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Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in alcohol, so that the alcohol absorbs the flavour. Pure Vanilla Extract will be at least 35% alcohol. The alcohol used is ethyl alcohol; when extract is used in cooking, the alcohol burns off but the flavour remains.

The first artificial Vanilla Extract was developed in Germany in the 1880s. It was developed using coumarin (now banned owing to the toxic effect it has on our livers); and is now made from synthetic vanillin derived from various other sources.

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Today's Lunchtime Learning

Waffles
Waffles are edible architecture.

They are quick breads that are baked in special griddles that fry them on the outside, and steam them inside. A Maillard reaction occurs on the exterior of them as they brown, giving them their flavour. They come out crisp and browned.

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Bon mots

"Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs."

-- P. J. O'Rourke (American journalist. 14 November 1947 - )

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