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5 Wine Myths, Busted

5 Wine Myths, Busted

What's the truth? We crack the 5 most popular wine myths

Wine is a complicated matter. Or that’s at least what all wine experts are hoping you’ll believe! The truth is that wine is a remarkably flexible product, ending up as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.

Let’s take a few of the wine industry’s favorite myths and see if they stand up to some scrutiny or simply fold like a house of cards the first time someone takes a poke.

Click here to find out if you were right on your wine knowledge.

— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth


8 Common Wine Myths

Erin Doman on April 30, 2015 2 Comments

There are many common practices regarding wine making, preservation and serving that wine connoisseurs swear by. However, do any of these long-held beliefs really hold merit? As it turns out, many of these beliefs are quite false and based more on old wives tales rather than fact. Below are the 8 most commonly believed wine myths.

Myth 1: Expensive Wine Is Always Better

It makes sense that the best wines are the ones that you have to shell out an arm and a leg for. However, are pricey bottles always superior to the generic brands purchased at a liquor store? Multiple blind taste tests have shown that participants who drank two different types of the same wine often identified the cheaper brand as the better tasting or more expensive one.

Keep in mind that wine price is influenced by multiple factors, such as manufacturing location, ingredients, brand reputation, celebrity endorsements, and so forth. Unless you are an experienced sommelier who can distinguish the subtlest of quality with a mere sip, opting for an $80 bottle might not be worth it when you can purchase a lesser known brand of similar quality for $10.

Myth 2: Family-Owned Wineries Make the Best Wine

There’s a prevailing wine myth that the best bottles come from local and little-known distilleries that have been family-owned for generations. The belief is that these small wineries are able to put more care into their wine making that the larger wineries, and are able to utilize secret recipes and preparation methods that are virtually unknown elsewhere. This belief has also led to the idea that large-name manufacturers are unable to produce wine of equal quality. Keep in mind that bigger companies have deeper pockets, which means access to higher-quality and imported ingredients, and state-of-the-art distillation methods. You simply cannot base your opinion of the quality of a winery’s product by the size of the business.

Myth 3: Cheese and Wine Go Hand-in-Hand

Wine is almost always served with cheese and crackers. While this is perfectly fine for tradition’s sake, wine and cheese are actually not as compatible as some people may think. Due to its strong taste and texture, cheese actually inhibits the tongue’s ability to enjoy the full richness and balance of a good wine. The reverse may also be true where the wine can prevent your palate from enjoying the cheese’s full texture and creaminess.

This is, of course, not a completely busted wine myth. There are many times when wine and cheese can really hit the spot. It’s really up to your personal preference on this one!

Myth 4: Vintage Wine Is Better Than Non-Vintage Varieties

People often tend to associate the word “vintage” with anything that’s expensive and hard to come by. Vintage wine does tend to be pricier than regular wine, which adds to the perception that it’s superior in quality. Wine labeled as “vintage” merely means that it’s made from grapes harvested from a certain year, whereas non-vintage wine uses a blend of ingredients from multiple harvesting seasons. With that in mind, vintage wine is certainly different, but whether it is better for the average drinker is a matter of opinion.

Myth 5: Wines Sealed With a Cork Age Better

Wine sealed with a wooden cork just seems to be more aesthetically appealing than a bottle sealed with a soda pop style screw cap. But is there any real reason that cork-sealed wine is better? The belief is that cork is a better sealer because it allows small traces of oxygen to leak into the wine. While too much oxygen degrades the wine’s flavor, it is true that very miniscule traces leaking into the bottle does help with the aging process.

What about screw top caps? It’s believed that these sealers allow zero oxygen to get in, thus preventing optimal aging. However, recent innovations have yielded screw tops that allow for the permeation of oxygen. New technology is helping us catch up with the natural sealing ability of pure cork.

In some ways, a screw cap is actually better than a cork. Since cork is made from wood, it can develop mold, which creates a chemical known as trichloroanisole (TCA) when it reacts with the wine. TCA can cause some degree of spoilage and has been found in three to five percent of aged wine.

Myth 6: Wine in a Thicker, Heavier Bottle Is Higher in Quality

Wine packaged in a thick glass bottle has a more elegant and luxurious feel to it. It also tends to be more expensive, leading to the perception that it must be higher in quality. Bottle size and style has nothing to do with a wine’s quality it’s only pricier because the thicker glass means a higher investment has gone to the packaging to heighten the bottle’s aesthetic appeal. It’s mostly a marketing tactic, so don’t think that a heavier bottle equals exceptional wine.

On the subject of the bottle, some also believe that the bottle’s punt, the dimple at the bottom of the bottle, is an indicator of the wine’s quality. It’s believed that the deeper the dimple is, the better the wine is. Once again, the punt merely reflects the bottle’s aesthetics and has nothing to do with the contents inside.

Myth 7: Sweet Wines Are for Beginners

Another prevailing belief is that sweet wines are solely enjoyed by casual drinkers while heavier wine is only enjoyed by a true sommelier that can distinguish subtle ingredients with a sip and swish. Contrary to popular belief, wines with sweet, fruity, and bubbly taste are not lesser in any way and are enjoyed by casual drinkers and wine connoisseurs alike. Likewise, heavier and tannic wines are also commonly enjoyed by those other than sophisticated wine experts. Don’t let your personal taste preferences be the determining factor for your level of wine expertise!

Myth 8: Wine Should Be Oxygenated for at Least an Hour Before Serving

This one is actually true, but is often practiced the wrong way. Wine does indeed taste better when allowed to breathe. This allows the contents to oxidize, thus softening its flavor and aroma. However, some people let the wine sit in the bottle after corking it open. This process is ineffective because the bottleneck is too narrow and does not allow sufficient oxygen to get through. A better aerating method is to let the wine sit after pouring it into your glass. The process can also be sped up by swirling the wine around the glass.

Now that you know the fact from myth, you can make educated and informed choices when buying, drinking, or preparing your wine.

About Our Team

Erin is a native Austinite that loves writing, wikipedia, online window-shopping for home goods, and riding on airplanes. When not writing articles at work, you can probably find her winding down with a glass of wine, a book, and her two favorite neurotic cats.

Comments

Where they make wine is just called wineries not distilleries. You can’t use that term interchangeably because distilleries refer to places that distill things to high proof liquors. Places that distill vodkas and whiskies and brandy is called distilleries. Process to make wine is called fermenting not distilling.

After a bottle of vermouth is opened, should it be refrigerated? How long will it stay usable?


5 Baking Myths Busted by Modernist Bread Team

I recently attended a preview of the highly anticipated Modernist Bread cookbook, a followup to the best-selling Modernist Cuisine. The new book, which debuts Nov. 8, does a deep dive — down to a molecular level over five volumes and 2,400+ pages — about the ancient art of turning flour, water, salt and yeast into one of the world&aposs most beloved foods. During author Nathan Myhrvold&aposs entertaining power point, he hit a whole lot of highlights and busted a few myths about bread baking.

1. Whole Grain Breads Are NOT More Nutritious Than White Bread

After a scientific analysis, that was the team&aposs conclusion. So, please pass Grandma VanDoren&aposs White Bread!

2. The Type of Water Used in Bread Recipes Doesn&apost Make a Difference

Setting out to prove/disprove that New York bagels are best because they&aposre made with water from the Big Apple, the Modernist Bread team discovered that was just not true. They tested distilled water, mineral water, even water from Myhrvold&aposs swimming pool, and the differences were impossible to distinguish.

3. Pizza Steels Beat Pizza Stones

This discovery was made during the research for the Modernist Cuisine collection, with the metal heating much more efficiently than the stone. This is wonderful news for home cooks, who love to make pizza, and don&apost have a fancy, professional deck oven.

4. Gluten-Free Bread is Delicious

As guests to the preview event arrived at the state-of-the-art Modernist Kitchen in Bellevue, Wash., they were greeted with toasty slices of brioche topped with a brick red muhammara (the Syrian red pepper spread). Later, it was revealed that it was made with gluten-free flour. The crowd gasped. Many said it was the best brioche they&aposd ever eaten.

5. Most Rye Bread Isn&apost Really Rye

In an exhaustive survey of the rye breads out on the market, the team learned that most contained very little rye flour at all. It&aposs typically wheat flour with a small amount of rye. While rye is a staple in the Old World, especially in Germany, its assertive flavor has been watered down in this country. To introduce Americans to the joy of rye, the team developed a slew of recipes, include a steamed bao bun filled with homemade pastrami and sauerkraut, a fresh take on a Reuben sandwich, which was served up by chef and co-author Francisco Migoya and his impressive crew. So good!


5 of the Biggest Absinthe Myths, Debunked

Absinthe’s purported power to conjure fairies and send drinkers insane endures thanks to misrepresentations in art, literature, music, and movies — and loaded, pseudo-scientific experiments. In reality, painting the so-called “Green Fairy” as some kind of conscious-expanding elixir is the work of pure fiction, the effects of which have rippled for more than 100 years.

The truths can sometimes feel as cloudy as the liquor itself (when prepared properly), but there’s little need to worry about absinthe. To set the record straight, here are five of the biggest myths surrounding absinthe, busted.

Absinthe Makes You Hallucinate

Absinthe is a botanical distillate that contains, among other ingredients, a mixture of anise, fennel, and a type of wormwood called Artemisia absinthium. This wormwood imparts the psychoactive chemical thujone into the spirit. But the quantity of thujone present in modern absinthe is so little (a maximum of 10 parts per million in the U.S.), you’d sooner die of alcohol poisoning than be able to drink enough to start hallucinating.

But what about the past? Isn’t it possible that the absinthes being drunk during the Belle Epoque era had higher thujone levels? Scientists say no.

In 2008, international researchers from Germany, England, and the U.S. published a study comparing thujone levels from pre1915 absinthe with 20th-century and modern-day examples. The authors of the study note that the “thujone ranges of all absinthes are quite similar,” thus disproving any idea that absinthe historically contained higher levels of psychoactive chemicals and was therefore hallucinogenic.

Absinthe Turns People Crazy

Other than the myth that it makes drinkers see things, absinthe has gained notoriety for its supposed ability to drive people crazy. Once again, the science used to explain this phenomenon, called “absinthism,” is shaky at best and doesn’t hold up to modern scrutiny.

The links between absinthe and mental health issues are based on the experiments of Dr. Valentin Magnan, a French psychiatrist who strongly opposed absinthe and what he believed to be its ill effects on society.

During the late 19th century, Magnan carried out tests on animals using thujone and wormwood oil. He noted that when mice consumed high concentrations of thujone, they had convulsions and died. When Magnan gave a dog a vial of wormwood oil, he watched it bark at a brick wall for half an hour.

For years, Magnan’s findings went mostly unchallenged. Then in 2006, authors of the medical paper “Absinthism: a fictitious 19th century syndrome with present impact,” noted that “[t]he only consistent conclusion that can be drawn from those 19th century studies about absinthism is that wormwood oil but not absinthe is a potent agent to cause seizures.”

What’s more, the paper points out that there is no evidence absinthe is epileptogenic, nor that absinthism can be distinguished as a distinct syndrome from alcoholism. In other words, absinthe’s most harmful characteristic has always been its alcohol content, which typically ranges from 45 to 70 percent ABV.

Absinthe Is Illegal

This misconception is the only one tied to facts, as absinthe was illegal in many countries for most of the 20th century.

Numerous factors likely contributed to the Green Fairy’s banning across large parts of Europe and the U.S., including Magnan’s experiments. Then came the case of the Lanfray murders in Switzerland in 1905.

After spending a good portion of his day drinking, Swiss vineyard worker Jean Lanfray murdered his wife and two daughters in a drunken rage one night. Though Lanfray also drank Cognac, brandy, crème de menthe, wine, and beer that day, it was the two glasses of absinthe he drank that stirred more interest from the prosecutor and media.

Absinthe was quickly banned in Switzerland. And with the exception of England and Spain, absinthe was outlawed by most European countries and the U.S. by 1915. Stateside, it would remain illegal until 2007, by which point scientists had dispelled fears over the dangers of thujone.

Absinthe Requires a Flaming Sugar Cube

It’s easy to see why some confusion arises over how to drink absinthe, especially with ornate water fountains and silver spoons both common, useful accessories. Given the spirit’s potent strength, and just like other anise-flavored alcohols, absinthe is best enjoyed diluted with water. The perfect dilution ranges from brand to brand, but enough ice-cold water should be added to spark the “louche” effect, turning the spirit cloudy or milky, thanks to the emulsification of essential oils and water. (Three parts water to one part absinthe is a loose guideline.)

Historically, this water has been added drip-by-drip over a slotted spoon and single sugar cube — the sweetness helping to counteract the natural bitterness of wormwood. Where and how flames first figured into the equation is just as unclear as properly diluted absinthe. Needless to say, the practice persists purely for visual impact and perhaps only takes away from the experience.

Absinthe Can Only Be Made in Europe

Despite deep rooted ties to France and Switzerland, absinthe in general is not a geographically protected product. This means distillers in America are just as welcome to conjure the Green Fairy as those from mainland Europe — and more than a handful are.

In 2019, however, following 15 years of negotiations, the EU granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status to Absinthe de Pontarlier. Just as only sparkling wine made in Champagne can bear the historic region’s name, the new labeling applies only to producers in the Swiss border region of eastern France.

The EU regulations also dictate all the major aspects of Absinthe de Pontarlier production, including ingredients and their provenance, alcohol content, and — of course — the quantity of thujone allowed in the spirit.


Easy Slow Cooker Recipes -5 Myths Busted

The internet abounds with slow cooker recipes. Here’s my guide to simplifying the recipes you want and making slow cooking fit round your lifestyle.

Slow cookers make cooking much easier, right? When we first got a slow cooker as a wedding present it was a while before I was finding it useful, because many of the slow cooker recipes out there seem to involve just as much work as conventional cooking, but at a different time of day. Alternatively, they don’t cook for long enough for you to leave them all day. Here are my answers to some slow cooker myths to help you to make the most out of your slow cooker and really use it to make life easier.

1.Food needs browning/pre-cooking before it can go in the slow cooker

If you think, for example, about bacon, or potatoes, it’s obvious that different cooking methods result in a different flavour. Boiled or stewed meat tastes quite different from grilled or fried meat. I think it’s very likely that browning meat before adding it to the slow cooker changes the flavour, but it doesn’t make enough of a difference to me to be worth doing. When I’m looking for easy slow cooker recipes flavour is important, but I will take a very small flavour hit (or change) to save a lot of work.

The book that came with our slow cooker when we got it explains that you can skip browning the meat if you add hot, rather than cold, liquid and put it on for an extra hour. I’ve often used this technique – when I put the slow cooker on before work it’s on for more than 8 hours anyway.

So, if I was going to cook this lamb curry recipe I’d probably heat the tinned tomatoes on the hob or in the microwave with the spices and curry paste, then add everything to the slow cooker together. So much easier! You can find a simple lamb and lentil curry I’ve made here. Most recipes I’ve made will happily cook in 8 hours on low with hot liquid, and raw ingredients going in – even with dried pulses.

2. Tinned pulses are much easier than dried ones

When I was looking for ideas for my slow cooked chickpea curry all I found were recipes like this – with tinned chickpeas. I couldn’t believe it! If you can remember to soak them the night before the slow cooker is the perfect way to cook dried pulses. I’ve found beans benefit from at least 6 hours on medium or 8 hours on low. With lentils you can get away with less, they cook in 6-8 hours in low, and they need no soaking. Bearing in mind many people use a slow cooker so they can leave it on all day, you may as well save your pennies and use dried beans.

It can take a bit of practice to get the amount of water right (our catchphrase is ‘it might be soup’ when trying something new), but there are plenty of easy slow cooker recipes out there where the work has been done for you, including plenty here on busylizziecooks.com. The only caveat is that kidney beans need precooking before using in the slow cooker due to the risk of toxins.

3. All you can cook in the slow cooker is casseroles and stews

When I was growing up the only things that came out of the slow cooker were casseroles. There are so many more uses for it, though.

I’ve cooked a whole joint of meat in the slow cooker on a number of occasions – my marmalade glazed ham for one, or pork leg in apple sauce. I also once made a Chinese style pork belly in the slow cooker.

The slow cooker also makes a delicious jacket potato if you wrap them in foil – a perfect quick meal with your favourite topping, or to accompany another dish. I’ve even heard you can pop them on top of a casserole. I make a lot of crock pot curries, such as the aforementioned chickpea curry, and aubergine and lentil curry. Some people even bake in the slow cooker.

I use a lot of pulses because they’re cheap and easy, good padding and thicken the dish up nicely, but a good bolognese or chilli with meat is great in the slow cooker.

4. You can’t cook pasta in the slow cooker, it goes too mushy

Pearl barley might be an obvious slow cooker candidate, but pasta is not. However, many easy slow cooker recipes you may try are not one-pot. If you make a chilli to be ready when you get home from work you may be putting rice on when you get home.

For an easier alternative, cook the pasta sauce in the slow cooker all day with some extra water, then just stir in the pasta for the last half hour. I used this technique for my Venison Giouvetsi with Orzo. No boiling a kettle when you get in – just a warming pasta dish the whole family can enjoy. There are also recipes for slow cooker risotto. They can’t be left all day – but it’s still a lot easier than standing by the hob stirring.

5. The slow cooker needs to be left on all day for the food to be cooked.

Are your mornings too much of a rush to get the meal prepared, or do you simply not get up in time in the mornings? Many slow cooker recipes say to allow for 8 hours’ cooking time. I’ve found that for most foods 8 hours on low, 6 hours on medium or 4 hours on high is about right.

There are exceptions to this rule – some foods will cook more quickly – but it’s a good guide. If a recipe suggests a shorter cooking time it’s probably right – for example, my marmalade glazed ham will be perfectly tasty after 8 hours, but will resemble pulled pork, rather than a joint.

If you’re leaving the slow cooker on for longer than the recipe suggests, or using foods like aubergine that can suffer with really long cooking, don’t brown them or heat the liquid. Make up any stock in advance and allow it to cool. You can even set a timer if you aren’t using any perishables, but most foods are pretty forgiving.

Now the world is your oyster! Go and get a slow cooker, if you don’t have one already, and use these tips to try, adapt and create some scrummy easy slow cooker recipes.


5 food and health myths, busted

Confused about food? Our myth-busting health facts will help you make better choices at the dinner table.

Myth 1: Sugar must be eliminated

In recent years, sugar has been blamed for everything from tooth decay to hyperactivity in kids – but should we be worried? In short, yes: high intakes of added sugars and refined carbohydrates are linked to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and can also lead to weight gain.

The bulk of the added sugars in Australian diets comes from foods like biscuits, cakes, muffins, pastries, confectionary, and especially from sugary drinks. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend avoiding these foods and drinks or replacing them with nutrient-dense foods as part of a healthy diet.

However, natural sugars like those found in whole fruit are okay to eat in moderation, as are those in plain milk and unsweetened yoghurt.

Myth 2: All fats are bad for you

You might be surprised to hear that this one’s not true. Some fats are actually great for your heart – but it depends on the type of fat you eat.

Put simply, unsaturated fats (like those from nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and oily fish) are good for your heart because they help increase good (HDL) cholesterol and decrease bad (LDL) cholesterol. By contrast, saturated fat (which comes from things like meat, chicken, dairy products and palm and coconut oil) and trans fats (often found in discretionary or processed foods like biscuits, pastries and takeaway foods) can increase the bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower the good (HDL) cholesterol, heightening your risk of heart disease. So, eat unsaturated fats as part of a heart-healthy diet, but avoid their saturated and trans fat counterparts. Where possible, swap the saturated fats in your diet for unsaturated options.

Myth 3: Pink salt is better than white

Once upon a time, salt was just salt, but now there are lots of options to choose from – like Pink Himalayan salt, which is often considered healthier than white salt alternatives. But is it?

While some gourmet salts contain trace minerals, those minerals only occur in tiny amounts. More importantly, all salts contain both sodium and chloride (yes, even Pink Himalayan salt). Too much sodium in from salt of any kind can result in high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease. So, limit your daily salt intake to a maximum of about a teaspoon (5 grams). Need to cut down? Swap out salt for herbs and spices to season your food while cooking.

Myth 4: Everyone should choose reduced-fat milk

Full-fat dairy = bad, low-fat dairy = good, right? Not necessarily. When it comes to milk, there’s actually not enough evidence to suggest that reduced-fat milk is necessarily better for you than full-fat alternatives (or vice versa!).

The fat in dairy can raise cholesterol, which isn’t an issue for most healthy people. However, for people with heart disease or high LDL cholesterol, reduced-fat milk products are a better option. So, think about your own health history before choosing the milk that’s right for you. Just make sure it’s unflavoured!

Myth 5: Dark chocolate and red wine are basically health foods

Dark chocolate and red wine both contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds which may protect your cells against damage. So, does that mean you can have as much red wine and dark chocolate as you like?

Not so fast! Both products contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, which are found in certain plant-based foods. When it comes to wine, however, there’s no evidence that these polyphenols can prevent heart disease or be beneficial after a heart attack.

On the chocolate front, high polyphenol cocoa/chocolate can reduce your risk factors for heart disease – but that doesn’t mean going wild in the chocolate aisle on your next grocery shop. Most manufactured chocolate is low in polyphenols, so opt for raw cocoa powder in drinks and cooking instead. Remember, the best way to include antioxidants in your diet, is through plenty of vegetables and fruit. Find out more about how you can get more fruit and vegetables in your diet.

Coles has partnered with the Heart Foundation to provide this content to you and help Australians live healthier and happier lives.

For personalised heart health information and support, contact the Heart Foundation Helpline 13 11 12.


Five biggest wine myths busted!

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Given its romance and nuance, the world of wine has understandably fostered a number of misconceptions and myths.

Below, we bust some of the most common furphies about wine – let’s begin!

MYTH 1: ALL WINE GETS BETTER WITH AGE

Fact: A lot of wine in Australia is made to drink within 12 to 18 months.

There’s a real trend at the moment, especially with reds, for winemakers to craft young, fresh wines to drink immediately rather than to age.

You can still find wines that are made to age for decades, naturally, with Hunter Valley Semillon and Australian Shiraz being great examples.

While cork still has its place, there’s no need to snub the screw-cap. Photo: Wine Selectors

MYTH 2: BOTTLES OF WINE SEALED WITH A CORK ARE BETTER THAN THOSE WITH A SCREW-CAP

Fact: In a perfect world, the perfect cork is the perfect closure.

In reality, however, perfect corks are extremely rare.

Screw-caps eliminate many of the problems that can come with corks such as cork taint, oxidation and leakage, giving the wine-lover confidence they’re getting quality and consistency.

MYTH 3: BLENDED WINES ARE INFERIOR

Fact: This myth has been driven by Australia’s insatiable thirst for single variety wines.

However, one of the ironies of this is that some of Australia’s greatest wines ever made were blends.

In fact, one of the most famous blended wines in the world is Champagne.

Blended wines are a classic case of the end product being greater than the sum of its parts.

MYTH 4: A HEAVIER BOTTLE EQUALS HIGHER QUALITY

Fact: Bottles with thicker glass are pricier because there is a higher investment in the packaging process, but it says nothing about the wine quality.

It’s the classic ‘perception vs reality’ trap – don’t fall for it!

The myth of room temperature wine is a holdover from the cooler climes of Europe. Photo: Wine Selectors

MYTH 5: THE CORRECT SERVING TEMPERATURE FOR RED WINE IS “ROOM TEMPERATURE”

Fact: The ideal temperature to serve red wine is 14 to 18C.

Serving it too warm will dull the aromas – and ultimately the flavours – in full-bodied red wine.

Room temperature in Australia during the peak of summer may be anywhere from 25 to 35C, so don’t be afraid to pop your favourite red wine in the fridge for half an hour before your barbecue – unless, of course, it’s come from a temperature-controlled environment.

There you have it – the five biggest myths in wine, busted!

For more vital wine wisdom, be sure to visit our other Wine Focus articles here and here, or visit Wine Selectors for even more tips!


5 recipe box myths busted

Confused about what these meal kits offer? Here are the answers to some common questions to help you decide if they’re for you.

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With more recipe boxes out there than you can shake your knife and fork at, it’s hard to know which box to choose and, more importantly, how to work out if they’re really worth it.

Whether you’re a carnivore or vegetarian, catering for one or feeding a crowd, recipe boxes can help you skip the “what’s for dinner?” debate by delivering all the ingredients (and recipe cards) you need to cook delicious dinners at home. There's fresh, pre-portioned ingredients, exciting weekly recipes and zero food waste – so, what’s the catch?

MYTH 1: “Recipe boxes are impossible to fit into my routine”

Most boxes offer a flexible subscription where you can choose which recipes go in, the day of the week you want them delivered, and how many people you want to cook for. If you want one box a week or one a month, the choice is yours: skip a week, pause or cancel your subscription at any time.

MYTH 2: “I can’t choose the recipes I want”

Recent research found that although people living in the UK own an average of six cookbooks, they make the same nine recipes on repeat. Subscribing to a recipe box can actually offer an easy way to break out of your recipe rut, allowing you to choose from a huge variety of recipes from around the world that you can cook and enjoy each week.

MYTH 3: “I’m a terrible cook – the recipes are too complicated for me!”

It’s a pretty common misconception that recipe boxes are best suited to people who really know what they’re doing in the kitchen. However, the truth is, if you can’t tell the difference between a cucumber and a courgette, signing up to a recipe box could be your saving grace. Along with all the fresh ingredients, they’ll send you step by step recipe cards that will take you through the whole process without a burnt pan in sight.

MYTH 4: “My kids are fussy eaters and won’t like the recipes”

If you’re catering for a house full of fussy eaters, cooking food the whole family will enjoy can be a struggle. So when your meals are planned and ingredients pre-portioned, recipe boxes can really take the hassle out of dinnertime. Some recipe box companies cater specifically for families, offering child-friendly recipes (cleverly packing in lots of extra veg) that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

MYTH 5: “I don’t have time to cook every night”

If you’re running on empty, cooking a meal from scratch can often feel like the last thing you want to do after a long day. The truth is, recipe boxes can be a godsend for the days when you’re too tired to think about what to cook. From box to table in just 20 minutes (less time than it takes to order a takeaway), HelloFresh’s Rapid Box is a particularly easy solution to the age-old “I’m too tired to cook” excuse.

The verdict

So, the big question: are recipe boxes really worth it? Ultimately, it boils down to the reason why you haven’t given them a go yet. If fitting a recipe box into your schedule, being in control of your menu, or not having enough time to cook are among the reasons holding you back, then it might be time to give them a try.

Thanks to companies such as HelloFresh, you can forget lugging a heavy trolley around the supermarket, and instead look forward to having exciting recipes delivered to your door. Sometimes it pays to think outside the box – when you take the headache out of planning your weekly menu you can spend more time enjoying the best bits: preparing and eating delicious home-cooked food.

HelloFresh is offering all Independent readers 50 per cent off their first two boxes. To find out more, and redeem this exclusive offer, visit the website


There are no dirty pigs, only dirty farms

Like with all livestock, the cleanliness of pigs is largely dictated by the conditions in which they are raised. Pigs, in and of themselves, simply do not deserve the reputation they get for being somehow dirtier than other animals. Pigs wallow in mud in order to cool off (their skin doesn’t have sweat glands) but raised in ideal conditions with adequate access to shade, they have a naturally clean nature. Like elephants and rhinos, they will sometimes take a dust or mud-bath to ward off flies, parasites and sunburn.


Great Date Night!

Feature: Great Date Night! There are so many date spots in NYC but how many have a killer speakeasy right upstairs for an after dinner drink? If you’re looking for an intimate evening, whether it’s a first date, 20th date or a celebration of any kind just keep reading, these places are for you. We &hellip Continue reading “Great Date Night!”

Author barHappy Posted on January 7, 2015 January 12, 2017 Categories NYC Tags BritishPub, DateSpot, MidtownEast, MurrayHill, pub, Restaurant, SpeakEasy Leave a comment on Great Date Night!


Watch the video: BUSTED #5 (January 2022).