The World’s Most Dangerous Race Against a Wheel of Cheese

Every year, the town of Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester, England has a race.

Not a big deal, I guess, except that it’s down a very steep hill:

Photo Credit: Ian Griffiths/flickr/CC BY 2.0

Oh… and the race is against a 7-9 pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese:

Photo Credit: Warwick University Real Ale Society/GFDL/CC BY-SA 3.0

The winner of The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake (the race’s official title) gets to keep the cheese – except in times of scarcity and/or concern, when it’s made of foam or wood. Usually, though, it’s a real-deal cheese wheel.

And that’s pretty much the it.

Photo Credit: Michael Warren/flickr/CC BY 2.0

The race supposedly dates all the way back to an ancient Pagan ritual, but over the last several decades the event has gone global: thousands of people have come from all over…

Science Serves Up the Secret to the Perfect Baguette

Mmmmmm. cocoparisienne/Public Domain

There are few things in life more satisfying than a fresh baguette and some really good cheese. But all baguettes are not the same. Some are chewier and others are crispier. They can be light or dense. Texture and aroma vary as much as flavor. A new report from researchers in (where else?) France lays out just what makes a baguette truly great.

The perception of food is complex. When you chew, you’re not only tasting the food with your tongue and feeling its texture in your mouth, but you’re also smelling it through your nose. That smell comes from volatile compounds, and the researchers, from AgroParisTech, an agricultural university, wanted…

Meatless Protein: Top 10 High Protein Vegan Foods For All The Vegan Gym People!

It’s very hard to be a vegan athlete: Not only do they have to plan their meals more carefully than their meat-eating counterparts, but they are also frequently subject to intense skepticism and scrutiny from the athletic community at large. You can’t gain muscle if you don’t eat meat. There’s no way you’re getting enough protein to accommodate your workout schedule.

Do any of these statements or questions sound familiar?

If you’ve been a vegan athlete for more than, say, a week, I’m betting the answer is “yes”.

These comments are annoying and misguided. Still, they do have a small grain of truth to them: If you’re working out regularly, then it’s vital to consume plenty of protein on a regular basis. That’s because protein provides our bodies with the fuel they need to power through workouts and recover after them.

Here’s what happens if athletes (whether vegan or carnivorous) don’t consume enough protein:

Your body will break down muscle instead of building it.

When you aren’t eating enough protein, your body needs to find fuel somewhere else—and if it gets desperate enough, it will start “feeding” on your own tissues in order to do so. More specifically, the body will start to tear down muscle tissue1 in order to obtain the amino acids that are necessary for sustaining the function of your organs. Obviously, the loss of muscle mass is the last thing any athlete wants.

It will take longer to recover from injuries.

Our bodies require protein2 in order to repair damaged cells, skin, and tissues. When we’re not consuming enough protein, our bodies won’t recover from injuries as quickly, and we’ll suffer from decreased immunity overall. This can be a major setback for anyone attempting to follow a rigorous training plan.

You’ll feel tired all the time.

If you’re not getting enough protein—especially as an athlete—then you’re liable to suffer from chronic fatigue3 or a general sense of sluggishness. This can seriously impair your workout routine, because you’re less likely to show up for your workouts or power through intense workouts if you’re constantly feeling tired.

So it is true that protein should play a major role in athletes’ diets. But it certainly is not true that it’s impossible for vegans to eat a high-protein diet. We’ll prove it in the following section.

High-Protein Foods for Vegan Athletes

There is a huge variety of vegan foods that are packed with protein. Below, we’ve highlighted 10 of the best.

These teeny tiny little seeds are known as a superfood for a reason: They pack four grams of protein into just two tablespoons, and they also boast plenty of other nutrients in the form of calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds can be added raw to a variety of dishes, from smoothies to oatmeal or yogurt parfaits. Give them a try in this recipe for Chia Vegan Protein Muffins.

Young soybeans (aka edamame) boast 11 grams of complete protein per half cup, which makes them a stellar source of protein. They’re…

A Delicious Asset: Inside Italy’s Cheese Bank

In Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, a traditional bank called Credito Emiliano lines its coffers with edible gold. As Great Big Story reports, the financial institution accepts parmigiano-reggiano (Parmesan cheese) as collateral for loans, in addition to conventional currencies.

Emilia-Romagna is a major producer of parmigiano-reggiano, which is a hard, dry aged cheese made from skim milk. (Similar to how sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it was made in the region of Champagne, France, Emilia-Romagna is the…

Candy-Flavored String Cheese Exists. Why? Your Guess Is as Good as Ours

image credit: Courtesy of Cow Candy

Kids and teens need plenty of calcium, but it’s hard to get enough of it when they prefer candy to cottage cheese. To entice picky diners, Eater reports that a Wisconsin-based company called Cow Candy has created fruit-flavored Monterey Jack cheese sticks, designed to be a sweet alternative to sugary treats.

Contrary to its name, Cow Candy’s products aren’t packed with sugar. According to the manufacturer, each cheese stick contains just 1 to 2 grams of the addictive additive and gets its taste and color from natural fruit flavoring. And just like conventional cheese sticks, they’re packed with calcium.

Cow Candy’s current selection of flavored cheese snacks includes grape, orange, honey, and two…

Celebrate Grilled Cheese Day With a Whole Book of Ooey, Gooey Recipes

Happy Grilled Cheese Day! On this sacred day, it’s tradition to celebrate with a hot pressed sandwich oozing with cheese. While it’s hard to top the classic American-cheese-and-white-bread version, many intrepid chefs have put their own creative spins on the often simple (but never boring) sandwich. Since the only musts are bread and cheese, you can add pretty much anything else you want. If that’s got you feeling overwhelmed, fear not: Melts by…

Scientists 3D Printed Cheese

These days, you can 3D print anything from a house to your breakfast. And as 3D-printed pizza becomes a thing, food scientists are examining what exactly happens when you print yourself some cheese.

A recent study in the Journal of Food Engineering explores how 3D printing affects the structure of processed cheese. How gross would 3D-printed Velveeta nachos be? A bevy of researchers from University College Cork in Ireland decided to find out.

They melted a commercially available processed cheese (think American cheese, not cheddar) and put it through a modified 3D printer that printed the cheese out at either a fast or a slow speed. The cheese was printed out into cylinders that were then cooled for 30 minutes and put in the refrigerator for a day. After that 24-hour refrigeration period, the researchers took the cheese out of the fridge to check its texture and chemical structure.