About one month ago I moved cities within Switzerland. Exciting! Not such a biggie though as a trip to my old “home” is only one hour by train. But, nonetheless, new city (which I love!) = new traditions, or lack thereof. First lack: Herbstmesse. That’s right, there is no Herbstmesse where I now live (SO SAD!!).
For those of you who don’t know Herbstmesse, it’s the Basel autumn fair which last for 2 weeks, spreads across the whole city and is well-known for rides, games and most importantly food. Lots of exciting edible things to indulge in are unique to the Herbstmesse, eg. Beggeschmutz (something like a chocolate covered giant marshmallow), Mässmogge (sugar-candy), Brennti Mandle (caramelised almonds), Biberli (gingerbread like heaven filled with almond paste), Rosekiechli (a thin kind of waffle), Maagebrot (cinnamony/clove/chocolatey bread bites coated in a chocolate/sugar glaze), the list goes on. My personal favorite: Maagebrot. Directly translated it would be called stomach bread…. doesn’t sound too appetising. Honestly, it also doesn’t look appetising. But the combination of the cocoa, cinnamon and cloves in the bread with a thin chocolatey glaze is irresistible.
In an attempt to bring a bit of the autumn fair feeling into my new home I decided to make Maagebrot. To my surprise, it wasn’t even that difficult. As mentioned before, its appearance really isn’t that appetising so sorry for the picture. Try to imagine a christmassy smell, recreate at home and dig in alongside a cup of hot chocolate!
T-2 days until I am officially unemployed for 2 months! Scary! Anyone have a guide to leading the life of a pensioner?
In my hospital, tradition calls for junior doctors to spoil their co-workers with a sweet breakfast sometime around their last day of work. Another compulsory “cake baking” moment in the life of a junior doctor, respectively surgeon in training, is after being allowed to operate something for the first time. There is an unwritten rule stating one has to bring a cake after each new surgical achievement. Sneaky, sneaky surgeons. Now, instead of always bringing cake, I figured I could be creative and bring rolls. Who doesn’t like rolls? My personal favorite – cinnamon rolls – would be a tad too intense for my Swiss colleagues to digest at 8 am. So I decided to stay on the safe side and made these hazelnut rolls – NOM. Secret ingredient: a hint of cinnamon, obvs.
Nussschnecken – Hazelnut Rolls
Who would have thought a significant link between food and doctors has existed for decades? Granted, food is an essential part of life, is partially responsible for shaping our day and is of course also clearly correlated with health. As food and it’s appearance seem to be something everyone knows about and can relate to, instead of challenging the brain with confusing latin names, the medical world has been kind enough to supply laypersons (and medics) with less technical, descriptive food related, terms. It is great for describing findings! If I told you a manifestation of Kawasaki’s disease and Scarlet Fever is an erythematous tongue with hyperplastic fungiform papillae your brain would probably process this: ?!*?!*?!*?!*?!*. If I told you that basically means the tongue looks like a strawberry, your brain could cope. In 1979 the British Medical Journal published a Review titled: Gastrology: the use of culinary terms in medicine (woopwoop research skills put to excellent use). I even found a blog solely dedicated to this! Anyways, here is a list of a few day brightening medical food terms:
- Cherry Red Epiglottis – occurs in epiglottitis, an infection of the small flap stopping your food from going down the wrong tube.
- Pancake Brain – radiologic description of alobar holoprosencephaly, where your forebrain does not separate into two halves at all during in-utero development.
- Salt and Pepper Retinopathy – when affected by the rubella virus, the back of your eye (retina) can show lots of small dark and light spots (like salt and pepper).
- Corkscrew Oesophagus – radiologists description of DES (diffuse oesophageal spasm), where the contractions of your oesophagus are uncoordinated and result in a pretty xray
- Apple-Peel Intestines – malformation of the intestine with either absence or narrowing of a segment, looks like apple peels
- Strawberry Tongue – Scarlet Fever or Kawasaki Syndrom
- Cherry Red Spot – seen on the Retina/back of the eye after occlusion of the supplying artery
- Peau D’orange – Manifestation of inflammatory breast cancer
- Fig Warts – Condylomata acuminata (HPV …. ewwwwww genital warts)
- Redcurrant Jelly – Stool of child with intussusception, when one part of bowel invaginates into another.. ouch
- Pea Soup – Appearance of stool when a patient suffers Typhoid Fever (an evil version of Salmonella)
- Rice Water – Appearance of stool when a patient has Cholera
- Honeycomb Lung – Lung fibrosis looks like honeycomb…. Yum!
- Maple Syrup Urine Disease – Genetic disorder affecting amino acids which makes the child’s urine sweet like maple syrup… but please don’t pour over your pancakes
- Chocolate Cysts – A manifestation of endometriosis (migrating of uterine lining cells) of the ovaries… cysts that oooze out chocolate (actually very old blood and debris)
- Port Wine Stains – Capillary Hemangioma, I’m sure you have all met someone in your life with a red birth mark
- Café au Lait – no this is not coffee, but Neurofibromatosis has spots which are coffee coloured!
- Nutmeg Liver – Congestive hepathopathy; can happen when your heart pumps less and blood collects in the liver
- Cauliflower Ear – never eating cauliflower again
- Bread and Butter Pericarditis – an infection of the sac enclosing your heart
- Sunflower Cataracts – Wilson’s disease (Copper Metabolism Issues)
- Coffee Bean Sign – a radiologists description of a twisted sigmoid (segment of the large intestine)
- Cottage Cheese Discharge – Thrush….nasty
- Apple core sign – when your colon’s lumen is compressed by a large colorectal carcinoma
- Omental Cake – Not from Hummingbirds sadly: Invasion of the omentum majus (fatty tissue within your abdomen) by a tumor, usually related to ovarian cancer
- Butter Stool – can happen when fat absorption/digestion becomes impaired through liver/pancreatic/gall diseases….your stool becomes greasy and fatty.
I’m sure you could all picture something under these terms. Today’s recipe is semi-related to the number 26: Butterzopf. It is a Swiss Sunday breakfast classic, made with lots and lots of butter. Lucky for you it doesn’t cause butter stools in the average healthy individual. Definitely a must try for your next Sunday family breakfast!