Tagged food

While eating a pear this morning, I found myself wondering why they have a characteristically gritty texture within the soft, juicy flesh. I did some quick research, and learned this:

Pears have a characteristically gritty texture caused by cells in the flesh called stone cells. Although more and more of these have been bred out, all varieties still contain them. #

It turns out these “stone cells” are examples of a sclereid, which are sclerenchyma cells that die at maturity once they form their lignin-reinforced cell walls. In fact, the volume of these cells are comprised of mostly the cell wall itself. Lignin is a tough material that plants use to reinforce their cell walls and is what makes the stone cells seem like small grits in your mouth.

I came across buttermilk in a local grocery store so I thought I would give Kottke’s recipe for the best pancakes in the world a try. I’m going to go ahead and agree… these are the best pancakes I can remember having. They are so fluffy and moist, and they came out perfectly.

A few tips:

  • To cook them, I used medium heat under a griddle (thanks to the Internet for this suggestion). From what I found, this lets the pancakes actually heat up as opposed to sear, so the batter gets a chance to rise.
  • If you’ve never cooked pancakes before, wait until bubbles form and pop on the top of them before you flip them. After you flip them, they will be done in 20 seconds or so.
  • I couldn’t find real buttermilk, unfortunately. This Organic Valley cultured buttermilk was as close as I could get. These pancakes were still great, though.
  • One batch using Kottke’s amounts yielded 12 largish pancakes. You could probably squeeze 16 out if you use more reasonable amounts.

Here are some more pictures, before and after decoration: