Saturday, 28 December 2013

sugar and spice

It seems that the European Union sometimes goes after the low-hanging fruit and tries to regulate to death the weak and the vulnerable—for example the recent assault against traditional Danish baked goods and strictures on how much cinnamon is safe for consumption, especially when strewn atop the vehicle of the sweet roll.

Despite customs and recipes that have gone on for centuries, authorities are focusing their attention on the naturally-occurring toxin called coumarin, present in trace amounts in cinnamon but also responsible for the smell of freshly-mowed grass and botanists believe it is a deterrent against grazers. Some concessions are allowed for holiday treats and other products like May wine that is distilled with woodruff (Waldmeister, another poison-laden culprit that's usually replaced with artificial colours and flavours) and there's some evidence from practioners of homeopathy for coumarin's benefits, but EU officials are concerned that the spice could contribute to liver dysfunction, if bakers were left to the own devices.