Using Ottoman As Coffee Table – In a previous post, we have presented the Ecuadorian chair along with the entire research and development work of two Ecuadorian products, plantain (musa paradisiaca) and physalis (physalis peruviana l.). In this case, we will present only one of the products, which is physalis, or uvilla, as they colloquially call it in their country of origin, Ecuador.
Uvilla (physalis peruviana l.) is a plant belonging to the Solanaceae family, and its fruit grows and ripens inside its calyx. Its origin is unclear, but it is believed to have been in the Andes of South America, such as in Peru (Leggue, 1974), Brazil (CRFG, 1997) and Ecuador (Bartholomaus et al., 1990).
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Mainly we find it in tropical America, Antilles and Australia. According to some sources, the main uvilla producing countries are Colombia, South Africa, New Zealand, Kenya, India, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Honduras and Peru. Globally, the main exporting countries are Zimbabwe, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, South Africa, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico. (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries, 2011, Ecuador, FAO 1982).
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The genus “Physaloides” includes 90 to 100 species (D`Arcy, 1991; Martínez, 1998), and one of the species eaten today is physalis peruviana, also known as guchuba, uchuva, uvilla, horn gooseberry or Andean cherry.
It is a fruit that is considered a “functional food” as it has immunostimulating, anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral and diuretic properties according to Harman (2004). In addition, it is promoted for medicinal properties such as blood purification, reduction of albumin in the kidneys, relief of throat problems, strengthening of the optic nerve, clearing of cataracts and control of amebiasis (Corporación Colombia Internacional, Universidad de los Andes and Department of National Planning, 1994). It is a source of provitamin A and vitamin C (Herman, 1994b).
Inside, we work intensively on fermentation. Therefore, the first development was to ferment uvillas for later analysis by conducting surveys involving a total of 100 people, both professionals in the gastronomy industry and real consumers. The tastings have been affective, with the simple aim of eliciting a positive or negative response to the acceptance of the fermented fruit.
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We are inspired by the Japanese technique and custom of fermenting fruit in a lactic way, such as the well-known “umeboshi”. The word “ume” or Japanese apricot is actually a plum (prunnus mume, armeniaca mume), which literally means “dried plum”. Umeboshi is traditionally used to make umeshu macerated drink with umeboshi.
As for umeboshi, it is a Japanese apricot that is grown in early summer, when it starts to change its color from green to yellow, and is preserved by lactic fermentation in salting for a few months. They are then dehydrated in the sun and kept semi-dry. They are usually red in color because they are fermented with red shiso leaves, but they also exist without shiso. The most common way to consume them in Japan is in a cup of bacha tea, salted in tempura or, most importantly, on a bowl of rice (hinomau bento, which refers to the Japanese flag). (Hosking, R., 2001)
The aim of this development is to obtain fermented physalis similar to the Japanese product called “umeboshi”, which has great gastronomic value, promoting its use and distribution as a new marketable Andean product worldwide.
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It is called a cellular process that uses glucose for energy, where glucose is partially oxidized and where the waste product is lactic acid, which is traditionally used mainly in the production of dairy products such as yogurt, viili, creme fraiche, lambic type. beer, as well as vegetables and fruits such as sauerkraut, kimchi or umeboshi.
Lactic acid fermentation occurs in three phases; Initially, anaerobic bacteria such as Klebsiella and Enterobacter are more active in fermentation, creating a favorable acidic environment for subsequent bacteria. The second phase begins when the environment is too acidic for most bacteria and Leuconostoc mesenteroides and other Leuconostoc spp. they take control In the third phase, various Lactobacillus ferment the remaining sugar and lower the pH.
These bacteria have the great characteristic of being halophilic, unlike many other microorganisms that die in saline conditions, so lactic acid fermentations have always been related to the percentage of salt, we are always talking about a salt minimum of 2% – 3%. to the total weight of the ferment. In this case, salt, in addition to creating a selective environment for the life of lactic acid bacteria, extracts water from products by osmosis, accelerating fermentation. In the case of “Umeboshi”, it is traditionally prepared with 20%-25% salt, but you can find them in the market from 4%.
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Traditionally, glass or wooden jars are used for this type of fermentation, always taking care to completely cover the product with the liquid so that the product does not come into direct contact with oxygen, but this is an aerobic fermentation, so in a vacuum. bags are currently used (always leaving oxygen behind) to facilitate transfer.
Different percentages of salt were tested: 2%, 3% and 6%, this range was chosen because these were the accepted salt ranges in fermented products and previous tests. All were made in a vacuum bag with 85% vacuum.
Fermentation was carried out in a refrigerator at 4ºC for 2 months, it was carried out in this way because in tests with other products, cold fermentation gave better results from an organoleptic point of view, improving taste and smell.
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Tests done with higher amounts of salt are too salty for us, and much of the specific flavor of physalis is due to the intensity of the salt. Tests with less salt were better accepted. However, the first tests can be used after soaking and salting the product, insisting that during this soaking part of its taste and aroma is lost.
It could be said that fermented uvilla can be used in the same way as “umeboshi” due to its very similar sourness and saltiness, as part of garnishes, sauces, etc., or as a simple snack. In this part, if we distinguish the fermented product from the fermentation liquid that is obtained from the uvilla, a clear and salty liquid that can be used as any fermented sauce, improving any preparation, such as sauces, broths, sauces, marinades, etc.
After several months of developing fermented products and various organoleptic and consumer tests, we saw that the most acceptable was 3% salt, with 80% acceptance in a product acceptance tasting conducted on 100 people, another salt percentage of 6% and 8% if they were accepted in a smaller in an amount that is the least accepted 12%.
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This opens up great opportunities for us in various lactic acid fermented fruits, we have already tried various fruits and vegetables, looking for other applications for lactic acid fermentation, in these cases obtaining very good nutritional and gastronomic results for use in restaurants and everyday life.
– ALVARES BOXES, GILBERTO; CAMPOVERDE VIVANCO, Jenny; ESPINOSA MEJIA, MARCO; Technical manual for growing uvilla (physalis peruviana L.) in Loja. Loya, Ecuador, 2012.
– FISHER, GERARD; MARTINEZ, ORLANDO. Cape Gooseberry (physalis peruviana L.) quality and ripeness in relation to fruit color. National University of Colombia, Santa Fe de Bogotá. 1999.
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– FISHER, GERARD; MIRANDA, DIEGO; WILSON PIEDRAHITA, JORGE ROMERO. Advances in Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.) Cultivation, Postharvest and Export in Colombia. National University of Colombia, Faculty of Agronomy, Bogotá, 2005. ISBN: 958-701-603-3.
– JUNTAMAJ TENEZACA, ELVIJA ROCIO. Nutritional evaluation of dehydrated gooseberry (physalis peruviana L.) at three temperatures using a tray dehydrator. Riobamba, Ecuador, 2010.
– MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES, GENERAL COORDINATION OF STATE INFORMATION SYSTEM; MULTI-SECTOR DATA (DIGDM) RESEARCH AND GENERATION DIRECTION. Economic agroecological zoning of Uvilla (physalis peruviana L.) cultivation in mainland Ecuador. Quito, Ecuador, 2014.
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– MINISTRY OF FOREIGN TRADE, COMMERCIAL INTELLIGENCE AND INVESTMENT DIRECTORATE. Monthly foreign trade bulletin, page 16. 2013
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