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Reheating certain foods

Mrs. Who's picture

Hi all,


I have recently moved to Europe, and met with some old food rules that seem to be common knowledge in these parts. It seems that you should not, under any circumstances, reheat potatoes, spinach or mushrooms. (It is funny, since potato dumplings are commonly made.) I was wondering if anyone has any information on this i.e. if there is any truth in these "rules".


 


Thanks!


 

 

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #33919, reply #1 of 27)

No, there isn't.

I lived in Germany for a while, and when I was there I had a student who did some research on German food rules. There are quite a lot of them.
My favorite was that you shouldn't drink water after eating cherries or you'd die.

As far as reheating spinach goes, there is a kernel of truth to it, in that as it sits a compound forms in the spinach that is not very good for you, and is worse for young children, however, the amount of it is too small to really be of concern unless you fed large amounts of reheated spinach to a 1-year-old every day. It's been too long and I don't remember the name of the compound anymore.

Mrs. Who's picture

(post #33919, reply #3 of 27)

Thanks! I wonder where do these rules come from, I mentioned the potato dumplings, there are also a bunch of dishes that are made with previously cooked spinach... and no one seems to notice the inconsistency.


But this is the Balkans, the only place in the world where draft (as in when you open more than one window in your house at the same time ) kills :))


 

 

SallyBR1's picture

(post #33919, reply #5 of 27)

Funny you mentioned drafts - in France they are pretty scared of drafts too. Maybe that is the root of their passion for scarves? :-)

still, they wear them with such charm and grace... who am I to criticize them?

 


 


"You don't scare me. I've got a Jack Russell and he is the Chief"

Mrs. Who's picture

(post #33919, reply #6 of 27)

:))


I thought it was The Balkans Syndrome, but guess not


 

 

Adele's picture

(post #33919, reply #8 of 27)

Hello and welcome to Cooks Talk! 


Speaking of re-heating spinach...  I reheated some Saturday that I sauteed the night before.  Made me remember why it took me so long to try spinach again, it was awful.  I only ate the bits that had cheese on them.  LOL


The thing with drafts and two open windows.  Bet it's a lingering belief from the plagues.  Remember- it wasn't too long ago people didn't bathe.  Or didn't you notice that yet?  Hahahaha!


Edit:  I'd have them talking up and down the street- I love open windows.  I don't think a lot of houses here in FLA have windows that open.  No matter how beautiful it is they stay closed.


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!


Edited 2/18/2007 8:15 pm ET by Adele

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

PeterDurand's picture

(post #33919, reply #9 of 27)

Speaking of baths...how is the situation with your stinky co-worker?

 

Adele's picture

(post #33919, reply #10 of 27)

She's been talked to by the boss and the issue seems to be resolved.   I guess she just doesn't realize how she appears to others.  Summer will tell, it's actually been cold here, I've worn every sweater I own already, some twice!


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Astrid's picture

(post #33919, reply #11 of 27)

I think reheating is considered something to be done with caution, the rule being that food not cooled quickly may encourage bacterial growth in food. If you are going to reheat leftovers they should be brought to a good high temperature and held there for a minute or so, to help destroy any toxins which might have formed.

New Mexico home organic gardener

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson
assibams's picture

(post #33919, reply #14 of 27)

I remember the cherry rule - although not as lethal, but rather that drinking lots of water after eating any kind of 'stonefruit' (cherries, plums,...) will give you killer stomach aches. Much like unripe fruit and water. Makes me want to try it out ;-)


Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

MadMom's picture

(post #33919, reply #2 of 27)

Hi, Mrs. Who, and welcome to CT.  Glad you asked the question, because some of our posters probably can help you.  I know Cookimonster has, and perhaps Assibams will chime in.  She's in Germany.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Mrs. Who's picture

(post #33919, reply #4 of 27)

Thanks for the welcome! I've been "lurking" around for a few months now. I am in Belgrade, Serbia, and I can't get Fine Cooking here, except when relatives come over (but then they only bring the latest issue ... I know, I should be more grateful :))

 

 

whatscooking's picture

(post #33919, reply #7 of 27)

I have some neighbors from the Balkans, Bosnia specifically.  My favorite piece of folk wisdom was that I should cut my baby's hair to make it grow in thicker.   The grandma thinks that hair is like a basil plant, where if you cut the main stem, the two side stems will grow, like a "V."  I'm pretty sure a hair follicle is a hair follicle. 


Both my kids, it turns out, have very thick hair and they were always surprised it was like that, without me ever cutting it. :)


Then all around from far away across the world
he smelled good things to eat
so he gave up being king of where the wild things are.
                                                            -Maurice Sendak
  

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain
http://theoutdatedkitchen.blogspot.com/

soupereasy's picture

(post #33919, reply #15 of 27)

Well, obviously nobody ever passed on that little pearl to my mother. She always let it grow long and now it is getting a little sparse.LOL

Mrs. Who's picture

(post #33919, reply #16 of 27)

I grew up in these parts, and I remember that same hair advice... but it seems that either grown men do not heed it, or it doesn't work for them :)

 

 

jojo's picture

(post #33919, reply #25 of 27)

That is funny!  My mother and grandmother (definitely not Balkan) have said the same thing to me.  Now I am wondering where this came from in my own family.

ehBeth's picture

(post #33919, reply #26 of 27)

Two of my co-workers (Muslims from Pakistan), and one of my neighbour's (Muslim from Kosovo) have shaved their childrens' heads at about 2 months of age so that they'll have thick hair when they grow up. I'm starting to get used to the idea - though I don't think it works. I shaved my head at 30, and my hair grew back with the same thickness.

If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
Ozark's picture

(post #33919, reply #12 of 27)

Thanks for the welcome! I've been "lurking" around for a few months now. I am in Belgrade, Serbia, and I can't get Fine Cooking here, except when relatives come over (but then they only bring the latest issue ... I know, I should be more grateful :))

 


 


Why not have them bring you the annual edition. Not much difference in cost from a subscription.


 


 


http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/pages/fc_books.asp


"Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement"


 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

assibams's picture

(post #33919, reply #13 of 27)

Hi and welcome to CT. I've lived in Europe all my life (Sweden, Austria, Germany) and sure know some of the 'rules'. There is some truth in them. I haven't heard the one about not reheating potatoes (why, have you heard what would happen? although just plain reheating potatoes, especially after refrigeration, does definitely not improve the taste or texture IMO), but the protein in mushrooms can break down. Reheating them more than once is still considered catchy, plus the taste will definitely suffer. Same with spinach, doesn't it discolor if cooked too long? Hmmm, I guess some googling will be necessary ;-)


As for the draft, I believe that stems from when windows and doors were less than perfect. Something to the effect of being hot and sweaty and cooling off too fast in a draft. I am not sensible to it (other than freezing...), but DH will get a headache and 'Hexenschuss', whatever that is in English (some kind of back pain) when being in a drafty area too long.


Edited and back from Google: this is what I found regarding the spinach and mushrooms: The rule is from back when refrigeration wasn't as easy as it is today. The protein in mushrooms will indeed break down, because it is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms. Speedy refrigeration can slow down this process, like in an icewater bath. However, the cooked mushrooms shouldn't be kept longer than 1 day and reheated to over 70°C. Spinach is high in nitrates, which can be broken into nitrite by nitrateeating bacteria or in the stomach by too little acid. Again refrigeration will slow down this process caused by bacteria. Together with hemoglobin nitrit can react into methämoglobin, which is harmful for babies, since their enzymesystem isn't fully developed. It can block the oxygentransport in a baby under the age of 1. So, eating reheated spinach can be toxic to small infants, adults and teens can eat it. Spinach shouldn't be kept warm, but refrigerated and consumed soon.



Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.


Edited 2/19/2007 8:26 am by Assibams

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

Mrs. Who's picture

(post #33919, reply #17 of 27)

Thanks all for the wellcome!


Thanks to Assibams for the research. I never found any explanation for these rules, they just pop up repeatedly in the local papers and magazines, and you hear them from people too, yet there are loads of recipes that use previously cooked potatoes and spinach. (Not so much the mushrooms.)


My kids like potato dumplings, so I wanted to know if I am 'poisoning' them by any chance. As for spinach, hmm I like this creamy spinach soup, and I sometimes eat reheated leftowers next day, but I don't make it too often since I am the only fan in the house.


 


:)) Hexenschuss ... is that the lower back stiffness/pain? If you ask anybody around here they'll tell you that you should protect your lower back from drafts at all costs. And your head, of course. Just try cracking open a window in the city bus in the middle of summer ... 10 seconds and people start complaining about the draft.


 

 

assibams's picture

(post #33919, reply #18 of 27)

Yup, that's Hexenschuss :-) And opening windows is pretty dangerous, you know. Especially in the doctor's waiting room. Better to keep all those germs inside LOL


How did you end up in Serbia?



Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

Mrs. Who's picture

(post #33919, reply #19 of 27)

That's a good question :) (I asked myself many times what possessed me to think that it might be a good idea and say yes :))


Mr. Who and I both grew up not too far from here (Sarajevo, Bosnia), but never lived here together. We lived in Germany, US, Canada (kids were born there), in short, we moved around. In 2005 the opportunity came up to move to Belgrade; so it is sort of like coming home, but not quite... Anyway, we thought it would be fun for all, especially the kids, since they never even visited Europe.... and they both forgot Serbian the minute they started school... and it is a completely different way of life and a valuable experience... and...


It is working OK for the most part, kids are happy and doing well in school, re-learned Serbian quickly. The place is a mess (they call it 'The Transition'), but we are not here permanently, so I try not to get too worked up over things. (Although, we already extended our stay, we planned to leave after a year, but... And I miss all my things that are sitting in a storage in Toronto, most of all the contents of my kitchen, and all my cookbooks.)


 

 

MadMom's picture

(post #33919, reply #20 of 27)

What an experience, for you, your DH, and the kids.  I think that's great.  When my DH was in the Army, we spent six years in Panama, and the experience gave me a lot of insight into the thinking of people who don't have what we think of as "standard" in the United States. 



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Mrs. Who's picture

(post #33919, reply #23 of 27)

I agree wholeheartedly! In high school, I spent a year as an exchange student - wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world. I think it would be great for any kid to have that at one point, and it doesn't have to be for a year.

 

 

assibams's picture

(post #33919, reply #21 of 27)

Europe isn't all bad, is it ;-)


Belgrade used to be such a lovely city, my mom spent quite some time there in the 50's and loved it.


DH flies to the States - he's a pilot for Lufthansa Cargo - so if there are special publications you are interested in, let me know. Oh, and Fine Cooking does offer overseas shipping, most of the times I receive my issues before the overseas contingent on CT.


I live close to Frankfurt, Germany. On CT we have Helena, who lives close to Maastricht in Holland, Ashley is in the southern UK, Phillip (wop) is close to Bergamo. I am sure I am forgetting many others in Europe. We're still working on a Europefest... 



Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

Mrs. Who's picture

(post #33919, reply #22 of 27)

RE: Europe isn't all bad, is it ;-)


I hope I didn't sound too negative, didn't mean to. I think Belgrade is still a beautiful city, it is busy and exciting, apparently night-life is great, I love the pedestrian zone in the city centre and the old fortress, it is, all in all, a fun place. And, we are hoping, it will become even better, cleaner and better maintained, and city traffic and public transportation will both improve :))


But I do think it's harder raising a family here then it is in Canada, and I am speaking from my own, obviously subjective, experience.


Thanks for that offer, I just might take you up on it some day :)) As for overseas subscription, but then it would mean that I actually accepted the possibility of staying here for at least another year ... (Insert Home Alone screaming emoticon here :))


I have only seen Frankfurt from the train, and I've been to the airport. We used to live in Erlangen (near Nürnberg), DH used to work for Siemens (what else could one do in Erlangen except work for Siemens or study at the University :)) I love the Christkindlesmarkt, loved riding my bike everywhere in Erlangen (had a great figure in that period :)), Nürnberger Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut, Glühwein... I haven't thought about all these things and places in a while :))


 

 

assibams's picture

(post #33919, reply #24 of 27)

Hee re: Erlangen. Nürnberg is a very lovely city, I spent quite a number of layovers there during my flying years. Now Erlangen is something I like to pass, last fall I happened to get into a killer traffic jam on the autobahn coming back from a visit with my parents. Got off the highway and trusted my instincts and navigator - not too good a combination LOL Anyways we were lead through Erlangen and 'fought' our way over country roads to Würzburg.


So you are on your last year in Belgrade? Whereto next?



Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

Mrs. Who's picture

(post #33919, reply #27 of 27)

I sympathize with your getting lost story, I got lost in Toronto once taking my kid to a birthday party; I was mortified, luckily she fell asleep in the back of the car and didn't realize what's going on until we finally got there and the kids were already finishing the pizza. In my defence, it was across the city, and I had to get off the freeway before my exit due to some accident... Anyway, we can all laugh about it NOW :))


I don't know where we will go from here, I would like to go back to Toronto. We'll see.