Eating Well: Puerto Rico - #126

BURT WOLF: The tropical paradise of Puerto Rico. The place to taste the sizzling cuisine of the Caribbean. We'll learn about the island from Broadway star Chita Rivera ... visit one of the oldest coffee plantations in the western world ... and find out how it was planned with ecology in mind. Plus, we'll get some easy great-tasting recipes ... including a marvelous paella.

Join me ... Burt Wolf ... eating well in Puerto Rico.

The Shining Star Of The Caribbean ... Puerto Rico. It's a tropical playground with over 272 miles of coastline. It boasts some of the world's most beautiful beaches. The extraordinary natural wonders of Puerto Rico include the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. Forest Service.

A thriving blend of old and new, Puerto Rico's culture dates back the the Taino Indians who came here from Venezuela some 2,000 years ago.

During his second voyage to the New World, Columbus stopped in ... and I assume without mentioning it to the Tainos, old Chris claimed this magical isalnd as a possession of the King of Spain.

Columbus' shipmate, Juan Ponce DeLeon, was designated the first governor of the isalnd. He named it Puerto Rico ... which translates into “Rich Harbor.” At that point, things got cookin'.

The fabulous fish from the sea and the abundant tropical fruits and vegetables have been a basic part of the Indian diet. The Spanish introduced rice, pork, beef and olive oil. 

Next came the West Africans who contributed tasty ingredients like okra as well as a mastery of one-pot stews.

The Taino Indians, the Spanish and the West African cultures contributed the basic cooking styles of Puerto Rico. And mixed in with their recipes came their beliefs and skills relating food to good health. These old techniques are often the secret nutritional ingredient in many of the classic recipes of the island. You'll see an ancient recipe that a group of people have been making since the beginning of their history. Today's scientists take a look at it, and they tell you nutritionally it's almost perfect. Rice and beans, for example. Many of the local recipes get excellent nutrition for very little money. A great part of the old diet is naturally high in fiber. 

Most medical authorities believe that we should get between twenty and thirty-five grams of fiber into our daily diet. But dietary fiber isn't the only fiber around here. There's also the fiber of Puerto Rican life. 

And to get a heaping helping of the full flavor of Puerto Rican life ... let's take a look at the Puerto Rico's living museum, Old San Juan.

Old San Juan is one of the two walled cities of our hemisphere. This town takes you back through five hundred years of living history. It sits between two fortresses ... El Morro is the leading castle of the wall, dating back to 1540. The back door to the city was protected by the Fort of San Cristobal. 

Many of the city of Old San Juan is laced with cobblestone streets and boasts some of the finest examples of sixteenth and seventeenth century Spanish colonial architecture. It's a city steeped in history and culture. La Fortaleza, the home of the governor of Puerto Rico, was ordered into construction by Spain's King Carlos the First in 1540. It must feel great to live in a building where the mortgage was paid off four hundred years ago.

An ingredient in Puerto Rican cooking that has been paying off nutritionally even longer is the black bean. Beans are nutritional gold mines. Look at what one cup of cooked beans can do for you: supplies about a quarter of your daily need for protein ... it can lower cholesterol ... it will also give you a quarter of the daily iron that most of us need. It has folic acid which helps make your red blood cells ... and it has calcium.

And a great way to get those beans into your diet is with a bowl of black bean soup. La Zaragozana Restaurant in Old San Juan uses a traditional recipe. Take a pound of dried black beans ... cover them with cold water ... let them soak overnight. Next day, drain the beans ... and cover them with fresh water ... and let them simmer for about one hour or until they're tender.

Meanwhile, take five cloves of garlic ... a tablespoon of cumin ... a half tablespoon of oregano ... and an ounce of white vinegar ... and crush that all together. Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saute pan ... add in a cup of chopped green peppers. And two cups of chopped onion. Let that cook until the onions are brown. Add in the cooked spices, and heat that together for a few minutes. Add the cooked spices and the vegetables to the beans ... and simmer for an hour more. Each portion is served with a garnish of cooked rice and chopped raw onion.

Those black beans are naturally high in fiber. There are two basic types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and you find it in fruits, vegetables, beans and oats. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, and you find that in the skin of fruits and vegetables and whole wheat products.

Medical authorities feel that you need both types of fiber, and together they can improve your digestion, help with weight loss, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Ha-ha ... sounds good to me.

That is the statue of Ponce DeLeon, the Spanish explorer who traveled around the world with Christopher Columbus. It stands in the old city of San Juan, Puerto Rico because Ponce was extremely important to Puerto Rico. 

He found gold on the island in 1508 and quite naturally decided to move in and set up shop. More than anyone else, he was responsible for the early Spanish colonization of this community. Walk through the streets of Old San Juan and you can still see his influence.

There's the White House, built as his residence. It still stands, as do many of the buildings originally constructed during those early days of European colonization in the New World.

Ponce DeLeon undertook a series of exploratory voyages from Puerto Rico, and was actually the first European to see the area that's now the United Sates of America when he discovered Florida. The story goes that Ponce was looking for The Fountain Of Youth ... a little spring that would give him perpetual boyhood. Poor guy. Huh! Never found it!

But these days, scientists are making a really good case for a diet that can at least keep you healthier longer The key elements are low- cholesterol, low-fat ... low-sodium ... and lots of complex carbohydrates. Hey! It's not as simple as taking a sip from The Fountain Of Youth ... but who said it was gonna be easy?

Well, here's something that is. It's a pork recipe from one of Puerto Rico's most versatile chefs. Jan D’Esopo studied art at Bennington College in Vermont and Yale University's Graduate School. Today she lives in Puerto Rico's Old San Juan. She paints, she sculpts, she runs an art gallery ... and a wonderful little inn with ten rooms and a serious kitchen.

When she sets a table it's decorated with sculpture and plated with dishes that are produced in the gallery's art school. Today she's demonstrating her culinary art skills with a recipe for roast pork with orange sauce.

The Taino Indians were the first inhabitants of this island; they were great lovers of roast meat. So here we are 2,000 years later following in their gastronomic footsteps.

Start by grating together a teaspoon of salt ... and a teaspoon of peppercorns. Add a few cloves of chopped garlic ... and a quarter-cup of chopped green olives. Cut a series of X's into a four-pound pork loin ... and stuff the X's with the paste. Roast the loin in a 350 degree fahrenheit oven until the internal temperature's at 160 degrees.

It's served with a side dish of rice that's been cooked with a seasoning of jalapeno peppers ... onions ... and cilantro. Hey ... that's my kind of art!

Part of the art of pork cookery is to avoid over-cooking. During the past few years the pork producers have been working to produce a leaner cut of meat and reduce the older recommended cooking time. These days they recommend the pork be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees fahrenheit for medium doneness. That'll keep the meat tender and juicy and still meet the point for healthfully-cooked pork.

A lot of great joys for good cooks in Puerto Rico are the many local markets that offer regional produce and products. They're tailored to the taste of the old cooking style.

This is the public market in Santorce, Puerto Rico. It's part of a network of public markets throughout the island that offer local produce and handcraft. Visiting a market can often be an excellent way to get an accurate look at a country's foods and flavors. 

Scientists have identified over 3,000 different types of tropical fruits ... and this place is packed with them. The warm climate encourages fruits and vegetables with intense flavors. Some are sweet and aromatic ... others are acidic and pungent. And many of them are beginning to show up in markets and recipes all over the world. 

Take passionfruit for instance, with its promise of sensuality. Passionfruit offers an intense and pungent tropical perfume. Its pulp is perfect for ice cream, nectar, mousse ... and other sweet desserts.

A perfect example of a sweet dessert made from a variety of fruits is this medley of pureed fruit, each fruit with a distinctly different color. Today we're using mango, kiwi, papaya, apple, strawberry, and blackberry. Each is separately pureed in a blender. And an ounce of each is poured onto a plate in a circular pattern.

The plate is shaken to smooth them out. Finally, the tip of a wooden spoon is run through each of the purees to make a pattern. A single blackberry goes on as a garnish. It's served as a low calorie dessert.

One of the world's finest collections of tropical and semi-tropical plants is to be found in the Botanical Gardens of San Juan... over two hundred acres of vegetation that illustrates the richness of this island's agriculture. Within the landscape is an area filled with exotic fruits that were once a major part of the Puerto Rican diet.

That's a Caimito tree. It has a star-shaped fruit with a pulp that tastes like a sweet jelly. It's eaten raw for a snack or a dessert. 

That's a tamarind tree which can live for over two hundred years. The fruit is inside this powder-packed shell. It's a bit sticky and has a flavor that will probably remind you of Worcestershire sauce ... which makes sense because tamarind is used to make Worcestershire.

This is a Spanish lime, or a key lime ... much smaller, much more tart in flavor and much more difficult to find in the supermarket than a standard lime. It's what the bakers really had in mind when they made the original key lime pies. And if you ever get to taste a real key lime pie ... you'll see that it has a much more intense citrus flavor than the key lime pies we make with our standard limes.

That fifty-foot tree is a Quenepa tree. The fruits are small ovals that look like lichee nuts and you eat them the same way. Peel off the hard skin and watch out for the large pit. 

During the summer these fruits are sold along the roadsides as a snack ... and a healthful one too. 

Now, let's meet a woman whose Puerto Rican heritage produced the first major break in her entertainment career.

(MUSIC WITH CHITA)

Tony Award-winning actress Chita Rivera has been delighting audiences with her amazing performances and dynamic dancing since she was sixteen years old. Over the years her tremendous talent has brightened the lights of Broadway and made theatrical history.

(CHITA PERFORMING)

CHITA RIVERA: My father was ... uh ... a musician. And he played clarinet and saxaphone. My mother always wanted to dance but she had five children ... she was as graceful and as beautiful as the most beautiful ballerina. And ... I ... I maybe through that ... mother put me in school ... in ballet school. I won a scholarship to New York City Ballet Company ... that got me to New York ... Mr. Balanchine saw me and got me into New York.

And my first show was the road company of Call Me Madam ... I have to say the road company because if I said the original company that makes me even older. (LAUGHS) But the national company gives me a year and a half.

(BOTH LAUGH)

And when you reach this stage in your life -- give me any minute I can have. And that was the beginning of meeting wonderful, wonderful people. 

Well, it was Can-Can, it was Guys and Dolls, there was ... there was ... uh ... Zorba, there was Bye-bye Birdie, there was the wonderful West Side Story which is an interesting situation because I ... being Puerto Rican ... they were very lucky to find somebody that could appease the Puerto Rican population because it was also at a certain time when it ... that sort of thing was actually happening. 

And it was kind of brand new. And ... uh ... I had to sing a song I ... “Puerto Rico you lovely and then ugly island” ... tongue in cheek. And ... uh ... we didn't want to insult ... so it was easier coming from a Puerto Rican girl ... they could accept the ... I even then got some ... some letters that people that didn't really understand that I was only joking.

But it was a wonderful time to be able to introduce that magnificent piece of work ... but to say what we had to say which was very important in brining people together in this world which we still have to do desperately.

BURT WOLF: If someone has never been to Puerto Rico, describe it for them.

CHITA RIVERA: Oh, my gosh. It's ... uh ... it's very warm ... its people are very, very warm. There's beautiful color there ... the flowers ... the greenery ... the blue of the water. Uh ... the smell of the food. You get off the airplane and you can smell it.

When we first went for the very first time ... I went with my ... my brother who's my manager, Armando. And daddy ... daddy's been dead since we were very young ... and we had this overwhelming feeling as we looked down ... you know ... that we were approaching an area that was a great part of our history. When I talk about it I get teary-eyed really. Because there's a depth there that ... that you don't know until you really visit.

I'm always a bit ashamed because I don't speak the language fluently. Uh ... with a name like mine. I mean, my name is really Dolores Conchitta Figuero de Rivera ... I mean, what am I talking about here.

(BOTH LAUGH)

We're not talking about Chita O'Hara ... we're talking about all of that!

BURT WOLF: Tell me about the Puerto Rican dishes that you like to cook at home.

CHITA RIVERA: I just cook the simple red beans and rice and the plantains ... the green ones and the yellow ones ... the platanos and the pernil ... and black bean soup ... uh ... we ... I love rice ... I mean, if you were to separate me from rice then we'd have an awful lot of trouble, you know. 

When my daughter was born ... she's half Italian, half Puerto Rican, and I said to her ... alright Lisa, it's time you answered this question ... is it pasta or is it rice? She said pasta ... and it upset me very badly. (LAUGHS)

BURT WOLF: Are there any specific foods that you feel give you more energy for your performances?

CHITA RIVERA: A piece of fruit always picks me up. Every once in a while, though, my body will say I need ... uh ... some red meat. And I listen to it. I mean, that's the wonderful thing about ... you know ... about listening to your body ... it has a voice of its own ... your muscles have a voice ... your nervous system has a voice ... and if you just stop for second and listen ... if you feel low, you go for something that will give you some energy.

BURT WOLF: We're gonna go back in the kitchen now and the chef is going to prepare a paella of chicken and rice.

CHITA RIVERA: Ah!

BURT WOLF: Tell me your feelings about that dish.

CHITA RIVERA: I think that we should get to the kitchen as soon as possible. (LAUGHS)

BURT WOLF: Paella comes from the Latin word for pan ... today it has come to mean a Spanish rice dish that is cooked in a paella pan. Each chef has their own recipe for paella ... but this is one of my favorites. 

Start with two chickens cut into pieces. Lightly flour those pieces ... and saute them in a little vegetable oil until they're tender. That should take about twenty minutes. Put a few tablespoons of oil into the paella pan ... heat them and add in two chopped onions. Three cloves of garlic that have been minced ... some saffron ... a pound of uncooked shrimp ... black pepper ... and salt. Three cups of long-grain rice ... a couple cups of peas ... and the cooked chicken is added back in. Some slices of sausage ... six cups of chicken broth which are gonna be absorbed by the rice ... two dozen pre-cooked mussels ... a cup's worth of pimento strips ... and two dozen pre-cooked clams.

We found a few crayfish in the refrigerator so we just added them in. Paella's a very flexible recipe. What you got is what you cook. When the rice is tender, the paella is ready to serve. 

CHITA RIVERA: This is the area you come into when you're doing a nightclub act. You come out smelling like paella.

(LAUGHTER)

BURT WOLF: Ah, yes. Coming out smelling like paella ... hey ... to me that's better than coming out smelling like a rose. 

Puerto Rico is the Caribbean's most popular vacation destination, and for good reason. This sun-kissed playground is an oasis of culture and history. The old city of San Juan is the oldest city in the New World. It's a man-made treasure. But Puerto Rico also has been blessed with extraordinary gifts from Mother Nature.

Puerto Rico has hundreds of miles of palm- fringed beaches. On the north side of the island they face the Atlantic. The southern coast presses up against the Caribbean sea. And there's the rain forest of El Junque. It collects over one hundred billion gallons of rain each year, and gives the visitor a fascinating glimpse of the untouched beauty of nature in the tropics.

Across the center of the island is a mountain range that is topped with a group of small inns that are part of a government program to preserve and promote the traditional cooking of the provinces of Puerto Rico.

And on the southerly side of these mountains is an amazing antique coffee plantation.

(MUSIC ENDS)

The Hacienda Buena Vista sits in a sub-tropical forest on the south coast of Puerto Rico. Built during the first half of the 19th century, it became a classic example of the type of agricultural operation that thrived in this intense climate. Too hilly for sugar cane, it was ideal for coffee ... and within a few years began to produce a grade of coffee considered one of the finest in the world. Carlos Vivas, the son of the founding father, instituted a system of small dams and canals that gave him the water power needed for coffee bean processing. He was very serious about ecology and made sure that all the water he used was cleaned and returned to the river. We could learn from Carlos.

Today, the Hacienda is a property of the conservation trust of Puerto Rico and it's been restored to its original condition so that tourists can take a look at what a working coffee plantation of the 1850's really looked like. Coffee came to Europe first from the Ethiopian town of Kaffa and that's probably how coffee got its name. After a while, the Indonesian port city of Java became a major export point ... and Americans took the word “java” as a slang expression for what is our national brew. We consume over a half of billion cups of coffee every single day.

There's a lot to see in Puerto Rico. And the responsibility for bringing everyone here to see it belongs to Miguel Dominich ... the Executive Director of Puerto Rican Tourism. 

Now, let me quite blunt about this report. Miguel negotiated a deal with me. He said if I would show all those exquisite pictures of Puerto Rico ... all of which are really nice to look at ... he in turn would show me his recipe for chicken and rice ... which is really nice to eat. Now, it's Miguel's turn.

Okay ... Miguel starts by sauteing a chicken cut in parts in a little olive oil until the surfaces are brown. Then the chopped onion goes in. Some chopped green pepper. A few capers. A few green olives. And a handful of chopped pimento. A cup of tomato sauce ... oregano ... pepper flakes ... three cups of long-grain rice ... and three and a half cups of chicken broth. 

It's covered and simmered for twenty minutes. Cooked peas go on top as a garnish. A hearty rice dish like this is good for you and easy to make too.

For the past two thousand years the history of Puerto Rico has been a story of blending cultures. Sometimes the blending was quite gentle ... and at other points in Puerto Rico's history, the blending has been somewhat violent.

The final results, however, have been first- class. As each new ingredient is incorporated in Puerto Rico, the people of the island have taken a look at their new environment and tried to decide what had happened. 

There are three basic elements that make up this scenario. The first are the native tribes ... the second are the Spanish ... and the third are the Africans. And you can still clearly see their influences on the faces of the people ... the art ... the literature ... the cultural institutions ... and especially in the food.

But each of those original elements have been totally transformed, in the same way that baking soda, sugar, flour, eggs and milk disappear to become a great cake.

Since the 1950's Puerto Rico has had an extremely stable period in its history, a period which has allowed the inhabitants of the island to understand what it means to be Puerto Rican ... and to begin to appreciate and preserve their Puerto Rican history and culture. 

One of the most interesting programs for the appreciation and preservation of things Puerto Rican is a government project in the area of gastronomy. During the 1980's the government of Puerto Rico decided that it was time to protect, preserve and promote the traditional regional foods of the island. In order to do that, they instituted a program called Mesones Gastronomico. Which translates roughly as “Houses Where You Can Get Something Really Great To Eat.” There are about fifty of them spread out around the island. In order to be one, you have to be in a beautiful area ... cook the traditional recipes of that area ... and serve them at reasonable prices.

All of the restaurants in this program are outside of San Juan. Many are located in the most picturesque parts of the island... in small villages, along the seashore, and up in the mountains. The foods that they serve represent some of the best of Puerto Rican cooking. And often at the best prices too. It's as if the U.S. federal government decided to help preserve the best recipes from each of the neighborhoods in our country, and help set up small restaurants to keep up the good cooking.

Puerto Rico's Mesones Gastronomico does just that. It holds onto the island's culinary heritage for the Puerto Ricans and for people who just come to the island to visit too.

A Lei-lo-li Festival is a celebration of Puerto Rican food, music and dance. And almost every evening you'll find one taking place in the hotels of San Juan. The foods presented are the traditional dishes of the island. There's a yucca salad ... yucca’s a root vegetable ... not my reaction to the taste ... it tastes fine. It's a codfish salad. Pinon, which is made from sweet plantans made with meat... Puerto Rico's answer to the lasagna.

Pastelas ... which are chicken and vegetables wrapped in leaves ... pestoles ... .from fried plantans ... paella and roast pig. And to drink ... the national beverage of Puerto Rico ... the pina colada ... which means strained pineapple. 

Pina colada got her start right here in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1952. It's made by mixing an ounce of cream of coconut together with two ounces of Puerto Rican gold rum ... an ounce of cream and four ounces of pineapple juice. That's blended in a blender with a half cup of crushed ice. Strained pineapple ... this is no strain at all!

So let's take a look at what we saw here in Puerto Rico. We started with a two-thousand-year-old culture ... eating lots of fish, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. The the island is colonized by Spain ... and we get rice, domesticated pork, beef, and olives. West Africans bring in the skills of one-pot cooking. 

Today all of these influences are being blended together ... and so is the collective knowledge on how to get the best nutrition and the finest flavor in the same pot. There are excellent Puerto Rican recipes that take a little bit of meat, fish or poultry ... and make it go a long way with complex carbohydrates from rice and beans. And that's a great way to control food costs too.

Which reminds me of a wonderful story. When supermarkets first came here to Puerto Rico they used standard cash registers from the States ... but things would go nuts and long lines would form when someone would ring up the “no sale” sign. In Spanish “no sale” reads “don't leave.” (LAUGHS) Hey! Life could be confusing. And so could your search for a high-fiber diet.

Any Puerto Rican recipe solved the need by using beans. They are a high-fiber, nutritional gold mine. This report, however, would not be up to date if I did not mention that during this present century some of the elements of U.S. cooking and eating have become part of the Puerto Rican palate. But with a strong sense of heritage -- they have made each one in their own Puerto Rican style. They have a great pizza with a tortilla base. (LAUGHS)

That's Eating Well in Puerto Rico. Please join us next time as we travel around the world looking for foods that taste good and make it easier to eat well. 

I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: for Anti-Aging - #125

BURT WOLF: What's the best eating pattern for a pregnant woman to follow? And how do you choose foods if you want to reduce the effects of aging? Two of the most important diet questions now being answered by scientists. We'll check on their progress by visiting the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, New York and see how they're dealing with this challenge.

We'll discover the methods used by super- model / super-mom Kim Alexis. And uncover the techniques now being tested all over the world. Plus some fabulous recipes. Join me ... Burt Wolf ... Eating Well.

We start by looking at the history of a charitable organization that is devoted to helping mothers have healthier babies.

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT: One, Two, Three!

In 1921 Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken the the crippling disease of polio ... but he struggled back. He found comfort in exercise. He rebuilt his strength and through hard work assumed the Presidency of the United States. 

In 1938 he addressed this national health crisis by founding the March of Dimes to raise money for research that would eventually lead to the prevention of polio.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT: It is a glorious thing to have one's birthday associated with a work like this.

BURT WOLF: FDR's own birthday parties were the main fundraising events for the March of Dimes, until comedian Eddie Cantor coined the unique idea for a mass public appeal. He asked everyone in the country to send in one dime.

EDDIE CANTOR: Chief, give me the use of your name and your address ... and someday ... you can't tell ... you might lick infantile paralysis with the March of Dimes.

BURT WOLF: By 1958, polio had been virtually eliminated in the Untied States ... and the March of Dimes turned its energies toward the prevention of birth defects. 

Recently I joined the March of Dimes campaign for healthier babies and helped develop a series of recipes to show pregnant women how to eat properly. It's really a very important program because it's never too early to start meeting the nutritional needs of your baby.

Being pregnant is a wonderful time for a food lover. I mean, when else in our society is a woman actually encouraged to gain weight? But when you're pregnant you don't just want to double the calorie content of your meals; what you actually want to do is double the nutritional content of your meals. 

Your health care professional will show you how to do that in your case ... but there are a couple of general rules that you should always remember.

No alcohol ... reduce your caffeine intake ... increase your intake of low-fat protein from meat, fish, poultry and dairy products. Get more vitamin C in orange juice, broccoli and green leafy vegetables. Take in more calcium from milk products like skim milk or ice milk. Or iron from red meat and shellfish. More folic acid from green vegetables. And consult regularly with your health care professional.

A group of leading chefs in the Culinary Institute of America have joined together with the March of Dimes to create a series of recipes that are simple, easy, great tasting and meet the nutritional needs of pregnancy.

First one comes from Felidia. The restaurant Felidia, in New York City, is well known for its fine northern Italian cooking. The executive chef is Lidia Bastianich. Born on the Adriatic Coast of Italy, she has devoted her life to good cooking. Besides the work in her restaurant, she teaches, writes cookbooks, and studies nutrition at Hunter College. She graciously offered to share her recipe for a delicious, nutritionally well balanced rice and potato soup.

Two tablespoons of olive oil go into a sauce pan. Then two potatoes that have been peeled and diced. Cook and stir them around for about seven minutes until they brown. Then add in two shredded carrots ... two tablespoons of tomato paste ... two bay leaves ... two stalks of celery, cut into small pieces ... and ten cups of chicken stock. All that cooks together for about forty minutes. A little pepper to taste, and you add in a cup of long grain rice ... and cook about twelve minutes more ... or until the rice is tender. A few tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese ... and little chopped parsley and you're ready to serve. But remember, take out the bay leaves before you serve the soup.

Let's take a look at the nutrition in this recipe. The potatoes provide a moderate amount of vitamin C and they are a good complex carbohydrate. Olive oil, a traditional Italian cooking oil, is a good mono-unsaturated fat. But keep in mind that a healthy diet should include no more than three tablespoons of fat per day per person. So cut down on that oil and just use a little bit in the bottom of the pan as you start this recipe.

The carrots not only add a bright color to the soup ... but they also contribute a fair amount of folic acid and vitamin A. Remember, any fresh vegetable such as carrots should not be kept out any longer than necessary ... or cooked too long. Excessive exposure to air destroys folic acid ... so preserve this star nutrient and don't leave your carrots hanging around.

The celery stalks provide a wonderful taste and texture, as well as some important fiber to the diet. 

The tomato paste, a staple of Italian cooking, provides a small amount of vitamin A. 

The parmesan cheese will add a small amount of calcium ... but these small amounts add up. It's worthwhile to keep the overall nutritional balance of the meal in mind. Every little bit counts!

The long grain rice is the complex carbohydrate in the soup ... and if you want to vary carbohydrates, try brown rice or any kind of pasta instead.

The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York is one of the leading schools for the training of professional chefs. Each year their graduates are taken into the kitchens of great restaurants throughout the world. 

Francis Lopez is a chef-instructor at the Institute ... with an excellent family recipe for rice pudding with fresh fruit.

Three cups of water go into a saucepan ... then one cup of converted rice that's uncooked ... a couple raisins ... a third of a cup of sugar ... a little cinnamon ... ground nutmeg ... and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir that together ... place it over the heat ... bring it to a boil ... cover ... and simmer for thirty minutes. 

When the rice is done, take the pot off the stove ... blend in three-quarters of a cup of part skim milk ricotta cheese ... and two tablespoons of vanilla extract. Chef Lopez molds the rice into a form ... turns it out onto a serving dish ... and garnishes it with bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, blackberries ... and a puree of raspberry. 

Let's take a look at what's happening with the nutrition in this recipe. The complex carbohydrate at work here is rice. It contains small amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid. Raisins add a source of iron. Try to buy ricotta cheese that is part skim milk. Most grocery stores should carry it in their dairy department ... and if you’re having any difficulty locating it ... just ask your grocer. Ricotta cheese is a good source of calcium, protein and vitamin A.

Another healthful recipe that was developed with the help of the March of Dimes is Cornelius O'Donnell's beef stew. I originally met Cornelius O'Donnell in 1970 when we were both cooking at a charity event. Corny works for the Corning Glassworks ... and he's one of the world's leading authorities on cooking in glass. He writes a monthly magazine column and has produced an award winning cookbook called Cooking with Cornelius ... which is exactly what we're going to do today. And his award-winning recipe is the basic recipe for beef stew.

Cut the fat off a three-pound piece of lean beef round. Cut the meat into one-and-a-half-inch cubes and dry their surfaces with a paper towel. A tablespoon of vegetable oil goes into a non-stick saucepan. And in goes the meat ... just a few pieces at a time ... and don't let them touch. Brown them well on all sides. They should look like this. When they're brown, transfer them to a casserole. A little flour ... stir ... then in goes some minced garlic ... chopped carrots ... chopped onions ... turnip ... mix that together ... a few strips of orange peel ... nice flavor ... a bay leaf ... and beef broth to cover. 

Bring that to a simmer on top of the range ... then into a three hundred and fifty degree fahrenheit oven for two hours ... and you're ready to go. 

We are not adding any red wine, which is a common ingredient in many stews. Alcohol should be avoided completely during pregnancy since it increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and a birth defect known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can lead to problems known as fetal alcohol effects. This includes learning disorders, and physical problems in some babies. No alcohol.

And don't forget that vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, so try to add a side dish of oranges or drink a glass of fresh orange juice along with your meal when you know it contains iron.

A good accompaniment to this meal is cabbage salad and corn muffins, which are easy to prepare and nutritious as well. 

To give you an idea how easy it is to make these muffins, let's turn to one of America's most famous faces.

This fabulous face has graced the covers of over four hundred magazines ... but super-model / actress Kim Alexis is more than just a pretty face. She's the fashion commentator for Good Morning America ... and the host of her own television program, Healthy Kids. But for Kim Alexis, giving birth and mothering her two small sons has been her most challenging and rewarding role.

KIM ALEXIS: I remember when I was first pregnant with Jamie and I was walking through an airport ... and I travel a lot all by myself. And it was having someone else with me. I mean, it was a one-way conversation ... .but I'd say ... what do you want to eat ... and I'd have little tears in my eyes ... I thought it was just so wonderful that I had this little thing to talk to. And ... then ... you know ... you feel them kicking ... and it's such a wonderful part of being pregnant ... and they get very active near the end. 

And I remember right after I had the baby, I went out for my first time without the baby ... and I turned on the radio saying, what do you want to hear ... and it was not there anymore ... and I remember feeling such a detachment from that. So it had become such a big part of my being ... myself.

BURT WOLF: Tell me about your children.

KIM ALEXIS: I have two boys ... Jamie, who's four and a half ... and Bobby who's sixteen months.

BURT WOLF: Wow! Well, what's it like to around all those kids?

KIM ALEXIS: Well, there's only two ... but ... they're great ... it's a lot of fun ... it keeps me young ... uh ... I sort of have to call myself and ... and ... make sure that I'm being a good mom ... (LAUGHS) ... you have to set a good example. And I think that it keeps us ... as parents it keeps us good people, I think.

BURT WOLF: When you were pregnant what was your diet like ... what did you eat to make sure that your child grew well?

KIM ALEXIS: I was very aware of what I ate from the very beginning ... and it's a funny story ... when my husband was with me at Lamaze ... that's when you're seven and a half months pregnant ... with our first child ... he turned around ‘cause he's just now learning about all this pregnancy stuff ... and he realized how important food was ... and he says, have you been doing that? ... and I said, yes, I've been conscious of eating my greens and my calcium and ... and you know the fruits and meats ... and all that stuff. And he's like, oh, good. 

(LAUGHTER)

With the first baby I was always craving reubens ... which are a sandwich with corn beef and ... uh ... what is it ... sauerkraut ...

BURT WOLF: Yeah.

KIM ALEXIS: ... all that stuff ... and ketchup ... they had to have ketchup on them. With the second baby I was a little more healthy ... I wanted pineapples and grapefruits all the time. 

I've always been interested in nutrition ... it's an important part of my life ... it just makes a lot of sense. It can make you either feel really good or really rotten. And it's as simple as just eating things that are good for you. I've always been worried about my weight ... it's something that I want to watch out for ... but I love to eat food. So I eat food ... lots of food ... but low in calories or low in fat.

BURT WOLF: One of Kim's favorite recipes is for apple corn muffins. They contain vitamin B ... folic acid ... and fiber. And they're jam-packed with flavor.

Mix together two-thirds of a cup of ground cornmeal ... one and a third cups of unbleached flour ... three teaspoons of baking powder ... and a half teaspoon of salt ... two eggs that have been lightly beaten ... a third of a cup of honey ... a third of a cup of melted margarine ... one cup of grated apple with the peel on ... two tablespoons of sugar ... and one teaspoon of powdered cinnamon.

The batter is poured into a muffin tin that's been lined with paper cups. And into a four hundred and twenty-five degree pre-heated oven for twenty-five minutes. When they come out, they're ready to serve. 

Cornmeal is rich in vitamin B. Try to buy stone-ground cornmeal if possible. The eggs are an easy source of protein. Scientists feel that you don't have to be concerned with you cholesterol during pregnancy because your body uses cholesterol to make the cells necessary to produce a new life. 

The grated apple will contribute fiber and folic aid. If you're enjoying a corn muffin as a snack ... consider having it with a glass of low-fat milk. That will add valuable calcium.

We're all concerned about how we feed our children, both as a nation and as individuals. I remember what went on when my kids were first born. I had questions about when it was the right time to feed them solid food ... were they getting enough vitamin C ... were they getting enough calcium.

I saw a four-thousand-year-old Chinese manuscript telling you how to feed an infant ... so we've been looking at this subject for a long time ... and we got it pretty well covered.

But what about our nutrition as we get older? I find it hard to believe that the food that was perfect for me at thirty is just as perfect now that I am over fifty. So I looked into the subject.

I interviewed a number of the leading scientists and reviewed the research. And I was pleased to find out that there's some very interesting information that's quite reliable. 

Scientists in large corporations are very concerned about how our meal modifies as we shift our concerns from Mickey Mouse to Modern Maturity. 

And there is really only one major reason for this new interest in how people should eat as they get older. For the first time in history there are enough people living past their forties to make the subject important. There is, for the first time, a large group of people living long enough to want to look and feel younger.

One of the first industries to feel the impact was cosmetics. More women and women are spending a fortune on products to make themselves feel younger, and look younger. 

During the 1990's millions of baby-boomers will celebrate their fiftieth birthday. They're demanding reliable information on reducing the negative aspects of aging. They want to know how the Rolling Stone generation can keep from gathering moss.

Well, we certainly can’t turn back the clock, but we can make an effort to rewind it. The scientists who were studying anti-aging techniques are really working in four areas. They're trying to figure out how to slow down the process of aging ... how to keep us all functioning on a younger level longer. They're also trying to figure out how to postpone, or in some cases, permanently avoid the diseases that are associated with old age. And they're trying to get our bodies to function to the hundred and twenty years that some scientists think these bodies are capable of functioning to.

All there recommendations are quite specific and quite do-able.

For a healthier life: don't smoke. Stay at your proper weight. Eat a low-fat diet. Eat a low- sodium diet. Eat a diet rich in vitamins A, B-6, C, D and E. Niacin, folicin, iron and low-fat protein; and very important -- have a positive attitude about life.

Let's take a look at some of the recipes that can have a positive impact on your appetite ... and are also rich in the nutrients you need to help rewind your clock. 

Let's start in Canada. Old Fort William. It was constructed during the early 1800's near Thunder Bay, Ontario. For a time it was a major fur trading spot used by Canadian trappers. The hunters would often come in from the forest by boat and land their skins at the dock. 

Employees of the Northwest company would keep track of their arrival ... and the disposition of their goods.

(MIMICKING OLD MAN) ... Here come The Norton Boys -- by gum, it's good to see 'em ... nice lads.

(BACK TO NORMAL) The old trading buildings face the open square. Most of the fur trading here was beaver, which was in great demand in Europe for men's beaver hats. Today, the fort is a living museum with all the individual facilities that exited almost two hundred years ago. Members of the Old Fort William historical staff dress up in period costume ... and go about the same tasks that occupy the original residents of this area.

They told me that if I dressed up with them like an old frontiersman, they would give me their original recipe for pea soup. Peas are high in niacin which is an important nutrient ... and may become more important as we get older.

It's a strange price to pay for a recipe, but somebody's gotta do it. Okay ... we start with equal amounts of water and dried peas into the pot. A couple of chopped carrots ... a chopped onion ... and a chopped potato. 

You let that cook at a rolling boil for about an hour and a half ... and you turn your logs down to a lower heat ... and let it cook for another hour to simmer. Finally, a little dry mustard. 

The soup gets served in an authentic period bowl which was obviously designed for an authentic period dishwasher ... the river.

That pea soup is packed with vitamin E ... and some scientists are telling us that foods rich in vitamin E as well as foods rich in vitamin C can help protect our eyesight as we get older. 

I had a nice observation on aging the other day. As we get older we move more slowly. But as a result of the reduction in speed ... we get to see a lot more. (LAUGHS) Nice thought. 

One of the things I'm seeing a lot more of is research on vitamin B-6 ... how important it is ... and how we need more of it in our diet as we get older. So I thought we'd pop over to the beautiful city of Bergen in Norway ... and take a look at a recipe for a halibut fillet that is packed with vitamin B-6.

One of Europe's most picturesque towns is Bergen, Norway. It's been around for over a thousand years ... and for all of those years it's been involved in the fish trade. Which is quite logical since it sits at the head of a great Nordic fjord that opens out to the fish-filled fathoms of the North Atlantic.

During the 13th Century these ancient buildings were the local headquarters of the Hanseatic merchants. Interesting guys, the Hanseatics; over seven hundred years ago they formed an international corporation for the sale of fish. And the salt which was used to preserve that fish. They had a virtual monopoly on the business. And made the towns they lived in quite rich. Their power lasted for well over a hundred years. 

I'm trying to last for a hundred years or so myself. And researchers are telling me that a diet rich in vitamin B-6 might help. Good source of B-6 is halibut. So I've asked the chef at the Hotel Norge in Bergen to cook up a low-fat dish of grilled halibut.

He starts by taking two small fillets and grilling them for about five minutes on each side. Simple. Meanwhile, a little vegetable oil is heated in a saute pan ... and some fresh vegetables that have been cut up into small pieces are cooked.

Today, the chef is using onions and red bell peppers ... eggplant ... zucchini ... some spinach ... and a little garlic. Fresh vegetables are extremely important to your health. Try and get three or four servings of them into your diet every day.

Now, you're ready to set your plate. The halibut goes on. The mixed vegetables ... a few carrots ... and a couple of steamed potatoes. Good dish for mature munchers. Try it ... just for the halibut.

This is the Sea Grill Restaurant at Rockefeller Center in New York City. As its name implies ... the restaurant's specialty is food from the sea ... and it does a great job with it too. For over twenty years its head chef, Seppe Reglei, has been creating outstanding recipes ... many with an eye toward good health. Today he's sauteing shrimps with peppers and snow peas.

Shrimp are America's favorite shellfish ... we eat all the shrimp that we can catch in our own waters ... and import quite a bit from Latin America. They are an excellent source of low-fat protein. And they contain much less cholesterol than we used to think. They are a perfectly acceptable part of a healthful diet.

A little olive oil goes into a saute pan. Some sliced garlic. A few shallots, or if shallots are hard to come by, onions. The shrimp. Some yellow and red bell peppers. Mushrooms. Snow peas. Some chopped fresh ginger. Basil. And some low-sodium soy sauce. Let that all cook for a few minutes. Three or four minutes should do the trick. And now you're ready to serve this wonderful dish.

In addition to vitamin E and vitamin B-6 and iron, there are a number of other nutrients that we should be careful to get into our diet as we get older.

We keep hearing that most women in America could use more calcium in their diet. Many doctors feel that we are in the middle of an epidemic of osteoporosis ... a disease that attacks the bones of older people ... especially women.

Low-fat milk and low-fat milk products are good sources of calcium ... and so is canned salmon with the bones in. And here's another good tip. It looks like the effects of aging on your skin may be reduced by an adequate intake of foods rich in vitamins A and D. You'll get the D from low-fat milk and milk products ... and the A is taken care of with broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots and potatoes. 

Vitamin C is also an important part of a healthy diet. Oranges, orange juice, strawberries, red peppers and cauliflower are good sources of vitamin C. 

A Duke University report tells us that not only diet but attitude can have a big effect on how long you live. It appears that if you have a negative, hostile or aggressive attitude for a long period of time ... it can do as much damage as high cholesterol.

And now it's off the Wycoff, New Jersey to pay a visit to Aldo's Restaurant. Aldo came to the United States from Italy. He's the kind of chef every neighborhood should have. His dishes are basic and simple ... and they remind an Italian of his childhood kitchen. It's like eatin' ma's cookin'.

Today he's making linguini in clam sauce. Clams contain the mineral iron, which could help remind all of us of our youthful strength. Iron is definitely a nutrient for aging eaters like me. And clams are a nice way to get it. The word “clam” comes from an Old English word that means “bonded together” ... like a clam shell. There are about two thousand different kids of clams, and they're found all over the world. People have been eating clams for tens of thousands of years.

Aldo starts this recipe by putting two ounces of olive oil into a saute pan. Two cloves of sliced garlic are added ... and cooked until they're golden. That'll take about two minutes. Some parsley ... a few red pepper flakes ... a little oregano ... and some black pepper. Then two ounces of chopped clams ... and eight whole clams. Finally, two ounces of your favorite tomato sauce. That's what makes red clam sauce red. The cover goes on and everything cooks for five minutes.

When the dish is cooked, check to make sure that all of the clams have opened. Any clam that hasn't opened from the cooking heat may be a bad clam, in which case you just want to toss it out.

Then the pasta, which is a flat strip called linguini, is cooked and added to the sauce. It's served with a little parsley on top. A well-seasoned and delicious recipe that could help you stay younger.

In researching the statistics on longevity I came upon an interesting fact. Where you live can affect how long you live. There are certain states where people live much longer than in other states. The longest livers are in Hawaii. Then North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. The shortest life spans are in the states of Louisiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and Alaska. So to a certain extent, geography is destiny.

But you can really have a dramatic impact on how long you live and how healthy you are during that lifetime by controlling your lifestyle. Let me recap the key points on anti-aging.

Eat foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D from low-fat milk products. Get your vitamin A from carrots, B-6 from halibut ... C from orange juice ... E from whole-grain cereals ... niacin from peas ... folicin from cabbage ... iron from chicken breasts ... and low-fat protein from low-fat meat, fish and poultry. 

That's Eating Well! Please join us next time as we travel around the world looking for things that taste good ... and make it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: in Restaurants - #124

BURT WOLF: Restaurants -- North Americans are eating more than half of their meals in restaurants, a good reason to find out how to read a menu so you get the best nutrition for the fewest calories. They're also the place to get some of the world's best recipes. We'll do just that in the company of Eli Wallach and Alan King. We'll make the culinary trip from New York to Venice and receive Lady Fishbourne's Guide To Proper Table Manners. Join me, Burt Wolf Eating Well in Restaurants. 

Every day, some 70 million Americans eat at least one meal outside their home. And I guess if their home cooking isn't so good, they probably eat more outside. In the process, they spend over half the nation's food budget. There are over 300,000 restaurants in the United States alone, so everybody's got a wide choice of where and what to eat. But when you're not in control in the kitchen, good food for good health can be a little harder to get, but only a little harder, and things are getting better. 

During the past few years, menus have shifted toward healthier selections. More grilled fish, skinless chicken, more vegetables, less deep- frying, a greater selection of low-fat dishes. Also, restaurants are becoming more responsive to the needs of individual customers. They serve dishes with the sauce and dressing on the side. They'll grill a food instead of frying it. They'll make a greater effort to alter their standard dishes to meet your nutritional needs. Of course, they can't take the cream out of the soup once it's made, but they can take a fish that's offered on the menu as fried, and just grill it. 

The most important thing to remember when you're eating out is to read between the lines of the menu. The menu will give you a wonderful description of the dish, but it may not tell you all of the ingredients that are in the recipe. There are four things you want to know about a restaurant dish before you order it. 

What kind of fat is in the dish? Are we dealing with saturated fat, like butter or cream, or is the chef using heart-healthy oils, like safflower or canola. Are there high-sodium ingredients, like bacon or sausage. Are the cuts of meat, fish, and poultry lean? And what cooking technique is being used? Grilling, broiling, and roasting on a rack will let fat drip away. So will steaming. But sauteing and deep-fat frying will add fat-filled calories. 

If you get the key information about the ingredients and how the dish is prepared, you will have gained the knowledge necessary to make a good nutritional choice. It's the old story. Knowledge is power.

And speaking of power, we visited the Regency Hotel in New York City, home of the Power Breakfast... the time and the place where business meets branflakes and contracts come along with the coffee. The dining room of the deal makers is presided over by Jonathan Tisch, president of the Loew's Hotels. 

JONATHAN TISCH: It's an incredible institution. It started when the city was having some problems, and some very concerned New Yorkers like Bob Tisch, Lou Rudin, Field Croton would get together for breakfast every morning to discuss how to save New York City. And Bob Tisch said, well, I have a place for them to meet. It's called the Regency Hotel. We've got a restaurant here, so we'll be able to get a table. The city was saved, and the idea has just evolved over the years and it has become the quintessential place for New Yorkers to meet to start their day.

BURT WOLF: So the first people in are going down to Wall Street, those who still have jobs there; how does their breakfast differ from the other people? Is there a pattern? Do different industries eat different ways?

JONATHAN TISCH: It's interesting because you can see patterns in the way people arrive at the power breakfast. At 7:00 o'clock, the people start coming in, the ones who have to go down to Wall Street, the ones who have the biggest trip ahead of them, and they have their meetings.

At about 8:00 o'clock, you start to see some of the politicos and some of the people that are involved in-- in the real business of New York. And then at 9:00 o'clock, you start to see many of our Hollywood guests. The Regency is known as Hollywood East. Our largest clientele base at the Regency are people from LA, producers, directors, agents. And they start arriving about 9:00 A.M., because they're still on LA time. So it's about 6:00 or 6:30 by the time that they have their breakfast. And so, depending on the time that you can come in, you can see different industries represented at the power breakfast.

BURT WOLF: And it's not only the hot shots of business who are catching on to the trend of the power breakfast. 

JONATHAN TISCH: There's a story of a woman who came in on a weekend and asked the waiter what was happening and the waiter gave her a menu and she said, "No, I don't need a menu. I just want a Power Breakfast." She thought that, you know, here was her power breakfast.

BURT WOLF: In the 15 years that Power Breakfasts have been eaten here at the Regency, how has the pattern of food changed? Things getting more healthy?

JONATHAN TISCH: I think people are very conscious of-- of eating the bran products, cutting down on cholesterol. You don't see many people eating eggs at breakfast these days. It really is very light. A lot of fruits, berries, and melons, and bananas, and having that with cereal, whether it be granola or Mueslix or something along those lines. And more people drinking decaffeinated coffee instead of coffee. And I guess, probably to the chagrin of some of the soda companies, you don't see many people downing a soda with their breakfast. That hasn't happened yet. People are definitely eating light, and we can definitely see it at breakfast. And also the other meals here at the Regency.

BURT WOLF: Research suggests that a restaurant meal should contain between 500 and 800 calories, and less than 30 per cent of those calories should come from fat. Here are a couple of tips that will help you hit that mark.

First of all, it's valuable to know that when you're hungry and you start eating, your stomach sends a signal to your brain that the food is coming in and it can turn off the hungry switch. The problem is, it takes about 20 minutes for that signal to go from your stomach to your brain and we do a lot of over-eating during that time. 

It's amazing, such a short distance from your stomach to your brain and such a long time to get the message. The other day I stubbed my toe and my brain got the message immediately. You know, it's true what they say: Bad news travels fast.

The way to deal with this problem is to start your meal with something that's low in calories and is eaten slowly, like a low-fat soup. Hot vegetable soup, like a minestrone is good, or a cold one like a gazpacho. 

Here's a wonderful recipe for a simple and elegant tomato and basil soup. And we traveled to New England to find out how to make it.

These are the picturesque Green Mountains of central Vermont. They're home to the Top Notch resort complex situated near the town of Stowe. Top Notch has tennis courts, a swimming pool, hiking trails, an equestrian center, and most important to me, a master Austrian chef named Anton Florey. Anton's got the recipe for an excellent tomato and basil soup. And fortunately, Anton's the kind of guy that shares his recipes. A chopped onion is sauteed in a little margarine. Four tomatoes are sliced and added to the sauce pan. A half cup of tomato paste, a little sugar, a teaspoon of thyme, a half cup of flour are added in. Finally, two cups of chicken stock. 

The soup is simmered for 15 minutes, and it's pureed and served with a garnish of fresh basil and a dollop of yogurt. This is an ideal recipe to start a meal with. It's low in calories and high in taste. By the way, if you can't get perfect tomatoes for your soup, you can use canned, imported Italian tomatoes. They'll do really well.

Tomatoes have not always been one of the world's most popular foods. They got their start in the Andes Mountains of South America and spread to to ancient Mexico, where they became very popular. But when Spanish Conquistadors brought them back to Europe during the 1500s, they were thought of as only a decorative plant. And that continued for hundreds of years.

Fortunately, the Italians, who have always had a great appreciation for good eating, realized that the tomato was an excellent food. And it was the Italians who immigrated to the United States who brought the tomato to its present state of acclaim. 

Each American eats about 20 pounds of tomatoes per year. In the sauce on pizza, sliced into salads, on sandwiches. The tomato is our third most popular produce item in the vegetable area of the market, right behind potatoes and lettuce. About half of those tomatoes are grown right here in Florida, and it looks like we're going to be eating even more tomatoes. 

A series of medical research projects indicate that fruits and vegetables that have a red color contain an element that may prove to be a cancer blocker. The tomato is a good example. A medium tomato contains about 35 calories, almost no fat, and quite a bit of potassium.

The picking takes place when the tomatoes reach the mature green stage, and are still firm enough to withstand the long distance transport to your supermarket. There are a number of fruits that are actually harvested at a point where they need some more time to ripen. Bananas, pears, avocados, and tomatoes are the most common. 

All that really means is that when you get them home, you have to let them rest for a few days until they're ready to eat. In the case of the tomato, what you want to do is keep it at room temperature, not in the refrigerator. You also want to keep it stem end up. The shoulders of the tomato are the most delicate part and they bruise easily. You also want to keep it out of the sun, because the sun can dry it up. Three to five days at room temperature, it's fully ripe and ready to eat. So let's eat some.

Here's a tomato recipe from the City by the Bay. The Sherman House in San Francisco is one of America's finest small hotels. Its chef, Donia Bijan, is making it famous as one of the city's best places for good food. Today, she's making a garlic pizza. Three heads of garlic are peeled, set into a saucepan, and covered with milk. About a half cup's worth. A quarter cup of honey is added, a little thyme, salt and pepper. Then the pan goes onto the heat and everything simmers for about 20 minutes. While that's cooking, thinly slice a few ripe tomatoes, roll out you favorite pie dough to a thickness of an eighth of an inch, and cut it into circles that are about four inches in diameter, or into small rounds about two inches wide.

The dough circles go onto a parchment covered baking sheet. When the garlic is cooked, turn the mixture into a bowl and crush it into a paste. Spread some of the paste onto each of the rounds of dough, and arrange the tomato slices on top of the garlic paste. A little fresh pepper, a little thyme, and into a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. When they come out, the larger rounds are served with a walnut salad as a first course, the small ones are served as appetizers.

The idea of a flat round bread goes back in history for thousands of years. As a matter of fact, the eastern Mediterranean flat breads were probably the godfather to the pizza, and made us an offer we couldn't refuse. 

That's actually what ovens looked like thousands of years ago, when they were first developed, kind of a dome shape. You put your wood in, you burn it down to coals, then you push the wood to the side, and clean off the center. The pizza, or whatever it is you're going to bake, goes onto that center stone and the heat from the coals are reflected up into the dome, and bounce down on top of the pizza that you're baking.

Americans spend over $20 billion a year on pizza. The first pizza made in the United States was probably made in the Spring Street area of New York City in 1905 by a man named Gennaro Lombardi. It's too bad he couldn't get a patent on it. Today, great pizzas are still made in the Spring Street district, but the present chefs are at the restaurant Mezzogiorno. The crust is rolled out, tomato sauce goes on, slices of onion and a generous topping of pecorino romano cheese, into the oven. 

There's an old saying: for fitness and health, breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper. And there's a sound basis for this advice. Recent scientific evidence indicates that we do a much better job of absorbing the nutrients in the food that we eat earlier in the day. It's good to be king, but only in the morning.

And it's good to be talking with Alan King who shares a personal rule about eating in restaurants.

ALAN KING: I will not eat alone. I will not eat alone. I'll stop off at a hot dog stand on a corner, you know, but I will not sit in a restaurant by myself. Because conversation and company is a very, very important part of eating and dining to me. My wife, she should be swimming upstream, because fish -- I say, why did the man just spend 20 minutes telling her we have the rosondi, the bandamini, with all the specials, and she looks and she says, "I'd like to have a piece of fish. What's fresh?” No. They don't-- they have-- what do you mean, as compared to stale? Broiled, no butter, well done. 

And I sit there, you know, like-- you know food is not funny. Weight isn't funny, you know, especially in Jewish restaurants, Romanian restaurants, Ratners on the Lower East Side, Lindy's, that whole European immigrant waiter, and they were marvelous. And you know, you used to go, Psst, oh, when you used to go, Psst, to get a waiter, and they say, "Who you pssst-ting?" You know, who are you poosing on? And the guy said, "What is this?" He said, "What did you order?" He says, "Is this going to be a riddle? What is it?" He said, "Milk." He looks at it, he says, "The milk it's cloudy." The waiter picks it up, he says, "Sure," he says, "The milk is not cloudy, the glass is dirty." So there are hundreds of those jokes about our old Jewish waiters. You didn't order. They told you what to eat. And you'd walk-- sit down, because we used to eat there four, five times a week, and he'd say, "Tonight, you're having," you know. 

BURT WOLF: The specials.

ALAN KING: Tonight you're having-- Don-- I don't want-- may I drop dead if you're not gonna eat it. He'd have a fight. Oh, they were famous for their waiters. I don't want it. You-- you-- you-- then you're not-- then don't come in here again. He wasn't an owner. He was just a waiter. "May I die," he says, "if this is not the best potato what ever was."

And so, the guy that went-- the guy that used to eat at-- at-- at the Romanian restaurant, and he'd always sit down and he'd say, "Today I will have--" And the waiter says, "Today you're gonna have herring. I gotta piece of herring," he says, "It's--" "I don't want herring," he says. "Just taste it. If you don't like it, you won't pay for it, buddy." They bring the herring, the whole trip, with the eye in the head, you know. And he couldn't stand it. "Put it away." And this went on. It was a long dinner. Every day he'd come in and the waiter would say, "You're gonna try the herring." He'd say, "I--” “Try the herring." And he'd look at that head and he couldn't stand it. 

So one day, he decides to go to Ratner's instead of Romanian, and he walks in and the waiter says, "You gotta have our herring." He says, "I don't want it." He says, "Try the herring." They bring the herring. And he looks at the herring and the eye opens up and the herring says, "I see you're not eating at the Romanian restaurant any more."

BURT WOLF: Another native New York with his share of restaurant adventures is Eli Wallach. He's a veteran of films as diverse as "The Misfits," "The Magnificent Seven," and "The Godfather, Part 3." And with a stage and screen career that's lasted over 40 years, he's dined in restaurants all over the world... The good, the bad, and the ugly. 

“When you were working in Italy, other places around the world, did you feel that there was a difference in the way people ate and the way we eat here in the United States?” 

ELI WALLACH: There's a place outside of Palermo called L'Isla della Femina, the Island of Women. And there's a restaurant called Orca, after the killer whale. There you go in and there's no menu. You sit down and you eat 16 versions of fish, all kinds, from fried sardines to calamari, to all sorts of fish. But they never tell you what you're going to get. They just bring another dish, and another dish, and another--

It used to be “join the Navy and see the world.” Now it's “join the movies and see the world,” because I've eaten in -- I've spent three months in Crete, three months in the jungle in Cambodia, in Canada, in Mexico, in Spain, Italy, France, England, all over the world I've been. And each place I'm not afraid to test the food that they -- they put down for me. Some of it is -- I don't even dare ask what it is, but it's very well done.

BURT WOLF: How's your diet changed as you got older?

ELI WALLACH: As a child I wouldn't eat spinach, the white of eggs, fish. I -- I just couldn't eat a fish, because my mother used to bring home a live fish and put it in the tub, and I'd play with the fish, then she'd hit it over the head with a bat and then ask me to eat it. And I couldn't-- I couldn't do that.

BURT WOLF: Let's say there was a genie and it promised us that we could eat anything we want, and it wouldn't affect our cholesterol level and it wouldn't affect our weight. What would you have at this fantasy meal?

ELI WALLACH: Now, as you pose the question to me, it was like I'm going to be executed in the morning, and they just give you a choice of one meal. If I had to go, I'd make it a very exotic fish dish.

BURT WOLF: And who would you invite to this meal? If you could have anybody from history or the present?

ELI WALLACH: Well, Ben Franklin would be one of them, because I -- I recently -- a couple of years ago, played Ben Franklin in a movie that John Huston directed. And Ben Franklin says, "You know, if I had my last wish, I'd like to be preserved in a keg of Madeira wine." And I'd like Ben to be with me and Tom Jefferson. There are certain people I wouldn't want with me. I love what Agnes DeMille said. She said, "As you get older, your dear friends begin to die out on you. They begin to leave. The only consolation," she said, "is that your enemies are going, too." So there are a lot of people I wouldn't have at my table.

BURT WOLF: Be on the lookout for a common problem in restaurants. Portion size. You know, when it comes to food and good health, bigger is not always better. Restaurants want you to have the feeling that you are getting your money's worth. So very often, they will give you a portion that is much bigger than you need, and want to make you an offer that you can't refuse. However, there are some techniques in self-defense. 

The registered dieticians at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center taught me a wonderful thing. It's called the palm test. It's the way to tell how big a portion of meat, fish, or poultry should be. It should be about the same size as the inside of the palm of your hand and about the same thickness. 

You put you hand over the meat, fish, or poultry, you check the size, you cut away the excess and ask the waiter to put it in a bag and take it home for another meal. Just read your palm.

For hundreds of years, the City of Venice controlled the trade between the Arab world and the Far East on one side, and Europe on the other. It sat like the mid-point in an hourglass, deciding what and how much passed through. Venice became wealthy in many ways. 

Art, architecture, culture, for centuries the city has inspired its artists, Canelletto, the great Renaissance painter, presented a regatta on the Grand Canal. Monet, The palaces. Prendergast, Umbrellas In The Rain. Venice has also done quite well inspiring its culinary artists. The cooks of Venice had regular and common access to ingredients that were considered extremely rare in almost all the other cities of Europe. Their cooking became famous and the chefs began exporting their skills.

You'll find an example of this at the Remi Restaurant in Manhattan. Its managing partner is a Venetian chef who has reproduced many of the classic dishes of his home city. Each day he makes a different risotto. Risotto is basically a mixture of rice with the addition of something else that you love. It could be a shellfish, like shrimp or small pieces of a vegetable; whatever you like, you just mix it in. Today's addition is asparagus. Francesco starts by putting a little olive oil in a sauce pan. Then two cups of rice. Stir and cook for about two minutes, then two cups of asparagus that have been cut up into half inch rounds.

Next a half cup of boiling chicken stock. Mix in the stock. At the point where the stock is almost completely absorbed by the rice, add in another half cup of boiling stock. Make sure the stock is always boiling, otherwise the rice will not be smooth. Keep stirring and adding stock until you've put in about six cups worth. Then about a quarter cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and you're ready to serve. Low-fat and packed with good complex carbohydrates. Great dish.

Another easy tip for good health is to order your restaurant meal one course at a time. That'll give you some great control over quantities. Also, what I like to do is to order an appetizer or a side dish as my main course. Those are usually much smaller portions. A perfect example of a side dish that makes a great main course is the rice pilaf at the Russian Tea Room.

The Russian Tea Room is one of New York City's landmark restaurants. It began life in 1926, when members of the Russian Imperial Ballet who had fled to America after the Revolution, founded a tea room where Russian emigres could meet. Among the specialties of the restaurant is rice pilaf.

Start by heating a little butter or oil in a saute pan. Add in two chopped onions and two cups of rice. Rice is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, and most nutritionists agree that half your daily calories should come from complex carbohydrates. Rice is also very low in calories. There are only about 80 calories to a cup of cooked rice. A little cinnamon, a few raisins, four cups of chicken stock, a couple of chopped tomatoes and some seasonings. 

The chef, Anthony Damiano, uses parsley, sage, coriander and black pepper. Bring that mixture to a simmer and let it cook uncovered for 20 minutes. This is a simple, easy, and healthful dish, which will hold well in your refrigerator, so make yourself a double recipe.

Finally, when you're dining out, it's essential to be polite. To assist you, we offer Lady Fishbourne's Complete Guide to Better Table Manners.

WOMAN: Pay close attention to this film. It will answer any questions or doubts you may have on how to behave in front of dinner guests at another person's home. 

Never be the first seated. Be certain all are present and you are at your own place setting. Repose at the table is a sign of dignity and respect. Never lounge in your chair. Sit up straight, keep your hands in your lap, and your feet on the floor. Your elbows should never wing out nor rest on the table. Of course there are a few rules that should have been learned in kindergarten. Don't try to attract attention by waving your cutlery in the air. Don't tap against glasses or plates, nor play with the salt and pepper shakers. Only the ill-bred provincial tucks his napkin into the top of his jacket. And talking when your mouth is full of food nauseates your neighbors.

Never reach out to get something at the table. Simply ask for it politely and it will be passed to you. Do not blow briskly on your food to cool it. It is an insult to your hostess, if you closely examine your food before eating it. And it is considered bold effrontery to refuse a dish that is offered to you. So is pushing your plate away after tasting the food. 

If you taste your food and discover that you do not like it, do not spit it out onto your fork or remove it with a napkin. When a morsel of food by an act of carelessness or stupidity is sent flying to the floor, it should be left for the servants to pick up. If you find something distasteful in your food, do not upset your fellow dinner guests by drawing attention to it. Handling it with due discretion is far more tactful. If you are so nauseated that you feel you must leave the room, do so immediately. Although today we can overlook many etiquette blunders without batting an eyelash, this does not hold true for bone picking. It is hard to believe but there are still people to be found, publicly gnawing large greasy bones, brandishing sticky chops and virtually attacking oversized drum sticks without the use of silverware. 

This sort of conduct is strictly a barbarian practice. Accidents happen at the table. And should one happen to you, be as calm and discreet as possible. The hostess should smile graciously and a new topic of conversation should be introduced immediately. You should not be too apologetic. An appealing glance, saying --

MAN: A thousand pardons. I was most revolting.

WOMAN: -- should suffice. We hope you have enjoyed our informal little lecture on basic table manners. And we know (SLURP) will result in a happier, more fulfilling life.

BURT WOLF: That's Eating Well In Restaurants. Please join us next time as we travel around the world, looking for foods that taste good and make it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: Cincinnati - #123

BURT WOLF: Cincinnati, the city that's famous for its chili. We'll find out why, and discover a technique for getting some of the calories out of that chili. We'll visit a famous German restaurant and get their recipe for sauerbraten. We'll find out why Cincinnati became known as Porkopolis. Take a look at the world's sexiest zoo and get a health tip from the lowland gorillas. Join me, Burt Wolf Eating Well, in Cincinnati.

BURT WOLF: In 1788, a European settlement was established on the banks of the Ohio River. The location was ideal. The land was broad and flat, the hills surrounding it were not too rugged, and its position on the Ohio, directly between the Great Miami and the Little Miami Rivers, made it a natural for the control of river traffic and commerce. The founding fathers named it Losanteville. During the next year, 1789, Fort Washington was built within the settlement. On an inspection tour, the governor of the Northwest Territory announced that he hated the name Losanteville, and instead was going to name it after a favorite Revolutionary War officers' club called the Society of Cincinnatus. Since no one was going to argue with the governor of the Northwest territory, Losanteville became Cincinnati. At the time, around the beginning of the nineteenth century, everyone expected Cincinnati to become the most important and prosperous city in the United States. The Ohio River, which had become the main artery through the western interior, brought more and more traffic and cargo directly to Cincinnati's shores. People would arrive by flatboat, which was fine, as long as you didn't have to go up-stream... keel boat, where the extremely hardy crew would use long poles to push the boat against the current... and by 1811, the first steam boats, which were bringing various manufactured goods and harvests up and down the mighty Ohio. Cincinnati kept growing. In the early 1800's, there was tremendous competition between similar cities to see who could make the greatest progress and have the biggest advantage over the others. In a sort of huge-scale version of “Can You Top This,” Cincinnati encouraged a boom in construction, industry and public works projects to keep the young city expanding more ambitiously than say, Pittsburgh or Louisville. 

And expand it did. Cincinnati became the fastest-growing city in America, and between 1840 and 1850, the population grew an incredible 250 percent. No wonder it became known as Queen of the West. To this day, it's still nicknamed the Queen City. 

The speed of the city's growth, however, slowed down dramatically when it failed to embrace the expanding railroad networks. That shifted the midwest center of commerce westward to Chicago. And so the city turned inward, focusing on improving the quality of life for its residents and visitors. If Cincinnati could no longer be the epicenter of trade, then perhaps it could be the Paris of America. The Cincinnati Music Hall became a symbol of that shift, from the commercial to the social. And ever since, Cincinnati has worked overtime to become one of the most livable cities in America. 

Today, Cincinnati has a collection of some of the finest museums in the world. There's a strong emphasis on art, science, and history, but they also have the College Football Hall of Fame. The city has a nice sense of balance. Their world-class ballet and opera companies, a famous symphony orchestra, riverboat cruises. The train terminal is an Art Deco landmark. And the Roebling Suspension Bridge is a prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. They have the Cincinnati Reds and the Bengals. And a fabulous zoo. 

The Cincinnati Zoo is known as the world's sexiest zoo -- strange, but true. And it got the title because of its incredible success rate with the birth white Bengal tigers and lowland gorillas. When you look around the zoo and you see how beautiful it is, with its flowers and song birds, and waterfalls, anything would fall in love. From my point of view, however, the way to a person's heart is through their stomach. 

The great French philosopher Brilliarte Savarin once said, "Tell me what you eat and I'll tell you who you are." When it comes to a city, you could make a slight change in that and say, "Tell me what the people in the city are eating and I'll tell you the city's history. And when it comes to Cincinnati, that is definitely true.

Cincinnati was a center of German culture, and a German approach to eating and drinking can still be found. Cincinnati tries to preserve its past. The people of this city have restored many of their buildings and turned them into valuable assets for the community. An example is The Phoenix. Originally built in 1893, its 50,000 square feet, stained glass windows, and white marble staircase make it one of the most dramatic structures in the city. Today it has been restored as a major meeting and convention facility with a restaurant that has been chosen as one of the best new dining spots in the country. And when you're talking about food in Cincinnati, the subject quickly turns to chili. 

Since the 1920s, this city has been consumed with an interest in producing in producing an unusual variety of the dish. There are well over a hundred chili restaurants in the area. They're also very interested in barbecue. The Montgomery Inn actually air-expresses their ribs all over the country. For decades Findley Market has been a gathering point for Cincinnati's good cooks.

When it comes time for a sweet, everyone heads for Graeter’s. Graeter’s is a local family- owned ice cream company that has become a Cincinnati institution. And it's well-named. In a comparative tasting of ice creams, it really did taste greater. And lovers of classic French food have frequented the elegant Maisonnette for generations. 

Cincinnati's earliest settlers came from many different places. But the majority were people who had been born in the one of the original 13 States of either Scottish or English ancestry. But from 1830 to 1840, most of the new arrivals came from Germany. They soon represented 30 percent of Cincinnati's population. They were so much a part of the city that the government published its ordinances in German as well as English. 

In Cincinnati, as in most 19th Century American cities, if you were rich or powerful or important, you lived downtown, in the center of the area. If you were a new arrival of less importance, you lived at the edge of town. Most citizens of German ancestry lived in a district that they made so Germanic that, eventually it became known as Over-the-Rhine. Rhine, as in Rhine River. 

The area still has a series of shops that deal in the specialties of German cuisine. It's been the constant arrival of new nationalities who, to a great extent, have held onto their gastronomic traditions that give our country the widest selection of good food in the world. 

In the heart of the Over-the-Rhine district sits Grammer's Restaurant. Established in 1872, it's been in continuous operation ever since. It was originally opened by a German baker. It quickly established a reputation for really good food, and became the home of the German Bakers' Singing Society. Now, don't laugh. The German Bakers' Singing Society was very important, and if they ate in your restaurant, you had it made. So Grammer's was the spot for important political meetings, and the hangout for famous musicians and athletes. 

Under the direction of the present owner, Jim Tarbell, Grammers is better than ever, and still has a culinary core of great German dishes. Example: sauerbraten with spaetzle. A brisket round or rump gets tied and put into a marinade made up of vinegar, juices, chopped vegetables and spices. The meat sits there for four days in the refrigerator. When it comes out, the meat is browned on all sides with some carrots, onions, celery, spices, and tomato paste. The marinade is poured back on. Some stock is added, the pot's covered, everything simmers in the oven for three hours. Then the meat is removed, some crushed ginger snaps are added to the cooking juices, which is left to cook down until thick. Then the meat's sliced and served with the strained marinade.

When most people think about things that are made in Germany, they start thinking about quality and a high technical skill. Now you'd expect that with cars and cameras; what about wine-making? In most countries, wine-making is a rather unstructured art form. But not so in Germany. The Germans have combined this ancient art form with the most advanced scientific and technological skills. 

Dr. Franz Mischel, co-director of the German Wine Institute. “Tell me about the quality control in the vineyard.”

DR. FRANZ MISCHEL: Well, you see, it starts already in the vineyard, the soil and the climate must be suitable. So we are not allowed to plant everywhere in vineyard, only on the best places. 

Secondly, we cannot plant any grape variety, only the real ones here, the Reisling or the Spaetelgunder. More, we cannot pick our grapes at any time. Only if they are fully matured and the government gives the date, the first date, not before that, we are allowed. 

And then during picking, there is a very exact quality grading control, whether the grapes are mature enough to -- to meet the requirements for a Cabernet or Spaetleser, or an Ausleser. 

BURT WOLF: That's what you call a quality control system. I'd like to have something like that for everything we eat or drink. 

This is the vine growing district of Germany. It's filled with a series of beautiful villages that line the banks of the rivers. And it's become world-famous for its low-alcohol, late harvest wines. It's also become famous for its democratic approach to rating wine. In almost any other country, if you have a famous piece of land, then you get a very high quality designation for your wine, no matter how good or bad that wine is. Not so in Germany. The German government has set up the most democratic wine system in the world. 

They don't care what you were in the past, and they don't care what you're going to be in the future. This is the land of what's in the glass now. Each year, the wine makers must submit samples of their wine to a government tasting panel. The tasters don't know whose wine they're tasting. They just rate the quality in the glass. Then the government notifies the wine maker of his standing, and it's marked on the label with the and a number. Yesterday they told you you would not go far; today on your winery, they hang a star. In the world of German wines, you're as good as your last glass. 

Germany produces some of the world's finest wines: light, low in alcohol, and delicate. They're made in a part of the world that looks like the original Magic Kingdom. And the wines from these estates have some rather magic qualities of their own. They've actually been able to produce a white wine that goes perfectly with meat, fish, or poultry.

When the average American is confronted with a German wine label, it's like being put in front of a maze. You know where you want to go; you just don't know how to get there. Well, here's how to read a German wine label. This is the name of the producer; this is his family crest, which is a classy thing to have; this is the year; the town; the vineyard; the degree of ripeness of the grape; the kind of grape; a government guarantee of quality with a number. This means that it all happened at the vineyard, and this is the region it happened in. 

Now that's an enormous amount of information to have on a label, but it's all quite valuable. You end up knowing exactly what is in the bottle.

This is Schloss Johannesburg in Germany's Rhinegar region. It's famous among wine authorities for its special late harvest wines, late harvest wines with a very rich and intense flavor. It's quite natural, when you think about it. The longer a grape stays on the vine, the more time nature has to do its job. Actually the whole idea of a late harvest wine came about as a result of an accident that took place right here in the 1700s. In those days, the vineyards of Germany belonged to the church. The local bishop had to give his official permission before each year's harvest could begin. One year a messenger was sent from the vineyard to the church to get permission to begin the harvest. The trip, which should only have taken a couple of days, ended up taking a couple of weeks. 

Story has it that the messenger ran into a lady friend, and one thing led to another, and before you knew it, two weeks had zipped by. You know how it is when you're having fun. When he finally got back to the vineyard, everybody thought that the harvest was too late, the grapes were over-ripe and that it was going to be ruined. But they thought, well, why not; we'll pick them anyway. 

They did, and the grapes produced a fabulous wine. It has a unique balance with a refreshing flavor of ripe fruit. What a wonderful and romantic idea. A toast to the lady of the late harvest. Wine lovers will always remember you.

This is the Cloister Abrebach, a monastery that was built during the 12th Century. Wild vines have always grown in this neighborhood, but the actual varieties that produce the great German wines of today were planted in about the year 100 by the Romans who had conquered this territory.

In the Middle Ages, wine making moved into the monasteries, and the monks turned out to be fabulous wine makers. they had a kind of a scientific approach to it and they produced some excellent wines. I guess that's why whenever you see drawings of the monks from the period, they're always smiling. Wine-making remained in the monasteries until the early 1800s, when Napoleon came to this area. And he took his hand out of his jacket long enough to pick up a glass of the local wine, decided that it was so good, that the right to make wine had to go back to the people. And so, since 1803, they've been making fabulous wine here. 

But wine is not the only delicious export that comes from Germany. In 1889, Herman Bahlssen started the Bahlssen Bakery in Hanover, Germany. Today it's the largest cookie maker in Germany, and makes some of the most fabulous cookies.

Bahlssen’s approach was to use the most advanced technological systems of the time. But he kept in the hand processes that insured a high standard of quality. Today, things are pretty much the same. Technology for the 21st Century, right next to the hands-on baker.

From the beginning, Bahlssen used artists to design his packaging, turning Bahlssen cookie boxes into works of art. This place is a cookie-lover's heaven. And it's really quite amazing to see the way the cookies are made. My favorite is a little chocolate and wafer number called a choco-star. It starts out on this amazing machine. It's actually a giant metal wheel. Wafer batter is dripped on the outside, and flame heat does the cooking from the inside. This continuous sheet of freshly-baked wafer keeps coming off the end of the roller. Wafers are cut into smaller sheets and move across the bakery on equipment that looks like it just came out of the Star Wars set. When the wafers get to their proper orbit, a layer of rich chocolate is spread on. A second sheet of wafer joins up to make a chocolate wafer sandwich. The sheets are then sliced into individual cookies. But that's not all. More chocolate. A little solid, rectangular block is molded and set on top of the chocolate wafer sandwich. The inspectors make sure that each cookie is perfect. Is she smiling because she gets to eat the ones she pulls out? Can I have her job when she goes on lunch break? Will I ever be able to stop eating these cookies and get back to Cincinnati? 

The years between 1830 and 1840 were years where life in Cincinnati was strongly influenced by the German community. It was also a time of great industrial growth, and the industry most responsible for this period of development was pork packing. From its earliest days, Cincinnati was surrounded with rich agricultural land that was put to good use. Just about every farmer raised a few hogs. After all, hogs were easy. Let them roam around in the forest nearby and they pretty much took care of themselves. And in the 1820s, farmers around Cincinnati began to grow more corn. They fed the corn to the hogs and quickly noticed that the hogs grew faster, fatter, produced a better quality meat and produced more profits. So they raised more hogs.

By 1835, Cincinnati was the pork processing capital of the United States and was actually known as Porkopolis. Over the years, however, pork consumption declined. Its high fat content was in conflict with the new desire for a low-fat diet. As a result, pork producers reduced the fat. Since 1983, pork has been on a low-fat diet. It has been able to lose, on average 31 per cent of its fat, and 17 per cent of its calories. As a matter of fact, a piece of lean-cut pork loin has about the same number of calories and the same amount of fat as a piece of chicken breast with the skin off, which is quite amazing. The leanest cuts of pork are pork tenderloin, loin chops, and center cut ham. Now if hogs can go on a low-fat diet, and be successful, I would think humans could, too.

In 1845, Cincinnati was the most important pork packing city in the world. Its sheer size led to the growth of industries associated with pork. When pork fat, called lard, is produced, there are two by-products. One is used to manufacture candles, the other to fabricate soap. 

in 1837, there were two men married to sisters. One produced candles and the other produced soap. And so they were always competing with each other to get the pork fat that they needed to make their products. They were a constant source of aggravation to each other. Then one day, the father-in-law said, "Hey, guys, get a grip on yourself. Join together in one company and stop all of these problems." And so they did. One man was named Proctor; and the other man Gamble. And as of April 2nd, 1837, they were a team. About 50 years later, Gamble's son, who was a trained chemist, came up with a wonderful formula for a new soap, very pure, very inexpensive. But he didn't have a good name for it. A couple of weeks later, Proctor's son was sitting in church, listening to a psalm about the purity of ivory palaces, and he suddenly realized that the right name for this soap was Ivory. Ninety-nine and forty-four one-hundredths per cent pure. 

And speaking of pure palaces, the Cincinnati Empress Burlesque House and Moving Picture Theater was a great “cultural” attraction during the 1920s and '30s. If you look closely at this old photo, down in the right-hand corner, you will see a sign for a chili restaurant next to the theater. And that's where the Cincinnati chili craze got started. The old Empress Theater is gone but the city's affection for chili lives on, particularly in the Skyline Chili Restaurants. 

From the beginning, the basic approach has been the same. A thick ground beef and tomato sauce is cooked and called chili. But it's served in very unorthodox ways. A plain bowl of chili is called Cincinnati chili One Way. Two Way is served over spaghetti. Three-Way over spaghetti with a topping of cheese. Four-Way adds chopped onions. Five-Way is all of the above plus beans. And Coneys are hot dogs smothered with chili, onions, cheese, and oyster crackers.

Show business folks traveling on the burlesque circuit spread the word that when you got to Cincinnati, you had to taste the local chili. Chili became so much a part of this town, that when there was a local robbery, and the police circulated a photograph of the robber, he was instantly spotted by a waitress in a chili restaurant. He'd been in to eat before the robbery and he had to have the five ways of chili explained to him. Obviously, no local bandit.

The Skyline chili recipe is a family secret. The three owners won't even fly together. But to give us a reasonable facsimile, with a low-fat, twist, I've asked Cincinnati chef Anita Cunningham to show us her version. 

A little vegetable oil goes into a big pan and then three pounds of very lean beef. That gets browned throughout. Then Anita reduces the fat content by putting the meat into a strainer to let some of the fat drain out. It's a good technique for most ground beef recipes. After the meat has been browned, put it into a colander for a few minutes and press out the excess fat. Fewer calories from fat, healthier recipes. 

While the meat's draining, a chopped onion goes into the pan. A minced clove of garlic. And a tablespoon of chili powder. The meat goes back in and six cups of tomato juice, a little Worcestershire sauce and a few hits of tabasco. Finally Anita mixes in an eighth of a teaspoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of allspice, really unusual seasonings. They're only found in Cincinnati chili and they give the dish a distinct taste. 

The Cincinnatian Hotel was constructed in 1882. The structure is of such architectural importance that it has been placed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings. The original marble and walnut staircase gives you an idea of what life was like in the days before income tax. For its 105th birthday, it received a complete renovation. They spent over $23 million on the job. There's a fabulous atrium that runs down through the center of the building, and many of the rooms have balconies that look out on the area. 

You know, I wouldn't mind a complete renovation for my 105th birthday, either. Only problem is, I don't think $23 million is going to do the job. You're looking at a lot of work here.

Today, the Cincinnatian is considered by critical guide books to be the hotel in Cincinnati with the best rooms, the best service, and the best food. The Cincinnatian has always given me the feeling that the ultimate fairy godmother was looking into every detail that would make a guest comfortable, which is almost the truth. The Cincinnatian is run by a group of extraordinarily talented ladies. Denise Vandersol is the general manager, Ann Keeling is the director of marketing, and Anita Cunningham is the executive chef. 

For many centuries in both Europe and the United States, the word “chef” brought to mind a picture of a man who was as wide as he was tall. If he didn't look like his own biggest customer, his talent was in question. Fortunately, things are changing. Today many of the most talented American chefs are young women who are as interested in good health as in good taste. Anita Cunningham has been the executive chef here at the Cincinnatian Hotel since 1988, and she's a perfect example of what I mean. 

She takes pork, the Cincinnati classic, and prepares a low-fat, high-taste recipe for grilled pork loin. Anita starts by making a marinade, mustard, light soy sauce, chopped garlic, chopped ginger and vegetable oil get whisked together. The pork loin is sliced into medallions about one-inch thick and covered with the marinade.

ANITA CUNNINGHAM: And then you're going to marinate it for about four to six hours, and you're going to cover it tightly and put it in the refrigerator. 

BURT WOLF: Then the pork goes onto the grill or under a broiler until it's fully cooked. While that's cooking, a hot salad is prepared. Sesame oil goes into a non-stick pan, then sliced onions, strips of red pepper, mushrooms, garlic, shallots, spinach, and a mustard, oil, and soy sauce dressing. Heated, tossed onto a plate, and the grilled pork, and you're set.

Another example of Anita's approach to cooking is her heart-healthy fish. A little canola oil goes into a non-stick pan, then boneless, skinless fish filets. They cook for about three minutes on each side. And onto the serving plate. Anita has two little mounds of couscous on the plate. Couscous is a cracked wheat grain which is very popular in North Africa. But you can use rice, just as good. And back into the original pan: some cut-up lobster meat, chopped tomato, mushrooms, basil, parsley, tarragon, chopped spinach, lemon juice and a splash of chicken stock. As soon as the spinach is wilted, everything goes onto the fish, and it's ready to serve. Low in fat, nice variety of vegetables, low sodium soy sauce, just to play safe with your salt intake, and lots of protein.

So what have we learned here in Cincinnati about good food and good health? Well, from the lowland gorillas we've learned not to eat the snacks that people throw at you. A good piece of advice for all of us. 

Snacks are a perfectly acceptable part of a balanced diet. Just make sure they're part of your plan. Letting a piece of low-fat beef marinate in a liquid with a strongly acidic base, the kind you find in vinegar, will make the meat more tender and more digestible. Pork producers have been able to reduce the fat content of pork by an average of 31 per cent. Pork tenderloin is almost as low in fat as skinless chicken breast. You can reduce the fat, cholesterol, and calorie content of your favorite ground beef recipes by letting the meat drain in a strainer after it's been browned. And finally, when it comes to fats in oils, it's a good idea to follow along with Cincinnati's history. Give up most of the animal fat, Move to vegetable oils and unsaturated oils like canola, whenever possible. 

That's Eating Well in Cincinnati. Please join us next time as we travel around the world, looking for foods that taste good and make it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: To Reduce Blood Pressure - #122

BURT WOLF: What you eat can have a great effect on your overall health. For me, changing my diet helped me control my blood pressure. I'll show you how that worked. We'll also travel to Idaho and discover why Idaho potatoes are so famous, and get some potassium-packed Idaho potato recipes. Then we'll join the Navy to see how they use food to stay fit. So join me, Burt Wolf Eating Well, To Reduce Blood Pressure. 

One of the biggest medical problems in America is high blood pressure or hypertension. The underlying cause of disease for over six thousand men and women in our country and there is no warning. Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood as it zips through the sixty thousand miles of piping in our body. When your blood pressure is normal for your age, no problem. When it is high for your age, you could be in for heart disease. The New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center in New York City is world- famous in the fight against high blood pressure. The center was created and is directed by Dr. John Laragh. 

JOHN LARAGH: The problem is, hyper- tension has built into its biology the fact that you can't feel your blood pressure, no one can feel it, although I've had many patients claim they could. I always snicker when they tell me that because invariably they'll say what is it today, it's up Doc? And I take it, and it isn't. They can't feel it. So the only... hypertension as a disease has been appropriately called many times, the “silent killer.” Because for the first fifteen or twenty years of the average case of high blood pressure, the patient notices nothing. 

BURT WOLF: The way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have your doctor check it. It's very easy test, it doesn't hurt and it could save your life. A cuff gets put around your arm, air is puffed into the cuff to tighten it. And a reading is taken of your pressure as the cuff is loosened. The single most important point I can make about blood pressure is to know your numbers. Get your blood pressure taken as soon as taken and if you've got a problem fix it. 

A few years ago my doctor discovered that I had high blood pressure and he put me on medications. I had to take one of these little pills every morning and every evening. I didn't notice any side effects and it did control of blood pressure but I was worried about the idea of being on medication for the rest of my life. I'd seen a lot of scientific research that what I ate, or what I didn't eat could affect my pressure. And I wanted to work with my doctor to see what I could do with my diet to keep my blood pressure normal. It appears there are a number of things I can really do that will help.

First of all, find out what your blood pressure is. Then get to your proper weight. Eat a diet that is generally low in sodium. Avoid alcoholic beverages. And eat more of the foods that are rich in potassium and magnesium. That's all real easy stuff and I'll show you how to do it. More than half the people with high blood pressure are also overweight. So I could make a major contribution to controlling my blood pressure with my fork, by not putting it in my mouth so often. Ah, if it were only that easy. Try to lose a pound a week until you get to your proper weight. Even a loss of five or seven pounds can have a drastic impact on reducing or controlling your blood pressure. Next you want to reduce the sodium content of your diet. Sodium is the part of salt that gives salt its salty taste. It's a mineral, it's an essential part of our body chemistry. Our bodies wouldn't function without sodium. It's always been a big deal. Sodium and salt have been essential for the preservation of our food supply in the period before we had refrigeration. 

The ancient Romans used salt as a form of payment of their soldiers. It's where the word “salary” came from. If a man didn't do a good job, hey, he wasn't worth his salt. In Leonardo DiVinci's painting of The Last Supper, Judas is shown with an overturned salt dish in front of him, an evil omen even then. For some people the amount of sodium in their diet is no big deal one way or the other. If there's an excess amount, they just pass it through their kidneys. For other people, excess sodium in their diet leads to high blood pressure. And those people must move to a diet lower in sodium. Many doctors think a low- sodium diet is good for everybody, especially as we get older. For many people, lowering their intake of salt or sodium can go a long way towards lowering their blood pressure. You know, you're not born with your love of salt, you learn it. So you can unlearn it. 

A great salt substitute in terms of flavor that seems to come with almost every dish is fresh parsley. It helps you digest your food and it's Mother Nature’s breath freshener. Parsley contains so many valuable nutrients that it is often the most healthful food on the plate. Since seventy-five percent of the sodium we take in comes from highly processed foods, be sure to read the labels carefully. Salt comes in many different forms. Be on the look out for ingredients like salt, baking soda, baking powder, disodium solphate, monosodium glutamate, sodium nitrate, sodium sulphate, buillion and soy sauce. What you're watching out for is the word sodium in any form. Alcoholic beverages are a total waste of calories and they appear to increase blood pressure too. An excellent substitute is orange juice. It's rich in potassium, which can help control blood pressure. 

You'll also find plenty of potassium in potatoes, and when you talk about potatoes it's essential to talk about Idaho. (MUSIC) The geological history of Idaho has given it some fascinating surface features. Idaho has more than two hundred mountains that go up over eight thousand feet. Ancient glacier ice formed lakes and seas which deposited valuable layers of sediment in the soil. River systems carved a web of canyons including North America's deepest gorge, and lava flow covered most of the state's surface. Interesting information if you're a geologist or a tourist, but what is all of this geography got to do with cooking? Well, if you love potatoes, just about everything. In 1860 gold was discovered in Northern Idaho and prospectors from all over the world rushed in to the territory. They found gold, but they also found silver and a dazzling variety of precious and semi-precious gems. The volume and assortment were so enormous that very soon Idaho became known as “The Gem State.” These valuable minerals are actually the result of the unique geological history of the area. There were glaciers, enormous pressures that pushed up mountains, volcanos and incredible changes in climate. One of the results was a truly unique soil, very heavy in volcanic ash and other valuable minerals. Eventually, the soil produced its own gastronomic gem, the Idaho potato. With a fluffy and meaty texture, high in solids and low in moisture, the Idaho Russet is a gold mine of nutrients. On April 14th 1860, the first permanent settlement was established in a territory which eventually became the state of Idaho. The hardy farmers who came in here were Mormons who had pushed north from Utah. Today, Idaho is one of our most important farm states, and its most famous product is the Idaho potato. Most of the farmers here in Idaho who plant potatoes, plant a special variety known as Russet Burbank. They're named after Luther Burbank, who was an amazing character who spent his life experimenting with plants. And he was the first one to develop this unusual potato.

The Idaho Russett Burbank potato is ideal for baking. And because of its shape, it's ideal for a unique use. It makes an excellent outer wrapping for other foods. For example, take a Russett Burbank peeled, but raw. Cut it into very thin slices; do it lengthwise so you get the biggest surface possible. Set the potato slices on a flat surface, edge to edge. And take a piece of boneless, skinless fish and set it in the center on top of the potatoes. Fold up the potato slices until you have a neatly wrapped package. Then saute the package in a little vegetable oil, for about six minutes on each side. Talk about a great stuffed potato.

Scientific researchers tell us that primitive man may have been in Idaho for the past fifteen thousand years. Ancient campsites indicate the tribes of Nomadic hunters entered what is now the state of Idaho as they followed herds of animals at the end of the last Ice Age. I'm only a little over fifty years old myself, so I can't give you much first-hand information about what did or did not happen around here thirteen thousand years ago. But I can tell you from direct personal research that today Idaho is populated by tribes of potato farmers who are anything but primitive about their approach to raising Idaho potatoes. When it comes to people who have down-to-earth potato knowledge, Idaho is the world epicenter. So far today, I've learned that when these potatoes bake, their complex carbohydrate starch grains absorb the water inside the potato. Each potato swells up, separates and makes the baked potato light and fluffy. And that's just the beginning of today's science lesson. 

They program information on irrigation into their computer system to make sure that their tubers get just the right around of moisture. They track rainfall, they track timetables for planting and digging and fertilizing. Technicians test the soil on each farm at least once each week to determine the plants’ nutritional needs. They feed the data into their computers, which in turn print out a detailed plan for each farmer. My favorite computer is the one that stores the Idaho potato recipes. More potato recipes than any area its size on the surface of the entire plant. Idaho's unofficial state slogan is “This Spud's For You.” 

The Chef at Duck's American Bar and Grill in Boise showed me five of his favorite potato recipes during the first five minutes of our meeting. He offered to show me his top fifty. But I thought his layered potatoes and vegetables would be enough for now. Two partially cooked Idaho potatoes are thinly sliced and layered into a heat-proof baking pan. Whenever you're slicing a potato or any other food you want to hold it with the tips of your fingers turned in. The knife blade should be able to go against the front of your finger and not hit the tips. Very important. You might want to use the tips of your fingers again later in your life. Then strips or slices of eggplant that have been grilled or sauteed. Some basil, disks of goat cheese, dried tomatoes, a little more basil and few capers. By the way, most of the time, the smaller the caper the better the taste. The pan goes into a 350 degree oven for thirty-five minutes. Slide a serving onto a plate and you are ready to serve an excellent vegetable dish. It's an interesting recipe. It's like lasagne, but we've used potatoes to layer it instead of pasta. One of the things I like to do with an Idaho potato is cook it in two parts. On day one I bake the Idaho potato the way you normally would and then use the inside to make old-fashioned mashed potatoes. After the potatoes are baked, slice them in half and scoop out the center, that's called the meat of the potato. When you're scooping out a potato, don't scoop too close to the skin or it will collapse. Leave yourself a nice wall of internal potato. Break up the potato with a whisk and blend a little skim milk, a little plain low-fat yogurt and a little pepper. Served with a little salsa on the side, hot stuff. I serve the mashed potatoes on day one and what I have left are potato skins. I take the skins and I freeze them waiting for day two, which could be the next day or any day thereafter. And I take them out on my second day and I deep fry them or I barbeque them right over the grill, using an interesting wood like mesquite for flavor. Or I bake them a second time until they're crispy and I serve them with an interesting dipping sauce. Grilled potato skins taste good and they’re good for you too. Served with the dipping sauce on the side, they make a great easy appetizer. Lovers of good food have often agreed that in cooking as in most arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection. Roasting poultry is simple but to do it perfectly is an art. Same thing for grilling a piece of fish. Simple technique, but a work of art when done to perfection. Recently I was given a great example of the simplicity theory in action. Barbara Walters is the wife of one of Idaho's leading potato growers, Warren Walters. Barbara showed me her potato recipe for lemony Idaho potato salad, perfectly simple. A quarter cup of olive oil goes into a mixing bowl, then the juice and zest of one lemon. Two teaspoons of dried oregano. When you're using a dried herb, it's a good idea to break it up in your hands, before you break it up in your recipe. That will crack the cell walls and the essence of the herb will come to the surface; you'll get much more flavor. Ground black pepper and finally two pounds of boiled potatoes, cut into bite- size pieces. Whenever I use a potato in a recipe, I try to use the skin. I like the color and the crunch and the texture, but most important many of the valuable nutrients in a potato are in the skin or in the meat right under the skin and I don't want to lose them. 

The big payoff is that potatoes are rich in a mineral called potassium and researchers are beginning to see that potassium may help control blood pressure. Other top potassium foods are raisins, orange juice, bananas, apricots, skim milk, buttermilk and haddock. Another great source of potassium are beans, especially Navy beans. So let's go to sea with the U.S. Navy and see what they're cooking. 

In 1845 Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft founded the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, on the site of an old army post called Fort Severn. At the time, the U.S. Navy was made up of wooden sailing vessels but it needed to make a transformation to a fleet of steam-driven, iron-hulled warships. The Academy was the place where officers were trained for the new Navy. It was a highly technical Navy and the students were taught engineering, math, physics and chemistry. And that scientific tradition continues today. The Naval Academy has produced the largest number of astronauts than any institution. And what an amazing institution it is. Many of the buildings and monuments represent the highlights of naval history. The actual campus has been designated as a national tourist attraction, with much of the area open to visitors from 0900 to sunset. Bancroft Hall is the world's largest dormitory building. All 4,500 midshipmen, male and female, live on its thirty three acres of interior space. Well, I'm impressed. They live by their code of honor. They're smart a bunch of young people as I've ever seen, and when it comes to physical fitness, look out, sports fans. 

(SOUND OF MARCHING BAND)

All that exercise leads to some big appetites, which the Academy's kitchen is equipped to handle. These days the milk is low-fat and the potato skins are left on for their valuable nutrients. At each meal almost five thousand people sit down to eat. And the system is so well structured that everyone gets served within three minutes. (CHEERS) Meals are a time not only for dining, but for impressing the senior classmen with your newly acquired knowledge.

(OVERLAPPING CONVERSATIONS)

BURT WOLF: And rising to any occasion that presents itself.

(CHEERS)

BURT WOLF: A wave of enthusiasm, quite suitable for the Navy. Quantity has always been an objective for the food service personnel here. But in recent years there's been an ever-increasing interest in the nutritional quality of the meals. Members of the American Dietetic Association now serve in the Navy and help develop the basic menus with an eye toward the relationship between good food and good health, with a good sense of humor too.

LT. LAURIE CUTLIP: There are two nutritionists, registered dieticians and they were accidentally killed. They both ended up at heaven at the same time and they saw the streets paved in gold and the pearly gates and the one dietician said to the other, you know we could have been here sooner if it hadn't been for oat bran. (LAUGHTER) 

BURT WOLF: What's actually happening here at the Academy in terms of nutrition?

LT. LAURIE CUTLIP: Well, we've made several changes and I think we'll see several changes in the future. Specifically we've changed our frying method, when foods are fried, they're fried in polyunsaturated fats now, versus the lard that was used in the past. And we've also incorporated more whole-grain breads and cereals to give the midshipmen healthier choices.

BURT WOLF: What do you tell midshipmen about good food and good health?

LT. LAURIE CUTLIP: I try to educate them if they're having hamburgers to skip the extra cheese that's available to put on top, to choose mustard instead of mayonnaise. Helping them to cut down on the fat and the calories. 

BURT WOLF: Do you find they're responsive to that information?

LT. LAURIE CUTLIP: They're very responsive. Many times they don't really realize that small changes can make a big difference. If they forego one pat of margarine a day in a year, they'll have lost five pounds. It's... if you're overweight, you've been overweight for a long time, make the effort, don't look for a quick cure. Do it slowly, take it off and keep it off.

BURT WOLF: No doubt about it. Today's Navy is taking a greater and greater interest in nutrition. (HORN SOUND) But there were naval heroes who very early on understood the relationship between good food and good seamanship. During the War of 1812, Captain Lawrence said, “never give up the shrimp,” telling his men how important it was to get their protein from low-fat foods. And then there was Commander Perry, who said, “I have met the enemy and it is saturated fat.” Boy, we've all come to find out how true that is. And perhaps most important of all, John Paul Jones who said, “I have not yet begun to diet,” telling all of us that diet is not a short term battle but a lifestyle. 

(SOUNDS OF BIRDS)

At the very heart of the United States Naval Academy is a commitment to discipline, precision and self-control. (SOUNDS OF MARCHING) Discipline, precision and self-control, the same elements that are at the core of eating properly.

MAN: Sir, United States Navael Academy Silent Drill Team, requests permission to reduce saturated fat, Sir. 

SECOND MAN: Reduce saturated fat.

BURT WOLF: Now that's an order we can carry out with the fleet. Come right to tortellini with Navy bean sauce. (BOSUN’S WHISTLE) Commence cooking! Vector in two tablespoons heated vegetable oil! One cup finely chopped onion, one tablespoon finely chopped garlic! Hold steady thirty seconds! “Aye-aye, sir.” One cup chopped tomato! Two tablespoons tomato paste! Closing! Launch one-half pound of Navy beans that have been soaked in water from 0000 to 0800 hours! Minimum soak time, eight hours! In: seven cups chicken broth! Hold for conformation! “Aye-aye, sir!” Proceed with pepper! Caution with salt! Simmer, uncovered, one and one half hours!1 Puree in blender! BLEND! BLEND! BLEND! (A-UH-GA!) Put onto precooked vegetable tortellini! CLOSER! CLOSER! Top with chopped basil! CLOSER! CLOSER! SERVE! The beans, combined with the pasta, result in a high-impact nutritional package capable of delivering an almost perfect gastronomic punch. On target for high taste, low-fat and fully charged with complex carbohydrates. A modern approach to defending our nation against the evil forces of improper diet. 

MAN: Officer of the deck, I have an unidentified frying object, bearing zero-nine-zero at two thousand yards. 

OFFICER: Unidentified frying object zero-nine-zero, two thousand yards aye. Helmsman, alter course! Increase complex carbohydrates.

HELMSMAN: Increase complex carbohydrates, aye. 

OFFICER: Lead helmsman, reduce saturated fat, by two-thirds.

LEAD HELMSMAN: Reduce saturated fats by two-thirds, aye.

(BELL RINGS)

OFFICER: Very well.

BURT WOLF: Now if we can just get a fix on increasing our fiber, we could be in ship-shape. But staying in ship-shape is not just diet. At least half the battle is fought with exercise. Exercise that must be carried out by our naval officers even while they are under the stress of duty at sea. The job of designing the fleet’s exercise program is one of the responsibilities of Phil Emery, and his techniques work as well for civilians.

PHIL EMERY: You know the most basic thing that people have always done to keep in shape is just a simple push-up or a simple sit-up, or I'm sure we can always find something to hang on a little bit in a ship and do a simple pull-up. And to do those, trying to get a little bit better each time they do. If they add one rep, they've gotten stronger and they've maintained their fitness. 

We can do squats without any weight at all to keep tone in the legs, or we can add a buddy and put him on our back and squat with a buddy. So we've got a lot of different ways that we can do that and go about it.

BURT WOLF: So let me see what the three keys were. Push-ups. 

PHIL EMERY: Keep our back straight, try and keep our butt down, come -- lower yourself nice and slow and when you get to the chin, push up. All right? And this gives us great resistance in those muscle groups. Just shoulders and triceps.

BURT WOLF: (GRUNT) 

PHIL EMERY: How many we got? Twenty-five? 

BURT WOLF: Hanging from something.

PHIL EMERY: Hanging from something so we can do some pull-ups.

BURT WOLF: Pull-ups. And--

PHIL EMERY: And some non-weight squats.

BURT WOLF: Non-weight squats.

PHIL EMERY: Body weight squats.

BURT WOLF: Okay. Three?

PHIL EMERY: How you feeling?

BURT WOLF: I'm feeling fine. 

PHIL EMERY: Good. Get to around twenty, you'll start to feel a little bit of burn in there. This is a great way to stay in shape on a ship. How many we got, Burt?

BURT WOLF: Ahh, I think this is ten. 

PHIL EMERY: Is this ten?

BURT WOLF: Eleven. 

PHIL EMERY: Oh, I'm having a hard time keeping up with you.

BURT WOLF: Sit-ups. 

PHIL EMERY: Here we go. 

BURT WOLF: I'm having--

PHIL EMERY: Come on up. 

BURT WOLF: (LAUGHING)

PHIL EMERY: This is not fair. I've got two -- There we go. And we're doing some good work. So right there, we're doing some good hard work.

BURT WOLF: I'm not getting anywhere--

PHIL EMERY: Oh, yeah. 

BURT WOLF: How come?

PHIL EMERY: Because, well, we might need to -- to continue this exercise routine throughout the week. As long as we've got some space between the ground and the shoulder blades, those stomach muscles are doing a good amount of work. 

BURT WOLF: I'll keep doing these until I get to my knees.

PHIL EMERY: Yeah.

BURT WOLF: Actually I feel like I'm on my knees already. But I am inspired by the men and women of the United States Naval Academy and I will, at the very least, try to follow their lead and incorporate the knowledge that I have gained here about exercise and protecting against high blood pressure.

Let me recap how you can use your knife and fork and even your spoon to help control your blood pressure. But remember, no matter what I say about good food and good health, we're only talking about information in general. What's right for any particular individual is something you can only learn from you own doctor or personal visit to a member of the American Dietetic Association. 

First and most important, before you can do anything about your blood pressure, you have to find out what it is. Have it checked by a medical authority and find out whether you have a problem for your age. If you do have a problem, here are a few things you might consider. 

If you're not at your proper weight, work towards it, but work towards it slowly. It's not realistic to spend years with a weight problem and expect to knock it off in weeks. I'm sure you realize that most of the people who crash it off crash it right back on. 

Next you want to avoid alcoholic beverages. They actually appear to increase your blood pressure. You also want to eat a diet that is generally low in salt or sodium. You may not have a salt problem now, but research tells us that for many people, salt becomes part of the blood pressure problem as they become older. 

Finally, even though the scientific evidence is still preliminary, it looks like foods high in potassium, magnesium and calcium may be valuable in helping to control hypertension. These are not difficult recommendations, and they should be fun to follow.

And let's not forget what we learned at the United States Naval Academy about using exercise to control blood pressure. It's a marvelous tool. Well, that's Eating Well To Reduce Blood Pressure. Please join us next time as we travel around the world looking for things that taste good and make it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf. 

Eating Well: Denmark - #121

BURT WOLF: Denmark, home for some of the best food in Europe. We'll cook with a few of the country's best chefs, discover the recipe for Denmark's national pea soup, eat in a famous restaurant with a menu that is over four feet long. We'll learn the origin of the open sandwich and find out where Danish pastry really comes from. Join me, Burt Wolf Eating Well in Denmark. (CUT)

Denmark, known as “the little kingdom” is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries. It's twice as large as the state of Massachusetts and was the home of many of the ancient Vikings. Ruled by a king or a queen for almost a thousand years, Denmark is one of the world's oldest monarchies, with the world's oldest flag. But it's Queen, Margrethe the II is the world's youngest queen. This scenic country is made up of a peninsula and more than five hundred islands that are covered with carefully-attended farms. Hundreds and hundreds of fairy-tale castles and picturesque little villages that have been unchanged for centuries. 

One of the things you notice about the Danes is that their favorite form of transportation is the bicycle, which gives them a built-in form of exercise. And considering how good Danish cooking is, anything that burns up calories is a step in the right direction. Danish cooking is what is is for a number of historical reasons. Denmark is a northern country with a short growing season. Food had to be held through the long winters, so preserving became a matter of survival. Today's there's lots of food all year 'round, but Danes still love the flavor of their preserved foods. Throughout its history, Denmark has been a nation of farmers and sailors, so there's a strong down-home, farm-family approach to much of their cooking. And seafood from the always nearby water is at the center of many recipes. 

Finally, there's a new and growing appreciation of the relationship between what you eat and how you feel and look. They love their own ways, but they're beginning to jazz things up. (MUSIC) Speaking of Jazz, a surprising but delightful fact, that I discovered is that the Danish city of Copenhagen is known as the jazz capital of Europe. A lot of sweet sounds of saxophonist, Jesper Thilo, Denmark's superstar of jazz. The Viking Warriors of music are giving Dixieland a run. 

BURT WOLF: Copenhagen is the jazz center of Europe. How come?

JESPER THILO: There's always been jazz as far back as I can remember, and even further back. And actually during the war there were some secret jazz clubs. You know, the Germans didn't allow jazz music. A secret jazz club, underground jazz clubs, you know. I think the Danes were always into jazz since the first jazz records came from America. Of course, New Orleans and Dixieland music, but also in Copenhagen, there's an interest in modern jazz and we listen to Charlie Parker and things like that. And we had the fortune that many American musicians came over here on concerts, you know during concerts. And some of them stayed here, actually. 

BURT WOLF: Are there certain foods that give you a higher energy? Do you eat before you perform? 

JESPER THILO: I think the dishes I like most are leg of lamb, you know, with the potatoes provencal, and the peppermint sauce, and a little garlic over the...I like that very much, that's a fantastic dish.

BURT WOLF: Do you think at all about the relationship of diet and health?

JESPER THILO: Yes, of course, it's impossible not to think about it, because it's in the papers all the time. And of course in the later years, you think more about it. And if you have a real fat Danish meal, the body is suffering after eating it. And that must be wrong in some way. You're supposed to feel nice. But that's because when the Danish eat, they always eat too much. Always. They can never say “no” to the next dish, the next portion. It's impossible. 

BURT WOLF: Jesper is learning to make a transition from the old heavier style of eating to a healthier lighter menu. But like much of his jazz, it's soft and slow. 

BURT WOLF: Sitting smack in the center of the Danish city of Copenhagen for more than a hundred and forty years is Tivoli. It's an enchanting amusement park. It's the summertime playground of the local residents. It's been presenting outdoor entertainment to four generations of Danes, and there's a constantly- changing parade. It's a place where people of all ages, and of course the kids, take to the rides they always took to. Tivoli also has still and quiet corners, where people can enjoy the peaceful pleasure of strolling through flower-covered gardens. There are hundreds of thousands of flowers. It's the perfect place to watch the people of Copenhagen practicing their favorite between- meal activity, which is eating. Ice cream and homemade waffle cones with fabulous toppings are all over the place. Foot long pieces of black licorice are a favorite. Pale pink clouds of cotton candy float through the streets. And every afternoon Tivoli seems to fill up with older people, who literally eat their way through the garden. The theory seems to be that after sixty-five years of devoted dieting, you can throw away you Weight Watchers card and live it up. 

Denmark is a compact country which makes it great for tourists. You can see a lot of it in a little time. And one of the best ways to see it is to join the rest of the population on a bicycle. It's their national mode of transportation. And fortunately it burns up body fat instead of foreign oil.

This is the Amalienborg Palace Square. It's the royal residence of the present Queen of Demark, Her Majesty, Queen Margrethe the Second. The Danish rulers have had a great deal of influence over how the people of Denmark have eaten. A couple of hundred years ago, King Christian got fed up with everybody overeating, so he passed an eating edict. He got ten courses because he was the king. Everybody else in the world only got six, and the general public, they only got three. Oh, those were the good old days when kings were calorie unconscious. If he had been alive today, he'd know that most of our chronic diseases are one way or another related to excess dietary fat. And he would have flipped the law over and kings would only get one. Excess fat is dangerous -- even if you're a Danish King. 

And there's Christiansborg Palace, one of the most amazing sets of dishes is on exhibit at Christiansborg; it's called the Flora Danica service. Originally, Flora Danica was a set of books illustrating the plants and flowers of Denmark. In 1790 the Danish King, Christian the 7th, ordered a set of dinnerware with paintings of the plants as a present for Catherine the Empress of Russia. It took twelve years to finish making the service and by then, Catherine had died. So King Christian kept it for himself. Good move, because today the set is considered a Danish national treasure. It's hand-made, hand-painted and hand-washed after dinner, which is why the Crown Prince doesn't offer to do the dishes very often.

Today, Flora Danica is also the name of a cheese that has become a national treasure. It's a blue cheese with a rich intense flavor and it makes an interesting salad dressing. Here's the recipe for Flora Danica dressing. First a half cup of cheese is chopped and placed in a bowl. Fresh pepper goes in, a quarter cup of onion, some chopped chives, the juice of half a lemon and a cup of low-fat plain yogurt. Whisk that together and you're ready to serve. Some of the flavors that we love are actually a result of a bacteria working on the food. Cheese is a perfect example; so is buttermilk and yogurt and saurkraut, it's actually a process of controlled aging. I wish I could find a bacteria that would control my aging.

The history of how people have eaten in the past is mostly the story of hunting and gathering, which is a tough way to come up with dinner. The moment we learned to milk animals, things got better. Having a cow is like having a four- legged supermarket right outside your kitchen door. Only problem is you didn't have a refrigerator case, so if you didn't use the milk right way, it spoiled. The system we developed for preserving the nutrients in milk is called cheese; that's a very important system for the countries here in northern Europe. They have a short growing season, cheese is essential to their survival. These countries have become master cheesemakers. The perfect example of what I mean is Denmark. Their dairy industry is as technologically advanced as you can get. The cows are scientifically bred to produce milk that makes great cheese and the cheesemaking facilities are state-of-the-art. They're also very organized in their educational programs. 

This is a cookbook called Caroline's Kitchen. It's published every two years or so by the Danish Dairy Board and it contains recipes for cheese and other dairy products. Actually they publish so many copies of this, that they are able to give one copy to every single household in Denmark. It's actually a cookbook with better distribution than a telephone book, which is an udderly delightful story. (COW MOOS)

Hannah Neilsen was a farmer who pioneered the Danish cheesemaking industry in the 1870's. She traveled from country to country checking on the local techniques. It's pretty unusual for a woman to travel alone during those days, but she went to Switzerland, and England and Holland and France and when she got home she organized the Network Of Dairywomen, and literally revolutionized the cheesemaking industry in this country. She taught over a thousand people her revolutionary techniques. Today the most famous cheese in the United States from Denmark is called Havarti. And it's named after Hannah Neilson's farm which is called Harvadegard. It's over a hundred years since Hannah started making cheese, but her basic technique for Havarti is still in use. The fresh milk is delivered to the ND Cheesemaking facility, which is a cooperative of fourteen thousand dairy farmers. Milk is pasteurized, pumped into large vats, separated into solids called curds and a liquid called whey. The solids are pressed into a rectangular form, soaked in a solution of brine, and wrapped and packaged for shipment to the U.S. This hamburger is already waiting. Hannah Neilson is one of the great people in the history of cheese. Here's to you, Hannah. (COW MOOS)

Now it's time for our next course, a little soup. The Hotel D’Angleterre in Copenhagen opened in 1755. It's a national landmark upholding the country's traditions, especially in the kitchen. Today the chef is making the national soup, yellow split pea. When you're picking out peas in the market, look for ones with bright color. A dull surface usually means they've been in storage too long. Also you don't want any with pinholes or cracks; those are the first signs of decay. And if you can get them so they're pretty much uniform in size that's even better, because they will cook more evenly. One and a half cups of yellow split peas that have been soaked in water overnight are drained into a sauce pan with a quart of fresh water. A little thyme and fresh onion, that cooks for two hours. The soup is then sieved until smooth. Some chopped carrots, leeks and celery are added and cooked for five minutes more and it's ready to serve. Peas are high in fiber, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, thiamine, niacin and vitamin B6. What else could you ask for? Except, maybe a second portion. 

No wonder Denmark is one of the countries where fairy tales began. Scattered throughout the Danish countryside are some of the most picturesque and untouched villages of Europe. The own of Ebeltoft is a perfect example of what I mean. It has the country's smallest town hall, which was built in 1789 and has remained unauthored. The streets give you a clear idea of what a village looked like in those days. In 1721 a resolution was passed calling for a team of town watchmen to walk through the streets of Ebeltoft checking on the safety of the community and warning the residents of any dangers. Most of their worry was really centered around fire, which was a major problem in those days, and intruders. But recently they've shifted their area of concern. 

MEN: (WHISTLES) Watch out for cholesterol and fat. 

BURT WOLF: Good piece of advice, and I'm not surprised to get it in Ebeltoft, because one of Denmark's leading authorities of nutrition, Ulla Hollund, lives right down the road. Ulla Hollund is one of Denmark's leading authorities on food and good health. She originally started her career as a dentist but quickly learned that the food that goes into the mouth was considerably more interesting and had a greater impact on health than what we used to chew that food. So she became an expert on nutrition. 

BURT WOLF: In the United States, we're very much concerned with food and its relationship to good health. Is that true in Denmark too?

ULLA HOLLUND: A lot of campaigns and information are going on. But I think the result is confusion. And lately a study was made to see just how many organizations are really informing you about your health. And it, they've calculated about eight hundred organizations telling people their single message about health, health, nutrition and exercise and smoking, and everything. And the result is confusion. Of course, they want to profile themselves, all of them. 

BURT WOLF: If you were going to send an unconfused message to the public, what would be the message?

ULLA HOLLUND: Variety. And uh...reduce fat, because that's one of the main problems, it's the fat intake. 

BURT WOLF: When you talk about variety, what do you mean?

ULLA HOLLUND: Well I mean you should eat from all sources. You should eat plenty of grains and cereals and fiber rich food and you should eat vegetables. You should eat less meat than you do and less fat than you do. You see, after the war the problem was malnutrition, because of lack of certain vitamins and minerals. And now we have the opposite problem because we got more money for food and we could afford buying all those things that are bad for our health. Then we bought them, and now we have the problem of abandoning them again. It's always easier to give people things; it's more difficult to take it away.

BURT WOLF: Ulla is definitely an authority of the building blocks of nutrition. But those are not the only building blocks of importance in Denmark. Lego Blocks. The word Lego comes from a Danish word meaning “play well.” They were created by a Danish carpenter named Ole Christianson. And incredible monument to this man's creativity is Lego Land Park in Denmark. Every summer, over a million visitors come here to see an open-air exhibition of Lego models, representing famous places around the world. Mini-land is an incredible miniature version of entire villages. There's the castle of Guttenfels, which in real life sits in Germany on the Rhine River. A detailed reproduction of an Arctic Fishing Village in Norway. The canals and streets of Amsterdam. The bridges go up in order to accommodate the barge traffic. Part of what makes this place so interesting is the fact that there is so much movement within the models and everything is made of Lego blocks. This is the Amelienborg Palace; it's where the Danish royal family lives. Perfect size for them. A little tight for me, in spite of my weight-loss diet. There's a model of the American Wild West, where Chief Playing Eagle teaches children to bake bread over a campfire. To me, one of the most amazing facts about Lego Land is that when it comes to snack foods, they offer fresh fruit, a good building block when it comes to nutrition.

Sir Neville Wilkinson was a British army officer at the beginning of the 20th century. One day his young daughter Gwendolyn came to him and said that she had seen tiny fairies playing in their garden and asked him if he would build a home for the fairies. His response was to build a miniature palace for the Queen of the Fairies and her Prince Consort. Today it's on exhibit at Lego Land in Denmark. More than three thousand miniatures, furnitures, books, sculpture... all hand-made in detail. The whole thing seemed perfect until I suddenly realized that there was no kitchen! A royal dining room, but no kitchen. I checked with the director of the museum who reminded me that fairies only eat nectar, honey and the scent of flowers and you don't need a kitchen for that. How could I have forgotten what fairies eat? Of course I knew that, but you get a little old and your mind just goes. Fairies love honey. They even know how to store it properly. They keep it at room temperature in an air-tight jar. And if it crystallizes, they bring it back to liquid form by putting it in a little warm water. Fairy Godmothers have a honey of a time with honey. They even know that honey has about the same number of calories as sugar, fifty to a tablespoon, so they use it in moderation. Even fairies are interested in food and good health.

With over five hundred islands, miles and miles of shoreline and a history of thousands of years of seafarers and fishermen, it's only natural that fish should be a basic part of the Danish diet. Ferries like this one connect the major islands of Denmark, and the seas they travel through have been important to the country. Fish is a a great source of top-quality protein, vitamins and minerals. Fish are generally low in fat, and even those varieties that are fattier may be quite valuable in terms of great heath. Fattier fish from the sea like salmon, which is a deep-sea fish, contain a type of fat called Omega-3. And that's proven to be helpful in blocking heart disease. The people of Denmark have a traditional relationship with the sea that goes back for thousands of years. One reason is that wherever you are in Denmark, you're never very far from the sea. So it has always been part of their daily lives. And the sea has been good to the Danes, especially the fish. It was the ancient Vikings who lived in this area who perfected the technique for preserving fish. So most of the nutrients in the fish lasted for months at a time. Once they were able to do that, they put the fish on board their Viking boats and made longer voyages than anybody ever made before. As a matter of fact, it was the ancient Viking Leif Erickson who traveled from this part of the world across the North Atlantic to North America. And he did it hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus. He could not have done it, except for his preserved fish. The Danes still make fish a regular part of their diet, and they have some healthful tips. Do everything you can to keep the fish cold from the time you buy it until the time you cook it. When you're preparing to cook the fish, cut away any dark-colored areas of flesh. If the fish has absorbed any of the man-made contaminants of the sea, they will most likely be in the dark flesh. When you're cooking a fish, grill it or broil it; that will let much of the extra fat drip away. And when you do get that fish home, here's a very easy, low-calorie recipe for its preparation. 

Start with a pan of water and add in some pepper, bay leaf and mustard. The fish goes on top, the water is brought to a boil and then simmered for eight minutes. While the fish is cooking, Chef Johnny Neilson makes a cucumber salad that tastes wonderful and it couldn't be easier to make. A cup of white vinegar in a sauce pan, a few mustard seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves, half-cup of brown sugar, half-cup of water, boil for three minutes. Pour it over sliced cucumbers and they're ready to serve. The fish is removed from the pan and served with boiled new potatoes, half a lemon and of course the cucumber salad on the side. Low-fat, great taste. 

The Danes love shellfish. But for many years, we thought shellfish was extremely high in cholesterol, and so people on a heart-healthy diet, tended to avoid shellfish. Well, it appears that that's not the case. The system we were using for measuring cholesterol in shellfish just didn't measure up to the job. It lumped all of the different fats in shellfish under one heading and called it cholesterol and that's not true. There's much less cholesterol than we thought. And the fat that is there may very well be the type of fat that blocks our body's ability to absorb cholesterol in the first place. So shellfish is good stuff.

And now for something sweet. Copenhagen, Denmark's capital is a crown jewel of a city. It's been inhabited in one way or another for over six thousand years. and the present city was founded in 1167. The name Copenhagen actually means “merchant harbor.” If you're talking about merchants who sell things to eat, it's a perfect name. There's a beautiful market in the center of town called Kokkenes Torvehal, which offers the best products of the local farms, as well as great cheeses, meats, fish, homemade pasta and wonderful breads. The Bakers’ Guild, which has been around for hundreds of years, has its own symbol, a pretzel-shaped pastry with a crown on top, that they hang above the door of every bakery. Danish pastry is certainly well-known in the United States, but here in Denmark it's called Viennese Pastry. That's because about a hundred years ago the Danish bakers went on strike. They wanted to get paid money as well as just room and board. The bakers brought in Viennese workers to do the baking. After the strike was over, the people loved the Viennese pastry so much that the Danes began to bake it themselves. The Americans learned about it from the Danes and that's why we call it Danish pastry. But strictly speaking, from a historical point of view, it's more accurate to order a coffee and a Cheese Viennese. 

Smorrebrod is the national sandwich of Denmark. The word means bread and butter, but that's definitely not what you're dealing with. It's a meal in itself and almost everyone in Denmark has it for lunch. Ida Davidsen's restaurant in Copenhagen is the Smorrebrod epicenter of the world. And it is by her work that Smorrebrod are judged throughout the planet. First a piece of bread is given a light coating of butter, then a topping of fish, meat or poultry. A garnish and then you're set, and it's always eaten with a knife and fork. A series of different smorrebrod sandwiches are chosen to make up a meal of three or four courses. You can start with a fish and go on to a poultry or a meat and finish off with a really nice cheese. In the U.S. most Danish cheeses are eaten in chunks. But these days the traditional family of Danish slicing cheeses, called Danskmester are being imported into the States. The menu contains almost two hundred different open sandwiches and is over fifty inches long, which has put it in the Guinness Book of Records as the World's Longest Menu. Folks have come from all over the world to taste Ida’s work and each sandwich has a story.

IDA: This is steak tartar here in the bottom and it's made like an airplane with caviar and smoked salmon as the wings and the egg yolk as the motor. This is called the Union Jack. It's made like the English flag as you can see. And it's shrimp and egg yolk and of course, steak tartar. And this is called the Food Editor's Nightcap. It's with tomatoes, bananas and a summer salad And in the summer salad there's lots of radishes and fresh cucumbers and chives, so on. And this is bacon with potato and Camembert cheese. And this is your favorite, it's fried filet of place with remoulade sauce, shrimp, smoked salmon and caviar and little asparagus with fresh parsley and lemon.

So what's doing with dining in Denmark? Well in spite of their history of a high-fat diet, they're beginning to lower the fat content of their meals. Many nutritional authorities are saying that calories from fat should be about twenty-five percent of your daily calorie intake and not much more. The Danes are also taking advantage of the deep sea fish that surround their country. The fish contain Omega-3 oil, which may help protect against heart disease. They're also increasing their intake of fresh vegetables. And they're bicycling all over the place which is great. By bicycling for this report, I've burned over three thousand calories which I can now trade for a day of Danish... pastry that is. (MUSIC) That's Eating Well in Denmark; please join us next time as we travel around the world, looking for things that taste good and make it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: Greece - #120

BURT WOLF: Eating Well in Greece, the home of the ancient civilization where Western cooking began. We'll find out why scientists feel that Greek cooking holds some of the keys to good health. We'll talk to Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis about her Greek heritage and the recipes that come along with it. We'll find out the 600-year-old story behind the chef's hat, and cook up some great tasting dishes. Join me, Burt Wolf Eating Well In Greece.

The golden age of ancient Greece began about 25 hundred years ago and had a fantastic 200-year run as the cultural and commercial center of the Mediterranean world. The glittering city of Athens became the mega-star metropolis. This was the place to be. If you wanted to do something, this was the town to do it in. The architects were here, the writers were here, the poets, the artists, the craftsworkers were here and, of course, the great cooks and the best foods. In Athens, Greece, 2500 years ago we find the first evidence of a group of people who said, “Hey, I can't take this hit-or-miss approach to dinner any more. I gotta know what's going on. One night there are a couple of appetizers and I end up starved. A couple of nights later there's course after course after course and I end up stuffed. I can't do this. I need to know what's going on.” So they were the first people to hire professional chefs to give form and structure to their meals. In the process they also developed the first true sauces. It was the ancient Athenians who developed mayonnaise. Very important -- that left them in a position to develop the first club sandwich and that may be the historical event that has sent so many Greeks to America to open up great restaurants. They also had cook books over 2,000 years ago and were really into good food. And these days scientists are telling us that we have a considerable amount to learn from that ancient cuisine. Ancient Greek cooking, as well as modern Greek cooking, had five things to teach about good food for good health.

First, there's the Greek use of olive oil as the main fat in their cooking. For thousands of years Greece has been a center for olive production and olive oil is used constantly. Olive oil is a mono-unsaturated oil and research indicates that if you are following a low-fat diet, olive oil is a hot healthy food choice within that low-fat diet. Basking in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Greece has always been an outdoor society. As a result, a great deal of their cooking has taken place outside the kitchen, in the open air. The most common cooking technique is grilling or roasting, which is an ideal healthy way to cook, because if there's excess fat in the food that's being grilled, at least some of that fat will drip away. Many scientists feel that too much fat is the single biggest health problem in the American diet. The Greeks also love fruits and vegetables and use them to the utmost in great tasting ways. And there's a constant stream of scientific reports indicating how important fruits and vegetables are to our good health. Because so much of Greece is made up of island and coastal communities, they've also been lovers of fresh fish from the sea. And now we find that these fish are packed with omega-3 oil, which appears to help protect us from heart disease. And finally there are the Greek religious fast days, which allow and actually encourage the cooking of lentils. Lentils are members of the bean family and one of the nutritional treasures of Greek cooking. Lentils are one of our earliest foods. We've been cultivating them for about 8,000 years and they have had a long association with good health. As a matter of fact, ancient Greek actually recommended lentils as a medicine. They're high in iron, vitamin B, they contain lots of protein, they're low in fat and pretty low in calories. Only about 100 calories in a half cup of lentils. Today Chef Manoli is teaching me the recipe for Greek lentil soup. I don't speak any Greek and he only speaks a little bit of English so I am also getting a Greek lesson along with the recipe.

Gros! which means “let's do it!” First, two quarts of water are brough to a boil. A pound of lentils go in. Chopped garlic and chopped onions are added to the pot along with a few bay leaves. And then about a quarter cup of olive oil... two tablespoons of tomato paste... and you're set. Everything cooks for about an hour and you're ready to serve. Interesting story about garlic. During the 1300s, one out of every three people in Europe died of the Bubonic plague, which was also known as the Black Plague. They thought that the plague was spread by vampires. But they noticed garlicmongers who wore a big chain of garlic around their neck did not get the plague as often as other people, and assumed that the garlic scared off the vampires. What was actually happening though was the garlicmongers were eating enormous amounts of garlic and it was acting as a mild anti-biotic and protecting them. And that's where people got the idea that garlic would ward off vampires.

(MUSIC) .....It's true...

Religious beliefs had and still have a great effect on our eating habits. As a matter of fact, just about the first religious act was to offer food on a fire to the Gods. The theory was that if you were lucky enough to catch an animal for dinner, the God who helped you was entitled to the best cut and it had to be burned.

A kind of symbolic eating by the Gods. The ancient Greeks here in Athens were the first people to change those rules. The Greeks respected their Gods but there was no great love for them and pretty soon they decided to eat the best cut themselves and just... tell the Gods the dinner was in their honor. The technique was pretty simple. They just began to put less wood on the offering fire. Instead of coming out burned, the sacrificial foods came out perfectly cooked. Beef at 150 degrees. Chicken or turkey at 180 and pork at 170. The ritual religious feast started right here in Athens. So next time you go to a christening or a confirmation, a wedding or a wake, New Year's, Easter, a Christmas celebration, and there's good food, you owe something to the ancient Greeks.

The original food reporter was an ancient Greek named Archestratus. He lived here in the fourth century B.C. and his job was to wander around the world and find things that delighted his belly -- not unlike the job I have now. He was one of the first people to discover that the same food tasted differently when it came from different parts of the world. He also noted that the same food tasted better, at different times of the year. They were also the first people to have professional cooks doing home catering. They turned eating from a hit-or-miss affair into a serious business. The oldest cookbook that we have also came from ancient Greece. It was written by a man named Epicus. He organized the basic cooking methods of the time and taught his system. He gave great banquets to illustrate his points. In the process he spent millions of dollars, or sesterces, as they were called at the time. When he got down to his last 10 million he got depressed because he was worried he might not be able to eat the way he wanted to for much longer and so he took his own life. Too bad. I guess that can happen if you don't check on the specials in your supermarket.

The most popular food to come into the Western world from the Middle East is yogurt, a thick, tart, curdled milk product. Recently it's become one of the fastest selling foods in America. But it's been a big deal here in Greece for thousands of years. They use it as the base for soups, as a side dish, a sauce, in sweet tangy cakes, and lightly dusted with sugar, as a dessert. And you can even make a low-fat soft cheese out of it. Put it into a cloth and hang it over your sink overnight. The next morning you'll have something very close to cream cheese. Only there's a fraction of the fat of calories. I do that every once in a while and it's great. There's an old myth that eating yogurt will keep you younger longer. I don't have any proof of that, but there was an interesting report in the New England Journal of Medicine. The report confirms that people who have digestive problems with milk, because their body can't handle lactose, will have much less trouble with yogurt. The active culture that you read about on the label digests some of the lactose for you. Yogurt is also a good source of calcium which you need for strong bones as you get older -- and those are some strong bones too.

The people of Greece have been making and eating cheese for more than 2,500 years. And they're getting pretty good at it by now. Of all the Greek cheeses, Feta is the most famous. Feta is a soft light crumbly cheese that's tangy and salty. It's really prepared in a brine the way a cucumber soaks itself into a pickle. You could call it a pickle cheese. The longer it's cured or stored, the saltier and sharper it gets. If you found you've bought yourself a piece of Feta cheese and it's too sharp or salty, stir it in a container with milk overnight. The next day it'll have a softer flavor. The best way to store Feta cheese is in water. That'll keep its texture and freshness. It's excellent in salads, as a snack cheese and, since it melts quickly, it's a good cheese for cooking. The ancient Greeks didn't know about butter so they used a lot of cheese in their cooked dishes which is still a good idea. Feta is not a very high-fat cheese. The calorie content is in the neighborhood of 75 calories per ounce.

Only a 30-minute taxi ride from downtown Athens is the harbor of Microlimano. The anchorage of Microlimano is like a picture postcard of a small Greek seaside town. The name means “little port,” and it's a beauty. Filled with yachts and fishing boats that bring in the finest and freshest seafood that the Aegean Sea has to offer. And most of it is grilled. Here are a few grilling tips that can really help no matter what you're cooking. First, take your food out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before you start your cooking. It'll make everything cook faster and help keep it tender. Choose foods that take about the same length of time to cook. Onions, green peppers, mushrooms and zucchini all take about the same length of time -- about 15 minutes. Tomatoes have so much moisture that they cook much faster. Don't clean your grill with commercial oven cleaners. They have poisons in them that can easily transfer to the food. Give the grill a light coating of oil before you put the food on. That'll keep your food from sticking to the grill. Marinades are excellent for grilled foods. They're made from oil, an acid, which could be wine, vinegar or lemon juice, and seasonings. It all helps hold in the meat's natural juices, keep it moister during the cooking and helps prevent sticking. The acid ingredient will break down the food's fiber and tenderize it. The spices add flavor. Grilling's dry heat tends to toughen lean meat, so 2 or 3 hours of marinating can really be a great help. Use skewers that are square, flat or have a ridged pattern. They tend to hold food on. Long ones tend to let it slide so when you turn it, it slips. When you're putting foods onto a skewer, thread the vegetables close together. That'll keep them moist. Give the meat or fish a little more space. That'll let the heat get around them and they'll cook faster. The cooking techniques of Greece have had a great influence on all Western kitchens. And not only in the recipes. On May 29th, 1453, the Turkish armies of the Ottoman Empire invaded Greece and overthrew the Byzantine Empire and the Greek Government. That happened to have been on a Tuesday and, since then, the people of Greece have thought of Tuesdays as particularly unlucky. Which is why we will never show this show on a Tuesday. As a matter of fact, all the month of May is thought of as pretty unlucky and kind of off limits to important events. Well, the Turkish army may have controlled Greek land for 400 years but they never controlled Greek hearts. What actually happened is right after the Ottoman invasion, the local church leaders took over the neighborhoods, preserved Greek language, Greek culture, the sense of family and family traditions. At the same time that the Ottoman Empire took over the land of Greece, many of the rich and famous went into the monasteries to hide themselves from the Turks. Well, they didn't know what to do while they were there and they had to earn there keep, so it was suggested that they do the cooking. They dressed just like the rest of the monks in the tall black hats and the black robes and so the Turks couldn't tell who they were. But then... neither could the monks and that became annoying. So at one point the monks decided that the people who were the cooks should change their uniform. Not a big change, they just insisted that the black uniforms become white. Including the high hats. And that's where the first high white chefs' hats are said to have originated. They have the advantage of being cooler in the kitchen because of the extra height above your head. And in some kitchens that extra height is used as a signal of authority. The highest hat is the head chef. I guess if you are very secure in your position, you can work without any hat at all. Like Chef Patarakis here, a master at the classic dishes of Greek cuisine.

Here comes a classic Greek spinach pie. First the basic ingredients are sauteed together. Chopped onion, some chopped dill, two pounds of cooked spinach, a little pepper, a half pound of Feta cheese broken in small pieces. And five eggs. Traditionally this recipe is made with whole eggs. Depending on where you are in your cholesterol standing your doctor will recommend either two to four whole eggs per week. What your doctor is concerned about is the egg yolk. Well, yesterday I made this recipe with egg whites only and it was fine. Finally a little grated parmesan cheese gets mixed in. Sheets of phyllo dough are given a light coating of butter or margarine and layered into a deep baking pan with the ends of the dough hanging over the edges of the pan. The spinach mixture is spread out over the dough, the dough is folded over the spinach. A few more sheets of the dough to complete the covering. A rough cut is made into three inch square and then into triangles. The pan goes into a 350 degree oven for about an hour and a half. The dough develops into a light flaky crust and your molded spinach phyllo pie is ready to serve.

One of the easiest ways to understand what's cooking in the kitchens of a country is to visit some of its local markets. And Athens has some fabulous markets. This is the city's fish market, with hundreds of fish vendors, each presenting the unique selling proposition of their product.

When you come into a Greek market you come into the world epicenter of olive oil knowledge. Olive oil comes in three grades, extra virgin, virgin and pure. Extra virgin is the best. It is the first crushing of the finest olives. It has the most flavor and the most taste and it's really worth the money because you only use a little bit of it. The second is virgin. That's the second crushing. The second quality olives and it's... OK, not great. Pure is the least interesting, with the least flavor from the least quality of olive. So I always get extra virgin. When you get this home you should store in as close to an air-free environment as possible. There's an interesting trick that one of the shops taught me. When you pour some out of this bottle, then you pour water in. Since oil floats on top of water, the water just pushes it up to the top and puts you back into a generally air free environment. You should also store it in the refrigerator. It'll last six months to a year. I also picked up some chickpeas or garbanzo beans. The Greeks have been eating these for centuries. Actually the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, wrote about ‘em. He was kind of worried about the way that things were going in ancient Greece...mmmmmm..downhill and he thought that much of the problem was the result of the rich and fattening foods that they had in their diet. (LAUGHS) 2,000 years, not a lot has changed. So he recommended more chickpeas in the diet. Good idea. Low-fat source of protein. Excellent food.

Great acting was born in Greece and the torch has been passed on to Olympia Dukakis. A memorable role as a Southern grand dame in “Steel Magnolias” and her Academy Award- winning performance in “Moonstruck” established as one of America's most popular actresses. According to Olympia, creating drama in everyday events is just another great gift of her Greek heritage.

OLYMPIA DUKAKIS: There's something dramatic and theatrical about creating a meal... and an event. And there's something very hospitable about it, so you put those two things together, the desire to be hospitable and the desire to create events and I think you have a Greek glendi eh...you know, or you have a Greek... church dance eh, or you have somebody doing a name day in their home. You know they just, those two things, they're very, there's a, a, a need in Greeks to...to for a largesse. For a, for a sharing....

BURT WOLF: Tell me about the foods that you love from your Greek heritage.

OLYMPIA DUKAKIS: Lamb... prepared the way my mother prepares it...

BURT WOLF: Which was?

OLYMPIA DUKAKIS: Which was, and is eh, after you put the garlic buds in all over, you bathe it in lemon and then you take the thyme, fresh thyme and you just plaster it like a blanket, thick blanket all over the lamb and then you put it in. It's that but it's that lemon juice that you put....first and then put the thyme and it makes it, you know, I love the vegetables, all the vegetables that we have. Spinach....pie. Greek hyptheris, the meat balls which I, I try to do now but I do it with like, turkey meat (LAUGHS). I like dalaktabutiko, which is the dessert. It's like a very custardy kind of dessert. I don't like the baklava, that's, that's too sweet but the dalaktabutiko... I like to say it as well (LAUGHS).

BURT WOLF: What are the foods from your childhood that you really love? Something your mother made that you really enjoyed?

OLYMPIA DUKAKIS: Well..she had a great way of making chicken. She would em...boil it but she would boil if with oregano and lemon. You know the Greeks put lemon in everything. The one that like came to mind immediately were those, something my grandmother used to do. And I would come home from school, she would take yogurt which she had made and put bread in it...with sugar...

BURT WOLF: What's the strangest thing you ever ate?

OLYMPIA DUKAKIS: Ohhh, cod liver oil, every morning of my life in orange juice. An egg....every morning that was...I think because my pare....my mother comes from the southern part of Greece, where they have so few eggs, that for her, to give her children eggs was the height of motherly love and care. And so we had to eat an egg...I, you know, every morning and that cod liver oil did me in, let me tell you. People ask me a lot about that egg that I cooked in “Moonstruck” you know but...egg in the basket you know but...and of course I'd never cooked that before in my life and so....they would ask me Oh, do the Greeks do that, do they, how did you do that, you know so... and my mother did that, it was like, it was incredible how that egg in the bread, that had so much feelings and so many memories... for people you know.

BURT WOLF: Some of Olympia's own memories are filled with some sweet times and some not so sweet ones.

OLYMPIA DUKAKIS: Now that I look back, my diet was not something I looked at intelligently. I'd been like, you know when you're young, you don't have to (LAUGHS). You can be a little more bravura about it all you know. But I was in..there was one time when I was very seriously... eh, impoverished and I had em (LAUGHS) just remembered it, for three days I had flour, Spry and powdered sugar. That's all I had and I would make kind of like pancakes from the flour and I'd fry them with the Spry and put the powdered sugar...

BURT WOLF: Sounds like a wonderful..

(OVERLAPPING DIALOGUE)

BURT WOLF: Tell me about your trip to Greece.

OLYMPIA DUKAKIS: Oh, it was many years ago and I'm hoping that I can get there again. It was wonderful eh... the food, I remember the most, which I loved, I forgot to mention them before, I loved the stuffed tomatoes, you know with the rice and eh, we didn't have too much money my husband and I so we em, we found this inexpensive restaurant and...they would always have these stuffed tomatoes on special and, you know we would eat them...and the peppers I love those... I love it especially when the top gets a little burned (LAUGHS) you know, it's nice and of course I love dolma, my mother used to make it. We have grapevines and she would prepare it and they actually bought a grapevine from Greece to Lowell to Somer...to Somerville, to Arlington and then when my parents moved to eh, New Jersey to be close to my brother and myself, they brought a slip of that and now it's like a runaway thing at my house, you know.

BURT WOLF: OK Olympia, now it's time to run away to the kitchen... and cook.

A six-ounce skinless, boneless fillet of salmon is steamed for about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, carrots are juiced in a juice extractor until you have about three quarters of a cup of juice. If you don't have a juice extractor, you can use canned or bottled carrot juice and low-sodium V8 juice works fine too. Pour the juice into a saute pan and turn the heat up to high. Then add in a half teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon and a half of curry powder. Mix the seasoning in and let the sauce boil. The natural sugar in the carrots helps thicken up the sauce until it has an almost syrup like consistency. And the juice of half a lemon is added in and a little tarragon.

OLYMPIA: You know what always amazes me, when you watch chefs really work, they just sprinkle things all over the place, they use...he's using those tongs to mix it.....

(OVERLAPPING DIALOGUE)

CHEF: There is a method to our madness.

BURT WOLF: And now the method for completing the dish. While the sauce is finishing off, the chef takes some zucchini that is cut in strips so it looks like thick spaghetti. It's cooked in a little seasoned water. He also cooked some carrots in that water for about 2 minutes. Now you're ready to serve. A zucchini squash disguised as pasta goes on the plate, then the carrots, the steamed salmon an the carrot sauce. You know Olympia, this is an easy dish and you can do it.

OLYMPIA DUKAKIS: I can do that.

(INAUDIBLE)

OLYMPIA DUKAKIS: The point is will I do it?

BURT WOLF: Gee I hope so. It's good for us. When Olympia searched the memory of her childhood for the Greek foods that she loved, one of the first dishes that came to mind was stuffed tomatoes. So here's the recipe. Start by cutting off the tops of the tomatoes and spoon out the center. Be careful to leave a thick enough wall so the tomato will hold its shape. And cut the top off the peppers and clean out the ribs and the seeds. Peppers are packed with vitamin A and C. When you go to pick ‘em out in the market, you want one that's a bright green, smooth, no decay on the outside, even color, kinda shiny. You check the stem end here; if there's any decay that's where it would begin. This is actually a beauty. A little olive oil goes into a pot followed by a chopped onion. Some chopped flat parsley, a little garlic and the centers that we removed from the tomatoes. All that cooks together for about 5 minutes. A little water goes in, some dried oregano, a touch of tomato paste and the rice. Cook for a few minutes and then the mixture gets stuffed into the peppers and tomatoes. The only measurement that's important to remember is two cups of water for every cup of uncooked rice. All the other measurements are rather flexible -- very Greek recipe. A couple of slices of potato go in, throw it on top and into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes...until the rice is fully cooked. Chef says that this dish is usually served at room temperature. How do you know whose room? This room is like an oven. I think what we're trying to say is that the internal temperature of the rice should be about 65 degrees and that'll give you the best balance of flavor.

Here's what the last 3,000 years of Greek cooking have to teach us. Olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat and makes a good choice as one of your cooking oils. Grilling is a good way to cook because it lets some of the fat in the food drip away. Remember the less fat in your diet... the better. The fresh fruits and vegetables loved by Greek cooks make great sense. Because fruits and vegetables love you. Fish from the sea, high in omega-3 oil, can help protect against heart disease. And finally low-fat lentil recipes are lovely for good health. The ancient Greeks certainly left us with some food for thought. Its nice to know that a 3,000 year old culture still has something to teach us.

Join us next time as we travel around the world looking for something good to eat. I'll leave you with a final Greek word...Yasu! It means “to your health.” I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: On a Low Fat Diet - #119

BURT WOLF: Eating well on a low-fat diet -- it's more important for good health than ever before. We'll find out what fat is all about and how we can cook up low-fat versions of some of our favorite dishes. We'll get the technique for Dinah Shore's pizza. We'll tour New York's Rainbow Room and discover a chocolate cake with no cholesterol. Join me, Burt Wolf Eating Well on a Low-fat Diet.

BURT WOLF: The single biggest problem we have in America with food and good health is fat. In 1988 the Surgeon General of the United States declared war on high-fat diets. He recommended that we all reduce the amount of fat that we eat, especially saturated fat. A series of scientific studies clearly indicated the relationship between high-fat diets and illness and chronic conditions that lead to disease. Fat-linked diseases include obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, high blood cholesterol and cancer. This is serious stuff but fortunately it's only a problem of quantity. In small amounts, fats are fine. Fat plays an essential role in our body functions. We use fat to store energy and to circulate the important fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat is also the magic carpet on which flavor travels. Without fat many of our foods would not taste as good as they do. The key to understanding the relationship with fat to good health lies in recognizing the different types of fat, how they work and what amounts are safe. Let's take a look at the different kinds of fat. Saturated fat is the most dangerous, and most of it comes from animal foods and products made from animals. Meat, milk, milk products, egg yolks. In addition, there are three sources of saturated fat that are non- animal: coconut, palm oil and palm kernel oil. These are all called the tropical oils. We should all try to limit our intake of saturated fats. No more than 10% of our daily calories should come from those saturated fats. It's amazing when you realize that it’s saturated fat in a diet that does more to raise cholesterol levels than the actual cholesterol that you eat. The rest of the fat in our daily diets should come from mono-unsaturated fats like olive oil or soybean oil and from poly-unsaturated fats, which are the best. You find them in vegetable oils like corn, safflower and canola oil. Moving to a low-fat diet doesn't take all the fun out of eating. What we want to do is make substitutions. Substitutions that are satisfying. I wouldn't give up a hot fudge sundae for a bowl of bran but I would trade in a hot fudge sundae for a bowl of frozen yogurt covered with chocolate syrup. That substitution is quite satisfying for me and I save hundreds of calories from fat. Its a kind of sacrifice a guy like me can make. Also, there are a number of books that list the foods that are commonly eaten in the United States and the fat content of each of those foods. You get one of these, you check on the foods that you like and that you eat often, you see what the fat content is, and if its a high-fat food you find the satisfying or almost satisfying substitution that's low in fat. What I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna eat my little substitution before it melts.

Researchers are telling us that oatmeal can lower our cholesterol levels. Oatmeal products contain a form of soluble fiber. When the fiber gets inside you, it forms a gel. As the gel moves through your body, it appears to affect your cholesterol. Research in Northwestern University indicates that two ounces of oatmeal each day reduces cholesterol levels by almost 5%. Sometimes I think if I increase the oat content of my diet any more, I will turn into a horse. Be that as it may, one of my favorite ways of keeping the oatbran in my diet, is with a recipe for high-fiber no-cholesterol oatmeal waffles or pancakes. Start by mixing together half-cup amounts of whole wheat flour, white flour, cornmeal and oatmeal. Mix that with a tablespoon of baking powder, two cups of buttermilk, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, two egg whites that have been beaten. Pour that into a lightly-oiled waffle iron and bake until done. This recipe is packed with fiber, low in fat and virtually free of cholesterol. Whole eggs with their yolks normally found in waffle recipes have been taken out and egg whites substituted. The buttermilk helps too, since its made from skim milk. What you eat for good health is often in the form of a recipe. But it can also be an event.

In 1938, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the National Foundation For Infantile Paralysis. The organization quickly became known as the March Of Dimes. And for over 50 years it has been raising money to protect the health of people all over the world. Much of the fundraising takes place at gourmet galas where famous folks from movies, theater and sports cook in competition. Tony Randall is entering his pan- fried egg plant. Geoffrey Holder has pinned his hopes on an orange-flavored chicken. But the insiders are picking Dinah Shore and her power- packed pizza. Dinah's been famous in the world of entertainment for more than half a century, and for most people she's thought of in terms of her singing career. Well, somewhere along the way while she was singing for her supper, she also learned to cook. And some of her best cooking takes place while she's helping to raise money for The March of Dimes.

DINAH SHORE: My interest in cooking at the gourmet gala is not only because I adore to cook.....eh, but because I'm em.....proud of my cooking and the recipe that I'm doing tonight, eh, I didn't understand they had to be regional so mine is eh, generic regional.

(LAUGHTER)

DINAH SHORE: It's a California, Tennessee, Santa Fe, Mexican style (LAUGHTER) chicken pizza.

(LAUGHTER)

BURT WOLF: Dinah starts with a standard bread dough, which is kneaded until it’s smooth and silky. At which point its pressed out onto a ceramic tile disc. Former Governor Carey of New York State is giving Dinah a hand. Next a layer of tomato sauce. The key to keeping the sauce low-fat is to reduce the oil in the recipe to about a third of the amount that's usually recommended. Also use a poly-unsaturated oil like canola or safflower. The toppings are black olives, slices of green peppers, thin strips of sauteed boneless, skinless chicken breast. A few mushrooms and some capers. There's an old song called Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah - hey, now I know why.

Time for a fat-free holiday in London and proof that the British have not chickened out when it comes to good food for good health. Halfway around the world to Buckingham Palace. For hundreds of years this Palace has been the home of the Kings and Queens of Great Britain. And for many of those centuries it was a Britain so great that it ruled the seas. From these shores on the river Thames, the British sent out their military and merchant fleets to control their colonies and bring the riches that made all that imperialism worth the trouble. And along with the treasures, came the tastes of those faraway lands. You can still see these influences throughout the restaurants of London. This is the Halcyon Hotel. A small and very elegant establishment in a quiet part of town called Holland Park. It was recently constructed inside two handsome private homes. Each of the hotel's 44 suites has a unique style of decoration. The rooms give you the feeling that some very rich friends have invited you to spend a few days in their London home. I wish I had friends like that. Its restaurant has become well- known for a series of healthful dishes that are as good for you as they are good-tasting. Here's their low-fat recipe for chicken and yogurt. A marinade is made from low-fat yogurt, a little ginger, cardamom, coriander, mint and lemon juice. Chicken breasts with the skin removed are soaked in this marinade overnight and they're given a coating and grilled on each side for about 4 minutes or until they're done.

When using a skinless boneless chicken breast, you're using about the healthiest form of chicken you can find. Low-fat, low cholesterol. When you're picking out your yogurt, make sure you get a low-fat variety of that too.

The sauce is made by mixing together some minced cucumber, mint, garlic, pepper and cup of low-fat yogurt. A few tablespoons of the sauce goes onto an individual serving plate. A few sauteed cherry tomatoes as garnish, the grilled chicken breasts go onto the sauce and the dish is ready to serve. Low-fat, low cholesterol, good- looking and great-tasting. We may have Scotland Yard on our trail for divulging that one.

Food does for your body what fuel does for a car. Or wood for a stove. It keeps the system running. When your fuel is fully burned, you're in good shape. When your fuel is not burned properly you could be in for trouble. Dr. Robert Levy is a specialist studying the problems we have with fat and he explains what we're up against.

DR. ROBERT LEVY: Well fat is, is one of the major food substances. We get more calories eh, for every gram of fat we eat than for the protein and carbohydrate, the two other major calories sources... and so fat is a good way to eh, to get the calories we need for, for energy but we've learned that eh, you might say the American way of life, perhaps the American way of dying is that we eh, we consume too much fat.

BURT WOLF: So a little fat is OK. We burn it up. But excess fat can get stored in dangerous places. And that's why doctors and members of the American Dietetic Association recommend that our fat calories be limited to 30% of our total calories. Little tricky to tell how many calories of fat there are in a packaged food. For some reason they're listed in grams. These cookies have about 3 grams of fat per cookie. There are 9 calories in a gram. So you do 3 times 9 and you find out that there are 27 calories of fat in each of these cookies. Then you compare that to the 40 total calories in each cookie and you see that almost 70% of the calories in this cookie come from fat. And yet the manufacturer calls it “light” and “healthy.” These are about as light as the Rock of Gibraltar. I never understood this system of grams... it does not make my life easier. I can only assume it was designed by the same nitwit mentality that designed our income tax forms. But now let's look at some great design. (MUSIC) Rockefeller Center. It's an imposing group of skyscrapers located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. 22 acres of the most valuable land on the globe. John D. Rockefeller Jr. originally put the property together. He called it a city within a city. Each day a quarter of a million people come to Rockefeller Center... to work... to shop... to play tourist and to eat. And some of the best of that eating takes place on the 64th and 65th floors of the center building in the world famous Rainbow Room.

When it opened in 1934 it was the meeting place for elegant cafe society. Today, after a full reconstruction, it's a major attraction for both New Yorkers and visitors. There are absolutely wonderful views of the city and the beauty inside is equally amazing. A detailed refurbishing takes you through millions of dollars of artistry with the kind of detail and construction that shows you what it was like in the old days. Fabulous stuff and fabulous food too.

This fish is going to be cooked in a little paper bag. It's a technique that the French call en papillote and it's really good because it holds in the food's natural juices and nutrients. Chef, Andre Renee starts by cutting out a heart shaped piece of parchment paper...then four ounces of watercress go on half of that parchment. If watercress is unavailable -- fresh spinach will do just fine. Top that with a three to six ounce piece of sea bass fillet or a similar white-fleshed fish. A little fresh pepper, next a few slices of tomato. A layer of mushrooms, a little chopped fresh ginger, a squeeze of lime juice and a few thin slices of lime. Fold the paper over to make a bag and seal the edges all around. If you fold the edges about an inch at a time, you'll end up with a bag that's just about airtight for cooking. Place the little package on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of a preheated 375 degree oven..for about 12 minutes. When you take the bag out of the oven, slit the package along the top and the sides. Carefully slide the contents onto a plate, including the juice, and you're ready to serve. It's a perfect example of good food for good health. And now, the sweet sounds of Betty Buckley.

Betty Buckley is no stranger to the limelight. I always enjoyed her in the television hit “Eight is Enough” and her stellar performance in the Broadway mega-musical “Cats.” I caught up with her backstage at the Rainbow Room.

BETTY BUCKLEY: Singing, you know, is your whole body and if...you have to be very, very strong. When I'm really...doing a Broadway show or something, my real, real power, my singing comes from my.....eh....my stomach, hips and legs. Sometimes I'll take a note literally and grab it out of the floor with my toes. (LAUGHS) It's really funny.

BURT WOLF: Are there any foods that you feel contribute to your appearance?

BETTY BUCKLEY: Well vegetables, when I forget to eat my steamed vegetables I don't, I don't eh, feel as good, I don't look as good and eh...vegetables make your skin shine you know, did you know that? They do. If you leave them out of your diet, then you look kind of, you have a dull quality. And your skin, my skin is, is better when I eat more vegetables.

BURT WOLF: What are your favorite foods?

BETTY BUCKLEY: Pineapple and strawberries and there are some other exotic food... chocolate.

BURT WOLF: Aah yes. Chocolate could be very helpful.

BETTY BUCKLEY: This cheers me enormously.

BURT WOLF: Chocolate in general?

BETTY BUCKLEY: Chocolate in general (LAUGHS) yeah, but chocolate and fruit is like, you know like, hot fudge chocolate? Chocolate always...gives you an instantaneous good feeling you know.....

BURT WOLF: Well Betty is going to feel especially good after this. The Rainbow Room's own recipe for a low-fat no cholesterol light chocolate cake. No way, you say, how can a chocolate cake be light? Well, this cake is made with whipped egg whites, no egg yolks and no flour. Watch this. Oven goes to 350 degrees fahrenheit. 6 egg whites are whipped until stiff. Egg whites are a wonderful ingredient. High in protein, low in fat, they are the part of the egg that has no cholesterol. Into a second bowl, pour in one cup of sugar and a half cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. Using the cocoa powder is a really good idea. You get the chocolate flavor but you don't get the saturated fats that you would find in a chocolate bar. Next 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2 more egg whites and a cup of chopped nuts. That mixture gets stirred together and the beaten egg whites are folded in. The batter is poured into a greased and floured pan and into the oven for 35 minutes. Each serving is garnished with a slice of strawberry and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Now let's travel somewhere over the rainbow, across the United States in fact, to the Pacific Northwest for some fabulous low-fat foods. There's an old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Wonder why? Well for one thing, a recent set of scientific studies indicate that a single serving of fresh fruit every day can reduce your risk of stroke by up to 40%. Also, apples are high in a type of fiber called pectin. And pectin can reduce your risk of heart disease. Whenever I think of apples I think of Oregon's magnificent Columbia Gorge.

Oregon. In the Pacific Northwest. It's an unspoiled paradise right here in the States. Hundreds of miles of shoreline make it a fisherman's dream, with some of the finest salmon catches in the world. Snow covered mountains give rise to rivers and streams that wind their way through pristine forests. When it comes to natural beauty, Oregon's the place. This is the Columbia Gorge Hotel. Built in 1921, it remains one of America's finest country inns. It sits on a cliff overlooking a spectacular landscape and it keeps up 100 year old gastronomic custom. The early pioneers who settled in this part of the country had a life filled with heavy work. The time pressure of the day pretty much did away with the lunch break. Breakfast became the most important meal, and that tradition lives on. If you watch the people eat breakfast around here, you get the feeling that they're on their way to a day on the trail. Their breakfast consists of fruits... fritters... oatmeal... biscuits with honey... eggs, smoked pork chops, bacon, sausages, potatoes, pancakes and their famous baked apple. And that is not a choice. You get it all. Unless you're planning a workday that burns up about 10,000 calories or you're going to make this your meal of the month, limit yourself to tasting. There is, however, one recipe that I definitely want. It's the baked apple. Start by mixing together three quarters of a cup of light brown sugar...which by the way is just plain white sugar with a little bit of molasses added in for color. A teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a quarter teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Cinnamon and nutmeg are two of the sweetening spices. They increase the sweet flavor of the sugar without adding any calories. Next, a third of a cup of raisins, and a blast from a childhood past, a third of a cup of cinnamon red hot candies. Put that mixture aside for a minute while you cut the core out of 6 apples but don't peel them. Lightly oil a baking pan, stuff the center of the apples with the sugar mixture. Set the apples in the pan and pour a little maple syrup on top of each of the apples. Then into a preheated 350 degree fahrenheit oven for about forty minutes or until the apples are baked through and tender. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, this is definitely a great way to take the apple.

And as long as we're in Oregon, let's head over to Portland's fabulous Heathman Hotel. When the Heathman first opened in 1927, local newspapers welcomed the Italian renaissance style building as the best spot in town. Today, after a 16 million dollar restoration, the grand old Heathman Hotel has been reborn and it's better than ever. The first-floor rooms are filled with antique furniture and teak panelling of Australian eucalyptus. An extensive collection of original art hangs throughout the public spaces as well as the guest rooms. The graphics in the dining room are part of a series by Andy Warhol called “Endangered Species.” One of the endangered species not found in the graphics is the great chef who works in the hotel. Years ago all the best chefs worked in hotel kitchens. Today a distinguished chef in a hotel is harder to find than an American eagle. Fortunately the Heathman Hotel has a splendid chef and he's in his natural habitat.

CHEF: I really enjoy cooking in the Northwest. It's a great place....all of the North American and Europe cooking in different places em...there's nothing like the Northwest, the Pacific Northwest offers, you know an amazing bounty of good things.

BURT WOLF: So let's take some of those good things and make them into a low-fat potato and red pepper soup. Start by peeling 6 russet potatoes, slice them into half-inch discs and submerge them in boiling water. Let them simmer in the water for at least 20 minutes until they are tender. While the potatoes are cooking, take 3 red bell peppers, dip them into a little olive oil and roast them under your broiler. Keep them about 4 inches away from the heat source and rotate them every minute until all of the skin is blistered. Remove the peppers from the heat, let ‘em cool, cut out the cores, slice ‘em in half, pick out the ribs and most of the seeds. Then slice them into quarters and remove the skins. Saute the peppers in an ounce of olive oil, adding 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 2 cups of chopped onions, 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme and one minced jalapeno pepper. Cook that together for 5 minutes, then drain the potatoes and add them to the saute pan. Let that heat through for a minute, then put everything into the food processor. Pour in 3 cups of chicken stock and process until all of the ingredients are smooth. Add a little fresh pepper and you're ready to serve, either hot or cold.

This is the town of Jacksonville, Oregon. During the 1850s, gold was discovered nearby and the joint began to jump. Prospectors came in from all over the world seeking wealth beyond their wildest dreams. They go up into the mountains and use their pans to separate the gold from the earth and they come into town and the local cooks would use their pans to separate the gold from the miners. While those guys were up in the mountains looking for gold they didn't spend much time doing any good cooking but they were perfectly willing to spend some of their gold on good food when the got to Jacksonville. These days the good cooking takes place at the Jacksonville Inn and chef Diane Menzies is in charge of the recipe for chicken with a peach sauce. Four sliced peaches go into a saute pan, a cup of white wine, teaspoon of cinnamon, eighth of a cup of sugar. That cooks down. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are lightly floured, dipped into an egg wash, coated with chopped hazelnuts. If you don't have hazelnuts you can use walnuts or almonds ground up; just make sure whatever your favorite nut is, it's unsalted. Sauteed, then onto a plate, peach sauce on top, you're ready to serve. Finally let's get the last word on fat and cholesterol from a comedy troupe in Washington D.C. A town filled with budgetary fat...

SINGER: So please join me in welcoming the President and Mrs. Bush...

BURT WOLF: They first performed at a Christmas party in 1981. A group of present and former Congressional staffers poking fun at current events. Today they are known as the Capitol Steps and they are acknowledged as the stars of the Washington comedy scene, excluding the Government, of course. They figured if Ronald Reagan could go from acting to politics, they could go from politics to acting.

SINGER: We're some members of the US House of Repre-hensatives.....

BURT WOLF: And our national food fads are regular targets for their satire....

SINGER: Back in the middle ages, lots of people gathered in great halls... for great feasts of red meat. Today, 500 years later... they're all... dead.

SINGER 2: (SINGING) What’s there?

A tasty lunch I see,

But as for me, a McD.L.T

For me, my life is but a bowl of cherries,

Granola flakes, brings stomach aches.

Do you see, I'd rather eat

What comes from dairies,

The chocolate shakes

And layer cakes.

Give me cheddar cheese and scrambled eggs,

French fries, chili dogs and chicken legs.

My doctor says these dishes all Contain too much......

SINGER 3: Cholesterol!

SINGER 2: Everything we like

Will fill us with cholesterol....

SINGER 3: I’ll tell what kind of

Poison on your shelf is

You've had enough

Of greasy stuff

Or else you're gonna end up just like Elvis,

Or Mama Cass

That hefty lass.

SINGER 2: Tune in to Richard Simmons

Beat our brains out

Reduce your thighs

Through “Jazzercise”

SINGER 3: Get thin and eat some bran

To clean your veins out

This plankton dish

Is quite delish...

ALL: Watch out, watch out

Limit your amount

Everything you eat

You've got to count

Cholesterol

You've gone too far

Cholesterol

Like Roseanne Barr

I’ll eat what I want,

And like Roseanne

You'll be a star.

(CLAPPING)

BURT WOLF: So reducing the fat in your diet is really no big deal. You just have to pay a little attention and you have to do that with most things in life anyway. Let me recap the things you should be thinking about to keep you on the right track.

Know the fat content of the foods you eat, especially those you eat often. Choose lean meat, fish and poultry and remove all the visible fat and skin before or after you cook the food. Limit your intake of animal foods or foods from animals. Use low-fat cooking techniques. Boiling, grilling, roasting and steaming. Avoid deep-fat frying. Choose low-fat versions of the foods you enjoy. When you're picking out an oil or a fat, start with poly-unsaturated or mono-unsaturated. Last and certainly least preferable is saturated.

That's Eating Well On A Low-Fat Diet. Please join us next time as we travel around the world looking for things that taste good... and make it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: Norway - #118

BURT WOLF: Norway, one of the most picturesque and unspoiled parts of Europe. With thousands of miles of magical coastline, it supplies the world with some of our greatest fish. We'll check out a recipe that was cooked on the ship that went to the North Pole. We'll see how flatbread is made the traditional way, meet actress Celeste Holm, and walk off a few calories with Grete Waitz. Join me, Burt Wolf, eating well in Norway. (MUSIC) Beautiful Norway is the northernmost country in Scandinavia. This Nordic paradise is about the size of the state of New Mexico and is literally laced by the sea. Blessed with magnificent mountain ranges with spectacular waterfalls and over twelve thousand miles of coastline, much of this gentle and picturesque country remains untouched by time. Norwegians love the natural beauty of their country and they spend as much time outside as possible. They boat over their waters, they climb up their mountains the summer, and ski down them in the winter. They bike through their farm villages and involve themselves in every outdoor sport in the Olympics. They love exercise and fitness. The first people to come to Norway came here about six thousand years ago, and they came because the fishing was so good. With over two hundred different varieties of fish in the waters around Norway, it's only fitting that fish still be a basic part of the Norwegian diet. Their favorite vegetable is the potato; a meal without a potato is no meal at all. They also like vegetables that stay well through the winter and they eat a lot of cabbage. True for their fruits too; they eat a lot of apples because they preserve well. Their national bread is very flat and crisp. Short growing season here in Norway, and so they have to harvest their grain while it's still green or preserve it by baking it right away. The result is a flat, crisp bread -- very high in fiber, very low in fat. Norwegians also love breakfast; they have huge breakfasts and that's a good idea. There's a study that clearly indicates that children who have a well-balanced breakfast do much better on national intelligence tests than kids who don't. The Norwegians are in touch with the rhythms of life. They want to preserve themselves and their environment. And there's a lot to preserve in Norway too. The ancient city of Bergen has been around for over a thousand years. It's ideally situated at the end of a giant fjord. A fjord is a river-like body of water that comes inland from the sea, sometimes for hundreds of miles. I traveled by boat through the fjord that leads from Bergen to the sea. It cuts through some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscape in Europe, and comes to an end at the ocean community of Feja. It's a small, bustling fishing village that clings to an outcropping of rocks, but Feja's not just any little fishing village. Each day these hardy individuals leave their small island community and boat out to giant floating platforms that are anchored off the coast. The platforms contain nets, inside of which the salmon are raised. The fish start out in hatcheries on the shore, and are shifted into the netted areas as they grow older. They're fed a specially-designed diet, one prepared by scientists with the objective of producing the ideal fish. This is really a traditional farm operation, only it's floating in the sea. When these guys go off to the north forty, it's not acres, it's fathoms. The entire system is made possible by the warm-water current that comes up to Norway from the Gulf of Mexico; that's quite a trip. For over twenty years the people of Norway have been raising salmon in farms that are set out in the sea, and it appears that somebody has been actually counting these salmon, because recently they announced the harvesting of their one hundred millionth salmon. The whole town had a party, the school band came out to play, the press arrived to film the event. Leading chefs from all over the world polished up their salmon recipes and contributed them to the celebration. There were soups and appetizers and main dishes; fortunately, no desserts. It was truly an international event. The harvesting of Norway's one hundredth million salmon was attended by government officials from Norway and the United States. It's only fitting that a U.S. representative be at the festivities. Last year Americans consumed over twenty thousand tons of Norwegian salmon, a taste preference which was undoubtedly enhanced by the fact that salmon contains large amounts of omega-3 oil, which is believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease. The lucky salmon was packed in ice and flown to New York City. And now the counting begins again. Let me see there, one hundred million and one, one hundred million and two, one hundred million and three... And while the fishermen count, the cooks cook. Back at the other end of the fjord in Bergen, the Hotel Norge has a team of cooks with an almost endless collection of salmon recipes. One with a great nutritional balance is salmon baked in cabbage leaves. Parchment paper is given a light coating of margarine, a few cooked cabbage leaves go on, some chopped tomatoes, a little chopped onion that's been sauteed in oil, two thin slices of salmon, some chopped chive, a little parsley, fresh pepper, two slices of lemon, and a quarter-cup of clam juice to keep everything moist. The parchment is folded over, and sealed to make a bag. A couple of nice things about this recipe. First of all, you can prepare it to this stage three or four hours before you're gonna cook it and just hold it in the refrigerator. When you're ready to cook, you pop it into a four hundred and fifty degree oven for about six or seven minutes and it's ready to serve. Secondly, because everything is tightly wrapped in the paper, the nutrients in the salmon are held in. Nothing is burned off or boiled away. Just before you're ready to serve, pop the bag into a four hundred and fifty degree oven for five minutes or into your microwave. Leave it to the cooks at Bergen to spawn a great salmon recipe. (MUSIC) Celeste Holm is the grande dame of stage, screen and television. As an Academy Award-winning actress with such epic films as "All About Eve" and "Gentlemen's Agreement" to her credit, Celeste Holm's performances continue to electrify audiences.

CELESTE HOLM: Oh, is Polly coming home today, well you know that completely slipped my mind...

WOLF: She claims the secret of her artistic success was merely a function of heredity.

HOLM: Well, I mean my mother was a painter, my aunt was on the stage, my grandmother had done everything, had edited a newspaper and taught English and drama and choral singing, and yeah. And my father was Norwegian, so what I mean by that is, coming from a country which is nine months winter and three months cold he was interested in anything. 

WOLF: When you think about Norwegians, specific traits that come to mind.

HOLM: They're very well-organized, they work very hard. I've been told by Norwegians that they're really lazy, and the reason they work so hard is to prove to themselves that they're not lazy. (LAUGHS) But whatever the reason, they still do. I have an enormous number of cousins in Norway, and I enjoy going back as much as I can to see them again, whenever I can. But they keep coming over here too, and of course they speak English better than we do, which is why I apologize for not speaking Norwegian.

WOLF: In 1979 you received a special award in Norway, tell me about it.

HOLM: Well, I'm not supposed to call it a knighthood because they don't have knighthoods in Norway, but I don't know what to call it because we don't have anything like that either. It is a beautiful medal, and it is a recognition of contributions made to appreciation of Norway.

WOLF: Tell me about the Norwegian cooking in your family.

HOLM: Fish and boiled potatoes. Baked cod. The whole fish in the oven, like that. And the skin protects this, the flesh from being dried out at all, just wonderful, we just serve it with melted butter and lemon. They have a fish called place which I loved there, and, well, you know the potatoes are so wonderful that my husband brought some home in his pocket. And we planted them on our farm and they're wonderful. I swear. I don't why they taste different but they do.

WOLF: Are there any Norwegian dishes that you cook?

HOLM: Everything. Lemon cabbage...is a very...beloved, everyday...it's a dish for hot weather or cold weather. Oh, that's wonderful, I adore it.

WOLF: Some other dishes that you love that you cook yourself.

HOLM: Well, of course as I say I have a great admiration and appreciation of fish, which I do lots of ways. The thing I like the best about Norwegian food is the, because the flavors are so fresh they don't trim them up as much as other foods, other nationalities. In a way that's like the Norwegians themselves. There's great clarity and simplicity and directness. 

WOLF: Is there something that you cook for your kids that they really love?

HOLM: Anything I'll cook. They're really eclectic which is fine. They like everything. ‘Course I must say I'm a very good cook. You know, my son says “you're the best nothing cook I've ever known,” I said what do you mean, he said, “when there's nothing in the house, you come up with miracles.”

WOLF: And the Norwegian miracle that Celeste helped whip up is a stuffed baked apple. A tablespoon of vegetable oil, margarine or butter is used to coat the bottom of the saute pan. And in goes a half cup of chopped walnuts, a half cup of chopped dates, a half cup of chopped figs, a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract, a quarter cup of brown sugar and a quarter cup of apple juice. All that gets cooked together for about two minutes. Next, slices of apple are set on a plate in a circular pattern. These slices have been dried in a two hundred fifty degree oven for thirty minutes. The nut and fruit mixture is stuffed into baked apples that have been hollowed out. The stuffed apples go on to the apple rings and the top goes on top. 

(BOAT WHISTLE)

WOLF: Now let's sail down along the coast. Oslo, Norway's capital city, is one of the most attractive and hospitable cities in Europe. The castle and fortress offer a historical glimpse of the nation. There's a Norwegian folk museum with ancient buildings that have been preserved from different periods, including stave churches that were built completely without nails. Oslo is a charming, renovated waterfront area where old docks were turned into shops, theaters, apartments, offices and restaurants. It's a favorite place for exercise, walkers and runners, including the world famous Grete Waitz. Grete Waitz is one of the world's most proficient runners. For many years she dominated the filed of the marathon. Recently I met with Grete in her home town of Oslow, Norway and tried to keep up with her while she told me about her diet for good health.

GRETE WAITZ: I told you how my diet consists of several types of food. But basically it's a lot of bread, potatoes, of course fish coming from Norway, vegetables. And I tried to keep the food as plain as possible, trying to stay away from fried and deep fried foods, and a lot of fatty food.

WOLF: What about cholesterol? Is it important? 

GRETE WAITZ: Oh no not at all. And I think many people are uh, too conscious about it, and I think it's a very important to be conscious about what you eat, but not be fanatic.

WOLF: How about desserts? How do you feel about your sweet tooth?

GRETE WAITZ: Of course I eat sweets, I'm just a normal person. But in moderation. If I want an ice cream, I eat it, without feeling guilty.

WOLF: Are you flexible about your diet or is constant vigilance the key?

GRETE WAITZ: Yes, I'm very flexible. Because I'm traveling a lot and sometimes I just have to eat what is on the table. So I know that if I eat something that is not healthy once in a while, it will not hurt me. I think a daily diet is the most important thing.

WOLF: Obviously Grete waits for no one. She is a runner and to a great extent, Grete eats to run. I on the other hand, am an eater. I run to eat. Actually I don't run anymore, I walk at my doctor's advice. The legs aren't what they used to be, honey. Having just walked off about three hundred and fifty calories, I'm going to walk over to Oslo's Grand Hotel Cafe and put back about a hundred. Count Gustavio Helm Jarlsberg of Norway. He lived from 1641 to 1717 and he lived on a fabulous farm in Oslo. Descendents of his family still live there and it's the largest farm in Norway. It counts to be Count, especially if your name is on a world-famous cheese. Jarlsberg is literally the national cheese of Norway, and they use it in hundreds of recipes. One of my favorites is a Jarlsberg twist bread. So here's Chef Namyo at Oslow's Grand Hotel doing the Jarlsberg twist. (CUT) The yeast bread dough is rolled out to a rectangle that's about twelve by fifteen. A cup of shredded Jarlsberg cheese goes on and one third of a cup of chopped fresh parsley. Beginning at the short end of the rectangle, roll the dough up into a tight tube, smoothing it out as you're going along. And slice the roll in half lengthwise, stopping just short of one end. Twist each slice around the other to make a braided loaf. Place the bread on a cookie sheet to raise for thirty minutes, and then bake in a four hundred degree oven for twenty minutes. When it comes out, you've done the twist -- like I did last summer. (CUT) And now let's travel back in time to see why Norwegian food tastes the way it does. Mauihagen is an amazing open-air museum in the Norwegian city of Lillehammer. More than a hundred historic buildings have been nestled together on a beautiful hillside. These are the original buildings, with authentic period furnishings on the inside. Together they produce a natural setting for the recreation of an 18th century community. You can really see how Norwegian farmers lived some two hundred years ago. Norway has a very short growing season and a very long winter. And that's had an amazing impact on the history of food in this country. Whatever was harvested at the end of this short summer had to be preserved for the long winter. When you look at the favorite foods of the people of Norway, you'll see their ancient reliance on foods that would last. Gravlox is salmon that's been preserved by salting. Smoked salmon has been preserved by the action of the smoke. Herring has been preserved by a brine solution or wine or vinegar. Cheese is actually the way of preserving the nutrients of fresh milk. Even their most traditional breads are made without yeast. They're dry and crisp and are able to last months and months without losing taste or nutrition. While I was at Mauihagen, I was taught the old way to prepare flatbread. I've adapted the recipe a bit for home use, but basically it consists of mixing together, a pound and a quarter of white flour, ten ounces of rye flour, a pinch of salt, a half teaspoon of baking powder and two cups of warm water. Blend that together until you have the consistency of a bread dough. Roll out the dough until it's a thickness of a quarter inch, and then cut it into the shape of a disk. Continue rolling out the dough until it's as thin as you can get it. The rules allow for a few holes here and there in the disk and that's good, because otherwise, I would be trying to roll out a whole free disk for the next few months. The dough then goes on to a non-stick skillet and cooks for two to three minutes on each side. That will give you about twenty disks of bread. And the perfect Norwegian speciality to enjoy on your flat bread, the sardine, made from a fish called the bristling. For years, I've seen the King Oscar brand of sardines and always wondered why a King was in the fish business. Oscar was the King of Norway during the early 1900's. He was an okay king and the people accepted him. But he wasn't a famous king like B.B. King or Elvis, and one day he put his picture on a can of sardines, and suddenly everyone knew who King Oscar was. And for good reasons too; sardines are one of the greatest natural sources of bone-building calcium. They provide potassium and magnesium, iron, zinc and iodine. They contain vitamin B, vitamin D and looks of protein. They're also packed with Omega-3. Omega-3 is a kind of oil that's found in fish, and it appears to reduce the risk of heart disease. It could make Old King Oscar the king of hearts. (AIRPLANE NOISE) I always think of the Scandinavian Airline System as a company devoted to flying people around the world. But they also deeply involved in the hotel and restaurant business. This is the SAS hotel in Oslow Norway. And this is Chef Lars Eric Underthin, who is considered one of Norway's most talented young chefs. Today he is flying through his recipe for Norwegian hot apple dessert. Fasten your seatbelts, place your tray tables in their stored position and watch this. A half cup of water, a half cup of sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a half cup of raisins and four tablespoons of butter or margarine are cooked together for about seven minutes. The large golden delicious apples are peeled, cored and sliced. After you peel the apples, you want to keep them from turning brown, and the easiest way to do that is to sprinkle a little lemon juice over them and toss the apples with the juice. The apple slices go into the sauce and cook for six minutes more. Lars likes to put a vanilla sauce on the serving plate, fan out the cooked apples on top. Boy, I'd clear that for landing on my plate any time. Something to enjoy after you've spend a few hours practicing the very Norwegian sport of skiing. (MUSIC) The Holman Collins Ski Museum in Oslo Norway originally opened in 1823. And it's completely devoted to the history of skiing. The building is designed to tour you through the trails and tales of this ancient form of travel. Its earliest element is a four thousand year old rock carving, which shows an ancient skier walking cross country. The photographic history of skiing gives you a good look to what people wore to their ski outings during the 1800's. This the new Telemark look in skiing. I am however partial to this ancient ski pole, because it has a cup at the end. People used to get it to get water from fresh streams. I however, would use it for hot chocolate. And speaking of hot chocolate let me show you a technique for making this drink that's special. Take a saucepan and put in one rounded teaspoon of cocoa. Add a teaspoon or so of sugar, depending on how sweet you like your hot chocolate. And put in two tablespoons of skim milk and over a low heat, work the mixture until you have a smooth paste. Slowly mix in one cup of the skim milk, finally using a whisk to bring up a foam on top. Simple and easy technique but it really makes a difference, worth the small extra effort. Just outside the city of Oslo, Norway is a museum that contains the ship that was used to explorations to both the North and South poles. The name of the vessel is Fram, which means “forward.” It was used by three great Norwegian explorers who were interested in finding out about the poles of our planet. Exploring is always very expensive and somebody usually sponsors it. Remember, Columbus had Queen Isabella. And Lewis and Clark was funded by a company that made fur hats. And the Norwegians were sponsored by the company that brews Ringnes beer. Of course there were a couple of cases of Ringnes on board during the voyages, and cooks put it to good use during the voyages. My favorite is Beef a la Ringnes. Two pounds of chopped beef are mixed together with one chopped onions, two egg whites are added in, a quarter cup of chopped pickled beets, a quarter cup of chopped pickles, a few capers and a half of cup of Ringnes beer. That's all blended together and shaped into patties. The patties are pan fried. And the rest of the beer is poured into the pan, cooked down, thickened up and poured over the burgers. Of course, you can put them on buns, but traditionally they are served as a main dish, chopped steak. (CUT) The only one surprised when Norway's ambassador of beauty, five foot six inch green eyes Mona Grudt clenched the Miss Universe title was the beauty queen herself. (CUT)

MAN: Miss Universe herself is Miss Norway Mona Grudt. 

MONA GRUDT: After I won, I borrowed the phone from security guard and I dialed the number. My parents didn't know anything. So uh...I called home and said, hi mom, I won.

WOLF: Noway is a fabulously beautiful country. Would you describe it for the people who have never been there?

MONA GRUDT: I would say it's a lot of mountains, a lot of fjords, the water is very clean, we have the best fish in the world. I would say in the North of Norway we have the midnight sun where the sun is up all night. It's just beautiful, you can't imagine it until you see it.

WOLF: You appearance is very important to your career. Are there any foods that you eat that you feel improve your appearance?

MONA GRUDT: Basically, all my life, I've been eating whatever I want to eat. But now, I try to not eat too much junk food. And I try to eat, you know, keep the meals, like breakfast, lunch and dinner, and nothing else but, not too much snacks and things. I've been doing ballet and gymnastics since I was five. I don't take dance classes but I try to do some aerobics, like when I travel. I work out in the hotel rooms, all the time, and I try to do like, exercises that are, that I can do on a small hotel room. I put on MTV...(LAUGHTER)

WOLF: Tell me about your mother's cooking. 

MONA GRUDT: Well actually my father is cooking home at our place.

WOLF: That's interesting. 

MONA GRUDT: Yeah. (LAUGHTER) 

WOLF: What did he cook?

MONA GRUDT: Well my favorite is cauliflower soup. And that he makes himself. And I also remember my grandmother's meatballs, brown sauce and sauerkraut. Potatoes, we always have potatoes.

WOLF: Tell me about the great salmon in Norway?

MONA GRUDT: Just delicious. I love it, especially with sour cream and when it's cold, butter and potatoes, salad, lettuce, it's good. 

WOLF: And if cooking had been part of the competition, Mona would have won the Miss Universe title all over again, with her family recipe for salmon soup. A quart of chicken stock is heated to a simmer. In goes a pound of boneless, skinless, Norwegian salmon cut into bite size pieces. Half a teaspoon of cornstarch, dissolved in a little water. Quarter cup of chopped chives and a cup of sliced carrots. Seven minutes of cooking at a low boil, and you're ready to serve. Miss Universe Salmon Soup. Low-fat, low calorie, high protein. Mona's exercise program has kept her in good shape and she does a fine job of control her diet. She has an excellent sense of the relationship of food to health. In my search for foods that can help me reduce my high blood pressure, I've become particularly impressed with the potato. They're high in potassium which has proved to be of great importance in helping to prevent high blood pressure. A single potato will supply me with twenty percent of my daily need for potassium. Potatoes are also sources of protein, vitamin C, vitamin B 6, phosphorus, magnesium and fiber. The question for today is how do you take this nutritionally valuable food and make it into a potatoes salad without destroying its nutritional balance by adding a series of high fat ingredients. Okay, like this. Combine three pounds of new potatoes, a tablespoon of caraway seeds and a clove of garlic. Cover that with water and simmer for twenty minutes. And drain the potatoes and slice them into quarters. Make the dressing in a blender by combining one tablespoon of lemon juice, a third of a cup of buttermilk that's been made from skim milk, a half cup of low-fat cottage cheese, and a half cup of low-calorie mayonase. Blend that with the potatoes and serve. So what have we seen here in Norway in terms of nutrition? Well, the primary source of protein is fish and that's really good. About ten percent of your daily calorie intake should come from low-fat protein. It's a good idea to get some sardines into your diet. Sardines with the bone in are a great source of calcium which we need to protect us from bone disease. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Choose low-fat versions of the foods that you like. The more research I see, the more clear it is that a well balanced diet, coupled with a good exercise program will go a long way to preserving and improving good health. (MUSIC) That's Eating Well in Norway; please join us next time as we travel around the world, looking for things that taste good and make it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: To Reduce Stress - #117

BURT WOLF: What we eat and drink can increase or decrease the amount of stress that we live with. Let's take a look at how we can use food to help control that stress. We'll see what television host Regis Philbin does about it, we'll cook up a great anti-stress recipe for chicken and pungent sauce. We'll discover how to use food to prepare for a stressful situation, and what keeps Sid Caesar laughing. Join me, Burt Wolf, eating well to reduce stress. 

These days almost everywhere we turn we come face to face with stressful situations. Money, personal relationships, work, family responsibilities, health and physical well-being, eating properly, staying fit, the ever-increasing rate of change in our lives and our environment all add up to the incredible pressure of everyday life. As the modern world becomes more and more complex, so do our own worries and anxieties. Considering what we are all confronted with every day it is amazing that we can handle as much stress as most of us do. Ah, but we pay a big price for dealing with all of that stress. Whenever we are confronted by a traumatic or fearful situation, our bodies change their chemistry and we change our behavior in order to try and adapt to that situation. Some of those adaptations are wonderful and healthy, and some of them are a disaster. A while back I was sitting in my doctor's office. He told me that I had high-blood pressure on a level that would be dangerous to my life. That was a stressful situation. I adapted to it by taking his advice, losing twenty pounds, and starting an exercise program where I exercised four days out of each week. That was a healthful adaptation. A bad adaptation can lead to disease and death. Stress can be reduced by a number of things. Exercise, increasing the amount of sleep, taking the time to catch your breath a bit and put your problems into the correct perspective. A well-deserved vacation, and, of course, eating properly. Scientists are finding out that stress can affect your body's ability to process the nutrients in the foods you eat. Digestive disturbances that often come along with emotional distress can interfere with your body's absorption of very important nutrients that are essential to your good health. The pressure of added stress can rob your body of the following nutrients: vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and protein. Three of the vitamins that are being talked about in connection with an anti-stress diet are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Always remember them because they spell "ACE," which is what I'm trying so hard to become. One of the reasons that doctors are so interested in Vitamin A is because Vitamin A is critical to boosting our immune system and protecting us from disease. The theory runs that if you're under stress you may lose Vitamin A. If you lose A, your immune system is impaired, you're more susceptible to disease, and that may very well be the mechanism behind the fact that so many people get ill more often when they're under stress. The way to protect yourself against the problem, or at least try to protect yourself against the problem, is to increase your intake of foods rich in Vitamin A. Skim milk products like low-fat cheeses which should also be low-sodium, skim milk itself to which Vitamin A has been added, and chicken. One of my favorite low-fat chicken recipes is chicken in pungent sauce which I learned in Stowe, Vermont. In addition to the fact that this recipe is loaded with Vitamin A which can help to combat stress, Vermont itself provides the perfect remedy to the pressures of civilization. Vermont, the Green Mountain State, is also the ideal place if you're seeking a soothing state of mind. (MUSIC) The Top-Notch Resort in Stowe, Vermont is a top-notch facility with all of the vacation comforts that you would expect. Not the least of which is Anton Florey, a master chef with a real talent for straightforward, good-tasting food. Here's his recipe for chicken breast in a pungent sauce. Minced garlic and minced fresh ginger root are sauteed in a few tablespoons of sesame oil. A little sherry, a little rice-wine vinegar are added and boiled for a minute. And a half-cup of ketchup and a half-cup of pineapple juice are poured in. That's simmered for about five minutes, then it's strained and added back to the pan. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are sauteed in a little oil and added into the pan with the sauce. The chicken is covered and cooked for five minutes more. Walnuts and chunks of pineapple are added for a minute of heating, and the chicken is served surrounded by the nuts and the pineapple with the sauce on top. These days chicken is an inexpensive dish but it wasn't always that way. In the 1500s King Francis IV of France promised his people that someday he hoped to have a chicken in every pot, and for hundreds of years chicken was kind of expensive and you only had it on Sundays as part of a big family dinner. Fortunately that has changed. Beneath the statue of the Greek god Prometheus who brought fire to man, making these chicken recipes possible, is the Sea Grill Restaurant where chef Seppe Regley prepares a warm chicken salad. The chicken is boiled in soup stock and the skin is removed. The chicken meat is pulled into bite-sized strips and mixed with a little mustard and a little horseradish. A few sliced mushrooms and some diced celery. A dish of olive oil and about half as much of vinegar. Let that marinate together for about twenty minutes. Meanwhile take a skewer and thread it with some slices of pineapple, plum, peaches, kiwi, orange, or whatever fruit you like. Roll the fruit for a moment, put a few greens on the plate, then the chicken, the grilled fruit, and a red-pepper garnish. They say that American cooking is like a melting pot where cuisines come from all over the world and are blended together. I disagree; I think American cooking is like a tossed salad where elements come from all over the world and are mixed together but you can clearly see each ingredient. Italian cooking in America is a perfect example. The restaurant Il Nido in New York City under the direction of Addy Giovanetti produces dishes that are as authentic as anything in Italy. This is chicken Nicola named after Nicola the chef. You've got to figure it's gonna be a good dish if he puts his name on it. Skinless and boneless pieces of chicken are sauteed until brown. Then they're cooked in a three hundred and fifty degree oven for ten minutes. Meanwhile garlic and jalapeno peppers are cooked together in a little olive oil. Jalapeno peppers contain something called capscam, which can easily burn your eyes. So after you slice one of these little babies, wash your hands before you continue the recipe. The cooked chicken is added, and a little chicken stock. Everything cooks on high to thicken the sauce. Finally chunks of pecorino romano cheese on top. Amazing, the cheese really brings up the flavor. And all these chicken dishes contain the Vitamin A that scientists believe can help reduce the effects of stress. Vitamin C may turn out to be a really great stress-buster. It's important to your immune system and it helps wounds heal, which is pretty critical when you're under stress. You'll find lots of Vitamin C in citrus juice, citrus fruits, strawberries, green peppers, green leafy vegetables, and melons. I like to get a lot of C into my diet every day, by taking a mixture of half-orange juice and half-water and sipping it through the whole day. Another vitamin that you have to take a really good look at if you're interested in an anti-stress diet is Vitamin E. It's known as an anti-oxidant and therefore performs a whole series of functions that help protect you against disease You'll find lots of Vitamin E in vegetable oil, nuts, whole grains and green leafy vegetables. I like to get Vitamin E into my diet with a green leafy salad that I learned on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (MUSIC) Now the U.S. Virgin Islands have a pretty stress-free environment to begin with. The only knots that get tied around here are the ones made by the sailors. This is the spot where you just sit back, kick off your shoes, and find out what relaxation is all about. And just to play it safe, you can stop into the Hotel 1829, ease your way along their flower-filled paths, and down into their courtyard dining room. A truly laid-back corner of the world where you can sit and watch the table-side preparation of their wilted spinach salad. A little mustard is heated in a pan, a vinagrette dressing is added -- the vegetable oil base in the dressing is packed with Vitamin E -- mushrooms, onions, and a little grated low-fat cheese go on the spinach leaves. The hot dressing and the mustard is fully blended together so it's nice and smooth, and then poured on. The pan is used as a cover to keep in the heat so the spinach will wilt. That takes about two minutes, and it warms up all of the other ingredients too and blends the flavors around. A couple of tosses, a few turns, and you're ready to serve. Besides the Vitamin E in the vegetable oil, the spinach is packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin C. This is a real "ace" of a recipe. Hey, it could give me a new leaf on life. When you're dealing with stress it's important to remember to eat. Don't let a stressful situation place you in a spot where you forget to have your meals. The first thing that will happen is that you will be hungry, and that will increase your stress. Then you will find yourself in a spot where you have lots of food for a short period of time, and no food for a long period of time. And that will cause your blood-sugar to fluctuate. Fluctuating blood sugar leads to mood swings and they are not fun when you're under stress. Speaking of moods, our next guest is a man who has a positive effect on the moods of millions of people. He also balances stress in a way that makes it look easy. The unstoppable Regis Philbin. For millions of viewers, a morning without "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" just wouldn't be morning. Five days a week this dynamic duo has perked us up like a good cup of morning coffee. And although they make their work look easy, performing live every day in front of millions can lead to some unpredictable and stressful situations.

REGIS PHILBIN: What I've done for women, just in this business!

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD: Oh, please--

PHILBIN: Well, you never know how a guest is gonna be, you know. You're always worried about how they are, we had Roseanne Barr on just this week and, with her husband, and you know, you keep hearing these horror stories about Roseanne Barr, at least keep reading them, tabloids have beaten up on her pretty good, she turned out to be a wonderful guest and a terrific lady, you know. I can't see that anything major has happened because the way I do the show is that, if there is a calamity or a disaster that is incorporated into the framework of the show and becomes part of what we're doing.

WOLF: How do you deal with the stress of being on live every day?

PHILBIN: Well, I used to think there was no stress involved, you know, because I was live, there was a little added element of excitement, in other words like throwing that tightrope out and daring myself and my co-host to walk across it every day. And you know the first fourteen minutes has always been just ad-libbed. She doesn't know what I'm gonna say, don't know where she's been, we find out on the air. But lately, maybe through working out I've come to realize that maybe I am taking a toll on myself by doing it that way, not that I'm gonna change it, but to reduce that stress I've included certain exercises to build up my stamina, you know, the bicycling and all of those endurance exercises, which I think relieves stress and also gives you more energy.

WOLF: Regis is certainly filled with positive energy, makes a great case for a regular exercise program. No doubt about it, the world is becoming more and more stressful. But we're seeing an interesting thing: in our industrialized societies, the more stress we have, the more people are turning to exercise. And there appears to be a scientific relationship between the two. When we exercise, our brain secretes an enzyme that makes us feel less stressed. Nice relationship there. They also say if you exercise enough you'll get enough of that enzyme to give you an exercise high point when you feel just wonderful. Well, just between you and me, I have been exercising for forty-five years, I have yet to feel that exercise high point; I just seem to feel a sense of enormous exhaustion. But my doctors say it's all good for me, and that I am in excellent cardiovascular shape as a result of that exercise, and I think my lucky stars for that. And speaking of lucky stars, here's a man whose program for reducing stress is as simple and positive as you're likely to find. A legendary figure in comedy who's an inspiration to all of us, Mr. Sid Caesar. (MUSIC) Sid Caesar became a superstar of comedy over forty years ago with television's "Your Show of Shows." (MUSIC) Caesar, Imogene Coca and Carl Reiner often used food as the basis for their jokes.

SID CAESAR: Is there anything wrong with me bringing home Chinese food?

IMOGENE COCA: (UNINTELLIGIBLE; MOUTH FULL)

CARL REINER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 

CAESAR: He absconded with the whole meal. (LAUGHTER)

Tell you about the secret of staying young, I mean your attitude is what makes you stay young. It's really, it's a, it's a wonderful life, it truly is, I mean to think I used to drag myself out of bed and go, God, another day, what am I gonna do, how am I gonna get there, why am I doing, who is, no, he didn't, did he call or, everything was a pain, you know, everything. He's gonna, oh no, he's gonna, they're gonna give me an award, oh gee, I gotta stay, I gotta, everything was down, you know, everything was down. Now it's like, hey it's rainy outside, I can stay inside and read, you know, I'll work out and I'll feel good. It's all attitude. How you approach life, that's the whole thing, I mean it sounds like it's, you know, Alice in Wonderland, but it works out, it works for me.

WOLF: But life wasn't always laughs for the king of comedy. Twelve years ago Sid Caesar took a good look at the direction his life was going, and made the most important decision of his life.

CAESAR: Well, that happened when I was, when I finally gave up alcohol and sleeping pills. I had to because otherwise it was gonna take over me, or give me up. But when I did that I gave that up, which was very hard, but then when I started to, you know, just go out for a walk, and I started to watch what I ate and I, I immediately said, well there's no fat, no salt, no sugar. I didn't learn that from anybody, I just said no fat, no salt, no sugar, because I figured if I'm gonna give that up and I might as well go for everything, you know, I might as well do it. And that's been the basis of my diet, the past, oh, twelve years.

WOLF: How do you keep up your energy?

CAESAR: Well if you eat well and you, your exercise thing you don't have to be a tremendous ape, but exercise, and then I watch the stress. And you'd be surprised how much energy you got, because a lot of it is wasted on stress, which you don't even realize you're doing. If you know, it's a matter of going like, it's like going like this, or going like this. That's the difference, it really is. Because when you're like this it's stress, and you don't realize it, but if you catch yourself, if you can catch yourself you feel (INAUDIBLE), this is like, I gotta go, I can't (INAUDIBLE), it ain't gonna make no difference, you know, everybody blowing their horn, you know, to get to the next red light. They're blowing horns and (NONSENSE SOUNDS), cursing and screaming, to the get to the next red light, they ain't going anywhere. Nobody's going anywhere, in this town, forget about it. Mean really. What are you blowing a horn for, I mean it's like insane.

WOLF: Now, some forty years since "Your Show of Shoes" premiered, Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca are still at it. They are living proof that having a positive attitude helps to rewind the clock.

CAESAR: If you feel good about yourself and you start to like yourself, you know because if you take care of yourself, if I do nothing else for the rest of the day, I mean I, I know I did something for myself, you know, even if I just go, say go to a movie or this and that, if I do nothing, you know you feel that you did something because you took a walk, you worked out, you took a shave, a shower, you ate well, you know that's, makes you feel good.

WOLF: Can't imagine a better way of looking at life, he's a wonderful example for all of us. And when it comes to choosing a recipe for Sid, here's one with his name written all over it. Caesar salad. It was invented in 1920 by a man named Caesar Cardini, who had a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. It's traditionally made with lettuce, oil, lemon juice, cheese, anchovy, and raw eggs. Now you can easily think that those ingredients are quite safe, but that might not be true. As you may know many of the chickens sold in the United States contain salmonella bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Fortunately when the chicken is properly cooked the bacteria is destroyed, but salmonella bacteria is often found in raw eggs. Those uncooked eggs in the Caesar salad could be as dangerous to you as Brutus was to Julius. In the interest of food and good health, I've modified all my recipes that previously used raw eggs. Now I make my Caesar salad by blending together hard-boiled egg whites, anchovy, mustard, garlic, and lemon juice. A little oil, a touch of tabasco and Worcestershire, lettuce, cheese, and croutons. By the way, the green leafy lettuce is packed with nutrients. Iceberg lettuce in comparison has about as much nutrition as an iceberg. A healthier Caesar salad. What do you think about that, Sid?

CAESAR: Boy that was like (WHISTLES). That was whoopee.

WOLF: Scientists who are trying to develop an anti-stress diet tell us that in addition to Vitamins A, C, and E, we should increase our intake of foods that are rich in magnesium, manganese, zinc, low-fat protein, and calcium. Let's take a look at each of these nutrients, see what they do, and find easy ways to get 'em into our diet. Magnesium helps keep your nerves functioning properly. You find magnesium in nuts and whole-grain cereals. Manganese also helps keep your nerves in good shape, and you find it in whole-grain cereals and beans. Zinc is bound up with your immune system and there are large amounts of zinc in meat, seafood and poultry. They're also the right foods for low-fat protein. Calcium is found in low-fat milk and milk products, green leafy vegetables and cauliflower. Botanists who have studied the history of our foods believe that cabbage is the oldest vegetable still in cultivation. We've been growing them for well over four thousand years. The word coleslaw comes from the Dutch word culsla, cul means cabbage and sla means salad. That's a pretty good descriptive name. Coleslaw shows up in American cooking as early as 1792. All cabbage dishes were popular with settlers because cabbage keeps crisp and fresh well into the winter, long after most vegetables have been lost to frost. These days a good reason to love cabbage is its relationship to good health. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable; that means that when you look at the base of the vegetable you can see a cross formed by the ribs. Cruciferous vegetables seem to have a cancer-blocking effect. Cabbage is also high in Vitamin C and low in calories. The real trick in turning cabbage into coleslaw is to do it in a way that doesn't add calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium. And here's the way I do that. I take a large bowl and blend together one cup of reduced-calorie mayonnaise, half a cup of plain yogurt made from skim milk, and a quarter-cup of prepared mustard. There are some low-salt brands of mustard that are excellent, check 'em out. And three tablespoons of white-wine vinegar, a little dried tarragon, a little celery seed and some fresh pepper. Then two large heads of cabbage that have been finely shredded. Mix it and you're set. These days Americans eat over two billion pounds of cabbage a year. Most of the cabbages in our supermarkets are bred for their big, good-tasting leaves. Savoy cabbage, winter cabbage, even our common white cabbage is all bred to get a big, good-tasting leaf. But that's not true for all of our cabbages. Cauliflower is a cabbage and it's bred for its little white flower buds. The white center is actually a dense mass of immature flower buds called the curd. It's the heart of a cauliflower, and what a healthy heart it is too. It contains calcium and Vitamin C, both of which are extremely important to you as you get older, and it also has some potassium and some phospherous, and those are good things to have in your diet too. Cauliflower is one of the favorite ingredients of chef Leslie Revson, who's one of the great young chefs in our country. I've been watching her work for almost fifteen years and I continue to be impressed. Today she's making a cauliflower salad. Start by cutting off the flowerettes from a large head of cauliflower. Make sure to peel off the leaves under the bud; they can be very bitter. Then cook the flowerettes in boiling water for three minutes, drain them, and set them aside for a few minutes to cool down. Meanwhile, make a vinagrette dressing by combining two tablespoons of peanut oil and two tablespoons of olive oil. Both of those oils are highly unsaturated, which is good for you, and the Vitamin E content in the olive oil is a recommended part of a diet for mature munching. Add in three tablespoons of white wine vinegar, three tablespoons of lemon juice, and a pinch of chopped garlic. Pour that dressing over the cauliflower buds and let that marinate together for about thirty minutes. Then gently stir in three tablespoons of low-fat plain yogurt, which is a nice source of low-fat protein and calcium. A little fresh mint, and onto a bed of lettuce leaves. A sprinkling of chopped chives, and you are looking at a nutritional package that's right out of the fountain of youth. Good taste and good looks too. This is a bistro restaurant in the French city of Bourdeaux. Bistros are well-known for taking simple ingredients and preparing down-home dishes that make you feel kind of cared-for. In New York City French bistro dishes are prepared at La Cite by chef Steve Malina. Today he's making chicken glazed in apple cider. Pieces of chicken are sauteed in a little oil until they're browned on all sides, and then removed from the pan. And in the same pan, celery, onions and sliced mushrooms are sauteed. One of the best pieces of equipment that you can have in your kitchen is a set of tongs with long handles that give you a good grip on your food and you can really turn things around, and your hand is far enough back so that you won't feel the heat. Apple cider is poured in, and the chicken returned to the pan. Broth is added, the surface is covered, and everything cooks another ten minutes. For serving, a ring of carmelized apple slices, the chicken pieces in the center, some sauteed pearl onions and mushrooms, and finally a little of the natural juices from the pot. Chicken sauteed with apple cider. In 1492 Christopher Columbus went off in search of a shortcut to the rich spices of the Orient. When he first hit land in the Caribbean he thought he had come upon one of the offshore islands of India. And when he was served a native Caribbean dish that tasted hot and spicy, Columbus assumed that it had been flavored with black Asian pepper. But he was wrong. The flavor came from a member of the capscam family, a New World plant group that produces hot chili peppers on one side, and sweet bell peppers on the other. Bell peppers start with a bright green color; as they mature they turn bright red. They're high in Vitamin C and A. Chef Leslie Revson at the Metropolitan Restaurant uses them to make a red-pepper dressing. Put two red peppers over a flame or under the broiler. Turn them a few times until their skin blisters and blackens. Then run cold water over them and remove the skin. Take out the seeds and the ribs and chop the peppers into small pieces. Puree them in a blender until you have a very smooth paste. Add in four tablespoons of red wine vinegar, three-quarters of a cup of olive oil, and the juice of half a lemon. Blend everything together. The dressing is perfect as a dip for raw vegetables, over a salad, or as a sauce for a fish. Finally, if you have a little advance notice that you're heading into a difficult, stress-filled situation, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself. Twenty-four hours before you head into that spot, make sure you're on a low-fat diet, no alcohol, low-calorie, filled with complex carbohydrates like fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole-grain cereals. Also, in the two hours before the actual situation begins, no food at all. You don't wanna be digesting food when you're in a difficult spot. I'm really glad that I'm up to date on the most scientific information on an anti-stress diet, because my kids are coming home for the weekend. That's Eating Well To Reduce Stress, please join us next time as we travel around the world looking for things that taste good and make it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: New Orleans - #116

BURT WOLF: What we eat and drink can increase or decrease the amount of stress that we live with. Let's take a look at how we can use food to help control that stress. We'll see what television host Regis Philbin does about it, we'll cook up a great anti-stress recipe for chicken and pungent sauce. We'll discover how to use food to prepare for a stressful situation, and what keeps Sid Caesar laughing. Join me, Burt Wolf, eating well to reduce stress. 

These days almost everywhere we turn we come face to face with stressful situations. Money, personal relationships, work, family responsibilities, health and physical well-being, eating properly, staying fit, the ever-increasing rate of change in our lives and our environment all add up to the incredible pressure of everyday life. As the modern world becomes more and more complex, so do our own worries and anxieties. Considering what we are all confronted with every day it is amazing that we can handle as much stress as most of us do. Ah, but we pay a big price for dealing with all of that stress. Whenever we are confronted by a traumatic or fearful situation, our bodies change their chemistry and we change our behavior in order to try and adapt to that situation. Some of those adaptations are wonderful and healthy, and some of them are a disaster. A while back I was sitting in my doctor's office. He told me that I had high-blood pressure on a level that would be dangerous to my life. That was a stressful situation. I adapted to it by taking his advice, losing twenty pounds, and starting an exercise program where I exercised four days out of each week. That was a healthful adaptation. A bad adaptation can lead to disease and death. Stress can be reduced by a number of things. Exercise, increasing the amount of sleep, taking the time to catch your breath a bit and put your problems into the correct perspective. A well-deserved vacation, and, of course, eating properly. Scientists are finding out that stress can affect your body's ability to process the nutrients in the foods you eat. Digestive disturbances that often come along with emotional distress can interfere with your body's absorption of very important nutrients that are essential to your good health. The pressure of added stress can rob your body of the following nutrients: vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and protein. Three of the vitamins that are being talked about in connection with an anti-stress diet are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Always remember them because they spell "ACE," which is what I'm trying so hard to become. One of the reasons that doctors are so interested in Vitamin A is because Vitamin A is critical to boosting our immune system and protecting us from disease. The theory runs that if you're under stress you may lose Vitamin A. If you lose A, your immune system is impaired, you're more susceptible to disease, and that may very well be the mechanism behind the fact that so many people get ill more often when they're under stress. The way to protect yourself against the problem, or at least try to protect yourself against the problem, is to increase your intake of foods rich in Vitamin A. Skim milk products like low-fat cheeses which should also be low-sodium, skim milk itself to which Vitamin A has been added, and chicken. One of my favorite low-fat chicken recipes is chicken in pungent sauce which I learned in Stowe, Vermont. In addition to the fact that this recipe is loaded with Vitamin A which can help to combat stress, Vermont itself provides the perfect remedy to the pressures of civilization. Vermont, the Green Mountain State, is also the ideal place if you're seeking a soothing state of mind. (MUSIC) The Top-Notch Resort in Stowe, Vermont is a top-notch facility with all of the vacation comforts that you would expect. Not the least of which is Anton Florey, a master chef with a real talent for straightforward, good-tasting food. Here's his recipe for chicken breast in a pungent sauce. Minced garlic and minced fresh ginger root are sauteed in a few tablespoons of sesame oil. A little sherry, a little rice-wine vinegar are added and boiled for a minute. And a half-cup of ketchup and a half-cup of pineapple juice are poured in. That's simmered for about five minutes, then it's strained and added back to the pan. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are sauteed in a little oil and added into the pan with the sauce. The chicken is covered and cooked for five minutes more. Walnuts and chunks of pineapple are added for a minute of heating, and the chicken is served surrounded by the nuts and the pineapple with the sauce on top. These days chicken is an inexpensive dish but it wasn't always that way. In the 1500s King Francis IV of France promised his people that someday he hoped to have a chicken in every pot, and for hundreds of years chicken was kind of expensive and you only had it on Sundays as part of a big family dinner. Fortunately that has changed. Beneath the statue of the Greek god Prometheus who brought fire to man, making these chicken recipes possible, is the Sea Grill Restaurant where chef Seppe Regley prepares a warm chicken salad. The chicken is boiled in soup stock and the skin is removed. The chicken meat is pulled into bite-sized strips and mixed with a little mustard and a little horseradish. A few sliced mushrooms and some diced celery. A dish of olive oil and about half as much of vinegar. Let that marinate together for about twenty minutes. Meanwhile take a skewer and thread it with some slices of pineapple, plum, peaches, kiwi, orange, or whatever fruit you like. Roll the fruit for a moment, put a few greens on the plate, then the chicken, the grilled fruit, and a red-pepper garnish. They say that American cooking is like a melting pot where cuisines come from all over the world and are blended together. I disagree; I think American cooking is like a tossed salad where elements come from all over the world and are mixed together but you can clearly see each ingredient. Italian cooking in America is a perfect example. The restaurant Il Nido in New York City under the direction of Addy Giovanetti produces dishes that are as authentic as anything in Italy. This is chicken Nicola named after Nicola the chef. You've got to figure it's gonna be a good dish if he puts his name on it. Skinless and boneless pieces of chicken are sauteed until brown. Then they're cooked in a three hundred and fifty degree oven for ten minutes. Meanwhile garlic and jalapeno peppers are cooked together in a little olive oil. Jalapeno peppers contain something called capscam, which can easily burn your eyes. So after you slice one of these little babies, wash your hands before you continue the recipe. The cooked chicken is added, and a little chicken stock. Everything cooks on high to thicken the sauce. Finally chunks of pecorino romano cheese on top. Amazing, the cheese really brings up the flavor. And all these chicken dishes contain the Vitamin A that scientists believe can help reduce the effects of stress. Vitamin C may turn out to be a really great stress-buster. It's important to your immune system and it helps wounds heal, which is pretty critical when you're under stress. You'll find lots of Vitamin C in citrus juice, citrus fruits, strawberries, green peppers, green leafy vegetables, and melons. I like to get a lot of C into my diet every day, by taking a mixture of half-orange juice and half-water and sipping it through the whole day. Another vitamin that you have to take a really good look at if you're interested in an anti-stress diet is Vitamin E. It's known as an anti-oxidant and therefore performs a whole series of functions that help protect you against disease You'll find lots of Vitamin E in vegetable oil, nuts, whole grains and green leafy vegetables. I like to get Vitamin E into my diet with a green leafy salad that I learned on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (MUSIC) Now the U.S. Virgin Islands have a pretty stress-free environment to begin with. The only knots that get tied around here are the ones made by the sailors. This is the spot where you just sit back, kick off your shoes, and find out what relaxation is all about. And just to play it safe, you can stop into the Hotel 1829, ease your way along their flower-filled paths, and down into their courtyard dining room. A truly laid-back corner of the world where you can sit and watch the table-side preparation of their wilted spinach salad. A little mustard is heated in a pan, a vinagrette dressing is added -- the vegetable oil base in the dressing is packed with Vitamin E -- mushrooms, onions, and a little grated low-fat cheese go on the spinach leaves. The hot dressing and the mustard is fully blended together so it's nice and smooth, and then poured on. The pan is used as a cover to keep in the heat so the spinach will wilt. That takes about two minutes, and it warms up all of the other ingredients too and blends the flavors around. A couple of tosses, a few turns, and you're ready to serve. Besides the Vitamin E in the vegetable oil, the spinach is packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin C. This is a real "ace" of a recipe. Hey, it could give me a new leaf on life. When you're dealing with stress it's important to remember to eat. Don't let a stressful situation place you in a spot where you forget to have your meals. The first thing that will happen is that you will be hungry, and that will increase your stress. Then you will find yourself in a spot where you have lots of food for a short period of time, and no food for a long period of time. And that will cause your blood-sugar to fluctuate. Fluctuating blood sugar leads to mood swings and they are not fun when you're under stress. Speaking of moods, our next guest is a man who has a positive effect on the moods of millions of people. He also balances stress in a way that makes it look easy. The unstoppable Regis Philbin. For millions of viewers, a morning without "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" just wouldn't be morning. Five days a week this dynamic duo has perked us up like a good cup of morning coffee. And although they make their work look easy, performing live every day in front of millions can lead to some unpredictable and stressful situations.

REGIS PHILBIN: What I've done for women, just in this business!

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD: Oh, please--

PHILBIN: Well, you never know how a guest is gonna be, you know. You're always worried about how they are, we had Roseanne Barr on just this week and, with her husband, and you know, you keep hearing these horror stories about Roseanne Barr, at least keep reading them, tabloids have beaten up on her pretty good, she turned out to be a wonderful guest and a terrific lady, you know. I can't see that anything major has happened because the way I do the show is that, if there is a calamity or a disaster that is incorporated into the framework of the show and becomes part of what we're doing.

WOLF: How do you deal with the stress of being on live every day?

PHILBIN: Well, I used to think there was no stress involved, you know, because I was live, there was a little added element of excitement, in other words like throwing that tightrope out and daring myself and my co-host to walk across it every day. And you know the first fourteen minutes has always been just ad-libbed. She doesn't know what I'm gonna say, don't know where she's been, we find out on the air. But lately, maybe through working out I've come to realize that maybe I am taking a toll on myself by doing it that way, not that I'm gonna change it, but to reduce that stress I've included certain exercises to build up my stamina, you know, the bicycling and all of those endurance exercises, which I think relieves stress and also gives you more energy.

WOLF: Regis is certainly filled with positive energy, makes a great case for a regular exercise program. No doubt about it, the world is becoming more and more stressful. But we're seeing an interesting thing: in our industrialized societies, the more stress we have, the more people are turning to exercise. And there appears to be a scientific relationship between the two. When we exercise, our brain secretes an enzyme that makes us feel less stressed. Nice relationship there. They also say if you exercise enough you'll get enough of that enzyme to give you an exercise high point when you feel just wonderful. Well, just between you and me, I have been exercising for forty-five years, I have yet to feel that exercise high point; I just seem to feel a sense of enormous exhaustion. But my doctors say it's all good for me, and that I am in excellent cardiovascular shape as a result of that exercise, and I think my lucky stars for that. And speaking of lucky stars, here's a man whose program for reducing stress is as simple and positive as you're likely to find. A legendary figure in comedy who's an inspiration to all of us, Mr. Sid Caesar. (MUSIC) Sid Caesar became a superstar of comedy over forty years ago with television's "Your Show of Shows." (MUSIC) Caesar, Imogene Coca and Carl Reiner often used food as the basis for their jokes.

SID CAESAR: Is there anything wrong with me bringing home Chinese food?

IMOGENE COCA: (UNINTELLIGIBLE; MOUTH FULL)

CARL REINER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 

CAESAR: He absconded with the whole meal. (LAUGHTER)

Tell you about the secret of staying young, I mean your attitude is what makes you stay young. It's really, it's a, it's a wonderful life, it truly is, I mean to think I used to drag myself out of bed and go, God, another day, what am I gonna do, how am I gonna get there, why am I doing, who is, no, he didn't, did he call or, everything was a pain, you know, everything. He's gonna, oh no, he's gonna, they're gonna give me an award, oh gee, I gotta stay, I gotta, everything was down, you know, everything was down. Now it's like, hey it's rainy outside, I can stay inside and read, you know, I'll work out and I'll feel good. It's all attitude. How you approach life, that's the whole thing, I mean it sounds like it's, you know, Alice in Wonderland, but it works out, it works for me.

WOLF: But life wasn't always laughs for the king of comedy. Twelve years ago Sid Caesar took a good look at the direction his life was going, and made the most important decision of his life.

CAESAR: Well, that happened when I was, when I finally gave up alcohol and sleeping pills. I had to because otherwise it was gonna take over me, or give me up. But when I did that I gave that up, which was very hard, but then when I started to, you know, just go out for a walk, and I started to watch what I ate and I, I immediately said, well there's no fat, no salt, no sugar. I didn't learn that from anybody, I just said no fat, no salt, no sugar, because I figured if I'm gonna give that up and I might as well go for everything, you know, I might as well do it. And that's been the basis of my diet, the past, oh, twelve years.

WOLF: How do you keep up your energy?

CAESAR: Well if you eat well and you, your exercise thing you don't have to be a tremendous ape, but exercise, and then I watch the stress. And you'd be surprised how much energy you got, because a lot of it is wasted on stress, which you don't even realize you're doing. If you know, it's a matter of going like, it's like going like this, or going like this. That's the difference, it really is. Because when you're like this it's stress, and you don't realize it, but if you catch yourself, if you can catch yourself you feel (INAUDIBLE), this is like, I gotta go, I can't (INAUDIBLE), it ain't gonna make no difference, you know, everybody blowing their horn, you know, to get to the next red light. They're blowing horns and (NONSENSE SOUNDS), cursing and screaming, to the get to the next red light, they ain't going anywhere. Nobody's going anywhere, in this town, forget about it. Mean really. What are you blowing a horn for, I mean it's like insane.

WOLF: Now, some forty years since "Your Show of Shoes" premiered, Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca are still at it. They are living proof that having a positive attitude helps to rewind the clock.

CAESAR: If you feel good about yourself and you start to like yourself, you know because if you take care of yourself, if I do nothing else for the rest of the day, I mean I, I know I did something for myself, you know, even if I just go, say go to a movie or this and that, if I do nothing, you know you feel that you did something because you took a walk, you worked out, you took a shave, a shower, you ate well, you know that's, makes you feel good.

WOLF: Can't imagine a better way of looking at life, he's a wonderful example for all of us. And when it comes to choosing a recipe for Sid, here's one with his name written all over it. Caesar salad. It was invented in 1920 by a man named Caesar Cardini, who had a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. It's traditionally made with lettuce, oil, lemon juice, cheese, anchovy, and raw eggs. Now you can easily think that those ingredients are quite safe, but that might not be true. As you may know many of the chickens sold in the United States contain salmonella bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Fortunately when the chicken is properly cooked the bacteria is destroyed, but salmonella bacteria is often found in raw eggs. Those uncooked eggs in the Caesar salad could be as dangerous to you as Brutus was to Julius. In the interest of food and good health, I've modified all my recipes that previously used raw eggs. Now I make my Caesar salad by blending together hard-boiled egg whites, anchovy, mustard, garlic, and lemon juice. A little oil, a touch of tabasco and Worcestershire, lettuce, cheese, and croutons. By the way, the green leafy lettuce is packed with nutrients. Iceberg lettuce in comparison has about as much nutrition as an iceberg. A healthier Caesar salad. What do you think about that, Sid?

CAESAR: Boy that was like (WHISTLES). That was whoopee.

BURT WOLF: New Orleans, where Creole cooking was created, and Cajun food made famous. We'll stop into Brennan’s and find out how to get a great-tasting meal, with the fewest number of calories, the way to make a perfect peanut pie, why New Orleans serves red beans and rice on Monday, and the story of the invention of the coffee break. We'll also talk food and play along with Pete Fountain. Join me, Burt Wolf Eating Well in New Orleans.

The original inhabitants of New Orleans were the Native American Choctaws. The first Europeans to arrive were the French. They came in around seventeen hundred. Then the Spanish came up from the Caribbean, Mexico, and Latin America. Africans were brought in and the French Canadian Cajuns arrived. In 1805, right here in jackson Square, the french sold all of their Louisiana lands, including the city of New Orleans, to the United States government. We paid fifteen million dollars for it. It wasn't even a leveraged buy-out. In those days, the United States government had a balanced budget. We actually paid cash. People from the original colonies began to wander in to see what was going on in the newly purchased land, plus lots of immigrants from Italy, Ireland, Germany and Greece. As each group arrived they took their basic techniques and famous recipes and adapted them to the local ingredients. I guess that process of adaptation has been going on here since the very beginning, when the French arrived and took their classic soup, bouillabaisse, gave up the Mediterranean fishes, and put in the local shellfish. The Choctaw indians taught them how to thicken up that soup with ground sassafras leaves. The sassafras was called filet, and the new soup, gumbo. 

Three hundred years of serious gastronomic adaptation and invention have turned New Orleans into a city of food lovers. In no other American town is there a greater interest in food. It's the subject of much of the conversation, the basis of the major social activities, and the occupation of the local heroes. One result is a series of New Orleans specialties that have become the gastronomic signature of the city. 

There are two basic styles of cooking in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The oldest is called Creole. The word Creole comes from an old spanish word that means, native to the place. In New Orleans, a Creole is a descendant of the original French or Spanish settlers. The original Creole colonists in New Orleans did not have the ingredients that they were accustomed to from Europe, so they had to take the foods and techniques of the local Indians, and combine them with the traditional French approach to cooking. That's what actually formed the basis of what we call Creole cooking today. 

Many of the original Creole settlers were wealthy plantation owners. Their kitchens were staffed with skilled and sophisticated chefs from France and Spain. These European trained chefs adjusted their classic recipes to the new environment, and thereby developed the original Creole dishes. You can actually see how these cooks adapted their traditional European recipes to the new world, by tracing the history of a single dish called gumbo. 

When the French settlers originally arrived here, they brought with them a love of a fish stew called bouillabaisse. Unfortunately, none of the traditional ingredients were available, so they had to make do with what they could find in the local lakes, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico. The origin of gumbo lies in Africa. Gumbo is an African word for the vegetable that we call okra. It was one of the favorite foods of the Africans who were brought to America as slaves. Many of the African women hid the seeds of the gumbo plant in their hairdo and brought 'em across on the ships to America. The use of okra quickly spread to all of the good cooks in the area.

Originally gumbos were probably a vegetable stew made with okra. The okra contains a gummy substance that acts as a natural thickener. At some point, however, a second thickening technique was introduced by the Choctaw Indians. The stews began to be thickened with the dried ground leaves of the sassafras herb called filet powder. The filet powder is blended into the stew, often at the end of the cooking time, to give it body. Thought the technique was developed by the indians, it was quickly adapted by many of the local cooks.

Because of the fish-filled waters in the area, it's almost impossible to find an authentic regional recipe without seafood being added in at some point. The Cajuns, great fishermen that they are, [MUSIC] added crabs and shrimp to make their world famous seafood gumbo. 

The second basic style of New Orleans cooking goes back over two hundred years. When the English took control of Canada in 1755, they over ran the settlements of a group of french catholics, who called themselves Acadians. The Acadians refused to swear allegiance to the king of England, stop speaking French, or give up their Catholicism. The English were so fearful of having this group in their midst that they broke up the entire settlement and deported them to as many different locations as they could. 

For over ten years, the Acadians wandered through the New World looking for each other. Finally, the survivors met up with the French and Spanish Catholics in New Orleans, who gave them a safe place to live. 

The people in the area had a difficult time pronouncing the word Acadian, so they shortened it to Cajun. Cajun people had been through a difficult and stressful time in their history, and their cooking showed it. 

Cajun food has a strong, down-home country style. It's the home-cooking of a rural people. Often peppery, pungent, hot and spicy, often in one-pot meals. Rice comes along with many of the dishes, to calm the flavor. It's a straight-forward cookery, developed by people who love to eat, but like most of us, just don't have the time to live to eat. 

Another classic New Orleans recipe is jambalaya. It's a rice-based dish with pork or shellfish or sausage or all of the above. Jambalaya is the Spanish adaptation of paella, in the same way that the French turned their bouillabaisse into gumbo. 

New Orleans is also the home of the poorboy sandwich. Poorboy is a big hunk of French bread, stuffed with a fried fish filet, oysters, ham, or roast beef. If it's just the meat or fish on the bread, it's called a poorboy undressed. If lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and/or cabbage join in, it's called a poorboy dressed. I mention that, so if someone asks you if you want your poorboy dressed or undressed, you won't feel they're being rude. 

And now for the origin of this sandwich. The great depression of the 1930s brought a devastating level of unemployment to our country. In New Orleans, almost all of the trolley workers were out of work. They hung around on the corner across the street from a restaurant owned by Grandpa Martin. One day, Grandpa Martin was looking out at these guys and he said, “poor boys, they got nothing to eat. We got to come up with a sandwich that gives them enough food for an entire day, and we're only going to charge 'em a nickel.” And that was the beginning of the poorboy. These days, it's a national institution, and the favorite place to get one in New Orleans is Mother's. 

Another New Orleans sandwich specialty, is the muffaletta. It was designed by Salvatore Lupo, who owned the Central Grocery on Decatur Street. It's made from the muffaletta bread, which is round, about eight inches in diameter, and topped with sesame seeds. The bread's cut in half and then packed with layers of ham, swiss cheese, mortadella, and genoa salami. It's topped off with an olive salad, then the top half of the bread is painted with olive oil and put back on. And there you have it. An authentic muffaletta sandwich. 

If it's Monday, it's red beans and rice day. Why Monday? Well, traditionally there are two reasons. First of all, in New Orleans, Monday is washday. That meant lots of housework. No time for any fancy cooking. And red beans and rice is very easy to make. Everything goes into the pot and cooks slowly over a low flame. Second reason: many families in New Orleans only had meat on Sunday. They'd do a big family roast for a Sunday afternoon dinner. That meant on Monday, there was a bone available. Usually a ham bone. And ham bone is the main flavoring agent in New Orleans red beans and rice. So there's your red beans and rice, every Monday. 

New Orleans is the coffee drinking capital of the U.S. And the town's most common method of preparation is called cafe au lait. Steaming coffee in hot milk, usually served with a beignet, which is New Orleans’ answer to the doughnut. 

But the most important thing to take place between New Orleans and coffee actually happened on March seventeenth, 1930, at three-thirty in the afternoon. The owners of the Mississippi steamship company called all of their employees into the company office and held the first company-sponsored coffee break in the United States. Executives of the steamship company had seen something like a coffee break take place in Brazil, and they liked the effect it had on the morale of the workers. And so they instituted it here and made it a permanent part of company operations. It was a pretty good idea, too. Doctors at Duke University recently took a look at all of the research available on the relationship of coffee and health and concluded that there really are no problems at all to moderate coffee drinking. They also found out that coffee drinking can stimulate mental activity. And goodness knows, I could use a little mental stimulation. [FOGHORN]

Having been the city where the coffee break was introduced to the United States, it's only fitting that New Orleans be the home of the world's largest coffee-roasting facility. [NOISE] The building covers about half a million square feet of floor space and produces enough coffee each year to brew about fifteen billion cups of our country's favorite beverage. 

The coffee bean grows in countries with a tropical climate. They form a band which runs around the equator of the earth. Countries like Mexico, Kenya, and Columbia send their beans here to New Orleans. When they arrive at the plant, they're cleaned and checked for quality. A small batch is taken and roasted, brewed and taste-tested. If they're up to the proper standards, those beans are then mixed with beans from other countries, to achieve the company's secret formula. 

Then they're roasted in a long cylinder, ground, packed into bags or cans, and sent through a vacuum process; that removes the air from the container. The vacuum is very important. For a roasted bean to keep its full flavor, the bean must be kept away from air. After a bag is opened, it should be used within a week, or re-sealed, and kept in the refrigerator or freezer. 

One of the men responsible for keeping up the quality and uniformity of the coffee produced here is Dale Hoffman. He's a professional coffee taster. He tastes coffees from all over the world, and sets up the blending formula so whenever you open up a container, the flavor is uniform. The green coffee arrives at the plant, he takes a small batch, roasts it by hand in a mini-roaster, measures out an ounce and mixes in boiling water. That sits together for three minutes. [ALARM RINGS] Gets strained, and tasted. Dale, what are you tasting for?

DALE HOFFMAN: The sort of things you look for is body, and body is is comparing, say, a mouthful of water to a mouthful of milk. It's...

BURT WOLF: Milk is the body.

HOFFMAN: Milk is the body. 

WOLF: Alright.

HOFFMAN: The acidity, or just how sharp or how sour, the the notes are in there. And last, you're looking at the overall taste. Is it a pleasant cup of coffee? You want something that that has a a richness, a fullness, in your mouth. You want a nice, sharp taste, that's pleasant. You want coffees that that are pleasing to your palate, and and you will en... enjoy the cup of coffee as as it is. 

BURT WOLF: Dale's advice for making a perfect cup of coffee at home: You always want to start with fresh water. Not water that's been standing around and not water that's been boiling very long. In both those cases the water will have lost a lot of oxygen, and the oxygen is important to give coffee a clean, clear taste. Use two tablespoons of coffee for every eight ounces of water, and choose a brewing method that's a single-pass-through system. You don't want the water and the coffee grains to stay together for more than three minutes. That's the way the pros do it. Dale Hoffman, a man who has been on a coffee break for twenty years, and gotten paid for it, too.

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, America's most important contribution to the world of music. Jazz developed towards the end of the 1800s out of the hymns, worksongs, and spirituals of the black community. Dixieland jazz spread out from southern Louisiana and became one of our national art forms. And one of our greatest practitioners of the art is Mr. Pete Fountain. A native of New Orleans, Pete has been part of one band or another since he was nine years old. 

When Lawrence Welk gave him a one-night guest appearance, Pete turned it into a two-year gig. And that regular television exposure made him famous throughout the country. He's recorded over eighty albums and can still be seen live, five nights each week, at his own club, built right into the Hilton Hotel, in New Orleans. Fame and fortune, but it all began with a doctor's recommendation that Pete take up a musical instrument to help strengthen his lungs. Well, it sure improved his lungs, and his appetite, too..

BURT WOLF: If I knew nothing about New Orleans, and this was my first trip here, what would you feed me?

PETE FOUNTAIN: First off, I'd go to a a place that's well-known for their fried oysters and their... gumbo. Which is a place that I grew up .. in the same neighborhood. A place called Bozos. So he.. he has the greatest fried and raw oysters. That's what I'd get you. And catfish. And crawfish. Which was they call it crayfish, you know, they, known around, but crawfish and shrimp. The seafood, I'm a seafood nut. And so I would... I'm what they call a Friday frier. Every Friday I'll I'll fry -- I fried catfish today. Now... next week I might fry oysters. Or fried shrimp. So I... I've that that's my ideal. Otherwise, my wife is a great cook. And.. you know, I'm I'm just a fryer. I love to eat. I I come up and down with my weight like a yo yo. It's a shame, I've just lost twenty-five pounds and darn it is I didn't pick up five over the holidays. 

WOLF: How did you lose the twenty-five?

FOUNTAIN: By not eating, not eating at night. The biggest thing when I get off the stage, I'm hungry. Which... you know, like ,when when everybody ... goes to work, you know, they have a a a twelve o'clock or a dinner, my my dinner really feels like my stomach wants to eat late at night. And I shouldn't. You know, I should eat at maybe about four o'clock and then... quit eating ... Or or just have a light thing. You know, Rice Krispies or something.

WOLF: Right.

FOUNTAIN: And then go to bed. But .. when you go to bed on a full stomach, it stays there. And it stays there.

WOLF: You just cut out eating after the show?

FOUNTAIN: After, at late at night, anytime after they say ... eating any time after seven or eight o'clock is real bad for you. 

WOLF: When you're on the road traveling, and you're away from New Orleans, is there a particular food that you miss?

FOUNTAIN: All of 'em. [THEY LAUGH] All they, we we have some great desserts down here and ... but... one the road, I I'd ... on the road we, I really lose weight on the road, because I, I don't I don't pick as much. I don't... my, I don't have my wife's cooking. Or they don't have all these fine restaurants. You know, like, this ... this town is just brutal with with with the great restaurants. It's ...[MUSIC] That, and it's jazz, it's it's ... known all over the world. 

BURT WOLF: And one of the finest restaurants is Commander's Palace. It occupies a beautiful Victorian mansion in the Garden District of New Orleans. It's one of the truly great restaurants in the United States, and the original home of the jazz brunch. Today's brunch menu includes a dish of sauteed fish, with a citrus sauce, bananas and almonds. Here's how it's prepared by chef Jamie Shannon. 

The sauce is made by boiling lemons, limes, in their juices. Bananas are sliced, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled for two minutes. Boneless, skinless filets of trout or flounder or snapper are dipped into an egg wash, floured and seasoned with basil, thyme, powdered garlic and powdered onion, cayenne pepper, and paprika, and sauteed on each side until golden. Then on goes a layer of the grilled banana slices and a topping of toasted almond slices. Almonds contain mono-unsaturated fat, which research has shown can actually reduce cholesterol levels, when used as the fat source in a low-fat diet. Then the citrus sauce goes onto a serving plate, the fish and a garnish of capers, chopped tomatoes, sauteed red onion slices, and parsley. 

Two hundred million years ago the southern part of the United States was completely covered with ocean. As the sea water pulled back from the land in southern Louisiana, it left a huge concentrated deposit of natural salt. After a few hundred thousand years the salt became covered again by the ocean or by land and was literally buried away. But at some point in time, the earth shook, and forced a column of this salt up from the sea, to become an island. It's called Avery Island. It's west of New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico and it has America's first salt mine. 

Now, if that weren't enough to make it famous with American cooks, it began to grow a very special hot pepper. 

In 1868, a man named Edmund McIlhenny planted a few pepper seeds. When he harvested the peppers that grew from them, he chopped them up, mixed them with some salt that came from a nearby salt mine and some vinegar. The mixture was stored in wooden barrels to age. After three years of aging, he had a sauce that he poured into small cologne bottles for storage. He tested it out at a few meals with his friends and neighbors, and everybody liked it. And he gave the sauce a catchy name. It came from a small river in southern Mexico called Tabasco. Now they make well over a hundred thousand bottles of it every day. They ship the bottles to over a hundred countries around the world and if that isn't a wide enough distribution, Tabasco sauce goes into outer space in the spice packs of the astronauts. And back down on earth, the good eating continues, in New Orleans. 

The Windsor Court Hotel in the heart of New Orleans is regularly selected by travel authorities as one of the very best hotels in the world. It houses an excellent collection of seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century art and furniture that you would normally expect to see in museums. The penthouse suites are designed to give you a feeling of great personal luxury. As I walked through the living rooms, studies, sitting rooms, and bedrooms that make up these accommodations, I decided that this was the perfect spot for me. As soon as I win the ten million dollars for the magazine subscription I sent to Ed McMahon, I'm moving in here permanently. There's a great health club for staying in shape. You know, a guy with ten million bucks has to look good. An Olympic-sized swimming pool, running machines, rowing machines, stepping machines. 

Research indicates that contrary to popular belief, exercise does not increase your appetite. As a matter of fact, exercise tends to reduce your appetite. Isn't that wonderful? Something that makes you less hungry and burns calories at the same time. But I wouldn't want to overdo it and ruin my appetite, especially here at the Windsor Court. 

Jean Mestriner has been the managing director here since 1988. He's personally responsible for the unique quality of this establishment and when it come to things that deal with eating, he's passionate about perfection. The English tone of the hotel is carried out in the high tea service that takes place every day, in the salon. The Polo Club Lounge is, of course, the spot for lounging. And the Grill Room is constantly winning awards for it's great food and magnificent decor. The executive chef, Kevin Graham, has put some of his favorite recipes into a book called “Simply Elegant,” which is a perfect description. The preparation is simple, the result elegant. And it's even simpler when Kevin does the cooking. Today he's making a cassoulet with chicken and white beans.

A quarter pound of cooked lean bacon goes into a saute pan. A quarter pound of sliced sausage. A few cups of chicken stock. Two cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces and a pound of dried navy beans, that have been cooked. Everything gets mixed together and heated through. Then into a serving casserole. A top coating of bread crumbs, covered, and into a three hundred and fifty degree fahrenheit oven to heat for a few minutes. You're ready to serve. Easy stuff.

Right down the block from the Windsor Court is a restaurant that has become the hot spot in a town known for its great restaurants. It's owned by and named after its chef, Emeril Lagasse. Emeril and his New Orleans restaurant are national gastronomic treasures. Inside his open kitchen, traditional Creole recipes are reborn in skilled hands. Example, peanut butter pie. 

A crust is made with graham crackers, melted butter, sugar, cocoa, and the peanuttiest peanut butter, then pressed into a baking pan. The pan goes into the oven for a few minutes. Meanwhile, heavy cream is whipped, cream cheese is mixed with more peanut butter, sugar, chopped peanuts and vanilla extract. That gets blended together with the whipped cream, and filled into the pie crust. The finished pie sits in the refrigerator for about two hours. Then it's ready to serve. Emeril cuts a slice and decorates it with whipped cream, liquid chocolate, fresh mint, and chopped nuts. Now why would a man who's so interested in controlling his weight end up with a piece of peanut butter pie in his hand? Well, very simple: there's a block or research that tells us that having a sweet at the end of the meal signals our brain to stop eating, and this is where I want my signal to come from.

New Orleans is a city with a strong French influence. For many years, the French kings thought of this city as their outpost in The New World. Two places where you can clearly see the French connection is in the architecture of the French Quarter, and in the menu selections of the city’s restaurants.

Remoulade sauce is a basic part of the New Orleans menu. There's actually a classic French sauce called the remoulade, and that's the mother of the local version. But like everything else that came to New Orleans from France, it's been Creolized. Here's how it's made by chef Lazone Randolph, at Brennan’s.

Pour a quarter-cup of vegetable oil into a mixing bowl. Then add in a tablespoon of finely chopped garlic, a little bit of black pepper, a little bit of salt, two tablespoons of hot and spicy mustard, two tablespoons of red wine vinegar, two tablespoons of chopped green pepper, two tablespoons of finely chopped dill pickle, two tablespoons of finely chopped celery, and finally, two tablespoons of finely chopped parsley. Everything gets mixed together until you have a smooth paste, and it's served over cooked shrimp. 

Brennan’s is one of the great restaurants of New Orleans, made up of a series of comfortable, charming and elegant rooms that look out on a lush patio. It is a French Quarter classic. It's run by Pip, Jimmy and Ted Brennan, the great- grandsons of an Irish immigrant who arrived in New Orleans in 1840. Brennan’s is the first restaurant to have built a worldwide reputation on its breakfasts. These days, scientists are telling us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The time to fuel our internal engines for the work ahead. In that case, Brennan’s is definitely the place to fill ‘er up. 

When I'm at Brennan’s I make breakfast my meal of the day and I have a double portion of moderation tomorrow and the day after. After all, New Orleans is about having a party and a little bit of excess seems in order. There is, however, a technique that you can use in most restaurants to make sure that you do have a low-fat meal when you want one. Think of the menu not as a list of finished dishes, but as a list of ingredients that you can reassemble when necessary. I'm going to start with a bowl of onion soup. That's sauteed onion, soup stock and some seasoning, so I'm going to take it just the way it is. The next thing I want is an omelet. The problem there are the egg yolks; they're filled with saturated fat and cholesterol. So I ask the chef to make my omelet with four egg whites, very high in protein, very low in calories. I put a little sauteed vegetable Creole sauce on top for the flavor. When it came to dessert, I skipped the dessert column, went back to the appetizer column, where I had found a baked apple. Told them to leave off the double cream and I had a perfect dessert. The trick is very simple, think of the menu not as a list of finished dishes ... [MUSIC] ...but as a list of ingredients, that you can reassemble. 

New Orleans, birthplace of the blues. Songs that talk of love gone wrong and the frustration of life. Jazzman Joe Simon composed one, just for me. 

SINGER: I love my stew, my rice and stew, I love my beans and cabbage greens. There's no way I can lose this weight, I eat my little diet dish, I got those hungry, hungry hungry blues. 

SINGER 2: Alright!

BURT WOLF: So what have we seen in New Orleans, in terms of good food for good health? You should take in most of your daily calories at breakfast and lunch, and lower your calorie intake as the day goes on. A small portion of a sweet at the end of a meal can help reduce hunger after that meal. A low-fat diet is even better for your cholesterol level when the fat is mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated. And finally, think of a menu as a collection of ingredients that you can have reassembled by the chef to give you a lower fat meal. That's Eating Well In New Orleans. Please join us next time as we travel around the world, looking for foods that taste good, and make it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: Vancouver - #115

BURT WOLF:  Vancouver, British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada...  one of the most beautiful regions in North America.  We'll take a gastronomic tour of the neighborhoods, and cook up some great-tasting recipes.  We'll look at some ancient cooking equipment used by the native tribes, find out why the Chinese don't use knives and forks at the table, and visit one of the world's most respected ski resorts.  Join me, Burt Wolf Eating Well, in Vancouver. 

Canadians describe their country to U.S. visitors as “the world next door.”  And Vancouver thinks of itself as “spectacular by nature.”  To prove the point, I was taken on a tour of the region by Mike Wagstaff, of Vancouver Helicopters.

WAGSTAFF:  Well, we're just starting up into the beautiful Howe Sound.   It's pretty typical of the scenery that continues from here all the way up to Alaska.  Heavy woods, islands, deep mountainsides, and close, snowy peaks and glaciers up on top. 

BURT WOLF (in helicopter):  Mother Nature had a crush on this place.

BURT WOLF:  As you approach this city from the harbor, the first thing you see is Stanley Park, a thousand acres of forest and recreational area.  And it’s all right at the edge of the downtown area.  In minutes, you can walk from the center of the office district, to the beaches. 

WOLF (in helicopter):  Vancouver is an amazing city.  You could spend the mornings sailing, play a little tennis and golf in midday, and go skiing in the afternoon. 

WAGSTAFF:  Oh yeah, that's for sure, there are several months of the year in the  springtime where you can do all those activities in ... in one day. 

BURT WOLF:  People commute to work on a seabus system, and get around town in the Sky Train.  It has the second largest Chinatown in North America.  Thousands of restaurants with the range of food covering almost every country in the world.  The Museum Of Anthropology has an awesome collection of works of art, created by the original west coast cultures.  And the nearby Capilano Canyon hosts the world's longest suspension bridge, swaying gently some twenty-five stories above the river.  Crossing it was enough suspense to last me a lifetime.  And when it comes to the foods of Vancouver, there are three major chapters to the story.  The first one is all about the native inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest.  Next, we deal with the colonists who popped in from Europe.  And finally, the history of the Oriental community.  And you can see how all three of these themes blend together, when you go shopping at the Granville Island Public Market. 

Granville Island was once the heart of Vancouver's industrial section.  These days, however, it is a center of cultural, theatrical, and gastronomic activity.  With a College Of Art And Design, galleries, theaters, a boating center, and its star attraction, the Granville Island Public Market.  There's a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables from nearby farms, as well as products shipped in from around the world.  The local waters supply a wide variety of fish and  seafood, as they have for thousands of years.  This was the major source of food for the native population and still represents a favorite part of Vancouver cooking.  There's also a strong European character to he food of Vancouver.  We are, after all, in British Columbia. 

The first example that you see of a British influence in the market is in the fruit pie.  When most countries make a fruit pie, there's a crust on the bottom and then the fruit and that's it.  But in Tudor England they developed a crust on top; that's where the “surprise pie” was invented.  Remember the old poem, "four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie, and when the pie was opened the birds began to sing?"  That was a Tudor surprise pie, and they needed the crust on the top to hide the surprise.  So any time you see a fruit pie with a second crust on top, you are looking at a modern-day example of an Old English fruit pie.

Another obvious English influence is The Stock Market.  Each day they make fresh soup stock with fish, poultry, meat or vegetables.  And finally, the Orient, made totally scrutable at the South China Seas Trading Company.  Imported specialties from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, being purchased by descendants of the English colonists.  The native tribal foods, the European traditions, and the Orient -- constantly helping each other to more interesting meals. 

The huge selection of foods presented at the Granville Public Market reminds me of the original myth that was told in connection with this region.  The earliest native legend that we have about the area that we now call Vancouver describes a local river basin as filled with so much food that it was enough to feed all of mankind. The people who lived here originally were very sophisticated.  They had been in the neighborhood for thousands and thousands of years.  They had settled along the banks of the rivers, and along the shores of the Pacific Ocean.  The water was very important to  them.  It was their highway, and the source of much of their food.  They had salmon, and halibut, and herring, mussels and clams.  The weather was very good and so the necessities of life came easily.  And that left them lots of time to develop some fabulous art.

This box was used to hold food near the cooking area.  It's actually part of a Native American cannister set.  A huge spoon served about a gallon of soup.  It was used at large gatherings. A smaller spoon comes out of the mouth of a fish.  A reminder to everyone that the greatest source of food is the sea.  The small decorative spoon was used for serving whipped soap berries, the local version of a fruit mousse.  And a basket for carrying home food.  Now you don't see these anymore at your local check-out counter, but they were there in the old days. 

The original native inhabitants of the Vancouver area of British Columbia were real party animals.   They took their gatherings very seriously.  And they were particularly interested in what you might call the party favor.  You know, that little thing that a very gracious host might give you as a remembrance of the event.  It was called a potlatch, which means “to give,” but in this case, the phrase may be taken to its illogical extreme.  Each family would spend the year gathering up all of their possessions.  Then they would give a fabulous feast for their neighbors.  At the end of the feast, they gave away everything they owned.  They were left with just the barest essentials.  It was worse than when my kids come home for a weekend.  But all was not lost, because next year, the guests became the hosts, and they tried to give away even more.  These people judged their wealth not by what they owned but what they could give away.  Not unlike the US Federal Government. 

In downtown Vancouver, there's a restaurant called Quillicum.  Its graphic emblem has a special meaning for me.  Notice that the eyes in the head are bigger than the eyes in the stomach.  A reminder not to eat with your eyes.  The world quillicum means “return of the people.”  And that's exactly what people do once they have eaten here.  They return into an environment filled with native art that was created by one of the owners, Art Bolton.

Guests at the restaurant eat out of bowls which Art has carved.  Each represents one of the powerful animal spirits that are central to native West Coast culture.  

ART BOLTON:  The loon, I I like, because of the echo it does when it echoes across a river.

BURT WOLF:  Art's wife, Bonnie Thorn, is in charge of the kitchen.  One of the dishes that she offers is called the potlatch supper for two.  Filets of salmon go onto an alderwood grill.  Next, a few oysters and a few pieces of caribou meat.  Now, you might have trouble finding caribou meat at your local market, but that's not a big problem.  The dish works just as well with bear, or elk, or walrus. 

Everything goes into a bowl, with hungry bear symbols on the ends.  It's served with local vegetables, and breads.

Centered on the northern part of Vancouver Island and inhabiting the coastal waters of the area, are the Quagoth,  {note - this is a phonetic pronunciation]  members of a native tribe that has been here for tens of thousands of years.  They are a seafaring people who live along the shores and look to the local waters for much of their food.  One of their traditional structures is the plank house.  This is the plank house of the late chief Mungo Martin, [DRUMS] who was a great painter, carver, and song maker.  It is a dance house, where tribal dances are performed and tradition passed on.

[CHANTING AND DRUMMING]

It is also a place where traditional cooking is presented.  A wood fire is built in the center of the square room.  There's an opening in the ceiling which draws up all the smoke and ash.  It works like a chimney without walls.  Salmon that has been cleaned and opened flat is set into a grill that's been put together from cedar wood.  The grill frame gets attached to a three foot long device that acts like a giant clothespin.  And that gets set into the ground in front of the fire.  When you want to turn up the cooking heat, you push it in.  To lower it, you pull it back.  Talk about an easy set of controls. 

Tony Hunt is the grandson of Mungo Martin.  A chief in his own right, and a man devoted to teaching the culture of his people. 

BURT WOLF:  Tell me about the food tradition in your tribe.

TONY HUNT:  The food tradition in our tribe is... it was ... it was so much because there was so much [NOISE]  and and so you're at an early stage you're raised and taught to respect the the food, the fish, the element.  The the  the clams the crabs, you know.

WOLF:  It was a communal tradition with families really involved with the food. 

HUNT:  Well there were people in a house, like this house, that were responsible for gathering the food. 

WOLF:  How many people would live in a house like this one?

HUNT:  In a house this size, maybe three or four families. 

WOLF:  And everybody'd be involved in the food from the beginning.

HUNT: Everybody but the chief.  [HE LAUGHS]

WOLF:  I get the feeling that there was a very sound ecology in the history of your tribe?   That they didn't overhunt or over fish for any animal. 

HUNT:  Well there was always a great respect for the spirit of the salmon, for example.  To be always have it come, and returning every year, so you never insulted the spirit of the salmon.  You thanked the spirit to give giving you the salmon.   And as the as the fishermen does, [NOISE] every, every time he's out there.  So there's a great respect for for life.  And I think our present society doesn't respect that you know.  They go to a restaurant and order whatever they want.  They don't know how, what's involved in getting that. 

WOLF:  That's really important to bring back, even if we still eat in restaurants...

HUNT:  Yeah.

WOLF:  ... you should understand that somewhere down the line...

HUNT: That's right.

WOLF:  ... somebody had to grow this and  harvest it ....

HUNT:  That's right.

WOLF:  ... and care for it.

HUNT: Oh yeah.

WOLF:  That's still very much part of you culture, isn't it?

HUNT: We still do everything today, with he same kind of preparation of the foods, of the salmon, it's cooked the same way and preserved the same way, dried.  So...

WOLF:  The native tribes trace their heritage back over thirty thousand years.  The Europeans are real newcomers. 

Captain George Vancouver of Great Britain was the first European to seriously explore the Pacific Coast of Canada.  He arrived in the late 1700s and was very impressed with the enormous amount of good food that was easily available.  This place was Mother Nature's supermarket.  And every day the Great Spirit sent a message: “Attention shoppers, the salmon are arriving!”  Or the oysters, or the ducks.  Life was easy.  But there was no great rush to the region,  until gold was discovered in 1858.  Gold just seems to give people a rush. 

About twenty-five thousand guys arrived in the area seeking their fortune. and when they had dug up all of the gold, then logging became the big business.  And to take care of the lumberjacks’ hunger and thirst, there was Jack Dayton.

Jack Dayton opened up a small hotel and saloon and was known as Gassy Jack, because he talked so much.  The community that grew up around him was known as Gastown.  In 1886, that name was changed to Vancouver.  But the old Gastown is still part of the city.  The streets are still covered with cobblestones, and the local time is announced by the world's only steam-powered clock. [CLOCK SOUNDS]  My kind of timepiece.  Gives you the time, cooks a little broccoli. 

As Vancouver grew, it became more and more cosmopolitan.  By the early 1900s it was a major metropolis.  And a major symbol of that progress was the Hotel Vancouver.  The steep-pitched copper roof of the Hotel Vancouver has become a prominent feature of the city’s skyline, and its public rooms, the hangout of the town's most fashionable folks.  It opened in 1939, just in time to welcome King George the Sixth and Queen Elizabeth, who had popped over from London.   The hotel's distinct and classic fixtures and furniture have been restored and represent fine examples of this European style.  The main restaurant is the Timber Club, which is decorated with memorabilia from the world of logging. 

The executive chef, Elio Guaniari, is preparing his famous recipe for chicken breasts filled with buttermilk stuffing.  The stuffing is very simply made by heating a little vegetable oil in a pan and cooking some chopped shallots, rosemary, prosciutto, bread crumbs and parsley.  

ELIO GUANIARI:  Grandma was never wrong on this recipe.  It smells and tastes beautiful.

BURT WOLF:  Then off the heat, it's moistened with a little buttermilk, thickened with egg white and flavored with pepper.  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are sliced almost in half, filled with the stuffing, folded up and sauteed in a little vegetable oil for two minutes on each side,  then finished in the oven at four hundred degrees for twenty minutes.

GUANIARI:  Perfect.

WOLF:  While the chicken is baking, Elio makes a chutney by cooking together some brown sugar, vinegar, pears, fresh ginger, and blueberries.  Brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses added in.  It changes the color, and it has a little effect on the flavor, but the nutritional content is just about the same.  When it's time to present the dish, the chutney goes onto the plate, then the chicken is sliced and set on top.  And it tastes as good as it looks.  [MUSIC]

The first settlers to arrive in Vancouver were mostly from Great Britain.  But then, in the late 1800s, a large group of Chinese laborers arrived to help with the construction of the Trans-Canada Canadian Pacific Railroad.  The railroad was finished in 1885, but the laborers stayed on.  And today, Vancouver's Chinatown is probably the largest in North America, and it's quite a place.

This is the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden.  It's the first full-scale classical garden ever constructed outside of China.  It reflects the Taoist philosophy of balance:  light and dark, hard and soft, small and large.  It's modeled after a private garden that was built during the Ming dynasty of the late 1300s.

The port of Vancouver reminds many people of the harbor area of Hong Kong.  As a result, many of the folks leaving Hong Kong for North America have settled in this region.  These days the town has some of the world's finest Chinese restaurants, created by specialists who have come here directly from the orient.  Example, the Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant.  The basic piece of equipment in a Chinese restaurant kitchen is the wall of woks.   The heat is supplied by a ring of burners set in a deep, concrete cylinder.  The wok sits on top of the burner.  The trick to cooking in the wok is to keep the food moving quickly.  You apply heat to all of the food's surfaces, but only a little bit at a time and fast.  By and large, the less heat you use to cook a food, the more nutrients remain in.  The master gave me a short lesson which proved the old saying, you must crawl before you wok.

BURT WOLF:  Wow.  Okay. 

[APPLAUSE, BURT LAUGHS]

The professional wok is a bit harder than I thought, but the eating is easy.  At a traditional Chinese gathering, the food will almost always come to the table on a turning disk or what we often call a lazy susan.  And the reason for that is, at a Chinese meal, conversation is extremely important, and it is thought to be impolite to interrupt that conversation to ask somebody to pass the stir-fried vegetables.  I was also curious as to why a culture as sophisticated as the Chinese would develop chopsticks, but not develop knives and forks to go on the table.  And I asked one of the leading Chinese historians.  He told me that the Chinese had developed knives and forks thousands and thousands of years before western society,  but had decided that it was impolite to continue butchering at the table.  

The Chinese wok, with its ability to be used for stir-frying, stewing, steaming, and boiling, makes it the ultimate all-purpose pot.  But the Chinese cleaver is also in a class by itself for all around utility.  Because China was always short of fuel, cooks cut up their ingredients into small pieces; that way they would cook faster and use less fuel.  The Chinese also felt very strongly about food arriving at the table in contrasting shapes, sizes and textures.  If one dish is sliced, the next should be diced, or minced, or slant-cut.  The tool that is versatile enough to do all that, plus work as a pounder, grinder and transporter, is the Chinese cleaver.  They come in three sizes: large, usually marked with the number one, medium, marked two, and small, marked three.  And each of those sizes comes in two weights, light and heavy.  If you're going to get one, I suggest the medium size in the lightweight; that's the best for all-around kitchen work.  Hold the cleaver from the top, with one finger on each side of the back of the blade.  You have all of the control that you would normally get with a standard kitchen knife.  But now you get the added benefits of the Chinese cleaver.  Necessity does spawn creativity. 

A central theme that runs through every part of Chinese cooking is fuel efficiency.  For over four thousand years, the chefs of China have been mastering the art of getting the most cooking from the least energy.  It started with the development of  the wok, and clearly continued in the Chinese steamer.  The multi-level structure will cook two tiers of food at the same time, and keep three or four levels warm. 

A classic Chinese steamer is an amazing piece of equipment.  Because it's in constant contact with water, it's made without any metal parts.  It's produced by shaping, grooving and bending the bamboo.  To use the steamer, you simply place the food to be cooked into a layer of the steamer.  You can put it directly onto the bamboo strips, or you can put it in on top of a plate.  Put the lid on top to hold the steam in, and place the steamer over a wok, or over a pan of boiling water or soup stock.  It's important to choose a steamer that's about two inches smaller in diameter than the wok you're using, so it will fit inside properly.

Remember that a steamer will only do the actual cooking in the bottom two layers. Above that, they heat isn't strong enough.  It's only good for keeping things warm.  Steaming is a great way to cook.  It holds in the food's nutrients and it doesn't add any fat.

And a great way to burn off any excess fat you may already have, is to head up north to the Whistler Ski Resort.   As the moist air of the Pacific Ocean rises along the glacier-capped coastal mountains of Western Canada, the cooling air deposits its moisture in the form of snowflakes.  But the warm ocean currents keep the area’s air temperatures rather mild.   As a result, the town of Whistler, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, has become one of the world's great ski resorts. 

Steve Flynn, of Blackcomb helicopters, gives us a bird’s eye view.  There's a European style village that threads its way through the center of the valley, and the town itself is surrounded with quiet trails for cross-country skiing. 

The average woman, cross-country skiing on a flat surface, at about the same speed you would use for a normal walk, will burn up about seven calories in a minute, or about for hundred calories in an hour.  The average man, for genetic reasons, will burn up considerably more.  A fact that infuriates the young lady who produces my television reports, but hey, that's life.  Guys are gonna use up about eleven calories a minute, or about six hundred calories an hour.  If you cross- country ski for a few days in a row, you will set yourself up for some great eating.  In the first two to four hours, after each cross-country ski trip, your muscles will be ready to store up fuel for the next day.  The foods that will do the best job are the complex carbohydrates:  pastas with a low-fat sauce, beans, legumes, whole grain rice, whole grain breads and potatoes... and the place to take in those calories is the Chateau Whistler. 

Located at the base of two world-class ski mountains, the chateau is the ideal splashdown area when returning to Earth.  They even have an outdoor-indoor pool for relaxing the muscles you built up on the mountain.  And the most adorable ski camp for little kids.  I never knew how close the relationship was between skiing and pizza, until I heard the instructors explaining how the children should hold their skis. 

INSTRUCTOR:  Let's see who can do the biggest piece of pizza.  Next time, try and try and make your skis more together at the front and bigger at the back.  ‘Cause that was good, remember what you were doing yesterday.  What's your favorite kind of pizza, Lindsey? 

LINDSEY:  Peanut butter.

INSTRUCTOR:  Peanut butter pizza?   Um okay, let's all make a big piece of peanut butter pizza.  There we go.

INSTRUCTOR 2: Ready?

INSTRUCTOR:  Big piece of peanut butter pizza....

INSTRUCTOR 2:  Good guys...

INSTRUCTOR:  Good girl.

INSTRUCTOR 2:  Good.  Yeah.

INSTRUCTOR:  Good girl, that was great.

BURT WOLF:  The Chateau takes you back to a time when hotels were built by people in love with the art of their craft. A perfect description of the chateau's manager, David Roberts.  He loves the art. 

BURT WOLF:  Tell me about the Chateau?

DAVID ROBERTS: Well, we built it with.. . the intent of recreating a French chateau.  The the stone... is taken from the local hills and its a squamish rock.  The slate on the floor with that beautiful hue is from Vermont.  The carpeting is is a Mennonite design, which we had handmade.  The ... ballroom we have this wonderful dome.  In the dome we have got a gold leaf ceiling, and they have painted a compass.  Now, the artist that did that, unfortunately, left their compass at home and they put “north” in the wrong place.  So the next morning when I came down to check it and see how beautiful it looked ,we found we got a geographical problem, so rather than change the hotel around, I asked them to change to compass.  It was a lot cheaper. 

BURT WOLF:  And included in the Chateau's works of art are the creations of executive chef Bernard Cassevon.  Here's the recipe for granola flan, with a fresh fruit sauce.   Granola is mixed together with a little honey, pressed into a ring on a baking sheet and baked for eight minutes in a three hundred and fifty degree fahrenheit oven.  A food processor is used to make a puree of bananas, papaya, strawberries and a little orange juice.  The blend is strained to give it a smooth texture.  Then the sauce goes onto the serving plate.  The granola flan on top.  Strawberries, papaya, a little yogurt, a garnish of berries, mint and piece of filo dough.  A symbolic dessert:  the mountains, the snow, the towers of the chateau, the fruitful earth and the honeyed temperament of the people who live here.  And all with the healthful outlook which is so much a part of Canadian cooking. 

Scientists have come to the conclusion that saturated fat will do more to raise your blood cholesterol level than any other food you could eat.  So if somebody could come up with a cooking oil that was almost free of saturated fat, that would be a giant and healthful step in the right direction.  And that's exactly what a group of Canadian scientists did.  They based it on a relative of the mustard plant, pressed out the oil, and named it Canola, after Canada. 

Canola oil is pressed from the seeds of this beautiful yellow-flowered plant.   The oil is lower in saturated fat than any other type of cooking or salad oil...  fifty percent lower than corn oil, or olive oil, and sixty percent lower than soybean oil.   Many of the chefs of Canada have made their favorite recipes more healthful by shifting to Canada's national oil. 

A good idea for most of us.  Members of the American Dietetic Association recommend that we keep our calories from saturated fat down to ten percent of our total calories and this stuff can help. 

So what have we learned here in the Canadian province of British Columbia?  First of all, lots of different foods, from lots of different cultures is the best way to eat.  The more different foods that are part of your diet, the greater you chance of getting all the different nutrients you need.  [DRUMS]  The native tribes in this area cook most of their food by grilling.  It's a good idea.  No fat is added, and much of the fat in the food itself, just drips away in front of the fire. 

The Gastown clock. [CLOCK SOUNDS]   It's a constant reminder to eat your vegetables.  And steaming is just about the healthiest way to cook them.  Canola oil, very low in saturated fat.  It's ideal for a healthful diet.  And don't forget exercise.  It's every bit as important as diet when it comes to weight control, and good health.    That's Eating Well In Vancouver.  [MUSIC] Please join us next time, as we travel around the world looking for foods that taste good, and make it easier to eat well.  I'm Burt Wolf. 

Eating Well: Mexico - #114

BURT WOLF: Mexico, where European explorers got their first taste of tomatoes, chile and chocolate. We'll take a look at an ancient culture that believed its major responsibility was to cook great food. We'll find out what these people can teach us about good food for good health, plus some great-tasting Mexican recipes that are easily prepared in any home kitchen. We'll see where chocolate comes from and we'll talk food with Mexico's superstar of television and film, Ofelia Medina. Join me, Burt Wolf, Eating Well in Mexico.

The story of Mexico began with the native Indian cultures that have been here for tens of thousands of years and culminated in the magnificent societies of the Mayans and the Aztecs. These are extraordinary groups of people with a great deal of sophistication. Next came the colonial period. It started when the Spanish explorer Cortez arrived in the early 1500's and lasted for about 400 years. Strong Spanish, French and Austrian influences were infused into every aspect of life in what became known as New Spain. By the beginning of the 20th Century, European ideas and techniques had been blended together with the native Indian beliefs and skills to a point where a completely new culture had been formed. Mexico had its own and distinct personality. The most recent part of this country's history began with the revolution of 1910, which brought about the independent country of Mexico. 

Time is the most powerful ingredient in cooking. In Mexico, hundreds of years have blended the native Indian and European cooking into a cuisine that has immense variety and a truly unique quality. It's a cuisine that has much to teach us in terms of food and good health. The staple ingredients are standards of good eating. Frijoles, small black beans, which are standard in Mexican cooking, is a precious gem of cooking. Dried beans with no cholesterol and very little fat--they offer the highest form of vegetable protein--and they're rich in folacin, potassium, phosphorus and the B-vitamins. 

Indian cultures seemed to have a great understanding of healthful foods. Their meals were high in fiber from an extraordinary amount of fruits and vegetables. These were a basic part of almost every meal, lots of nuts and seeds, too. Even their bread, the tortilla, when it's baked instead of fried, has a fabulous nutritional balance. Almost all of their recipes manage to combine small amounts of meat, fish or poultry with lots of grains, peas and beans. The result is a very high concentration of valuable nutrients in a low-fat, high-fiber system. The Indians contributed an enormous amount of valuable information and left a fascinating archeological history.

Mexico's earliest settlers, which included the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, were incredibly sophisticated cultures evidenced by the magnificent ruins that remain today. The Mayans believed that the gods had created them for the express purpose of producing great foods for the deities to dine on. The Mayans were convinced that they had been made from corn -- thus the meaning of their name -- the men of corn. Their sacred texts also told them that if they did not produce the appropriate foods, the universe would come to an end. Talk about feeling pressured to cook! The recipe fails and so does the planet? This pressure to be great farmers led them to develop reliable calendars. In fact, it was the Mayans who first calculated the solar year to be 365 days. The Mayans became skilled astronomers, mathematicians, builders.

The Aztec central market was so gigantic that it regularly held over 60,000 people. Now that's a supermarket! And it stocked an astounding variety of foods, foods that were, at the time, unknown to the rest of the world -- corn, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, avocados, chilis, vanilla and chocolate. All gifts from the ancient Mayan or Aztec societies.

The Indian cultures also gave us guacamole, probably the most famous Mexican dish. Legend has it that the first person to eat an avocado was a Mayan princess around 291 B.C. The ancient Aztecs believed that avocados had mystical and romantic powers. 

More? Well, here's classic guacamole recipe from chef Josephina Howard.

(BACKGROUND VOICE)

BURT WOLF: (CONTINUES) Onions and salt are rubbed together, chopped serrano or jalapeno chilis go in, avocado cut into bite-size pieces and a chopped tomato. Avocados are rich in potassium and vitamin A. They're low in sodium and the fat that they contain is mono-unsaturated, which is pretty good for you. But bear in mind that there are 200 calories in a half-cut of avocado. Moderation!

Here's another of Josephina's favorites. It's a recipe for a chicken in a spicy sauce that is definitely in the bag. A paste is made from chopped chilis, garlic, cumin, and cloves. It's painted onto chicken parts that have the bones in and the skin on. The piece of chicken is then placed onto the center of a piece of parchment paper, which is drawn up around the chicken, sealed off with a string and trimmed. Originally this dish was made with leaves, but these days, for ecological reasons, it's made with parchment paper. The bags of chicken and sauce go into a steamer where they cook for twenty-five minutes.

It's important to remove the skin from a poultry dish in order to reduce the cholesterol and fat content, but scientists couldn't figure out whether they wanted us to remove the skin before or after the cooking to have its greatest effect. A recent research project, however, indicates that it doesn't make any difference. You can cook it with the skin on or cook it with the skin off. Just don't eat the skin. When they come out, the pouch is placed onto the serving dish and opened. 

One of the ingredients that gives this dish its distinctive taste is the clove. The spice we call a clove is actually the unopened flower bud of the clove tree. And the buds must be picked by hand just before they open. That means that each tree is picked over and over and over again for weeks at a time until they get all the buds. After that, a couple of dozen other hand operations that are labor-intensive, like drying them in the sun in small batches and turning them by hand, and you'll see why cloves are one of our more pricey spices. And they've been that way for thousands of years. 

Cloves are native to a group of small islands near Australia. But Portuguese traders of the 1500's knew about these islands and were making great fortunes by bringing spices from them to Europe. They were so protective about the location of the island, that they actually made maps of the area that were incorrect and would lead the sailors of other nations into the rocks. The Dutch eventually took control of the area, which came to be known as the Dutch West Indies and the islands came to be know, quite descriptively, as the Spice Islands. 

The best clove flavor always comes from the whole clove bud. Stick them into something before they go in the pot, so you can remove them from the dish before you serve. They're not fun to chew on. Like bay leaves, you want their flavor and then you want them out of the dish. 

The Aztecs believed that at some point in time a great savior would arrive from across the sea. So when a group of Spanish explorers led by Hernando Cortez showed up in the early 1500's, Hernando looked like he had just stepped out of a legend. Within a short time, and without much difficulty, Cortez took control of the land and the history of new Spain began. On August 13th, 1521, Empire of the Sun was eclipsed. The capital city of the Aztecs was captured by the conquistadors and a new society was born, a society that contained the richness and complexity of both parents; not Indian, not Spanish and yet clearly the child of the two. 

You can see this mixture in the architecture of the period. The buildings are designed by Spanish missionary builders who remembered the architecture of their homeland. All the work of construction was done by Indian artisans with their ancient values and talents. The colonial period had lasted almost four centuries. It was a time of European rule, with Spanish, French, and Austrian influences. 

Of course, the influencing in the blending continued in the kitchen. Along with the architecture, religion, and language, the conquistadors brought rice, wheat, cinnamon, olives, cloves, beef, butter, cheese and European cooking techniques. 

You can see the marriage of the Old and the New Worlds in the cooking of Patricia Quintana. An accomplished chef for twenty-five years, Patricia Quintana is also a best-selling cookbook author, who believes that the essence of Mexican cooking is as rich and provocative as the Mexican culture itself. She was kind enough to share her recipe for fish inVera Cruz sauce. A little oil goes into a saute pan and three cloves of garlic are heated in that oil to give it a garlicy flavor. And then the whole garlic cloves come out and some chopped garlic goes in. A chopped onion, three ripe tomatoes that have also been chopped, a chili that's been sliced, but not so far as to make it break open. You want the seeds to remain inside. Some bay leaves, marjorium, thyme. All that cooks down for about forty minutes until it's almost a puree. About ten minutes before it's ready to serve, add in a tablespoon of capers and ten whole olives. While the sauce is finishing off, take a few fillets of red snapper and saute them until they're cooked through. A little of the sauce goes onto the plate, a slice of the cooked fish, a little more sauce and a garnish of herbs. Patricia puts on final decoration with some colored oils. The green oil was colored by letting it sit in spinach for a couple of weeks, but you can make any color by letting the oil sit with any intensely colored fruit or vegetable. The tomatoes and the chili in that recipe came directly from the Indian cultures. Hard to think of life in the kitchen without those ingredients. 

It's also hard to think about cooking without poultry. Patricia Quintana uses chicken to cook up a second traditional recipe called salbute. Start by making a marinade. Blend together a little garlic, orange juice, grapefruit juice, a little vegetable oil, two peppercorns and some red vinegar. This marinade is poured over six skinless, boneless chicken breasts and that sits together for about two hours in the refrigerator. Then onto a grill until they're cooked through. A little more of the marinade goes on while they're cooking. 

Both standard and blue-corn tortillas are cut into three inch rounds and pan-fried in a little vegetable oil until they're crispy, about three minutes. Then they're removed from the pan to drain. The red onion is sliced, a little salt and pepper goes on, a little orange juice, a little grapefruit juice, a little oil, three cloves of crushed garlic. Mix that together and let it rest. When you're ready to serve, cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and place them on the tortillas. Top that with the marinated onions and you're ready to go.

Mexico's leading lady, Ofelia Medina is an actress of extraordinary range and talent. A student of the legendary Lee Strasberg, Ofelia's work has been internationally recognized with numerous awards for excellence, including the coveted Ariel Silver Goddess Award, which is the Mexican Oscar. A current stage show, "Mexican Senorita," premiering in New York City is a favorite of mine for a very specific reason.

The opening of your show, there's a wonderful song, which is made up of the names of Mexican dishes. Sing that for me.

OFELIA MODINA: It's...um, it's says “Son sus tacos y tortilla, guacamole, quesadilla, chiles verdes y frijoles en sus sopas de escamoles, panuchos, panochas, papayitas, la melcocha con tequila y su sangrita o su chela heladita, su memela con salsita, pico-pico-pico-pico-pico-pico-pico-- picosita!”

BURT WOLF: What does that mean in English?

OFELIA: A taco is a tortilla with something inside. Guacamole is avocados mashed with onion and, and... and tomato... and cilantro and... (LAUGHS) Quesadillas is, is cheese with, with tortilla and sopas is a kind of tortilla that you fry and put beans and sauce on top. And picoso, it’s hot.

BURT WOLF: I read a quote of yours that said that to be a star in American movies you had to make too many sacrifices to fantasy. What did you mean?

OFELIA: I mean that what is fundamental for me as an artist is to create and not think about becoming a star or... because that kills your creativity. I don't want to become anything. I want to create all the time. I want not to worry about being famous or becoming something. So you kill your fantasies in order to... eh? No, I, it's...I want to enjoy life and enjoy the stage.

BURT WOLF: When you travel and you're away from Mexico, are there foods that you miss?

OFELIA: Mmm. The Huevos Rancheros in the morning. And, and I, I miss complicated breakfasts because... normally when you're out, you eat breakfast like very simple, just coffee and something continental breakfast or to me, that’s a pain. I like to, to have...big breakfast with huevos rancheros and guacamole and everything. When I was a child, my family lived in a very traditional way and I remember in the kitchen of my house, it's a, an enormous table. Very raw, very simple, and ten women making chocolate, mixing cocoa and cacao and sugar and these ingredients and there was one day a week in which they make chocolate. And it was very special because in the morning, early, very early, you'd wake up with this smell of...of...toasting of...cocoa and, mmm, during the whole day it was like passing through these, mmm, until it was finally done.

BURT WOLF: I truly share Ofelia's love of chocolate and since the rest of the world learned about chocolate from Mexico, I think it's only fitting that we take a short and sweet look at its history. 

The Mayans believed that after the demise of a good person, his spirit would dwell in the gentle shade of the cacao tree and chocolate would be available to drink forever. Cortez was the first European to taste chocolate and he quickly sent it back to Spain where it became a drink of major importance. The Spanish loved it so much and valued it so highly that they kept chocolate a secret for over a hundred years.

(SOUND OF BIRDS)

(CONTINUES) The cacao trees thrive in the hot, moist climate of the jungle. The beans develop inside a pod that hangs from the bark of the tree. The ideal spot is at the edge of the tropical rain forest. You've got the heat; you've got the humidity. Boy, have you got the heat and humidity! You also have got the rich soil necessary for the cacao tree. The tree grows pretty high, twenty or thirty feet, but it's a very delicate tree.

The pod is harvested, opened and the beans removed. The ferment for a while in the heat of the jungle, then they're dried and shipped off to a chocolate factory. The beans are roasted, cracked into small nibs and pureed into a liquid. The liquid is put under an enormous amount of pressure -- 6,000 pounds per square inch. And that separates the liquid cocoa butter from the solids, which are now called cocoa. Mix the cocoa powder together with lots of cocoa butter and some sugar and you've got a chocolate paste. Smooth that chocolate out with rollers, mix it together to a nice consistency in the conching process and you're ready to make a chocolate bar.

The Mayans and the Aztecs believed that chocolate was given to them as a gift from their gods. And who am I to argue? And am I ever willing to pay homage with an enticing recipe for chocolate truffles. Take four ounces of melted semisweet chocolate and whisk in four ounces of heavy cream that's been heated to just under the boiling point. Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth. Let the chocolate cool for an hour and then soften up the cold mixture with a whisk. Put the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe little one inch balls of the chocolate onto a sheet of parchment paper. If you don't have a pastry bag, just spoon out the mixture. Put the tray into the refrigerator for an hour to harden up the chocolate. Melt two ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and when it's cool enough to handle, dip each of the balls into the chocolate. Give them a complete coating and then roll them through ground nuts, confectioners’ sugar or unsweetened cocoa. 

In our earliest contact with chocolate, we have thought of it as a food or drink that fortifies the gastronomic soul. But from time to time, it has gotten an unfair rap. For many years, skin specialists thought that there might be some sort of relationship between skin problems like acne and chocolate. Not so, say researchers from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine. Good news for teenagers. There's also a lot of talk these days about caffeine and some people point out that chocolate contains caffeine and suggest that you avoid it. Well, let me give you the word on caffeine and chocolate. Most people would need to eat between 80 and 160 standard milk chocolate bars at one time before they would get a stimulant effect from the caffeine and chocolate. And as far as chocolate and tooth decay is concerned, the most recent studies show that cocoa may actually have an inhibital effect on dental cavities. Chocolate in moderation? No problem.

And to test our ability to be moderate in all things, master chef, Kevin Graham, is preparing a dessert called Chocolate Breathless, which is the state you will end up in after you make it or after you eat it. Either way, it's a piece of work.

Kevin has baked a series of long strips of chocolate meringue, which is now crushed into little pieces of chocolate. He also has a batch of chocolate-meringue discs, which he coats with a thick layer of chocolate mousse and makes into a three-decker chocolate sandwich. The sandwich is rolled through and covered with the broken strips of chocolate meringue. And that lovely little chocolate bundle is presented on top of a white sauce, varnished with curls of white chocolate and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.

(CONTINUES) Mexico has over 6,000 miles of spectacular beaches. And the towns that sit on them are world famous as vacation destinations -- Ixtapa, Baja, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta. Bathed by the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Mexico is still the land of the sun worshipper and when the sun goes down, the beat comes up: salsa and sizzle! All this travel and fun in the sun makes me hungry. Well, let's dive into something good to eat. 

One of the hottest Mexican recipes is Zarela’s savory salsa. Mix together four large ripe tomatoes that have peeled, but not seeded, and coarsely chopped. A half-cup of finely chopped green onions, a medium clove of garlic, finely minced, a quarter cup of chopped cilantro, three or four jalapeno chilis trimmed, but not seeded and finely chopped, a teaspoon of dried oregano and the juice of half a lime. Mix that all together and you have a classic salsa fresca. Alright, let's have a look at the nutrition here. First of all, be sure to use fresh ingredients. Not only will the food taste better, but it will be nutritionally richer. Whenever fresh vegetables are a part of the recipes, keep them fresh. Store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator to preserve the folic acid content. Important! Both the fresh tomatoes and scallions provide small amounts of folic acid and the tomatoes also contribute a welcome quantity of vitamin C. The fresh chilis have beta carotene which your body converts to vitamin A.

For the past twenty years, Mexican food has been growing and growing in popularity. In restaurants, in supermarkets, even in cookbooks, Mexican food has become an important part of American cuisine. But for many people who are concerned about the risks of a high-fat diet, Mexican food is in the danger zone. Things like enchiladas, tacos, tortillas -- these dishes can be packed with saturated fat, especially the way they are prepared and served in many Mexican restaurants. Fortunately, however, most of the fat is found not in the main part of the recipe, but in ingredients that are part of an add-on copy or a dip. These fat-filled calories are easy to avoid and the techniques are quite simple. Keep a tight limit on all the deep-fried foods like flautas or those that are topped with cheese like nachos. Skip the tortilla chips; they're fried in fat. The same is true for most flour tortillas. Go for the corn tortillas. Corn usually has 75% less flat. And keep the sour cream topping on the side and only use a small portion. It's a simple approach and it leaves you lots of good food to enjoy. Mexican soups like gazpacho are traditionally light; beans and rice are an ideal nutritional combination. Steamed corn tortillas are excellent and the chicken and vegetable dishes usually have a fine nutritional balance.

One of the finest Mexican restaurants in the United States is called Guaymas. It has a fantastic location at the edge of the Tiberon ferry pier facing Angel Island and San Francisco across the bay. For years it has worked hard to serve authentic, regional Mexican dishes. Today their special is fish with a tomato and grape sauce. Not traditional, but nevertheless tremendous. 

The chef is Jose Hernandez and he starts by taking a boneless, skinless of white, firm, fleshed fish and seasoning it with a little salt and pepper. Then it's sliced into small pieces and placed into a pan that has a light coating of vegetable oil that's already been heated. The fish cooks for a few minutes and Jose adds a little flavored butter, which he made by just mixing together some butter, chopped cilantro leaves, tomato paste and black pepper. In spite of what we hear, for almost all of us, our world will not come to end if we cook with a little butter. Just remember that it is a highly saturated fat and you want to use it in moderation. 

The fish cooks for about three minutes more and in goes a little tomato juice mixed with some chopped onion and a chopped tomato, a little more chopped onion and a cup of seedless table grapes that give a great flavor and texture to the recipe. A bunch of grapes go onto a serving dish, a piece of lemon and the fish with its sauce.

The Bible tells us that when the great flood was over and Noah was able to settle down, grape vines were the first things he planted. We have scientific evidence that dates grape growing in Switzerland at 4,000 B.C. And there are ancient Egyptian tomb paintings that show grapes being cultivated. So we've been eating table grapes for a long time. And the reason for their popularity has remained pretty much the same. They're a good source of natural sugar; that's why they taste sweet. And they're very convenient to eat, Mother Nature's snack food, individually packaged for easy use. 97% of our table grapes are grown right here in California. 

The people who study how Americans eat tell us that we are more and more interested in foods that are healthful for us, but we also want good taste and convenience. We appear to have selected the table grape as the proper answer to our needs. It's very encouraging to find out that a recent study showed that children picked table grapes as one of their three favorite snack foods, tied with ice cream. Imagine kids choosing a snack food that's high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and only 100 calories in a cup! I tell you, you live long enough, you see everything. 

So what's the message from Mexico's 3,000 year-old kitchen? Well, the treasures are still there. All you got to do is get 'em up on your table. Dried beans and peas, nutritional gems. Go after them like Cortez went after the gold. Choose recipes that combine lots of vegetables with small amounts of lean meat, fish or poultry. Use fresh chilis to flavor recipes and you can reduce the salt content of many dishes without losing the taste. And best news of all, chocolate in moderation is no problem. So the next time you're enjoying the taste of chocolate, vanilla, chili, corn, beans, potatoes, or tomatoes, you can thank the ancient societies of Mexico. What's Mayan is yours!

That's Eating Well In Mexico. Please join us next time as we travel around the world looking for foods that taste good and make it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: The Superstars of Sports - #113

ANNOUNCER: Sports. They got started so early societies could keep in shape for hunting and gathering food. And even today, there is a close association between eating and athletics. In the next half-hour, we'll spend some time with Mickey Mantle and do some cooking in his restaurant. We'll find out how Sugar Ray Leonard keeps in shape, what Joe Theismann does to keep his weight down now that he's no longer playing professional football and we'll get the recipe for power-packed pasta that's perfect for pre-performance meals. Join me, Burt Wolf, Eating Well with The Superstars Of Sports.

(CROWD CHEERS)

(CONTINUES) Anthropologists studying our earliest societies suggest that men in primitive tribes didn't really have a lot of major responsibilities. They had to develop a perimeter in which women could have the next generation and raise them safely and they had to do the big hunting. Important tasks were really not very time-consuming. If no other tribe was challenging your territory and the local animals were generally available, there wasn't much to do.

(CROWD CHEERS)

(CONTINUES) Now in those days, men's bodies were built for real activity. I guess you could take a look at mine and see how much things have changed. Anyway, imagine all these guys standing around, built like Schwarzeneger with absolutely nothing to do. Unacceptable! And so they began to develop a series of activities in which they could practice their defensive and hunting skills. They formed groups that would compete with each other. They wanted things to be realistic. They also wanted to know who was the biggest and the strongest and the most intelligent and the most effective. And it was out of these groups of people practicing their defensive and hunting skills, that our first sports teams evolved.

(SOUND OF CROWD)

(CLAPPING)

(CONTINUES) Let's take a look at this. Is it possible that the N in NBA, NHL, NFL, NCAA also stands for nutrients, once hunted for? Is there still a close association between the challenge of sports and the serving of chow? Well, I guess the place the to start searching would be our traditional pastime -- baseball. It's our national sport.

(CONTINUES) But like much of our culture, its origins go back to England. Baseball's heritage can be found in an old British game called “rounders.” The U.S. version got its start in the early 1830's. The first official club was probably the Knickerbocker Baseball Club of New York City. At the time, it was a sport for gentlemen and the club had an upper-class social atmosphere. But baseball was too much fun to be the secret of socialites. Us working guys got into the act in 1856 with the formation of a team in Brooklyn. Baseball's popularity quickly spread across the country and by the early 1860's we see the first professional teams where the players got paid and the park charged an admission fee. Almost from the very beginning, there was an association between baseball and food.

(CONTINUES) Pitchers practiced on apples. Walter Johnson, who pitched for the Washington Senators for twenty-one years, taught fellow players how to make a perfect cup of tea as a seventh-inning pick-me-up. 

One of the great stars was Cookie Lavagetto and everybody took a bite out of a hot dog. The term 'hot dog' was first used in 1901 at the Polo Grounds, which was the original stadium for the Giants' baseball team. It was an early day in April, quite cold and the food vendors were not doing particularly well with their ice cream. So they came up with the idea of selling a hot German sausage called an 'dachshund sausage.' It was called a dachshund because the shape of the sausage reminded people of the shape of the dachshund dog. There was a sports cartoonist at the game who thought it was a really great idea. And he put a drawing of a barking sausage in the next day's newspaper. He wasn't quite sure how to spell 'dachshund,' so he labelled the drawing, 'hot dog.' What makes these so great at sporting events is that they're easy to eat. It's the combination of the sausage and the roll that makes the play. And that team got put together at a World's Fair in St. Louis. A man named Anton Feuchtwanger was selling sausages, but they were so hot that people couldn't hold them. So sales were slow. His brother-in-law was a baker who saw what the problem was and helped him out by producing a roll that would hold the meat. Talk about a great assist! It's been said that the hot dog is the noblest and loyalist dog of all. It feeds the and that bites it. The nutritional record of the hot dog, however, might be a little confusing. A few years ago, many people became concerned about the use of nitrates as a food preservative in some hot dogs and other processed meats. It is true that nitrates can lead to the formation of cancer-causing compounds within the stomach. And it also appears that in countries like China, where they eat three times the amount of nitrate-filled foods that we do in the U.S., they have a much higher rate of stomach cancer. But like so many things in life, what we're really talking about quantity. The federal government places strict limits on the amount of nitrates that can be added to meat as a preservative. They also insist that the companies include vitamin C in the process, which helps prevents the formation of dangerous compounds. Final score? At this point in time, there is no evidence that hot dogs eaten in moderation are dangerous. And that's good news, because if you take me out to the ballpark, a hot dog is definitely part of the game.

(CONTINUES) Mickey Mantle, the quintessential baseball player, a farm boy from Oklahoma, who was an extraordinary natural athlete. 

(SOUND OF CROWD CHEERING)

(CONTINUES) He was signed to the New York Yankees in 1951 and remained there for his entire seventeen-year career. The shining superstar of the greatest winning team in baseball history. He had explosive power in his bat from both sides of the plate, a rifle throwing arm and lightning speed that served him in the outfield as well as between the bases. Mantle left behind a collection of achievements which will never be matched for overall consistency and excellence. He hit 536 home runs; many of them were among the longest in baseball history. Three times he was voted the Most Valuable Player in the American league. And he set five World Series records. These days he's continuing his winning streak with Mickey Mantle's Restaurant in New York City. The walls are covered with one of the extensive private collections of sports memorabilia, including the uniforms worn by Babe Ruth and Joe Dimaggio. 

MICKEY MANTLE: Of course, my favorite is one on the outside there, the Yankees retired my number and they gave me the plaque to put on the outside of the wall here. Instead of being on centerfield fence in Yankee Stadium, it's on the outside of my wall here at the Yankee -- I mean at the Mickey Mantle Restaurant and I'm, I'm very pleased with that.

BURT WOLF: It's a place where Mickey can sign autographs, talk sports and hang out with old fans like me. What's your favorite meal, some-thing you like to eat to celebrate?

MICKEY MANTLE: To celebrate?

BURT WOLF: Yeah, when you've won something big and it's, 'let's go out. What are we going to have?'

MICKEY MANTLE: Um...I'm...No, not really, I don't have, I'm, I'm still country as I can be, I guess. I like...fried chicken and chicken fried steaks...nachos. I like Tex-Mex food. I found out that I, I have to kind of watch my weight now. So I kind of stay away from mashed potatoes and gravy and stuff like that. But it's...it's still what I like; I just don't eat as much of it as I used to.

BURT WOLF: But the natural talented Mickey's is not just limited to the front of the house. Executive chef, Michael Salmon, is warming up with his grilled salmon and two-bean salsa. Michael takes the stretch...

(SOUND OF CROWD)

BURT WOLF: (CONTINUES) checks the other cooks in the kitchen...the arm comes around...and two boneless, skinless Norwegian salmon fillets hit the grill. A little white pepper comes in from the center... the precooked white beans are off and running... into the mixing bowl and here comes the precooked black beans! Chopped red onions tag up and head on in. And the chopped tomato. Cilantro comes in and there's the juice of half a lime and there's a mix up in the bowl! But it looks like everything’s okay. The salmon flips over. The red bean salsa heads for the plate. The chef signals for a sacrifice. The salmon slides and it's safe.

(CROWD CHEERS)

(CONTINUES) The juice of half a lime comes out of the dugout and the crowd goes wild! It's a grand slam. The salmon gets credit for Omega-3 oil, which is good for your heart. The beans score with lots of fiber and it's a triple crown winner on taste. Just the kind of performance you'd expect from Mantle's team. 

(CONTINUES) The history of sports that involve a small ball or a disc have a rather clear pattern . First we threw them, then we kicked them, then we hit them with a stick. When you remember that sports were originally developed to keep guys in shape between hunting and fighting, it all makes pretty good sense. 

The concept of taking a small disc and hitting it with a stick is really ancient. There's an Egyptian tomb that was constructed during the year 2050 B.C. and right on the wall, there's a picture of two guys and you can only describe their activity as a hockey face-off. The ancient Egyptians played hockey. The ancient Romans played hockey and almost every country in Europe has at least a 1,000-year old history of something that you could describe as field hockey. But the idea of taking it off the field and putting it onto the ice belongs to the Canadians.

Mike Gartner was born in Ottawa, Ontario. But these days he's the right-wing for the New York Rangers. Often described as the fastest man on the ice, his career record sets him apart as one of the great players of today. He's extremely serious about staying in shape and has an excellent approach to his nutritional goals. 

MIKE GARTNER: During the course of the season, I think that basically our training meals consist of a lot of carbohydrates because that is a fuel of the body and I think we want something that will digest quickly and will go to the necessary muscle groups and everything else and be able through our systems quickly. So I think there's been quite an evolution in...in meal, training meals, even over the past ten years. I remember not too long ago that... a big steak was the, was the staple of, of a game-day meal and, and I think it was found out that that steak really didn't help you until maybe a couple of days after the competition was already over. So there has been a change over and I think carbohydrates are, are a big staple right now. 

BURT WOLF: You have a really good sense of nutrition. Where did you get your information?

MIKE GARTNER: Well, I think that we've been taught that over the years. Um, ten years ago, no one cared too much about nutrition, but I think now there's a lot more input from nutritionists. Teams have nutritionists come to them at the beginning of the season, go over some of the different food groups and, and your percentages that an athlete should have in those food groups and a lot of the guys are very aware of, of what are the necessary food groups to have as an...as an athlete.

BURT WOLF: Let's glide down the ice to the restaurant, Il Nido, in New York and cook up recipe for pasta that will rush to Mike's gastronomic goals. A little vegetable oil is heated in a saute pan. A chopped onion goes in and cooks for about three minutes. You want the onion to soften up and just start to brown at the edges. And in goes three cups of canned Italian tomatoes that are crushed by the pressure of your hand as you put them into the pan. And then the juices of the tomatoes; let that simmer together for about twenty minutes and add in a few leaves of basil that have been chopped, heat for a few minutes more and pour in one pound of penne pasta that has been cooked in advance. Penne means 'the pen' and the pasta actually looks like the tip of a pen. When you go to buy penne, get the kind with ribs on the outside. Those little ribs trap the pasta sauce. Toss that around until the pasta is completely covered with the sauce and into a serving bowl, a garnish of fresh basil leaves, a topping of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese and you're ready to face off. 

(SOUND OF CROWD)

(CONTINUES) Ice hockey has a long history of being filled with moments of controversy, even when it comes to nutrition. Here's a group of players disputing the early research on the amount of fiber that should be part of the average diet. The ref calls it at twenty to twenty-five grams per day and here's how to score it easily. An ounce of wheat bran, 11 grams; half-cup of beans, 8 grams; an ounce of 100% bran cereal, 9 grams. Easy shot. 

(SOUND OF CROWD CHEERING)

(CONTINUES) And there's the Rangers leading an attack on the amount of fat in the American diet. No more than 25% of your calories from fat is good advice. And there they are coming out from behind the cage on the subject of carbohydrates. The officials have ruled that half your daily calories should come from fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals. And everybody on both teams agrees that there's a penalty box for being more than 10% above the proper rate for your height and age. Finally, the best advice from center ice, a regular exercise program. No problem for these guys, but your minimum program is one that's equal to walking three miles in forty-five minutes, and you should do that four times each week. Exercise is a great save.

In 1970, after earning All-American honors and leading Notre Dame to a victory in their second consecutive Cotton Bowl, Joe Theismann was runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

(CROWD CHEERS)

(CONTINUES) That same year, he was named Academic All-American for combining his football success with an outstanding performance in the classroom.

(CROWD CHEERS)

(CONTINUES) In 1974, he began his twelve-year NFL career with the Washington Redskins. He played in 163 consecutive games, leading them to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, including a victory in Super Bowl XVII. These days Joe owns and runs a group of restaurants near Washington, D.C.

JOE: I don't really believe back in the, the early '70's that we were as conscious as athletes of what our diet, how important our diet was to us to maintain our, our energy levels. I mean, you know, if, if it looked good, you ate it. You know, we had one of those, "hey, it looks good; I'll eat it." Period. It really wasn't until about, oh, I guess, till I was twenty-five or twenty-six years old and I started to get up around 180, 185 pounds. Then I started to be a little bit more conscious of, hey, I have a muscle.

(LAUGHTER)

JOE: (CONTINUES) How about that? You know, if you eat this thing will go to the muscle. 

BURT WOLF: You stopped playing in '85. What happened to your metabolism and your diet?

JOE: Well my metabolism obviously slowed down and my diet didn't change that much and consequently my weight went up. I put on about ten pounds. I broke my leg in November of '85, sat around, literally, for six months with my foot in a cast, didn't eat a lot at that time. And then once I started to work out again, I got into this, this mental frame of mind that, I can eat the same things because I'm still an "athlete," quote unquote. And I went from like 195 to 205 to 206 and what I found is that the more I ate, the bigger I got, the more tired I got, the more I wanted to eat. So it sort of fed on itself. 

BURT WOLF: What did you do to lose that weight?

JOE: I have a theory about, about diets. I'm not one to go out and try and deprive the body... of things it likes. I, I think that's wrong. I mean why punish yourself? You, you, you're not only fighting a physical battle, but you're fighting a mental battle. If you see something, you say, "Gee, gosh, I'd love to have that" or "I can't eat it because it's bad for me." I think moderation is the key when it comes to, to intake of food. I'd look at something...for instance, I love a banana split. Every night before a football game, Saturday night, I'd have to have a banana split or else I didn't play well on Sunday. And I carried that over and, and then I went, "Well, Joe, you know, you can't sit down and eat banana splits every night of your life." So instead of having a full banana split, maybe I had one scoop of ice cream and maybe a half of banana. You know, I, I, I didn't deprive myself of it, so mentally I was getting the same thing. I just wasn't getting as much. And I tried to cut the portions back a little bit...

BURT WOLF: What's your exercise program like?

JOE: I'm right now on a three-day-a-week weight lifting program. If you feel refreshed and you have energy approaching an exercise, you're going to be enthusiastic about it and you're not going to be afraid to do it. If you're tired when you sit down and start to do an exercise program, automatically, the head gets in the play and say, "God, you know, I, I don't want to, I don't want to do these 100 sit-ups, maybe I'll do 50 today." And all of a sudden, who are you cheating? You know, I mean there isn't somebody standing over you with a board going, "Ah ha! I've caught you, Burt. You didn't do a hundred of them."

(LAUGHTER)

JOE: (CONTINUES) "Okay, you get one penalty point." I mean it doesn't, you know, you're cheating yourself.

BURT WOLF: What should I have for lunch?

JOE: I'm going to have the, the grilled lime mesquite chicken.

BURT WOLF: Well, I'm ready to order.

JOE: Okay, fair enough.

BURT WOLF: Let's go into the kitchen and see how it's made by chef Louis Isaname. First, there's a marinade. An onion is coarsely chopped and goes into a bowl with some mesquite flavoring, then some lemon grass, a flavoring agent that is definitely optional. Then the juice of two limes, and the limes, some crushed black pepper, a little garlic powder and enough water to cover the ingredients. That gets mixed together and poured over boneless chicken breasts. The chicken can rest in the marinade for a few hours or a few days; just make sure that it takes that rest in the refrigerator. When you're ready to cook, remove the skin from the chicken. Remember, most of the fat and cholesterol in poultry is in the skin. So it's pretty important to avoid it. Doesn't make much difference if they skin is removed before or after the cooking, just don't eat it. The chicken goes on to the grill and is fully cooked on both sides. And onto the dish. A little parsley pasta, steamed green beans topped with sliced almonds, a little red pepper sauce, a garnish of lime slices and parsley and the plate is ready to kick off lunch. You know, somehow I thought Joe's recipe would be served in a super bowl.

(SOUND OF CROWD CHEERING)

BURT WOLF: (CONTINUES) More than any of our spectator sports, football requires a coordinated plan of action, and so it is with good nutrition. Here a team captain teaches some of the basics. Avoid automobile tires as part of your diet. Instead use them as part of an exercise program in order to maintain a healthy weight. Avoid flying wedges of food high in fat and cholesterol. Rush towards vegetables, fruits and grains. A variety of different foods is as important as a variety of different plays. And a good defense against foods too high in sugar or salt is a winning strategy.

(SOUND OF CROWD CHEERING)

BURT WOLF: Boxing is one of the world's oldest forms of competition. The ancient Romans considered it a basic sport, and it was included in the original Olympics over 2,000 years ago. With the decline of Roman Empire, there was a loss of interest in boxing. However, in the true tradition of the sport, boxing made a comeback. In the early 1700's, the kings of England decided that boxing was hot stuff. They even offered prizes for the winners and that's where the sport got the title, "Prize Fighting." By the mid-1800's, it was so important, that a basic form of laws was published to cover the behavior of the fighters. It was written by the Marquis of Queensbury. He called for three-minute rounds, a limited number of them, a ten-second count for the guy on the floor before you called him the loser, the wearing of gloves, and an end to gouging and biting.

(CONTINUES) Then in the early years of this century, boxing became a major spectator sport in the United States. First radio, and then television brought the main events to hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. The day boxers became international stars and national heroes. 

More than any other sport, boxing represented the idea of a culture's fearless, brave, daring champion going into battle for the honor of the society. From the beginning of recorded history, there has always been an association between the hero and hunger. The fearless fighter has always had an ample appetite. Big fighters are big eaters. Before a match, the meal was massive. A couple of thick, juicy steaks, piles of potatoes, loaves of bread, a bottle or two of milk and, of course, mom's apple pie with ice cream. It's amazing that those guys could actually get up from the table, much less get into the ring and box.

When you eat, food is drawn to the core of your body, to help with digestion. It's drawn from your extremities, your hands, your arms, your legs, your brain. The more food you eat and the more fat there is in that food, the more blood is drawn in. That leaves you in a bad position to perform physical tasks and to think.

Nutritionists these days who work with boxers, know that they should be on a low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet. The best meal for a fighter these days before a fight? Big bowl of pasta, low-fat vegetable sauce on top, a drink of half-orange juice and half-water. And the meal should be eaten three or four hours before the fight so that almost all of the digestion is completed before the contest.

A superstar in today's boxing world is Sugar Ray Leonard. Born on May 17th, 1956 in Wilmington, North Carolina, he grew up as a natural athlete, participating in both basketball and boxing.

(SOUND OF BOXING)

(CONTINUES) At the age of twenty, he captured the hearts of the viewing audience when he won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Sugar Ray's primary reason for turning pro was to help support his family. And he's done a pretty good job. The gross revenues from his last four fights brought in 184 million dollars. Sugar Ray Leonard, Olympic Gold medalist, Junior Middle Weight Champion, Welter Weight Champion... Middle Weight Champion and Super Middle Weight Champion. Talk about a concern with weight! What's your favorite meal?

SUGAR RAY LEONARD: My favorite meal? Believe it or not, is hard-shelled crabs. I love crabs, but I'm also... the best food, I, that is rates number one is... escargot.

BURT WOLF: Interesting! It's it the garlic you love?

SUGAR RAY: Oh, I love the garlic, yes, yes. And...you know, I've always... had a taste for it, for some strange, bizarre reason. I mean some young kid from the inner city who loves pork and beans and hot dogs, all of a sudden has this taste for escargot.

BURT WOLF: When you try to gain weight, what do you eat?

SUGAR RAY: Calamari. The best.

BURT WOLF: (LAUGHS)

SUGAR RAY: I love calamari... Fried calamari, I mean hey, you know, you want a million dollars, I'll give you million dollars. Give me fried calamari. Biscuits. You gotta have biscuits. I mean homemade biscuits, you know, kind of, say "come and get me, come and get me, come and get me." The ones that talk to you... and once in a while I love, I love a nice dill pickle. I love a dill pickle every, every now and then. Ice cream and apple pie.

BURT WOLF: Particular flavor?

SUGAR RAY: No, I'm easy. I'm very easy.

BURT WOLF: (LAUGHS) And so is this high-fiber salad prepared by chef Steve Molina to meet the nutritional needs of the champ. A pound of black beans, a pound of red kidney beans and a pound of great northern white beans are covered with water and soaked overnight, then set into fresh water and boiled for five minutes. They're drained, cooled and mixed together. Quarter of a cup of vinaigrette dressing is mixed in, a little fresh thyme and a few tomato slices. Finally, equal amounts of cooked, the yellow beans and green beans. Let's see here. One, two, three, four, five different beans. Okay, ready to serve. You know, if I'm ever offered a five-bean salad that delivered only four beans in my dish I would be in deep trouble. All five beans go onto curly lettuce that has been sprayed with dressing. 

One of the things that Steve and I both do is keep our salad dressings, oils and vinegars in a spray bottle. That way you can apply a mist of the salad oil to your ingredients. You'll get all of the flavor and fewer calories.

A great opening dish to a wonderful meal! What do you say, Sugar Ray?

SUGAR RAY: A, a good meal, you have my heart.

BURT WOLF: Well, it looks like there's a pretty clear historical relationship between hunting and sports and sports and food. But just for the record, let's recap the nutritional highlights. At this point in time, there's no evidence that eating hot dogs in moderation is in any way dangerous to your health. The best source of fast energy is pasta with a low-fat sauce. Most people should get twenty to twenty-five grams of fiber per day. Good sources are wheat, bran, and beans. Half your daily calories should come from fresh fruit, vegetables, grains and cereals. Go for the carbos! A variety of different foods is as important to your health as a variety of different plays to a quarterback. A regular exercise program, something at least equivalent to walking three miles in forty-five minutes is very important for almost everyone and it should be undertaken four times each week. And finally, if you're interested in having a personal eating and nutrition program set up for you by a specialist in the subject, try and select someone who is a member of the American Dietetic Association. They are recognized experts on the subject of proper diet. 

That's Eating Well With The Superstars Of Sports. Please join us next time as we travel around the world looking for something that tastes good and is good for you too. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: Vienna, Austria - #112

BURT WOLF: Vienna, one of the world’s great cities for good food. We'll visit some of their extraordinary coffee shops and find out who discovered our most popular drink. We'll uncover the story of the first croissant, and the battle it was baked for. We'll tour the town's food shops, and cook up some of their best-tasting recipes. Join me, Burt Wolf, Eating Well, in Vienna.

Vienna is a city of imperial beauty. Imperial is definitely the right word, since most of the great buildings in Vienna were constructed under the direction of one of the Austrian emperors, who ruled in Vienna for over six hundred years. Their palaces, personal residences, court buildings, they dominate the city, and give it a distinct character. The imperial lifestyle became part of Vienna's culture and is seen throughout the city. There are still splendid receptions given in the grand ballrooms, the waltzes of Strauss still dominate much of the music, the shopping has as inter-national an aspect as London, Paris, New York or Tokyo. It's what you'd expect to find in one of the world’s more interesting cities. And the town is still manageable in size. You can walk to most of the interesting sites. Saint Stephen's Cathedral, Schoenbrun Palace, Belvedere Palace, the Opera, the Vienna Boys' Choir, which has been singing here since 1498. And if you think these kids are well-coordinated, you've got to take a look at the horses in the Spanish Riding School. They've had their act together for four hundred years and they're Vienna's number one tourist attraction. And most attractive is Vienna's food and its fascinating history. 

A little over two thousand years ago, the city of Vienna was actually a small fishing village. Then the first of the Roman legions arrived. They built their temples and planted their grape vines. The temples and the grape vines are still here, only these days they're right smack in the middle of downtown Vienna. When the Roman Empire declined, Vienna went through a tough time. For about five hundred years, it was constantly subjected to invasion by barbaric hoards. The Visigoths came through, and the Vandals came through, even Attila the Hun stopped in for a piece of pastry. But by the year 1000, the first of the ruling families of Vienna took control. The Bobbinburgs came bob-bob-bobbing along. They turned the city into an important trading center. Crusaders traveling up and back between Europe and the near east, gave Vienna a taste for cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. They also started the growth of the town's enormous sweet tooth by bringing in sugar. In the thirteenth century, the Hapsburg family took over, and began six hundred years of imperial rule. The Hapsburgs were lovers at heart, not fighters. They liked acquiring land through marriage, rather than might. And they did a pretty good job, too. In addition to Austria, they managed to add on Poland, Hungary, and parts of Switzerland, France and Italy, the Netherlands, even Mexico. And central to their power was their understanding that the way to a person's heart was often through their stomach. Why fight when you can flirt and feast?

Today, Vienna is the capital of a neutral nation. A democracy interested in political peace and gastronomic peace. A piece of strudel, a piece of torten, a piece of schnitzel and all the recipes drawn from countries that were once part of the Hapsburg empire. Let me take you on a little tour of Viennese cooking. 

Vienna's old market is one of the city's most famous landmarks. It's called the Naschmarket, which means the nibble market. For decades, it's not only been a central source of good food, but the main base for great gossip. You could find out if the fine tomatoes had come in from the countryside, as well as discover who was the apple of whose eye. Today the Naschmarket still reflects the position of Austria as a gateway between Europe and the near east. One vendor specializes in the dried, sweetened fruits and nuts of the near east. Next to him is a stand covered with the traditional produce of northern Europe, the cabbages and the root vegetables. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale are in the cabbage family. They're high in vitamin C and contain calcium,and phosphorus. They also hold a substance called beta-carotene, which our bodies use to make vitamin A. Beta-carotene appears to help block some forms of cancer. 

Potatoes originated in South America and were brought to Europe in the 1500s. After a few years, they became a very popular crop with European peasant farmers. That's because they grew underground and the invading armies that wandered all over Europe couldn't find them. Those armies would take everything they could from the farmers -- and potatoes, being hidden, were fabulous. Potatoes are very high in nutrients. They've got lots of vitamin C, lots of potassium, lots of fiber, and they're low in calories. Here in Vienna, they're used to make a wonderful potato soup. And in the hands of Vienna's chef, Karl Malafa, potatoes are turned into the kind of hearty peasant soup that has made country cooking famous. Onions are sliced, leeks are sliced and peeled potatoes are sliced. A little oil goes into a pan. Then the onions, the leeks and some fresh marjoram. That gets stirred and cooked together for about five minutes. Then beef broth is added. The lid goes on. And the ingredients simmer together for about twenty-five minutes. The lid keeps the soup from boiling away and helps seal in the flavors. Just at the end of the cooking time, a quarter cup of cream is added in, a technique from the old style of Austrian cooking. I tested the recipe with buttermilk, and again with low-fat yogurt, and both worked out fine. Just don't re-heat the soup after the yogurt goes in or it will separate. Next, a little pepper, and some ground cardamon seed. At that point, everything is blended into a puree. Mushrooms are sauteed and placed into the serving bowl as a garnish. A few pre-cooked cubed vegetables are also added, the soup goes in and it's ready to serve. 

Throughout most of history people ate small amounts of foods throughout the day. We were hunters and gatherers, catching small animals and sharing them. We gathered food and shared that too. What we hunted and gathered, we ate in what would be the equivalent of five or six small meals, spread out throughout the day. But the industrial revolution of the early 1800s changed the way people ate. Factories like to run with the fewest interruptions. So we shifted our eating habits to three meals a day. One before work got started, one after work ended, and a single interruption called lunch. Great system for production, not so great for good health. 

Researchers are telling us that our bodies were really designed to take in small amounts of food at one time. When we go to a big meal, we really endanger the system. Having a lot of food at one time can increase yous cholesterol, increase your body fat, increase your weight and impair your body's ability to deal with blood sugar. Those are all serious things, and you don't want to do that to yourself. Your best bet is to take the calories that you would normally have at breakfast lunch and dinner, pull out some of those, and have them as low-fat snacks in between those meals. Better for you, lots more fun, too.

There is no city in the world where music is so much a part of the history, the culture and the everyday life, as it is here in Vienna. This was the home of Strauss and Schubert, of Mahler and Mozart, of Beethoven and Brahms. Why? Why so much music? Well, to a certain extent the forces that brought this city great food, also brought it great music. For over six hundred years, this was the center of an enormous empire that stretched halfway around the world, encompassing people with different philosophies, different religions, different cultures, different levels of society. To be a great artist, you had to practice in a medium that was well understood by lots and lots of people. And music is the universal language.

And the royal court loved it. And remember, the ruling Hapsburg family preferred wedding to warring, and music is the food of love. For hundreds of years, when the music ended, the munching began. Find a concert hall, and across the street, there's a cafe. In Vienna, Beethoven almost always comes with boiled beef. And what are the classic dishes of this city? The meals on Mozart's menu? Well, the most famous is wienerschnitzel. 

Slices of veal are cut from the loin, placed on a flat surface, covered with a piece of plastic wrap and pounded until they're quite thin. The plastic keeps the veal from breaking up. A little salt, but no pepper; the chef feels that pepper would be too sharp for this dish. A little lemon juice on both sides. Then the veal is lightly floured, dipped in a mixture of beaten eggs and chopped parsley and breaded. Don't press too heavily on the veal when you're breading it. You just want a light coating. Then into a saute pan of hot, clarified butter or a mixture of butter and oil. The chef tests the temperature with the edge of the veal, to make sure it's hot enough. That's a very important tip. The oil should be heated to just under the smoking point, three hundred and seventy-five degrees fahrenheit. In that way, the veal will be properly cooked but it will absorb a minimum amount of oil. The pan is constantly shaken to keep the schnitzel moving. About forty-five seconds on each side, and it's done. Onto the serving plate, topped with cooked parsley, half a lemon, and you're ready to go. And what traditionally comes along with this dish, like Franz and Schubert? Viennese potato salad. Schubert may not have finished all of his symphonies, but he always finished his vegetables.

Small new potatoes are cooked in simmering water until tender. Then, they're allowed to cool down. Still warm, but cool enough to handle, they're peeled and sliced into rounds about a quarter-inch thick. A little fresh pepper, a little salt, some wine vinegar, a little vegetable oil, and in keeping with Austria's sweet tooth, a few tablespoons of powdered sugar, a little mustard, some chopped red onions and some hot beef broth. The ingredients are mixed together and left to rest for half an hour outside of the refrigerator. It's important that the broth be warm, and that the salad be left to marinate for thirty minutes. It's given a final mixing by hand. For most chefs, their hands are their best tools, especially for a dish like this. Your fingers are delicate enough so they won't break up the soft potatoes, but strong enough so you get a good grip. The potatoes go onto the plate, there's a garnish of greens, and finally, a speciality of Austria, oil crushed from pumpkin seeds. It comes from a part of Austria called Styria. Chefs call it the green heart of the country. Arnold Schwarzenegger comes from the green heart of Styria, too, but nobody crushes Arnold's pumpkin. 

Good cooks have always known how important the right seasoning is to a recipe. The right amount of salt and pepper, fresh herbs, special spices. For thousands of years, these have been highly valued commodities that have changed the course of world history. Remember what Columbus was really looking for was a cheaper way to get spices from Asia to Europe. Every European ruler knew that if they controlled a spice route, they would be wealthy beyond their wildest dreams, but even if a dish is properly seasoned, there is a trick of the trade which will increase your pleasure from the flavor. 

Each seasoning stimulates a different pattern of taste buds in your mouth and the more a taste bud is stimulated, the less it responds and the less taste you taste. The way to avoid the problem is to alternate bites of the foods on your plate. Don't take two bites of the same food in a row. Each bite should be a different food, stimulating a different pattern of taste buds. The result is more flavor from the same amount of food. And that can be a great help to people who are on a weight loss program. Very often, when you are on a low-calorie diet, you feel the need for more food. Sometimes you can satisfy that need for food by just getting more flavor, and this is a great way to do it. 

Spices are the dried flowers, seeds, leaves, barks, and roots of various big, woody plants that are usually found growing somewhere in tropical countries, but how do I tell a spice from a herb? And “herb” is the correct English pronunciation. The first spice venders to come to the colonies from England, came from a part of England that had a very specific accent and they mis-pronounced the word as erb, we kept it that way. Whether it's an herb or an erb, it's different from a spice. It doesn't come from a woody plant in the tropic, it comes from a perennial plant, usually put down from seed, every year. And the most flavorful parts are the flower, the stem and the leaves. 

If you're substituting dried herbs for fresh ones, the general rule of thumb is to use half as much dried as fresh. Dried herbs have a much more concentrated flavor and you'll only need half as much to get the same results. And it's always a good idea to crush the herbs before you add them to the recipe. Breaking up the structure of the dried plant releases the natural oils that produce the best flavor. It's also a good idea to remember that dried herbs are sensitive to light. You don't want to store them in direct sunlight. That will reduce their flavor. 

This book is a reproduction of a medieval health book. Page after page of illustrated recommendations on how to use specific herbs and spices to help cure illness. Some of the ideas go back over five thousand years. And in those days, herbs and spices really were the medicines. Let's take look at what it says here. Sore throat. The medieval medic recommends a little bit of sage to clear that up. Stomach upset. Poor thing. Out into the garden for a few basil leaves. Can't remember why you went to the doctor in the first place? Rosemary. Ancient doctors believed that a bit of rosemary would help protect you against the loss of your memory. But before we start laughing at these recommendations as unscientific, let's see what researchers have to say about herbs and spices today. 

Many scientists believe that the loss of memory associated with aging is partially caused by oxidation of brain cells. Rosemary contains a series of anti-oxidants. Sage for sore throats, why not? It contains some of the same compounds as antibiotics. I'm definitely not recommending that you start medicating yourself with herbs and spices, that would be nuts. But it is nice to take a look at the old books and see that they still have some sage advice.

Vienna has been a bridge between Europe and the near east. Its culture and its cuisine have been influenced by both areas. Coffee is a perfect example of what I mean. Coffee originated in Ethiopia, and by the sixth century Arab communities in the area were cultivating coffee. The Moslem sect called the Dervishes loved the stuff. They realized that when they drank coffee, they had more energy and they were able to stay up longer. That gave them more time at prayer. So they figured it was a gift from their God. The called it 'kava,' which is where our word coffee comes from. Moslem armies attacked Vienna in 1683. When their siege failed and they headed back to the Near East, they left behind them sacks and sacks of coffee beans. The Viennese discovered it, figured out how to brew it and opened up their first coffee houses right then and there. The caffeine in coffee that kept the Dervishes whirling still affects many people, but the type and intensity is very different for each person. Caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system and can give you a jump start and increase your alertness. How much you should drink for a positive effect and at what point you've had too much is dependent on your personal caffeine tolerance. Members of the American Dietetic Association feel that if you are pregnant or you have a heart problem, you should discuss caffeine with your doctor. Coffee, however, in moderation can be one of the great joys of life. Nobody knows that better than the Viennese, where coffee drinking is a keynote in the symphony of daily life. When you go to make a cup of coffee, you have to start with fresh water, not water that comes out of the hot water tap and not water that's been standing around. If it's old water, it's not going to have enough oxygen and oxygen is essential to give coffee a clean, clear taste. 

When you're choosing a brewing method, forget about your percolator -- it keeps water and coffee together for too long. Two or three minutes is the maximum amount of time. Otherwise you draw out vinartanic acid and that's not good. The best brewing method is the single pass-through system where the water passes through the coffee one time only and quickly. The water should be just under the boiling point. 

Here's another sweet piece of gastronomic history from the city of Vienna. When the Turks attacked Vienna in the 1680's, they permanently changed the way people eat. Not only did they introduce coffee to the cities of Europe, but it resulted in a food which changed the way people in Europe had breakfast and is now beginning to affect the people of the United States. At the time of the siege, the city of Vienna was totally surrounded and nothing was getting in; nothing was going out and things were not looking too good. And a baker who had a shop near the city wall got up early one morning, bakers do that, to start working on his bread. While he was working on it, he heard something going on underneath his shop. He suddenly realized that the Turks were trying to tunnel under the city walls. He notified the guards. The guards counterattacked; the Turks fell back. The city was saved. The ruler of Vienna rewarded the baker by giving him a patent to produce a bread and the shape of the design on the Turkish flag. It was to remind the people of Vienna that they had devoured the Turks. The symbol was the shape of the crescent moon and the bread was the first croissant. So the next time you have a croissant for breakfast or it's offered to you as part of sandwich, remember you owe it all to a Viennese baker in the 1600's.

The Austrian empire was really serious about managing through marriage. So when things got a little tense with the Prussians during the 1860's, the Austrian Archduke Albrecht arranged for a marriage between his daughter and a member of the Prussian royal family -- Duke Phillip of Wartenberg. The old couple married and settled down in a simple house, set up housekeeping. Phillip hung a picture of himself over the staircase, so everybody would know it was his place, but after a while, Phillip got tired of living in one building and moved on. You know, dukes can be that way and it was a good thing he did too because at the time the city was getting ready for the World Exhibition of 1873 and the Emperor of Austria, Franz Joseph needed a royal and imperial building to house all of the royal and imperial guests that would be coming to the city. And that's how Vienna's Imperial Hotel came to be. 

And wait, here's more...

(MUSIC)

(CONTINUES) The night before the Emperor himself was to inaugurate the hotel, an apprentice cook set about preparing a cake that he wanted to offer to his beloved mama, five extra-thin layers of almond paste, interspersed with chocolate, topped with marzipan and finished with chocolate icing. It was the first square chocolate cake in culinary history. And the Emperor loved it! And that is how the world-famous Imperial Torte was invented. And it shares its name with the hotel in which it was created. Vienna's Imperial Hotel is placed on the main street that rings the old city. A magnificent structure on the outside, it is even more impressive on the inside. The grand staircase invites you up to the imperial chambers. Old world luxury on top; modern technology underneath. The royal suite gives you a clear idea of what life was like at the tippy-tippy-top. The hotel's restaurant is a favorite dining spot for serious eaters. The chef has given a light, creative touch to the traditional Austrian ingredients. And what could be more traditional for Vienna than a piece of Viennese apple strudel? Flour and egg and a little oil are used to make a very smooth dough. It's given a light coating of oil to keep it from drying out and set to rest for half an hour. Meanwhile, apples are peeled, quartered, cored and cut into 1/8 inch slices. They go into a bowl and are mixed with the juice of lemon, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, chopped walnuts and a little sour cream. When the dough is fully rested, it goes onto a floured cloth where it is rolled out and pulled into as thin a sheet as possible. They say the great strudel makers get their dough so thin that they can read a newspaper through it. Now I get my news from television, so I'm just going to estimate a quarter of an inch. Holes are repaired with patches, crumbled cookies go on, the apple mixture, more crumbled cookies. The dough is rolled up around the filling. The strip goes onto a baking sheet and into a 350 degree oven for about twenty minutes until the dough is cooked through. And out of the oven, sliced while it's still warm and served with a dusting of powdered sugar and cinnamon. Strudel is at the heart of Austrian cooking and what a sweetheart it is too! 

To understand how the people of Vienna feel about sweets, all you have to do is take a look in a classic, old Viennese cookbook. You'll find that about 20% of the book is devoted to appetizers, soups and main dishes. The rest of the book--all 80%--will be given over to sweet desserts and baked goods. People of Vienna don't have a sweet tooth. It's an entire upper plate! In the old days of the Austrian empire, every family that could afford one had a woman who baked sweet goods and desserts and that's all. Even today, Vienna is the center of the pastry world. And to see what's going on here, and get the full effect, all you have to do is stop into a shop called, Demels.

Vienna's most famous pastry palace opened in 1786. Within a few years, it was the official sugar baker to the Imperial Court. For over 200 years, this business has been the culinary cornerstone of Viennese cooking. They've held onto the old traditions and kept up a level of quality, not as a business practice, but as a matter of national pride. And wonder of wonders, there's a piece of reliable scientific research that indicates that a sweet at the end of the meal is good for weight-loss dieters. Looks like people who've grown up in Western societies have become conditioned to a sweet at the end of the meal. It works like a bell, telling us that the meal is over and we can stop eating -- and without that signal, many people tend to overeat. So don't desert dessert. Just try and make sure that you're torte is tiny.

Most people believe that when they are cooking at home, they have a fighting chance for a low-calorie dish, but when they are eating in a restaurant, they feel they're trapped in Fat City. And they give up all hope for a low-fat, low-calorie meal. But that doesn't have to be the case. There are a few very simple things that you can do to help avoid the problem. First, think about the type of restaurant you're selecting. If it's French food, you're going to be confronted with high-fat sauces on many dishes and irresistible desserts. On the other hand, if it's a Chinese restaurant, you'll have a wide selection of low-fat dishes and fresh fruit for dessert. Picking the right type of restaurant is your first opportunity for control. And when you go into the restaurant, check out the items in the menu that you're interested in. Find out if they've been cooked with cream. Ask the waiter about the preparation techniques. Usually if something on the menu is described as “crispy,” it means it's been deep-fried, but it can also have been roasted for a long time to get that crispiness. You have to ask to find out. When your dish comes to the table, eat the foods that you like best first. Then you won't be tempted as the meal goes on. And have the waiter take the dish away as soon as you're satisfied. A lot of over-eating takes place just because the food is sitting there. Boredom is not a valid reason for over-eating. 

So anything from Vienna on the relationship of good food to good health? You bet. Members of the cabbage family -- broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale are excellent for you. Potatoes: lots of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and they're low in fat. Buttermilk is a nice, lowfat liquid that can make a good substitute for cream in many soup recipes. If you're going to do any deep-fat frying, make sure the oil is at 375 degrees fahrenheit before you put in the food. That will help reduce the absorption of fat. And a sweet little bit of news, a little sweet at the end of the meal, can act as a signal for many people and tell them to stop eating. So don't desert dessert, just act in moderation. And finally, you may ask, how can the good people of this city constantly partake of this fabulous food and not feel guilty? Easy. This is the hometown of Sigmund Freud, the birthplace of psychoanalysis. When you feel guilty about something you've eaten in Vienna, you just lie down and talk about it until the guilty feeling passes. "You see doc, I have this dream about a big piece of chocolate cake and a hand kept putting white cream on top of it, but a voice...

 (CONTINUES) kept saying, "Moderation. Moderation." Well, that's Eating Well in Vienna. Please join us next time as we travel around the world looking for something good to eat that's good for you too. I'm Burt Wolf.

Eating Well: Salzburg, Austria - #111

BURT WOLF: Salzburg, Austria. A town that's been around for over three thousand years, and the spot where Mozart grew up. We'll take a look at the city's beauty, discover who invented the pretzel and why it has its very special shape. We'll discover the reason people though it was unlucky to spill salt at the table and we'll cook up some of Salzburg's best tasting recipes, including an awesome raspberry tart. Join me, Burt Wolf, Eating Well in Salzburg. 

Salzburg, Austria. The name means salt-town, and it is thought of as a world capital for the beauties of life. An antique jewel in a rich, alpine setting. Magnificent scenery, art, architecture, music, good food, great shopping, and one of Europe's most inviting cities, and it's been this way for thousands of years. Why? Why this incredible history? Well, the answer can be found in one simple word, salt. For almost three thousand years, the people around Salzburg have been mining salt and for most of those years, salt has been incredibly valuable. If you controlled the production of salt, you were well-seasoned with wealth, power and fame. In the years before refrigeration, salt was just about essential for the preservation of food. Salted foods lasted through the winter. Societies without salt, didn't.

The ancient princes of the Celtic tribes set up shop here and traded salt to the Greeks and the Roman legions, for gold, jewelry and works of art. In the year six hundred and ninety-six, a bishop named Rupert began construction of this monastery, the church of Saint Peter. The statue of Rupert in front of the church shows a bucket of salt next to him. It was the basis for the monastery's wealth. There's a restaurant inside the monastery that opened in 803. That makes it the oldest restaurant in Salzburg. By the eleventh century, the area came under the control of a group of prince-bishops, half prince, half bishop. They were part of the church, but they were often equally involved with their own wealth and power. They built the Hohensalzburg Fortress. It's the largest and the best-preserved structure that's still around from the middle ages. Inside is the Bull of Salzburg, a cylindrical organ built in 1502. The first and the final chords imitate the bellowing of a bull. 

The fortress is high above the town and has a great view of Salzburg and the surrounding countryside. In 1587, Wolf Dietrich was elected Archbishop. He wanted to make Salzburg the Rome of the north and he did a pretty good job of it, too. He used Italian architects to design much of the city, including the cathedral. Next to the cathedral is the official residence of the bishops. Mozart played here as a child, and across the square is the Glockenspiel Tower. [BELLS PLAY] Its thirty-five bells have serenaded the townspeople since 1704. Hey, play it again, Sigmund. [BELLS PLAY]

Salzburg's many years of wealth and power and its history of trade with other parts of the world, have given it a great sense of gastronomy, and you can see it clearly in the city's old market. The open market in Salzburg is one of the cleanest, neatest and best-organized markets in Europe. It has all of the fruits and vegetables that you would expect, lots of nuts, fresh herbs, meats, great breads, cheeses, and flowers. It's set up every morning except Sunday in University Square, in front of University Church. The townspeople come in by foot, buy what they need for the day’s cooking and walk home. It's been pretty much like this for about a thousand years. Throughout the changing season, different specialties show up in the market. Salzburg is well known for its decorative bouquets made from herbs and spices and those are called krampus, stick figures made from raisins, prunes and dried pears. They're given to children around December sixth, which is celebrated as Saint Nicholas' Day. The doll is a reminder to behave properly during the holiday season, or else the dried fruits may be your only gift. 

Another Salzburg specialty is the pretzel. Pretzels have been around since Roman times. and they've been part of the foods of Salzburg for over a thousand years. They were originally straight, but some time in the early six-hundreds, they took on this new form. A monk shaped the pretzel dough into a form that reminded him of praying arms. Now this may be sacrilege to say in Salzburg, but if you love pretzels and you are salt-sensitive, you can get off most of the salt by just rubbing the outside of a pretzel. In general, pretzels are a wonderful low-fat snack. 

During the past fifteen years, we've seen a steady stream of scientific reports that accuse a particular food or drink or food additive of causing cancer. The stories are very dramatic and always cause a great deal of comment. Additionally, national opinion surveys tell us that tens of millions of Americans are very concerned about the relationship between what they eat and their over-all good health. So it's really nice to have some good news reconfirmed. There are a group of vegetables and for reasons we really don't understand completely at this point, they appear to have the ability to help block the development of cancer. They are called cruciferous vegetables. 

Cruciferous means that if you turn the vegetable over, and look at the base, you will see the ribs forming a cross. Hence the name cruciferous. All the members of the cabbage clan, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower, seem to contain something that helps the body's natural defense system. As a matter of fact, the ancient Romans thought that cabbages were so important as a defense against disease, that at one point they actually started drafting a law that insisted that their soldiers eat it every week. Two thousand years later and scientists are telling us that the ancient Romans might have been right. And when It comes to putting that cabbage into a recipe, try Salzburg's sauteed red cabbage. 

A red cabbage is shredded, a few caraway seeds are sprinkled on, the juice of a lemon and little red wine vinegar. The vinegar is important, not only because of the flavor that it adds but because it helps the cabbage hold its red color. Everything is mixed together. Then into the refrigerator to marinate for about ten hours. Perfect thing to do overnight. Next, a little vegetable oil goes into a saute pan, a few tablespoons of sugar are added and heated until they turn a light brown. A few tablespoons of chopped onion, the cabbage that's been marinating, a little apple juice, a little lemon juice, a grated apple, stir, cover, simmer for an hour. 

Getreidegasse number nine. The birthplace of Salzburg's main man, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Born on the twenty-seventh of January, 1756, he grew up in Salzburg and produced some of his finest music here. By the time he was five years old, he had learned how to play the harpsichord from his father. He could also play the violin, but he had learned that from just watching. At the age of seven, he went on tour with his father and his sister; she was eleven at the time. When the Mozarts gave their performance in Germany, a woman in the audience was so impressed that should decided if she ever had a son, she would make him a musical prodigy, just like little Wolfgang. And she did. Her son's name: Ludwig Van Beethoven. So, not only did Mozart produce an enormous amount of magnificent music on his own, he inspired a second body of work in Beethoven. 

But Mozart's inspirational qualities were not just limited to music. Evidence the Mirabelle Mozart Kugel, the national candy of Austria. It was originally produced in the 1800s to mark the hundredth anniversary of Mozart's death. Now watch this. The company was founded in Salzburg. Salzburg is also the birthplace of Mozart. But in addition to that, it is an ancient cross-point in gastronomic history. It stands as a gateway with the foods of Europe to the west, and the foods of the Middle East and the Orient to the east. And its tradition is to take the best of both areas, and mix them together into something new. 

The Mozart Kugel is a prefect example of what I mean. It's made from three basic elements. The first is marzipan. That's a mixture of egg whites, sugar, and almonds, that's made into a paste. It is an ancient Middle Eastern confection. The second is nougat. Nougat is clearly from the Orient. The third is chocolate. And that's really western. It originated in Central America, was brought to Spain by the conquistadors, and wound up in Salzburg with a group of traveling monks. Obviously, this is a marriage that will melt in your mouth.

With 1991 being the two hundredth anniversary of Mozart's death, an enormous amount of additional information on Mozart's life is coming to light... including the things he liked to eat. It appears that Mozart loved fish. Could it be that a low-fat diet put the magic in Mozart's flute? And if you're looking for a magical menu to go along with Mozart's music, just waltz over to the kitchen of chef Herbert Berkelhoffer.

For the past twenty-five years, Herbert Berkelhoffer has been cooking in the kitchens of Salzburg's hotel Goldener Hirsch, and for the past two years, he has been researching and recreating recipes from the period of Mozart's life in Austria during the late 1700s. One of Mozart's favorite recipes appears to have been a fish soup and here's the way it was prepared. 

Two cups of fish stock go into a pot, a little cream, or you can substitute low-fat buttermilk, which works fine. Not traditional, but then, neither was Mozart. A little saffron, the juice of half a lemon; that simmers for about five minutes. Meanwhile, a little vegetable oil is heated. Pieces of boneless, skinless catfish are lightly floured and sauteed. Dumplings are also made from pureed catfish. The sauteed fish goes into a serving dish. And the dumplings are added. The soup, a garnish of cooked strips of vegetables and some chopped chives. Well, it may not be magic for Mozart's flute, but it could put little music into the night. 

Mozart is probably Austria's most famous musician, but tafelspitz is its most famous dish, and it got that way because of Austria's most famous emperor, Franz Joseph the First. Now whatever Franz did, everyone else wanted to do too. So when the world got out that His Imperial Majesty preferred a boiled beef dish called tafelspitz, for lunch, to everything else, it was tafelspitz mania, and it still it. Here's the classic recipe.

You start with a stock pot filled with cold water. Whenever you're choosing a stock pot, make sure that it's long and narrow. The flavor of the stock comes from the bubbling up of the water through the food. If you use a flat pan it's not going to work. Long and narrow. Add three pounds of beef bones. Let the water come to a simmer and skim off any solids that come to the surface. Then add in three pounds of brisket of beef or beef chuck. Next, some onions and turnips that have been browned, a few carrots, a few leeks. Let everything simmer together for about an hour. Then adding few whole white peppercorns, a few whole black peppercorns, a few bay leaves. Then, two or three more hours of simmering and it's ready to serve. The beef comes out, and it's sliced against the grain. Important point. Slicing it against the grain gives the meat the proper texture. The beef is traditionally served with a horseradish sauce, a puree of spinach and pan fried potatoes. 

But that's not all there is to this dish. Once the tafelspitz is removed from the stock pot, we'll have a perfect beef broth. And when the cooking of the soup is completed it's finished off with one of the land-lieben soup garnishes. Now, this is a classic piece of Austrian cookery, right out of the old empire. You get a choice of pearl drops, which are made from yeast dough, or omelet strings, which are like strips of pancake, or egg puffs, which are made from a puff paste of flour, eggs and vegetable oil. They're crunchy, and they add a nice texture to the soup. A traditional piece of Austrian cookery. 

If I ate everything I wanted to eat, in the quantities I wanted to eat it, someone would have to invent a new size for television sets, because I definitely would not fit into any of the present models. I love good-tasting food, it's always been around me, and so, all my life I've had to work at controlling my weight, and do it quite seriously. One of the things that's been a great help to me, is soup. When you start to eat, your stomach sends a signal to your brain that food is arriving, and you can stop feeling hungry. Unfortunately, it takes about twenty minutes for the signal to get from your stomach to your brain. And it is in those twenty minutes that many people do their overeating. A series of experiments at the University of Pennsylvania showed that people who started their meals with a soup that was low-calorie and low-fat, like a broth, tended to have fifty calories less at that meal. Now that may not sound important. But if you take fifty calories at each meal, two meals a day, and the end of a year, that is ten pounds of body fat and that is significant. The study also showed that people who started their meal with a soup tended to have fewer fats and calories in any between meal snacks. Low-fat, low-calorie soups to start a meal. It's a great idea. 

Getreidegasse is the most famous of Salzburg's shopping streets. The name means “the street that's wide enough for horses to gallop.” But the only thing that gallops down Getreidegasse these days are the shoppers. Above each store is a wrought-iron sign that tells you what's for sale. This street has been around for quite a while. Town records show that it was already thought of as a busy place for shopping during the twelfth century. One of the most striking aspects of Salzburg is the age of the buildings and the businesses that you come in contact with. People have inhabited this area, on a regular basis, for at least three thousand years, and much of their work is still in working order. 

This bakery opened up for business in 1429. They have a lovely little section inside where they'll give you a discount on everything left over from the 1500s. Almost all of their breads are farm-style whole grain breads. In the old days, farmers couldn't afford bread that was refined and white. Those breads were for the rich. The farmers had to make do with whole grain and lucky for them too, because six hundred years later, we find out that those refined products are not so fine. Many of the most valuable nutrients were removed during the processing. My recommendation when you pick out a bread is go for the whole grain. More vitamins and minerals, in their natural state. Better for you. Also, lots of fiber. You know, the American diet is a little low on fiber and the American Dietetic Association is recommending that we get more fiber into our diets. Whole grain breads can help. 

And something else the American Dietetic Association is recommending, is a reduction in our nation’s sodium or salt intake. Salt has played such an important pole in human history that the very word has become symbolic of its value. The word “salary” comes from the word salt. It's a reference to the fact that in ancient times Roman soldiers received part of their payment in salt. 

To call someone “the salt of the earth” was to describe them as a trustworthy and responsible person. Salt was so valuable at one time, that if you spilled any at the table, you were thought to be in the presence of evil spirits. But you didn't have to worry, you just took a little and you threw it over your shoulder and they would run away. Evil spirits were thought to congregate behind you, and slightly to the left. See? It worked! 

Salt was also wonderful for finding out who was a witch. You put a little under a seat cushion and then invited somebody to sit down and if they refused to, hey, that was it. You were stuck with a witch. Salt had a negative quality too. Salt is a rock. And most people thought that eating a rock was kind of strange, so we use the salt phrase in two different ways. If you had a mine and it was totally worthless but you wanted to sell it to somebody, you'd take a little gold, and stick it around here and there, and try and convince the buyer that the mine was filled with gold. And that was called "salting" the mine. 

Mining salt has been the primary source of wealth for Salzburg. The fortress, the cathedral, the magnificent princely residences, the architecture, most of what you see here in Salzburg, owes its economic origin to the salt mines. But times have changed. During the last hundred years, modern technology has made salt increasingly available and very inexpensive. And for many Americans, in a strange way, salt's negative and dangerous overtones have taken over. Some people are salt-sensitive. Too much salt in their diet can lead to a rise in blood pressure and eventually to heart disease. Historically, people have fought and died for salt, now it looks like some people will die from it. 

When there's too much salt in the blood, your blood gets thirsty and it draws in more liquid to balance things out. But with more liquid in the system, your heart has to pump harder to move that liquid around, and for many people, the result is high blood pressure. The Federal Food and Drug Administration estimates that thirty-five million people have a problem with high blood pressure and there are no external symptoms. The only way to find out if you have a problem, is to check you blood pressure. So it's important to do that a couple of time a year, to find out how serious you should be about your salt mind. 

In the heart of the antique city of Salzburg, on one of its oldest and most picturesque streets, sits the world famous hotel Goldener Hirsch, “the golden stag,” with a history that dates back to 1407. Amazing, almost a hundred years before Columbus set sail for the new world, and people were trying to get a reservation here. I understand that if Chris could have booked a room, with a weekend rate, he would have come here, rather than go to America. Ah, such are the small twists and turns in the course of history. 

The present character of the hotel is a result of the work of Countess Harriet Walderdoff. She wanted the building to feel like a private manor house, and so she filled it with authentic period furniture, local works of art, traditional Austrian handcraft and locks that dated from the renaissance. Today the hotel is managed by the Countess's son, Count Johannes Walderdoff, who is determined to maintain the atmosphere of a home away from home. His office has a small tunnel window that looks down on the entrance area. It gives him the opportunity to constantly note the arrival of his guests and to welcome them. 

COUNT WALDERDOFF: Good morning, Burt. Good morning. 

BURT WOLF: And for the Count, nothing counts more than the hotel's cooking. The leading culinary guidebooks to Europe regularly recommend the Goldener Hirsch restaurant as having some of the best and most authentic of Austrian food. And classic examples are found in the work of their pastry chef. A perfect example is a dessert called palatschinken, made from sweet pancakes. Traditionally, eggs go into milk, flour is added and mixed into a light batter which is panfried in butter, into pancakes. But the times they are a-changing. These days many Austrians are lightening up. Two of the four eggs have been replaced with egg whites, two whites for each whole egg replaced. And the whole milk has become skim milk. Instead of being cooked in butter, it's a pan with just a little vegetable oil. Tradition also calls for palatschinken to be filled with apricot preserves. They still are, but health-conscious Austrians are using preserves with high fruit content and much less sugar than standard preserves. 

They use fruits that are picked in the Austrian Alps, which has a very short growing season. The result is that the fruit has a very concentrated flavor, more taste for fewer calories. The apricot preserves go onto the pancake. The pancake is rolled up and goes onto the serving plate. A little powdered sugar on top and it's time to polish off the palatschinken. 

Here in Austria there is an ancient tradition for the making of fruit preserves. And one of the great recipes was developed by a man named Rudolph D'Arbeau, in 1879. He was actually an early advocate of natural foods and eventually developed a fruit spread that was sweetened with pure acacia honey rather than white sugar. As you might expect, fruit preserves are used as a spread on bread but they're also used as a spoon-sweetener in tea. It adds a pleasant fruit flavor, too. 

Preserves have also become a regular ingredient in Austrian deserts. Between layers of a chocolate cake, there's a line of apricot jam. As a topping in ice cream, on a cookie, and palatschinken. Palatschinken is definitely a passion amongst Austrian deserts, but the true heart of this country's cooking is found in their pastries, especially the tortes. The linzer tort is a classic example. 

The chef starts by producing a small mountain made up of ground almonds, crumbled cookies, flour, sugar, butter, the zest of a lemon, baking powder and cinnamon. The lake at the top of the mountain contains three eggs. All those ingredients are blended together into a very smooth dough. When it develops a silk-like surface, it goes onto a plate and into the refrigerator for an hour. That tightens up the texture and makes it easier to roll out. When it's ready, the dough is divided into two equal pieces, rolled out to the thickness of about a quarter of an inch, cut into a disk and placed onto a baking sheet. The second piece of dough is rolled out, and cut into strips. A little eggwash is painted around the edge of the disk. It acts like a glue when additional dough is built up along that edge, to form a wall. Raspberry jam is used to fill in the center. Strips of dough are placed on top of the jam to form a lattice-work. Another coat of egg wash, a sprinkling of sliced almonds, then into a three hundred and seventy-five degree oven for twenty-five minutes, or until the dough is fully cooked. 

Wine had been made in Austria for thousands of years. The first important vineyards were actually planted by the Roman legions about two thousand years ago. And there has been a constant increase in winemaking knowledge and skill. Wine tastings have been going on for thousands of years. Traditionally, one wine is tasted against another to see which is best. But how about a glass tasting? The wine stays the same, the glass changes. Well, not important, you say? Not so. Many of the world's leading wine experts are finding out that the size and shape of the glass has an enormous impact on the taste of what's inside. 

And the man who first discovered this was Austrian professor Claus Joseph Riedl. He started his work some thirty years ago, and was eventually able to design a set of glasses to meet the needs of most of the things we drink. The theory behind the work is quite simple. Your tongue has several taste zones. Sweetness is felt at the front, bitterness in the back, salt and sour along the sides. Say you were drinking a sweet, fruity, Austrian riesling; you would want to have the sweetness come through first. So curve the lip of the glass to direct the wine to the tip of your tongue, the part that's sensitive to sweetness. Professor Riedl has designed glasses for fifteen different types of wines and eight different types of brandies. But I have given him an even more complex task, and when he completes it, it will bring joy to the hearts of tens of millions of Americans. I have asked him to design the perfect glass for iced tea. [GLASS CLINKS]

So, what's the signal from Salzburg, when it comes to food and good health? Well, the first message is very similar to the history of Salzburg itself. Salzburg is old. People have been around here for about three thousand years. For most of those years, salt has been very important. But these days, salt is less significant and has a less positive role. And that message translates very simply as, as you get older, your body can tolerate less salt, so cut down on your salt intake. [BELL CLANGS]

Since some thirty five million Americans may be sensitive to salt and subject to high blood pressure as a result, have your blood pressure checked regularly; it's the only safe way to find out if you've got a problem. [BELL CLANGS] In general, we need more fiber in our diet and an easy way to add fiber to our meals is to use whole grain breads. [BELL CLANGS] Cabbage is packed with valuable nutrients and one of the best foods in our diet in terms of health. Eat more cabbage. [BELL CLANGS] Low-fat beef: it's a perfectly acceptable source of protein, and like almost any other food, it can be included as regular but moderate part of your diet. [BELL CLANGS] That's Eating Well in Salzburg. Please join us next time as we travel around the world, [MUSIC] looking for something that tastes good and makes it easier to eat well. I'm Burt Wolf.