Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beauty treatment

I've had a lot on my plate lately, which has unfortunately kept me away from kitchen. And, it was this lack of new recipes, in part, that inspired this post.

So did this fascinating New York Times article titled, Cilantro Haters, It’s Not Your Fault. It looks at the science of why some people (like me) hate cilantro — a widely-used and much-loved ingredient in Asian and Latin American cooking.

I  expected the article to find some genetic cause. After all, genes have been shown to play a role in how people perceive certain flavours. But, not so. Instead it confirmed that cilantro does, actually, taste like soap. More specifically, "Flavor chemists have found that cilantro aroma is created by a half-dozen or so substances, and most of these are modified fragments of fat molecules called aldehydes. The same or similar aldehydes are also found in soaps and lotions and the bug family of insects." The theory goes that those who don't hate cilantro have become accustomed to it and therefore associate it's flavour with positive things rather than soap and bugs.

Ironically, Kiehl's Coriander is my favorite body wash, and that got thinking about that other important use for food — hair and skin care!

Last Christmas my mother got me and sister each a copy of the book Passport to Beauty by celebrity makeup artist Shalini Vadhera. She special-ordered them into her local Chapters after seeing it featured on Oprah. (That's what moms are for!) The tiny book is packed with all-natural beauty tips from around the globe, including:

— mashed avocado for split ends
— honey to moisturize dry facial skin
— rosewater for puffy eyes
— potatoes for skin brightening

I do take exception with this statement, though — "Women in Canada... rinse their hair with apple cider after shampooing. The cider restores hair's pH and soothes dry scalp." Really, girls? Do we do that? (Nobody told me.)

The only natural treatment I use is coconut oil. It's a great chemical- free moisturizer that smells incredible. And, at 130 calories a tablespoon it's probably good that I'm not spreading it on my toast.

Hope you found this little diversion interesting. For more tips be sure to check Passport to Beauty. I promise to start cooking again soon.

Best,

kh

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