika of Spain is made from several varieties of red capsicums or peppers. The ripe capsicums are placed on racks above an oak-wood fire, and are flipped-over daily by their respective growers, so that they are evenly roasted on both sides. This venerable old drying procedure usually endures for two weeks.

Once fully dried, the capsicum-stems and most of the peppers' cores are removed. Then, these sweet, smoky-flavoured red capsicums are ground slowly in traditional stone mills which are now powered by electricity. The resulting paprika or pimentón is packed in rectangular spice cans and distributed to markets in Spain and around the world. The price for 70 grams of smoked paprika imported from Spain to the United States lies anywhere between five and fifteen USD, depending upon the purveyor. Pimentón de la Vera is available on-line at as well as at La Tienda. Pimentón is nearly always a component of Spanish paella, and is an excellent spice-rub, imparting an interesting, piquant barbecue flavour to various meats. The oak-wood smoking process used in La Vera, Spain, gives their paprika a very special, unique quality.

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Elegant Pantry

Posted on June 13, 2011 at 1:29 PM
Grouping things in similar containers makes an elegant presentation in the pantry.
©M-J de Mesterton

November Gardening

Posted on November 3, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Turmeric in Okinawan Diet

Posted on February 11, 2010 at 4:34 PM

 Turmeric in the Okinawa Program

The 2001 book, The Okinawa Program by Bradley J. Willcox, M.D., D. CraigWillcox, Ph. D., and Makoto Suzuki, M.D., is based upon the25-year-long Okinawa Centenarian Study. It is one of my favorite diet and health books.Turmeric has recently garnered respect and much publicity as a medicinal plant from the ginger family. The qualities of turmeric are not news to the famously long-living people of Okinawa, as related on page 149: Excerpt: Ucchin, or Turmeric M-J’s pronunciation note: TER-mer-ick (Curcuma longa, Jiang Huang, Curcuma, Indian saffron, Ukon, Valerian) Ucchin,commonly known in North America as turmeric, is one of the Okinawans’ favorite herbs (as it is in India), and claims a multitude of health benefits. It’s known as ukon to the Japanese….

Folkloric Claims

Turmeric is from the ginger family. The stalk of the plant is the part most commonly used in both herbal and traditional medicine, and is the part that provides the distinctive yellow-orange powder that adds flavor and color to curry. It was probably brought to Okinawa centuries ago from India, which had active trade relations with the Ryukyu Kingdom (as Okinawa was formerly known). In Ayurvedic medicine…turmeric is thought to strengthen the immune system, relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, improve digestion, relieve gas, killl parasites and worms, alleviate menstrual problems, dissolve gallstones, and relieve other ailments. The Okinawans are in full accord with these claims, and highly prize their turmeric. Excerpt, page 150 Turmeric possesses significant antioxidant properties, comparable to those of vitamins E or C, which is probably why it proves powerful against cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research has reported somedegree of inhibition for cancers of the GI tract, including oral, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancers. And, there is further evidence for its effectiveness against breast and skin cancers. ~~M-J de Mesterton, August 2009

Cinnamon, a Health-Promoting Spice

Posted on February 11, 2010 at 10:56 AM