Sunday, November 27, 2016

San Francisco Exotic Food Crawl Post 6: Filipino Food at Kusina Ni Tess in the Tenderloin

My friend and I have never had Filipino cuisine before, so we decided to try this place out. It is basically a hole-in-the-wall, not somewhere you would dine at for the ambiance or the decor. Kusina Ni Tess can be translated to mean Kusina's Kitchen.

I had longsilog, a breakfast dish consisting of garlic rice, Filipino sausage, a fried egg, as well as a small bowl of chicken adobo, while my friend had bangusilog, which came with fried bangus (milkfish), Philippines' national fish, garlic rice and a fried egg.


The portions were generous and the food was really tasty, if a little too greasy for my liking. My best friend was totally in love with my adobo and kept on sneaking spoonfuls of the sauce. Adobo was created during the days before refrigeration existed and it was difficult to preserve food in warmer climates. Marinating and cooking meat in vinegar adobo-style helped to preserve the meat, although today adobo is cooked with vinegar primarily to enhance its flavor.


We also had the Bibingka and the Halo Halo dessert to go. Halo Halo is pronounced as it is spelled and not at all pronounced like the Halo video game series. The Bibingka was underwhelming while the Halo Halo dessert had an interesting and somewhat weird taste amidst the ice and fruit.

Bibingka is a rice cake cooked in banana leaves that is usually eaten during Christmas in the Philippines, while Halo Halo is a type of shaved ice dessert mixed with evaporated milk, fruits and other assorted ingredients, which tends to differ depending on who is making it.


Halo Halo

Would definitely come back here again for affordable authentic Filipino cuisine.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Does eating turkey really make you feel sleepy?

It is one of the most persistent Thanksgiving myths: the turkey that you ingest during your Thanksgiving dinner is the reason why you feel so sleepy afterwards. This myth is so popular that it has even appeared (and gets further perpetuated) in television shows like Seinfeld.

The reason given is that turkey meat contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to produce serotonin, which in turn leads to the production of melatonin, which helps you sleep.

It all sounds so logical and scientific, but the truth is, turkey actually doesn’t have any more tryptophan than other poultry like chicken (it actually has slightly less).

In fact, ounce for ounce, cheese actually has more tryptophan than turkey does, yet it doesn’t get the same reputation that turkey does for causing sleepiness. (Instead, cheese get blamed for giving you nightmares, but that is another story altogether)

The real culprit is the stuffing, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and other carbohydrate-heavy sides, along with the alcohol you drink, which makes you sleepy.

Consuming carbohydrates triggers the release of insulin, which removes most of the amino acids in your bloodstream except tryptophan. This allows tryptophan to make its way to your brain to eventually produce the sleep-inducing melatonin.

So next time you feel sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal, don’t blame your turkey; blame the alcohol and the sides that you eat along with it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dr. Strange short movie review: Unoriginal storyline mars Marvel's 14th entry

Sure, Dr. Strange has some trippy visuals and sure it features my favorite actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, with Cumberbatch being reliably excellent in it, but the storyline is as pedestrian as can be. The script was really weak and predictable and that, coupled with a lackluster villain plus woefully undeveloped romantic interest in Rachel Adam's Christine Palmer (basically a staple in Marvel movies) didn't help matters. What a disappointment.

3 out of 5 stars for me.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Daylight Saving And The Importance of Sleep

It’s that time of the year again for us to fall back an hour when daylight saving time ends this Sunday November 6 at 2am.

Depending on your views on daylight saving, Benjamin Franklin can take either the blame or the credit for coming up with the idea.

Franklin introduced the idea of daylight saving in 1784, when he wrote a satirical letter to The Journal of Paris arguing that people will save money on candles if people rose earlier and turned in earlier at night.

Knowing that many people would oppose the idea, he jokingly proposed measures such as a window shutters tax, candle rationing enforced by the law and the firing of cannons every morning to get people to wake up earlier.

He assured readers that the difficulty in doing so would only last the first few days. All in all, it was a subtle (or perhaps not-so-subtle?) dig at the French for being lazy, but over a hundred years later, his idea came to be implemented by whole nations.

Germany was the first country to start implementing daylight saving in 1916 during WWI to save on fuel. America followed suit during WWI and WWII,

It is popularly believed that farmers supported daylight saving, in truth; they bitterly opposed it because it disrupted their schedules.

Today, Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states in America that do not observe daylight saving. California may soon join them; a bill to scrap daylight saving recently passed a Senate committee; if approved by both the Senate and California Governor Jerry Brown, the bill appear on the ballot for California voters no later than 2018.

If there is anything daylight saving can tell us though, it is just how important sleep is. Sleep deprivation caused by losing just one hour of sleep from daylight saving has been shown to increase U.S. traffic accidents by 6 percent for 6 days after we spring forward.

A 2015 University of Colorado study found that daylight saving time may have caused 302 fatal road accidents over 10-year period. Workplace injuries also increase on the Monday after daylight saving begins.

The good news? Daylight saving is finally ending, for this year at least. If you don’t live in either Hawaii or Arizona, you can enjoy an extra hour of sleep this coming Monday.