The French Paradox

I remember seeing a segment on “60 Minutes” many years ago that affected me deeply. It was titled “The French Paradox,” and explored why the French — who eat butter, stinky cheeses, duck and other fat-rich foods with Dionysian abandon — had heart disease rates far lower than the United States and other developed countries.

The segment focused on two factors. The first, of course, was wine. The French consume more wine than any other people on earth, and there have been many studies linking lower rates of heart disease with moderate consumption of wine, red wine in particular. But it was the second factor that was even more intriguing to me, and where I had a moment on enlightenment. It was lifestyle. More

I Believe in the Bean

If you’ve read much of this blog, you know that I’m a big fan of beans.

I like all kinds of beans — soupy black beans with garlicky, citrussy Cuban food (that’s the next post, so stay tuned), earthy borlotti beans from Italy (see two posts back), big meaty faba Asturiana beans from Spain, delicate and floral flageolets from France, fermented Chinese black beans, edamame, Mexican pinto beans…

Today I’m writing — or actually talking — about cannellini beans. In the following video, I’ve cooked a pot of these versatile beans, and prepared them four different ways… so you get an idea of how easy they are to make, and how many different things you can do with them. Of these four preparations, I’ve created two in an Italian style, one Spanish and one French. All take no more than a few minutes to make, once you’ve actually cooked the beans. You can even cook a big batch of beans and keep them in the fridge for a week or so, and make different bean dishes on different nights. Enjoy!