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A gentle reminder to myself

Ok, humiliating moment number… well, I have lost count over the years.

There are certain things I have learned over the past 31 years. One thing is that when it comes to food, I’ve been pretty lucky. I don’t have lactose intolerance, I have a very high tolerance for spicy food, and I’m not sensitive to any types of nuts, vegetables. Essentially, I’m food allergy free.

Well, almost.

I have learned that I am sensitive to two types of oil: peanut oil and sesame oil. I mean, I can eat peanuts, peanut butter, peanut brittle and any other peanut product. But give me peanut oil and I just can’t digest it. It’s the same with sesame oil, but there is rarely enough of it in any dish where it causes a problem.

So, I know it’s a problem. I know that on occasion, a thai or chinese restaurant will stir fry with peanut oil, and it’s just something I have to live with. However, knowing my limits, I don’t keep any of the offending oils in the house. With this in mind, why am I laying here in pure misery?

Tonight, I made my typical chicken-pesto pasta, which I make at least 3 times a month: fresh pesto, olivo oil, butter, sauteed chicken breast, olive oil, dried oregano and basil, hot pepper flakes, fresh garlic, cubed tomatos, parmasan cheese and cream. Actually, it came out better than usual today. Yet something went wrong.

Horribly wrong.

Today, we went to a different grocery store than usual – a more high end store in downtown Cologne. When shopping, we grabbed our usual store-bought pesto: the fresh stuff in the clear plastic container with the blue and white cardboard label. When I made the sauce, I noticed how the pesto separated a little more than usual, making green flecks in the sauce instead of making the cream it’s usual consistant green. It never occured to me to check the label.

Yep. As is typical in Germany, even though the labels and packaging were almost identical, it was a different brand. Where our usual brand of pesto used only olive oil, parmasan, basil and pine nuts, this brand added in peanut oil and palm oil. Why? To save a few cents during production.

Unfortunately, we didn’t realize this until Janet, trying to figure out why I was laying here in pain, checked the label and saw the first ingredient: erdnuss öl – peanut oil.

Needless to say, it’s not going to be a happy evening.

Posted in General Ramblings.

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