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Potato Puns are A-Peeling

The humble potato is the world’s most popular vegetable, due to its versatility and ready availability.

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In our house, the one thing that is never empty is the potato bin, and it’s also the only thing that all my kids will agree on eating. For us, there is nothing more comforting than fluffy mashed potatoes, glistening with butter and dotted here and there with crispy sausages, drowning in gravy.

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Potatoes tend to get bad press due to their high carbohydrate content, but potatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium and B vitamins. Potato skins are a wonderful source of fiber, and are fat free.

There are more than 4,000 varieties of potato, and each one has its own sugar profile, which makes them good for different things. The best potato for mashing is the Yukon Gold, as it is lower in starch than others, while the best spud for roasting is the Maris Piper, because they tend to be more floury.

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Although it is assumed that potatoes originated in Ireland due to the well-known ‘Irish Potato Famine’, they were first cultivated in Peru around 8,000 to 5,000 B.C. They didn’t gain real popularity in Europe until about 1975 when they started to appear more on the meal tables due to a push for healthy eating.

Interesting fact: The word potato comes from the Spanish word patata.

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Food Photographer: Tom Davies, Lead Photographer, Full Steam Pictures.
Written by: Kate Davies, Media Manager, Full Steam Pictures.

National Barbecue Week

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The barbecuing experience is a long-standing fond joke in our family. When my brother and I were kids, nothing would stop our Dad from wheeling out the barbecue; not snow, not rain, nothing.

I remember one particular Saturday when the family was all huddled around the picnic table, shivering and soaking, while the rain poured down and our Dad flipped burgers with one hand and held an umbrella with the other.

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This week we see the celebration of National Barbecue Week, which was first launched in 1997. Back then, there were 9 million barbecue occasions, and this grew to over 135 million in 2018. All hail the British barbie!

As with most things, people are divided on what kind of barbecue provides the best tasting food; gas, wood or charcoal.

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While gas is cleaner and faster, the majority of barbecue aficionados will tell you that cooking over gas fails to bring out the smoky flavours that cooking with wood or charcoal provides.

The reason for this is due to a chemical called lignin which is present in wood. When heat is applied, this chemical breaks down into something called guaiacol which provides the smoky flavor. Guaiacol is also present in charcoal.

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Barbecues seem to have become more sophisticated since I was a kid; the days when a barbie consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, and the height of refinement was foil-wrapped corn-on-the cob.

These days, a typical barbecue is likely to present spicy chicken skewers, beer-braised short ribs and lamb and rosemary koftas. Nor is the barbecue as limited to meats as it used to be. With the increase in popularity of vegetarianism, you are just as likely to see black bean burgers, jerk grilled eggplant and cauliflower steaks.

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And now I’m starving, and these barbecue photoshoots we have done for our clients are making the cravings worse… I’m off for a chicken skewer!

For more information about National Barbecue Week, please visit https://nationalbbqweek.co.uk

Happy grilling!

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Food Photographer: Tom Davies, Lead Photographer, Full Steam Pictures.
Written by: Kate Davies, Media Manager, Full Steam Pictures.

Coeliac Awareness Week

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Lately, it seems that all we hear about is ‘gluten-free’ this and ‘gluten-free’ that. While going gluten-free seems to be the latest diet fad, there are many people for whom a gluten-free diet is compulsory.

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This week is Coeliac Awareness Week. Coeliac disease affects one in one hundred people, and is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten. Once diagnosed, the treatment is a gluten-free diet for life.

What is gluten though? It seems that many people who jump on the fad diet bandwagon out of choice rather than necessity don’t actually know…

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Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Due to increased awareness of Coeliac disease, many products are now available with gluten-free options to support the diet of those suffering from this disease.

Coeliac disease is a serious illness where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues when gluten is consumed. This causes damage to the lining of the stomach, and means that the body can’t absorb nutrients from food properly.

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These images are delicious ranges of gluten-free meals that some of our clients have launched.

For more information about Coeliac Disease and gluten-free support, please visit www.coeliac.org.uk

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Food Photographer: Tom Davies, Lead Photographer, Full Steam Pictures.
Written by: Kate Davies, Media Manager, Full Steam Pictures.