Weekly food rail, with news on the origins of milk-drinking, an easy recipe for fresh tomato salsa, a quiz on lobsters, and more.

Food in the News: The origins of milk-drinking

A new study has found the genetic change that allowed early Europeans to drink milk without getting sick.

University College London scientists discovered through a computer simulation model that the ability to digest lactose – the sugar present in milk – first evolved in dairy farming communities between the central Balkans and central Europe around 7,500 years ago.

Previously, it was thought that natural selection favored milk drinkers in more northern regions because of their greater need for vitamin D in their diet.

Easy recipe: Fresh Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/3 cup diced onions
1/2 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cilantro
1/3 teaspoon chopped jalapeno peppers
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
Pinch of cumin

Directions:
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate before serving to help flavors merge.

-- www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov

Tip of the Week: Freezing for freshness

To preserve quality, freeze food as fast as possible. Rapid freezing prevents undesirable large ice crystals from forming throughout the product because the molecules don't have time to take their positions in the characteristic six-sided snowflake.

Slow freezing creates large, disruptive ice crystals. During thawing, they damage the cells and dissolve emulsions. This causes meat to lose juiciness. Emulsions such as mayonnaise or cream will separate and appear curdled.

If your home freezer has a "quick-freeze" shelf, use it. Never stack packages to be frozen. Instead, spread them out in one layer on various shelves, stacking them only after frozen solid.

-- USDA

Did You Know?

Fans of the New York Mets and New York Yankees have options beyond hot dogs and peanuts. The baseball teams have opened stands in the stadium that sell fresh fruit during games.

Food Quiz

The greenish substance found when opening a lobster is referred to as “tomalley.” What organ is this?

A. Kidney
B. Heart
C. Liver and pancreas
D. Brain

(www.funtrivia.com)

Answer is at bottom of column

Wise to the Word: Ciabatta

Ciabatta (chuh-BAHT-uh) is a type of Italian white bread made with wheat flour and yeast. It takes various forms depending on technique and ingredients, but typically has a moist crumb and a crackly, crisp crust. Ciabatta is Italian for “slipper,” and the bread’s shape is broad and relatively flat, like a slipper.

Number to Know: 7.9

Grams of protein in one large (about 300 grams) baked Russet potato (skin and flesh). – calorielab.com

The Dish On …

“The Gastrokid Cookbook: Feeding a Foodie Family in a Fast-Food World” by Hugh Garvey and Matthew Yeomans

What is a Gastrokid? A kid who's willing to boldly explore new culinary tastes and experiences. That's the spirit of “The Gastrokid Cookbook,” where you'll find fast, easy-to-prepare, kid-tested, adult-friendly, organic, sustainable and delicious recipes the authors have prepared for their own kids.

The recipes can easily be tailored to your family's needs. Plus, collaborative recipes are included for you to prepare with your kids.

This fearless cookbook shows you how to feed your little ones' inborn hunger and curiosity -- and, most importantly, how you can discover your own "inner Gastrokid."

From the Beer Nut’s Blog: It's time for Oktoberfests

Oktoberfest/marzen beers have hit the shelves.

I recently enjoyed a nice Weihenstephaner Festbier. I don’t see this as one of the classics of the style, but I do enjoy this lager from my favorite German brewery.

Also out is Sam Adam’s Octoberfest. This actually came in second in a blind tasting I did last year of six American and six German Oktoberfest beers, only finishing behind Spaten’s Oktoberfest.

Perhaps my favorite of the style is Pennichuck’s Big O Oktoberfest.

Do you have a favorite Oktoberfest? What is it?

To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/

Food Quiz Answer

C. Liver and pancreas

GateHouse News Service