Why Do We Have To Clean The Record Player?

Should clean the record player frequently

We often hear a lot of advice that we should clean the record player regularly. Maybe you also follow this tip. Surely, you also recognize that the sound quality of your record player is improved significantly. In addition, some record player reviews also mention to cleaning the record player and the vinyl records. This will help your turntable as well as the record last the life. Moreover, you can enjoy the great sound from your device. Thus, do you know why we must clean the record player? I guess that you only know a little about this problem. However, you will know all reasons why we should do so through what I will share in this article.

Extremely Important to Clean The Record Player

The turntable is the same with a CD player. If there are a lot of dirt and dust inside they will be the main cause which damaging to the turntable and CD. Besides, it can get stuck in the player. Of course, this will affect the sound of the turntable and CDs. When this situation lasts in a long time it can damage the sound of your device seriously or affect other parts. At that time, you must spend a lot of money for repairing your record player and CD player. Thus, it is extremely important to clean the turntable frequently.

However, you must clean the turntable more regularly than other electronic mechanisms because the record turns on the turntable. It will create the vibrations and the static electricity. And these vibrations also attract dust and dirt from the outside. That is the reason which you always remember to clean the record player before and after playing.

When you are a beginner to use this device you will feel more difficult to detect the initial signs of dirt and dirt inside. Don’t forget to take a quick look at record player list by Trusted Sounds before making your first purchase. After using in a long time, you will know easily. When you know its reason you should clean the turntable as soon as possible. Especially, you can identify it by listening to the sound. The quality of the sound becomes worse it can be the cause of the tiny dust hidden inside your turntable. Or the dust can be on the top of the needle.

Why Do You Have To Clean The Turntable?

Very important to clean the turntable

You should clean the turntable frequently for the following reasons:

  • Firstly, all dirt and dust can make your turntable stop or pause suddenly because they exist the inside of the grooves of your record;
  • Moreover, if there are too much dirt and dust your needle can be easy to break and damage your record player;
  • Beyond that, with the smallest dust and dirt, they will affect the vibration and sit in the magnetic cartridge. And this is the popular cause which the sound of the device is disturbed.
  • On the other hands, all dirt and dust can hide the inside of the tonearm. It is very dangerous when it can not move normally;
  • Besides, your vinyl records will be affected by the dirt and dust. They will scratch the surface of the vinyl record quickly if you do not clean all debris timely. As a result, you are not only to spend your money for repairing the turntable but also to buy new vinyl records.

Some Things to Remember When Cleaning The Record Player

It is very good to have a habit of cleaning your record player. But it is very necessary to clean in the right way. To do it, you must have some basic steps to wipe your turntable. During cleaning, you also remember some things. For example:

  • You should not wipe the stylus with your bare fingers because the body oil will save on the surface of the stylus.
  • You also should not flow on the stylus to remove dust and dirt. You can spit on it;
  • You must always use the dust cover for your record player. This cover will prevent and limit a lot of dirt and dust for your turntable;
  • It is better to use a sleeve for your record player.

In short, through this explanation above, now you know why you must clean the record player. In fact, it plays an important role in caring for your turntable.  I hope that this writing will provide enough necessary information to help you clean your record player in the right way.

The Toaster Oven And How To Use It Efficiency

Many people know about this type of kitchen appliance – the toaster oven. It gains popularity all over the world because of the high – end functions, efficiency and many advantages it brings to the housewives. However, using and maintaining the quality of a toaster oven is not a child’s play. It requires many efforts and experiences so that you can use this machine perfectly.

As you know, just like other types of product, the toaster oven come to the customers in a variety of models, shapes and functions so as to satisfy the need of all kinds of buyer. Therefore, choosing best the best toaster ovens 2017 among hundreds of brands and models is quite a task of challenge. In this post, I will try my best to introduce to you basic things about buying and using the toaster oven so that you can at least know how to select the right one for your kitchen.

best toaster ovens

How Many Kinds Of Toaster Oven Are There?

 Basically, there are 3 main types of toaster oven are being manufactured and sold every day. They are different from each other in many aspects, but I will leave it later and move on to the basic definition and some pros and cons of these types first:

  • Basic toaster oven: this is the most typical one according to its name. This type of toaster oven can be used as a regular toaster adding up with some additional functions such as roasting or grilling. However, because of the simple designs and not so much investments, this type of oven doesn’t have special functions like convection cooking or Rossetti cooking. The price of this basic toaster oven is reasonable and acceptable to people who don’t have good financial condition.
  • Convection toaster oven: This type has a little bit adjustments in comparison with the typical one: there are fans installed inside the oven so that the heat can move around the food. It helps the food to be cooked faster with less energy consumption and time. Of course, coming along with the advantages is the higher price.
  • Rossetti cooking oven: this toaster oven type has become a trend in the kitchen lately. They are sold very quickly with quite high prices. So why this type of toaster oven does is the choice of housewives? The reason is about the spinning stick inside the oven. It spins the food so that the nutrition can’t be lost with the grease inside the meat so your food would be so juicy and delicious. In addition, this oven can perform perfectly what a toaster and an oven can do so it’s quite easy to understand why it is the prevalent choice lately.

The Factors a Good Toaster Oven Should Have

Good Toaster Oven

There are too many functions that can be added into a machine, but you have to know what the main ones are and how well they operate. Don’t be fooled by the number of functions or buttons on the products. The list below will help you have a brief look about this.

  • The heat: The first thing you should care about is the heat operation. Your toaster oven is designed to work as a toaster and also an oven so that you can not only toast food but also bake, roast or broil them. That’s the reason why you have to read the instructions carefully and know clearly about heat control and heating levels. The convection cooking is also considerable when choosing the oven.
  • The settings and presets: Many people complain about how hard the toaster oven could be for them to control. It’s partly true, especially if you’re a person who doesn’t know much about electronics. So the fact is that the toaster oven should be designed as simple as possible but still has to consist of full functions. The display of the oven has to be clear and large so that there would be no mistakes in pushing buttons or reading presets.

There are many thing else that I want to show you, so if you want more, please visit our blog, we are experts in modern kitchen appliances, and we are very happy to help you out. Don’t forget to choose the best toaster oven so as to level up the meal of your family on a regular basis. Hope you enjoy using this machine.


Sound and music are like essential body parts of human lives nowadays. People normally use headphones while taking on a bus commuting to work or doing their housework chores or even just lying on the bed and immerse in the world of music. They just need some pieces of songs on their phone or iPod and a pair of headphones. Perhaps you can take a walk along a quiet street with a pair of headphones on you ears. It has been claimed that people want to hear to some kinds of sounds or voice, may be a song, natural and wild animal sounds or some gentle musical instruments.

There is a common thing that people are normally interested in listening to something, both in quiet places and crowded areas, or even in bad situations or having troubles. Listening to sounds is nearly an essential part of people’s life. Understanding this situation, with the development of technology, many manufactures create various types of listening devices that can help people enjoy records anywhere and in anytime. That’s why we have best Bluetooth earphones offered to meet the demands of customers enjoying TV programs.

Headphones for TV

Technology has been developing through time. Human has started to create portable devices that can connect and transmit the signals through the air without the support of wires. These main products for this type of signal transmission are Bluetooth headphones and so on. Wireless products are much more popular now to people who need to travel a lot. In the initial stage, the technique applied in wireless headphones was not clear and in comparison with a traditional wireless headphone.

Headphones for TV are intelligent devices that place the speaker’s voice very close – next to our ear – even when we are standing very far away from them. Today, the room for wireless headphones has become quite different from couple of years ago.

Because there are a wide variety of wireless headsets styles for TV so we need to decide what product is the best for you.

 What do wireless headphones for television mean?

The meaning of this device is obvious like its name. They are headphones that do not require wires. You can go away from your room without worrying about being accidentally unplugged from your electronic devices. It is one of the most convenient devices to listen to music or any kinds of programs from your TV.

How does this work?

The wireless headphones operate in the similar way with other wireless devices. The main theory of signal delivery is the transmissions through the atmosphere using a particular frequency rather than through wires. The power source will be added to your sound source and delivery it to your headphone units. This might results in bad quality of audio because of limited compression technology. Nowadays, although some situations may remain in some extents, with the development technology, they are partly solved through years.

For most goals, wireless headphones for television are relatively popular nowadays, in particular, famous wireless TV headphone brands on the electronic market. These headphones are more expensive than normal products.

If you are finding out ways to get the highest quality for the experience of records on your television but do not want to disturb your neighbors, a wireless headphone is truly something that you want to enjoy programs on TV. Most headphones offer a receiver that through it you can connect between your headphone and your television. You can feel at ease to use your headphones and immerse yourself in your favorite melody in peace.

The quality of a headphone for TV depends on several things. You can base on them to test whether this pair of wireless headphones for television is reasonable for your TV or not. Many wireless headphones use delivery signal between the receiver and the headphones. These systems bring several benefits, but this also causes reduction in quality.

Wireless headphones utilize a straight wireless communication, for example, some very famous headphone brands have applied Bluetooth technology into their products, which have the advantages of connecting many devices with no individual receiver.

When finding the ideal product, it is very beneficial to understand that each person has different interest and different needs. Inversely, if you are enjoying immersing into music program in TV while doing other works, signal delivered in long range can contribute much to the quality of sound.

Wireless headphones for TV

Which headphones for Television will suit your needs?

There are a few factors to consider rather than the just the price of a wireless headphone when you are deciding to buy one of them. The first thing is the battery capacity. The higher price you can afford for, the longer battery strength you are going to have. A very essential feature needed to consider here is the transmission range. If you have a small apartment or your television is in a relatively narrow place, perhaps you do not need to pay for extra strong signal transmission like for long range.

Connecting Wireless Headphones to television

It is quite simple to connect the headphone to your TV. If you are using a television using an optical connection, the higher end units have a digital/optical input contracted in for the easiest solution. If wireless headphone connected to the TV, the TV speakers will be controlled by normal controls, while the headphone user will control the volume of the sound directly on the headphone they are wearing. The wireless headphone can also be plugged into your TV, however, this can cause some disadvantages such as the sound quality may be more terrible and will restrict the voices in TV when you go out of the possible range of the headphone.

Wireless headphones are diversified in aspects such as shape, style or size or quality of sound that they bring out. Many experts try to test and review them to customers in order to give the most precious advices to users so that they can look for the most comprehensive products and products with the best sound.

Ear buds – One of The Best Types of Headphones for Running

The best ear buds for your needs

Now, a large number people enjoy exercising, in particular running. If you are a runner, you can see many runners, who wear a variety of types of headphones when running. And then, you are also looking for a pair of headphones for this need, aren’t you? Well, it will not be too challenging as well as you thought. Today, this article will mention one of many types of headphones for the purpose of running – the best wireless headphones for working out.

Ear buds – One of The Best Types of Headphones for Running

In fact, it is not easy to pick up the best ear buds for running because it may affect a section of your life, including health. To select one appropriate pair of ear buds for health yourself through running, it is quite significant. Consequently, it forces you to have to choose the best one among countless available model on the market. It is important that you need to select the ear buds with the high-quality sound as well as the absolute comfort during the process of use. Like that, you can listen to your favorite things.

The advantages of the ear buds for running

First of all, this type of earphones is a smart selection because you will easily gather information about the existing ear buds for the purpose of running on the market nowadays. In that way, it will certainly provide plenty of information about the products, thanks to sharing the experiences of those who get used to utilizing the ear buds like the comfort, durability, quality, for example.

For running, the ear buds bring plenty of benefits

Obviously, enjoying the music is a benefit to an individual; especially, there are those who are exercising with the strong tools because it impacts the mood of each of the people. In general, not only positive thoughts are improved but also negative thoughts are removed. Therefore, utilizing ear buds for running is crucial as music can increase your energy level and concentration on exercise yours.

The outstanding features of the ear buds for running

Another important thing is the features of the ear buds for the activity of running. The initial feature of these ear buds is mentioned – the comfortable design. In addition, the quality of the sound is also an essential section in choosing. You should also consider the battery life and others anymore. A specific example of this type of earphones for the individual utilizes for running – there are the Beats of Dr. Dre ear buds. These ear buds have owned the high-quality sound due to you can enjoy favorite songs yours during the process of work. Besides, you can use it for a longer period of time because its design is pretty comfortable.

Beats Dr Dre ear buds have owned many outstanding features

When mentioning to the feature of the sound, the ear buds need to be able to control music tone, in particular both treble and bass are adjustable. With the modern technology, life becomes more convenient, so it allows us to be able to control everything on fingertips ours the easy way. Hence, it is very beneficial when owning the ear buds with full outstanding features for the purpose of running.

At the moment, there are a lot of the available models on the market such as Skull Candy, Sony, Sennheiser, Panasonic, and so on. Of course, the styles and prices are different. Frequently, it ranges from $10 – $600 depending on your budget. Let’s remember that an earphone with a high price is not necessarily that is a correct choice for you. The best is based on your need and preference. Don’t aim any specific models! You ought to consider all types and then gather significant information about them. Finally, you give an exact decision for your selection.

The end of the article, it may affirm that the ear buds for running have many advantages, along with countless wonderful features. If you are looking for one for yourself, it can ensure that you will not be disappointed – the best ear buds– it is a reliable model to choose to purchase.

Three Best Record Players Which You Should Know

Nowadays, the record players are not used widely than before because you can use the phone to replace this function. But, there are many things and the needs which the recording function in a phone can not do well as a record player.

Record player for DJs

If you are DJs or a fan of the classical music you will like to hear some songs on the best record player for sale. With a good record player, it will help you enjoy the songs greatly or you can work zealously when you are a DJ. Although, you have many experiences about this device to choose you should also refer to three best record players which I will share in this writing. I hope that you can buy the best one easily.

Type 1: Audio -Technica AT-LP120 USB

Audio -Technica AT LP 120 is a drive turntable directly which it can connect to other external devices as the computer or the laptop is the typical examples via USB. Here is some necessary information about the product which you can refer to:

  • With the direct drive, the platter will be directly powered by the motor and no belt as well as other moving parts which they are related to the rotation of the turntable. Of course, this will make the moving part move less and Audio- Technica AT LP 120 can also create the additional noise.
  • Moreover, Audio -Technica AT LP 120 is a famous version Technics SL-1200MK2 before. However, AT LP 120 is sold for the better price comparison with SL 1200MK2.
  • Besides, the turntable of AT LP120 can toggle easily both forward and backward.
  • Beyond that, there is a slide bar to control the pitch about +/- 10% to 20%. This will help create the good sounds for listeners.
  • In addition, Audio- Technica AT LP 120 has also a dust cover. It will protect your record player to avoid the dust or the dirty from the outside.
  • Finally, the aluminum platter looks nice and heavy. The turntable moves lightly. And the USB output is easy to connect with other devices (computer, laptop).

Type 2: Rega RP1

When mentioning the record players, most of the users will be very interesting with the Rega RP1 not only about its form but also about its function. That is the reason why you have to spend a lot of money to buy it. It is more expensive than Audio Technica AT LP 120. Let’s see some features of Rega RP1 below:

  • Firstly, its durability is very great when its table is made from the phenolic plastic.
  • Secondly, Rega RP1 has a low vibration and you can adjust the belt driven motor by your hand so you will be easy to rotate the reverse where you want to.
  • Thirdly, the tone-arm is made by the handmade with the special magnetic cartridge (Rega Carbon). Therefore, this record player can create the great sound with high quality to the listeners.
  • Especially, this type of the record player is designed with the longevity. This will help you save a lot of money to change the new one. Also, all of their parts are very good for many years. You will not worry to replace them.

Type 3: Pro- Ject Debut Carbon

Many colors of record players as a theater at home

If you want to have a beautifully designed record player the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is a right choice for you. Besides, its form is the beauty. It also has some features such as:

  • The platter has a nice size with steel material and suitable with the belt driven turntable.
  • The tone-arm of the Pro- Ject Debut Carbon record player is made from the carbon fiber.
  • Pro -Ject Debut Carbon has low vibration motor.
  • This record player comes in some colors so you sometimes think it looks like a theater at home.
  • Its body is made from the MDF very durable.
  • The price is not so high. You only take about more than 400 dollars to own a Pro -Ject Debut Carbon. You can see many products of record players from Amazon.

In short, you can be easy to find out many different kinds of the record players on the market. However, it is difficult to know the top of the record players which they are good products and appropriate for both your budget and your needs. So, I think that three popular record players recently will be the good suggestions to help you choosing the correct record players. Hope you like this article.

Cooking Methods for Healthy Life

A healthy life is the dream of everyone in the entire world. No one wants to eat fast food and junk food all the time because they must have enough health and energy for work and other activities without obtaining some unhealthy effects from the unsafe food. Therefore the cooking methods are very important. We can’t just fry food entirely. Food should be prepared and cooking carefully so as not to lose all the nutritious inside them. To do that, the kitchen appliances such as the best pressure cooker from some reviews or a good microwave must be chosen and the cooking methods must be combined together to create the best cuisines for the taste and the health. In this article, I will show you some of the best cooking methods that you should know to prepare a dynamic and healthy meal for you family.

  1. Steaming


This is the cooking method that uses the water steam to prepare food. This method is considered one of the easiest and healthiest cooking techniques, and is also applied to all kinds of food. In steam cuisines, water is boiled and the steam takes effect to the food, it will be cooked slowly from the inside out. To add the flavors for the food in the cooking process, they often add smell leaves or natural liquid into the water, so that the flavor can follow the steam and blend into the food.

There are some benefits of this cooking method that I can list out for you: The steps of preparations are very easy, the nutritious inside the food is reserved mostly, the flavors of the cuisines are great, and the fat inside the food is reduced greatly.

  1. Grilling

The food which is put on the rack in the pan which is specially designed for grilling cuisines or the sticks that can roll over will be contacted with the heat from high temperature of the fire. When the food is done, the skin of the meat will be yellow and brown, and also increase the flavor of the cuisine.


In this process, you should roll the food evenly so that the grease inside the food can drop out. Besides, you should use olive oil regularly so that the grilled food would not be overcooked or burned.

Grilling is the method that was used many centuries ago, an still be used nowadays. The advantage of this cooking method is that you can get rid of the fat the amount of oil is minimized.

  1. Pressure cooking

In general, this cooking method uses both pressure and the heat. First, you have to prepare the raw food and pour it into the cooking pot with a certain amount of water to create the steam and the heat while cooking.

Pressure cooking

In the cooking process, you must lock the pressure cooker carefully to prevent some explosions from the cooker. The atmosphere inside the cooking is very high, so that the food will be cooked quickly. The food will slowly cooked and leave out some water inside the food and create a wonderful soup dish.

Pressure cooking also reduces the amount of oil used and keeps all the nutritious that have inside the food. Besides, because the food is cooked firmly inside the cooker, some kinds of tough meat can be tendered such as the beef or buffalo meat. This is very good for kids and the elders to enjoy the food.

So this is some of my opinions about the cooking methods for you to prepare a good meal for your whole family. In addition, if you want to contribute something or ask for my help, just ask for me on my blog. I would be delighted to help you solve the problems. Thank you for reading the article.

8 Pieces Ceramic Cookware – Pierre

You have a large family or love large tables? Meals are often the opportunity to share a great time; but still need to be well equipped to invite our relatives! 8 pieces ceramic cookware Pierre supports all fires including induction! We offer this with either a ceramic coating pan – Peter. For each model you have the choice between black or red colors. This is also one of the best ceramic cookware brands. The product includes:

  • 3 Stoves 20, 24 and 26 cm diameter
  • 2 Pots of 16 and 18 cm in diameter
  • 1 pot of 24 cm in diameter
  • 2 glass lids 16 and 24 cm diameter

Ceramic Cookware

Each coating has many advantages. First, the ceramic coating does not contain Teflon or PTFE and PFOA. It has anti-adhesive properties which allow you to cook without adding fat or very little.
The ceramic coating also allows obtaining a homogeneous cooking. To cook relatively delicate foods such as fish, it is ideal. The coat is also nonstick coating and allows a healthier cooking. Cook for a large majority of foods without fat, stone coating is highly efficient and economical.

8 pieces Ceramic cookware coating Pierre:


  • Compatible with all fire including induction
  • 2 coatings available: Ceramic or stone way
  • 2 colors: Black or Red

Cookware including:

  • 3 Stoves 20, 24 and 26 cm diameter
  • 2 Pots of 16 and 18 cm in diameter
  • 1 pot of 24 cm in diameter
  • 2 glass lids 16 and 24 cm diameter

Ceramic coating characteristics:

  • Without Teflon, PTFE and PFOA
  • Release properties
  • Oven cooking
  • Ideal for cooking delicate foods

Prefer together – Coating characteristic kitchen tools – Peter

  • Cast aluminum with stone particles incrusted
  • Extreme robustness
  • Anti-adhesive
  • Efficient and economical
  • Ideal for cooking a large majority of food

Another ideal choice for you to choose is:

10 Pieces Cookware Granite Haussmann Heritage®

  • Non-stick coating: healthy cooking
  • All hob types including induction
  • Sleeves and removable handles

With 10 pieces cookware set Pierre Granit Haussmann Heritage® !, Manage all your recipes without exception. The product consists of the followingitems:

  • 2 pots of 24 and 28 cm in diameter with lids
  • Two pans 16 and 20 cm in diameter with lids
  • 1 frying pan 28 cm in diameter
  • 1 frying pan 24 cm in diameter

Suitable for all hobs including induction, 10 pieces Cookware set Pierre Granit Haussmann Heritage® has 3 sleeves and 7 removable handles!
In addition, its new non-stick coating ensures a healthy cooking without adding fat! Even chefs will envy the Cookware 10 pieces or so Pierre Granit Haussmann Heritage® !

10 Pieces Cookware set Granite Haussmann Heritage®

2 models: lining or Pierre Granit

Set composes of 10 pieces:

  • 2 pots of 24 and 28 cm in diameter with lids
  • Two pans 16 and 20 cm in diameter with lids
  • 1 frying pan 28 cm in diameter
  • 1 frying pan 24 cm in diameter
  • 3 removable sleeves for pan frying pan and saucepan of 16 cm in diameter
  • 7 removable handles for pots, casserole 20 cm diameter pan
  • All hob types including induction
  • New non-stick coating for healthy cooking

Brand: Haussmann Legacy

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Microwave Oven Versus Toaster Oven

Nowadays, the technology has advanced, so several devices have the same function and structure. Consequently, a large number people have problems when mentioning to learn or buy one. We are saying to microwave ovens versus toaster ovens. Both are beneficial as the best small rice cooker. Nevertheless, their features, functions and even capabilities are easy to cause the confusion.

toaster oven

In the previous time, toaster ovens were only used for baking bread, cake or sandwich. Nonetheless, the technology has developed. This appliance is gradually improved from features to wattages, so it is almost beneficial as well as the microwave oven. Even, a number of smart toaster ovens in comparison with microwave ovens have more functions.

microwave oven

If you tend to purchase a toaster oven or a microwave oven, you can consult a couple of different points of both below in order to have the lucid decision.

  1. The capability of browning

This feature is not had by the microwave oven because it does not have a broiler. Due to this tool, the food has brown. Of course, only toaster ovens have owned it. With high-quality toaster ovens, this process will occur faster than normal ovens.

  1. The energy

If it mentions to this feature, microwave ovens in comparison with toaster ovens will have more energy than. Generally, it is about 1200 Watts – 1800 Watts which are the used energy of the toaster oven. Otherwise, the microwave oven only utilizes from 700 Watts to 1300 Watts. These numbers showed that the energy of the toaster is used up to half. On the contrary, the microwave only utilizes a third of that.

Hence, a great number of housewives choose kitchen appliances which are based on consuming their energy.

  1. Convenience

There is also a problem which needs to have to consider because any appliances must fit into your kitchen; evenly, it can also create a luxurious space in here. Thus, you should select what appliances occupies less space. So, the toaster oven entirely suits because it has lightweight and compact design in comparison with microwave ovens.

With narrow space in your kitchen, the toaster oven would rather fit than the microwave oven. Vice versa, you have the excessive space. A larger microwave is not a problem.

  1. The heating time

Both appliances have the heating time which depends on the recipes. It also depends on the taste of everyone that they will choose the toaster oven or the microwave oven. If you enjoy the tough food, the microwave will be able to bring to you this one. Otherwise, you will select the toaster if you like the soft and fluffy food. Since the toaster is slower in heating, the food is processed in this oven can ensure the food’s the flavor. That people enjoy eating often choose the toaster oven.

  1. The size of the meal

Does your family have plenty of members? Do you often cook large meals? So, let’s choose the microwave. In comparison with the toaster oven, the microwave oven is larger; even, the cooking speed is also faster. With the family crew members, the microwave will help save much time.

On the contrary, you live alone or are a student. That’s right? The toaster oven is enough for you to cook a delicious and quick meal.

  1. Bread heating and crispy cooking

When mentioning to crispy cooking, the toaster oven ought to be the top of choice. However, the microwave is not less competitive. You will not even fry potato, bread, or meat that you only need to place them in your microwave.

On the other hand, if you want to heat bread, the toaster oven will be better. Why? Because its heat can make the bread soft and delicious. With microwaves, you want to heat bread or vegetable – everything is ok!


At the moment, you have known the advantages and disadvantages of both ovens. It can say that both are considered as the best small rice cooker for every house. However, to choose to buy 1 in 2, you not only consider strong or weak points of them but also have to be based on your needs. Let’s consider carefully so as to have the right decision.

Unique Ways to Coax the Most Flavors into Poultry, Fish, and Meat

MARINADES HAVE always confused me. I’ve never known how to balance the various ingredients, or how long to keep something in a marinade. I worry that the chicken or fish I’m marinating will get squishy before I grill, broil, or roast it. I know I want to flavor what I’m marinating as strongly and as fully as possible, and that it’s fun rummaging around in my spice cabinet to concoct some special blend that will make my chicken or fish taste better than anyone else’s. But I don’t want to soften it the way the acid in citrus juice “cooks” raw fish in seviche–by coagulating the proteins. Then I’ll end up serving pungent mush.

In an attempt to feel more confident mixing my own marinades, I recently looked into what roles the chief components in marinades play, and I was taken aback to realize how little I had bothered to think through. I concentrated on proteins–meat, chicken, and fish –because they are the reason marinades came into being, and am the foods most people marinate. With the exception of eggplant and mushrooms, soft vegetables don’t take particularly well to being marinated before grilling or broiling: they go soggy when cooked. They do take well to being steeped in liquid afterward, but that is more the realm of dressings and sauces. Marinades are generally understood to be liquids that flavor foods before cooking. I’ve learned, however, that I don’t necessarily need liquid to do what I want a marinade to do.


Healthy Water for People

A marinade (from the Latin for “sea water,” referring to brine) is classically a way to tenderize cheap, tough cuts of meat by softening the collagen that binds the muscle. In the West this is done chiefly with an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice, wine, vinegar, or yogurt. Mango and tamarind also contain effective acids, and are used widely in Asia as tenderizers, as are papaya and pineapple, whose potent enzymes achieve the same end.

Tenderizing is still important for tough cuts of meat, such as London broil (flank steak) and lamb for kebabs. But thorough tenderization takes time, and Harold McGee, in On Food and Cooking, calls into question the ability of marinades to tenderize at all beyond the surface, which often becomes unpleasantly mealy. Marinades do benefit scallops of meat; in a few hours or overnight the marinade can significantly penetrate these thin cuts, and beef, veal, and lamb better withstand the acid of a marinade than do fish and chicken. Game, too, is classically marinated, to help break down tough fibers, reduce gaminess, and add fat where there is rarely any to speak of.


The hope is to lend needed liquid as well. In the cultures that use marinades extensively to tenderize meat–for example, Middle Eastern, Indian, and Asian–people don’t cook meat rare, and any extra juice is welcome. McGee doubts that marinades can add that much liquid to cooked meat, and he has had unimpressive results in experimenting with injection bulb basters, which some people use to squirt marinade into the center of thick cuts. In The Grilling Encyclopedia, A. Cort Sinnes, a master griller, advocates using a “demon bulb baster” to flavor poultry. McGee didn’t achieve much tenderizing or improvement in flavor when he tried injecting marinade into a thick piece of meat (he didn’t try chicken), but at least he avoided the disaster experienced by the Oxford physicist and cooking enthusiast Nicholas Kurti, who injected pineapple juice into a pork roast and managed to turn the whole thing into a sort of pate. (The title of an anthology of essays by physicists about food refers to the gallant remark made to Kurti by the chef who roasted the mess: But the Crackling Is Superb.)

Decreasing Number of People Using Big Hunks

Fewer and fewer people cook big hunks of meat regularly these days, and what people put on a grill or under a broiler isn’t likely to be something that needs tenderizing. If chicken, for instance, is tough, that’s because it was overcooked, not because it wasn’t given special treatment, and the same is true of most expensive cuts of veal and beef. Different cooking methods usually compensate for potentially tough cuts: popular and cheaper cuts of beef like brisket and shin are usually braised for a long time, breaking some of the bonds in the collagen and softening the meat. The quick way to tenderize meat is to break the fibers by pounding the meat–crude but effective and still standard practice for scalloping and other thin cuts.

Replacement of Chicken and Fish

Fish & Chicken

SINCE THE USUAL main course today is chicken or fish, the problem is more often blandness than toughness. Flavoring, not tenderizing, is the goal, and so the importance of mush-making acid diminishes. Aromatic herbs and spices come to the fore, as does the question of how much liquid to use–or whether to use any at all.

The role of oil is a matter of dispute. Certainly it is the best flavor carrier, besides having flavor of its own, and it tenderizes meat or fish and helps to keep it from sticking to a grill. (The surest way to avoid sticking is not oil but patience: pieces of food on a grill will generally move freely once they are well seared.) Oil also seems to be important for the absorption of flavors. Shirley Corriher, who for six years has been at work on a book about the scientific rules of the kitchen, to be published next year, points out how fast oil soaks into leaves and vegetables, which have naturally water- but not oil-repellent surfaces: a salad dressed in advance gets soggy because of the oil, not the vinegar. Harold McGee told me, “My guess is that oil will insinuate itself between the fibers of both meat and vegetables in a way that water won’t.”

Some marinades rely on liquid for the desired taste. Satay and soy-based marinades are indispensable for teriyaki (look in Barbara Kafka’s Party Food for recipes), and I can’t imagine London broil without such a marinade. I was recently drawn to a sweet-and-sour marinade I found in Evan Kleiman’s Cucina Del Mare, a book of Italian-inspired fish recipes. This marinade plays Sicilian flavors against a strong fish like swordfish or mackerel: Soak a pinch of saffron threads in a quarter cup of hot water for half an hour, and combine the saffron and its liquid with a half cup each of red-wine vinegar and chopped raisins, a tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary leaves, and a cup of olive oil. Marinate the fish for just a half hour to an hour, to avoid vinegar corrosion, before grilling or broiling.

On the increasingly rare occasions when I eat meat, I choose lamb, in particular Julie Sahni’s “mint-scented” lamb, from Classic Indian Cooking, marinated in a liquid paste consisting of two tablespoons of minced fresh mint leaves, one tablespoon each of minced garlic and grated or finely chopped gingerroot, two teaspoons each of paprika and ground cumin, a half teaspoon each of coarse salt and powdered red pepper, and a quarter teaspoon of ground cloves, all mixed into a half cup of light vegetable oil and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Smear this over a boned, butterflied leg of lamb to be grilled or broiled, let it sit in a sealed plastic bag overnight, and, as a friend says, “even with only two people you won’t have leftovers.”

Marinade Soak for Fascinating People

HOW KEEN ARE you to have a marinade soak in? This might seem a simple question to answer. Isn’t the point to make that flavorful liquid penetrate as thoroughly as possible? Otherwise, why not just make a sauce? Chris Schlesinger has a different solution: dry rubs, which he discovered on Texas barbecue while growing up in the South. Schlesinger has had plenty of time to think about marinades. He has spent nearly a decade in front of a fire at the East Coast Grill, a restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and, with John Willoughby, has written two good books, The Thrill of the Grill and the new Salas, Sambals, Chutneys & Chowchows, a small book of recipes for sauces and condiments. In his travels throughout the Caribbean and, recently, Asia and India, Schlesinger has realized that he prefers “raw, loud, vibrant flavors thrown together rather than intricate blending.” For this reason he scorns marinades. All you get when you cut into a perfectly good chunk of meat, he says, is a “quarter inch of Italian dressing.”

As an example of a dry rub that does, more intensely, what a conventional marinade is meant to do, Schlesinger devised for me an all-American barbecue rub, drawing on his years of observing barbecue throughout the South and Southwest. Mix together a quarter cup each of powdered chili peppers, paprika, ground cumin, brown sugar, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper, two tablespoons of ground cayenne, and a teaspoon of ground cloves. This provides most of the flavors people crave in a barbecue sauce without the overdoses of sugar and tomato which inevitably cause it to burn. Although the rub does contain sugar and will provide a crust, it won’t provide the sticky, gooey dribs and drabs and the high charcoal content that many people love. What interests Schlesinger is a “super-crispy, crunchy crust and juicy meat.”

Suitable Temperature for Heating Water

Indian Home Cooks

Schlesinger often toasts aromatic seeds in a dry pan at medium heat for three to five minutes, until they begin to smoke–a step most Indian cooks insist on to get the most from spices like cumin, coriander, and peppercorns. This technique is used in making a spicy rub he gave me for oily fish like tuna, mackerel, and bluefish: In a pan toast two tablespoons each of mustard seed, fennel seed, coriander seed, and white peppercorns. Let them cool, whir them in a spice grinder (you can use a coffee grinder for this purpose if you first whir granulated sugar in it and wipe it clean), and stir the freshly ground spices with a quarter cup of coarse salt and one teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne.

Or you can try anise, ginger, Szechuan peppercorns, and other Chinese spices to give a different “flavor footprint” (Schlesinger’s phrase) to a dry rub. In Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco, Paula Wolfert gives recipes for rats el hanout, a strong Moroccan spice blend, and the Moroccan chili-based harass; in Authentic Mexican, Rick and Deann Bayless give several Yucatan seasoning pastes for pork, chicken, and fish which call for lots of garlic and spices like cumin, coriander, allspice, and cloves.

Eliminating acid from a marinade doesn’t mean that you can’t have the flavor of citrus. In A Fresh Look at Saucing Foods, Deirdre Davis proposes a dry rub consisting of just equal parts of grated lemon zest (the colored part of the rind) and coarsely ground black and white pepper, to be left for a half hour on chicken or turkey breast, pork cutlets, or veal chops. Despite the comprehensive and instructive overview of sauces she gives in her book, Davis told me that she often favors a dry rub over any marinade: “I think it penetrates more, and it stays there, because you don’t wipe it off,” as you usually do a marinade.

For a knockout punch of both citrus and hot pepper, consult Barbara Tropp’s China Moon Cookbook, a delightful and original book of recipes and ideas from an authority and a scholar who has relaxed considerably since writing the encyclopedic Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. Tropp gives zingy recipes for several flavored oils that can stand alone as marinades. Making them requires a deep non-aluminum pot and a deep-fat-frying thermometer, but the powerful results reward the effort.

Easiest Cooking Methods with Light Liquid Detergent

The simplest and perhaps most versatile recipe is for chili-orange oil, which can flavor meat, chicken, or fish. Wash three large, unblemished oranges in warm water in a light liquid detergent, using an abrasive sponge; peel off and mince a thin layer of zest, leaving the white pith. In a heavy two- or two-and-a-half-quart saucepan combine the zest with half a cup of “shockingly pungent” dried red chili flakes; three tablespoons of unrinsed Chinese black beans, coarsely chopped; one or two large cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled; two cups of corn or peanut oil (Troop suggests Mazola corn oil or Planter’s peanut oil); and a quarter cup of Japanese sesame oil (she suggests the Kadoya brand). Over low heat bring the mixture to 225 [degrees]-250 [degrees] and simmer, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes. Remove the oil from the heat and let it cool; scrape it into a jar, cover, and store in a cool place or a refrigerator. Troop told me that besides drizzle the oil over pasta, she mixes it with mushroom soy sauce (her preferred brand is Pearl River Bridge) for a marinade.

Troop sells bottles of chili-orange oil at her restaurant in San Francisco, the China Moon Cafe, and hopes soon to market it more widely. For other quick doses of spicy heat you can use any of dozens of pepper sauces and oils available by mail order from Mo Hotta–Mo Betta (800-462-3220), which publishes a catalogue as diverting as its name.

The Types of Best Marinade

THE BEST MARINADE or dry rub is, of course, the one you come up with yourself. Soy and hoisin sauces are invaluable standbys, as are mustard powder and various oils and spices. Marinades forgive inexperience and enthusiasm much more readily than, say, salad dressings, because going overboard with heat or acidity won’t necessarily overwhelm the food you’ve marinated. Good rules to keep in mind are to seal marinated foods in plastic bags and to marinate meats at room temperature, allowing flavors to seep in faster. Marinating at room temperature can be dangerous with fish and chicken, which quickly develop many kinds of bacteria and might not be cooked long enough to be made safe. Cookbooks always recommend marinating fish and chicken in the refrigerator. I have found, though, that the authors themselves usually leave them on the counter. Also, bear in mind how quickly acids, including those in wine, eat into the outer layers of fish (shrimp is particularly susceptible) and, to a lesser extent, chicken. Dry rubs can stay on virtually as long as you like without damaging flesh. It is nearly impossible for any kind of marinade to penetrate chicken skin: if you can’t do without the skin, poke your fingers beneath it to spread on a dry rub or a paste.

You need to slather any marinade or rub on every bit of the surface of the meat, chicken, or fish you’re flavoring, inside and out. Dry rubs can be harder to make adhere everywhere, but generally they will mix with the liquid from the flesh, making a kind of paste, and pressure and persistence will result in a thorough coat. Fancy brushes and namby-pamby applicators won’t do: bare hands are best. Many cooks think that you haven’t even entered the kitchen until your hands are dirty. Marinades and dry rubs tell you very clearly that you’re cooking.

The Inconveniences of Cooking and Digesting Beans

Ways around the inconveniences of cooking and digesting beans

BEANS FLUMMOX cooks, even those who know them to be a nutritional godsend and stock bags of them in the pantry. There are beans stay, waiting for the intended pot of chili or soup to be made, growing ever dustier. Beans are daunting. For years I stopped reading recipes after the words “Soak beans overnight.” What starch, no matter how admirable nutritionally, is worth all that advance planning?

Digesting Beans

I recently cooked and evaluated more than twenty kinds of beans, and I found ways around the inconveniences they present of both timing and digestion–powerful disincentives for many home cooks. In my extensive sampling I came to value beans highly, not just for the rich stores of protein and iron they offer with almost not fat but also for their taste. Although a great many beans are, admittedly, insipid, some of the beans I cooked are richly flavored–mainly old kinds that fell out of use but are today available as “heirloom” beans. I now find myself craving beans, both in the southern, Mexican, and Cuban dishes for which they provide an earthy base and in the simple Italian-style salads in which the beans themselves star (a good source for recipes is the recent Verdura, by Viana La Place). Cooking beans no longer intimidates me, even if it does take time–less time, though, than you might suppose.

Various Different Genres of Digesting Beans

LIKE ALL legumes, beans are seeds that grow encased in pods. Certain varieties are bred so that the pods will be soft and tasty, and we eat them as green or snap beans while the seeds are still immature. Matters would be clearer if green beans were called “green pods,” since everyone rightly ignores he embryonic beans inside. “Shelling” beans are eaten when the seeds are mature and plump but still moist, by which time the pods are too woody to eat. The most familiar are the lima beans we usually buy frozen (garden peas are closely related to, but not members of, the main bean genera), and the best are fresh fava beans.

Favas, lentils, and chickpeas–or garbanzos, a Spanish word derived from the Greek–were among the few beans eaten in the Old World. Columbus and his fellow voyagers brought home the beans in the species Phaseolus vulgaris, to which nearly all familiar beans belong–pintos (usually too bland to bother cooking), kidneys, brown, and white, among others–and also limes, close relatives (which I find intolerably acrid when dried, and reminiscent of school cafeterias).

Fresh favas, temptingly described in Italian cookbooks and until recently restricted to home gardeners, are now grown commercially in California and are widely available in April and May. They are the same bright color as fresh lima beans, but their taste is far sweeter and fresher. Buy fresh favas early in the season (that is, now), when you need only remove them from their pods, which are furred with a downy white blanket. You can dress the beans for a salad or eat them out of hand with wedges of the sheep’s-milk cheese pecorino, as Tuscans, who are famous bean-lovers, do in the spring and early summer. (A fresh Spanish manchego, also a sheep’s-milk cheese, is just as good.) Later in the season the seed coast begin to harden, and you must remove them from each bean–tedious work, but still worth it. At that point the beans are good for purees and soups. With any kind of bean, a few months after the shelling stage the pods have dried to a crackly parchment and the beans inside are hard. These are the beans that need soaking and that wait, accusingly, in the pantry.

Causes of Soaking Beans

soaking beans

The primary reason is to soak beans in to rehydrate them, which will tenderize the tough seed coat and thus reduce cooking time. Some kinds of beans have thin skins and need no soaking (except in order to render them more digestible, as I’ll explain). Among them are lentils, split peas, and black-eyed peas–the essential ingredient of the southern dish Hoppin’ John and a bean of Asian origin that Became a staple in Africa, from where slaves brought it to America. Sally and Martin Stone, in their excellent book The Brilliant Bean, say that beans need soak only four hours, with the exception of dried fava beans (which, even when soaked overnight, cook to an acid-tasting mush–no wonder the Italians prefer them fresh) and soybeans, which few people cook. By then the beans will have doubled in size and the skins will have puckered.

  • Dried beans should be from a recent harvest. If they’ve been sitting on the shelf for more than a year, they will have lost flavor and might be tough, no matter how long you soak and cook them. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell by looking at beans if they’re too old. The best strategy is to buy from a market where turnover is high.
  • Soak beans in plentiful cold water–at least three times as much by volume as you have beans. Never salt soaking or cooking water, because salt will toughen the skin and prevent the beans from softening; so will any acidic ingredient, such as tomatoes or lemon juice, which should be added only after the beans are cooked as soft as you want them (it helps to know this if you want beans to keep their shape during further cooking in a stew or soup). Some cooks add baking soda to the cooking water, as a tenderizer, but this damages cell walls and allows nutrients to leach out.

The Stones offer two methods of quick soaking, for when you don’t have time to let beans soak four hours or more. Put the beans in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover them by two inches; boil for two minutes; remove from heat and soak for one hour; then drain, rinse, and cook. Or boil the beans for ten minutes, drain, cover them with two inches of cool water to soak for thirty minutes; drain, rinse, and cook.

Cooking Beans with Boiling Method

boiling beans

The rest is easy. Bring a fresh pot of water to the boil, add the soaked beans, keep the pot covered, or party covered, on a very low simmer, and start checking the beans after an hour. Add hot water if necessary to keep the level two inches above the beans. If you cover beans with too much water, according to Philip Teverow, who has helped popularize many kinds of heirloom beans by stocking them at the New York store Dean and DeLuca, they will take longer to cook. Most beans wash out to a paler color with cooking, and they often lose their gloss. I found that most kinds took about an hour and fifteen minutes to become soft. You can test for doneness by rinsing a bean in cool water and pressing it against your upper palate, or by mashing one on a counter with the back of a spoon. Beans should not be al dente. They taste better and are easier to digest when fully cooked.

Reason for Keeping Beans from Breaking

One of the purposes of maintaining a low simmer is to keep the beans from splitting, but some varieties will naturally break open during cooking, and all you can do is use them in soup or a puree. These include, in my experience, French Horticulture, a very good bean from Phipps Ranch, a farm near San Francisco that grows many heirloom beans, and Appaloosa, a marvelous-looking small white bean with maroon splotches. The custardy interior of French Horticulture makes an especially nice puree. Both Phipps Ranch and Dean and DeLuca sell Appaloosa and many other heirloom beans.

If you want to use beans in a salad or another dish in which appearance counts, lift them out of the cooking water with a slotted spoon and rinse them. Dumping them into a colander crushes the ones on the bottom. Varieties that can be relied on to stay intact include pinto beans and their many better-flavored relatives, and cranberry beans which are the same size as pinto beans but colored as their name suggests and superior in flavor; cranberry beans are the ones to use in the many Italian recipes that call for borlotti.

Some beans require no forethought. Lentils and split peas, soaked or in soaked, take as little time to cook as rice. After ten minutes (for red lentils) to a half hour or so (for most other lentils and split peas) they can mercilessly turn to mush, so watch very closely if you want to eat them whole. Look for lentilles de Puy, olive-drab lentils grown in volcanic soil in France, which taste better than any other; Dean & DeLuca carries them. Black-eyed peas and their relatives’ pigeon peas require thirty minutes to an hour. Flageolets, small celadon-colored beans that look like Chiclets, can also be cooked without soaking and must also be watched lest they disintegrate. The French serve flageolets with lamb, but they are good with any meat or fish. My favorite bean, they have an elusive, subtly sweet flavor reminiscent of fresh peas.

Cooking with Pressure Methods

Pressure Cooker BeanYou can cook beans in a microwave oven or a pressure cooker. The time saved with a microwave can be as much as half (although this does not make them instant), and beans seem to keep their shape reliably, according to Barbara Kafka, who provides cooking times in Microwave Gourmet. Pressure cookers make very quick work of even in soaked beans, but they spell trouble to many people, especially those whose childhood memories include pea soup on the ceiling (hearing the loud puffs’, my mother would announce, “It’s going to explode,” and wait it out on the back porch). Today pressure cookers have far superior safety valves, and two precautions almost guarantee placid cooking: keeping the cooker no more than half full of liquid, and adding a tablespoon of oil, to prevent loose skins from floating free and clogging the valve. Most soaked beans require twelve minutes or less, according to Lorna Sass’s Cooking under Pressure. Unsoiled beans take longer, but generally less than a half hour.

Freezing Methods for Cooking Beans

When you bother to cook beans, you should cook a lot, because they can be frozen so successfully–they will keep their flavor and nutrients for at least six months. If you freeze them in small portions (Zip-lock plastic freezer bags are the easiest) you can add a cup or so to a soup or stew at will. A light tossing with oil before freezing will help keep the beans separate and tender.

Infants and children, too, can enjoy and digest beans. Friends on the look-out for sources of iron to feed their children report that their infants find pureed lentils more appetizing than whole-grain cereals. Carlene Hamilton, a nutritionist at the University of Kentucky, says that lentils, mashed split peas, or mashed limes (but not other beans) are a fine component of the diet of a child under two, although they should not be the basis of one; you can add any beans to the diet of older children as you would to your own.

Cooking Beans under Expert’s View

WHY BEANS cause gas is fairly straightforward, yet even people who devote a great deal of time to researching how beans are metabolized seem a bit self-conscious discussing it. (Scientists I talked to often began by reciting the rhyme beginning “Beans, beans, the musical fruit” or by chuckling over the memory of the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles.) As beans dry, they store complex sugars called oligosaccharides. Normal digestive enzymes are unable to break down these chains of sugars, so they pass whole into the lower intestine, where friendly bacteria to which we play host eat the sugars and ferment them. This process is similar to the fermenting of other sugars, and a natural by-product is gas. (Fermented black beans, popular in China, and the soybean foods tofu and tempeh all lose oligosaccharides in processing and are thus more easily digested.) The gases produced in the lower intestine, including methane and hydrogen, are odorless. Beans “burn pretty clean,” in the words of David Jenkins, a professor of medicine and nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. It is the condiments you eat with beans that are likely to cause detectable problems. Onions, leeks, and to a lesser extent garlic contain not only oligosaccharides of their own but sulfur compounds besides, which cause odors. So if you eat onions and garlic with beans you’re likely to add embarrassment to discomfort.

Cooking Beans

Luckily, a large percentage of oligosaccharides are water-soluble, so you can soak them away. It’s more practical to concentrate on soaking them out of beans than out of onions or garlic, since you have to soak beans anyway. During soaking change the water once or twice, rising the beans before you add fresh water. Even if you simply drain and rinse the beans once before cooking them, you’ll still get rid of some oligosaccharides.

To go the extra mile, take one more step after you have followed whichever soaking method you choose. Bring the beans to a boil, covered by two inches of water, boil them for five minutes, drain and rinse them, cover them again with two inches of water–preferably water you have boiled separately, so that you don’t slow the whole procedure–and continue cooking them. This step is an especially good idea if you used a quick-soak method or had no time to change the soaking water.

If we just ate beans all the time, it seems, this Lady Macbeth-like rinsing would be unnecessary. In studies he has conducted, David Jenkins has found that over time people develop the capacity to digest beans efficiently. The trouble, he says, is that it takes not a week or two but several months to adapt. And the colon will retain its new ability only if you keep eating beans regularly.

Help might come in the form of a bean bred to be gasless. James W. Anderson, a professor of medicine and clinical nutrition at the University of Kentucky, says that a “user-friendly” bean low in oligosaccharides is being studied in England. The goal of scientific research on beans is not so much to make them more digestible as to study their healthful properties: beans stabilize blood glucose, which makes them good for diabetics, and they apparently lower blood-cholesterol levels; their high fiber content seems to play a part in the comparative freedom from colon, breast, and other cancers which is enjoyed by populations whose diet is based on beans. Anderson is also looking into the ability of beans to lower blood pressure. “We think beans have been neglected,” he says.

Help has already come in the form of Beano, the trade name of a digestive enzyme that is said to break up oligosaccharides before their descent into the lower intestine. You squeeze eight or so drops of the salty liquid on the first bite of beans, and have few problems digesting them, according to Ala Kligerman, the inventor of Beano and the owner of the company that makes both it and Lactaid, the trade name of an enzyme that can help lactose-intolerant people digest milk products. Kligerman says that unpublished studies support the effectiveness of Beano, and promises that once they have been peer-reviewed; the studies will appear in clinical journals.

Beano is especially helpful with beans that have not undergone elaborate soaking and rinsing, which is to say most canned beans and beans you eat in restaurants. Canned is the only form in which many harried home cooks ever use beans, and in the case of chickpeas, which take forever to cook, they are almost a necessary shortcut. There’s nothing wrong with canned beans except that they are salty and their oligosaccharide content may be nearly as high as it was when the beans were raw. Drain and rinse them before adding them to a dish.

Particular Cooking for Different People

MOST COOKS are more interested in adding flavor to beans than in taking away oligosaccharides. Theo Schoenegger, the chef at San Domenico, in New York, serves a dish of cannellini (white beans) and fresh Alaskan shrimp in a sauce of pureed white beans thinned with stock and seasoned with rosemary-infused olive oil. (Good cannellini, like those from Phipps Ranch, practically demand olive oil.) The dish shows how good beans can be, at once rustic and elegant. Paula Wolfert, whose most recent book is Paula Wolfert’s World of Food, once told me that she knew after a single course that Andrea Hellrigl, the chef at Palio, in New York, was a master, because he knew how to cook flavor into his beans. In her classic Cooking of South-West France, Wolfert gives a recipe for red beans or red kidney beans that shows how any ambitious cook can do that: the beans are cooked with an onion stuck with two cloves, a cinnamon stick, a chopped carrot and onion, a pig’s foot, goose fat, pork butt, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, and thyme, among other things.

You don’t have to search out a special butcher to give beans flavor. Add to the cooking water celery, carrots, and onions, either raw in chunks or first sauteed slowly in olive oil for twenty or thirty minutes, and all kinds of fresh herbs, particularly rosemary, sage, and bay leaf. Some form of ham hock or pork butt or, best of all, a prosciutto or ham bone will add wonderful flavor and slowly render fat, tenderizing the beans. Olive oil in the water will also do this.

Bean Brings Its Special and Unique of Local Area

Beans reach their apotheosis in pasta e fagioli, perhaps the strongest contender to be the national dish of Italy. I have happily eaten this thick soup–part puree, part whole beans, with pasta cooked right in the soup–both when I was famished and when I thought I could never eat again. It is wake-the-dead food. Every region of Italy has its own jealousy guarded version–in fact, every town does, according to Fagiolo Mio, a charming Italian book by Savina Roggero and Mariarosa Schiaffino. Many Americans have encountered it as pasta fazool; fasul’, a Neapolitan dialect word for “bean,” is close to the Greek root phaselos (the Greeks ruled and named Naples). Fagiolo Mio declares the Veneto to be the true home of the soup, although Tuscans would vigorously disagree. Any grain acts as a complementary protein with beans–Italian in other regions put rice, barley, or polenta in pasta e fagioli, for instance–as do bits of ham, sausage, or cheese.

Since arguments over the absolutely right version of pasta e fagioli are endless, I give a recipe adapted from the wise write and historian Anna Del Conte, who presents a Venetian one in her Gastronomy of Italy. For four people (you can easily double or even triple the recipe) soak a cup of cranberry, pinto, or, if you can find them, Jacob’s Cattle beans (both Dean & DeLuca and Phipps Ranch sell these) in the way that is most convenient for you; drain and rinse them. Heat two or three tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a stockpot and saute two ounces of pancetta (unsmoked bacon), if you can find it, or prosciutto or bacon–the bacon preferably boiled briefly to desalinate it. (You can omit meat, of course.) Add an onion, a clove of garlic, a carrot, a stalk of celery, and several needles of rosemary, all chopped, and saute slowly for at east fifteen minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the beans and a ham bone–Del Conte calls for an unsmoked ham hock, but add what you can find, if you are using meat–and cover with seven and a half cups of meat stock (you can use chicken or vegetable stock). Simmer slowly, covered, for ninety minutes or so, until the beans are tender. Remove the ham bone and puree half the beans in a food mill or a food processor. Return the puree to the pan and raise the heat to medium high. When the soup comes to a boil, add six ounces of dried tagliatelle or wholewheat spaghetti (or whatever dried pasta comes to hand), salt, and pepper. If the soup seems dense, add hot water before you put in the pasta.

Good Combination for Better Flavors

Serve when the pasta is done to your liking, passing around a bowl of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Traditionally, bean soups that have been made with meat fat are enriched with cheese but no oil: those with a base of olive oil receive a final drizzling of aromatic olive oil. This soup is of course open to many variations, particularly in the amount and number of fresh herbs you add, and once the beans are soft you can add a few tomatoes, too, which often appear in other versions. The soup gets better after a few days.

Beans in Commercial Industry

BEANS SOLD by Phipps Ranch and Dean DeLuca are usually from the current year’s crop, and for that reason alone it’s worth ordering beans from them. Both sell popular beans like pintos and black beans, and heirloom beans as handsome and perfect as polished stones, most of which have evocative names (Maine Yellow Eye, Indian Woman Yellow, European Soldier). Others worth ordering for their taste and firm texture are Rattlesnake (from Dean & DeLuca), the plump Wren’s Egg (from Phipps), and Jacob’s Cattle. Phipps is growing a beautiful big white bean called Pueblo, whose meaty favor and creamy texture make it a standout; unfortunately the company won’t have enough to sell until next year.

Or you might think of growing some beans of your own. Alan Kapuler, who raises organic plant and vegetable seeds in Corvallis, Oregon, offers many kinds of heirloom beans. (He describes 992 kinds of seeds and plants in this year’s catalogue, which you can get by sending $4.00 to 2385 Southeast Thompson Street, Corvallis, Oregon 97333; a seed list is free.) Kapuler recommends Oregon Giant as a bean that will be good in all its stages: as a green bean with a succulent pod, long and thick; as a shelling bean; and as a dried bean. He and other seed growers offer beans to suit every palate–and every eye.