Friday, October 2, 2009
Xantham Gum is More Devilish than Bill Clinton by kittee
I was pondering Vegan MoFo subject matter in a public arena last night, when I was reminded of an important post I had begun a few weeks ago. I began writing it in a hot fit of hate and rage, and then when my boiling blood cooled a little, I was distracted by zombie cupcakes and poured fondant.
Here's what I wanted you to know:
XANTHAM GUM IS THE DEVIL STRAIGHT FROM THE BOWELS OF HELL. Some people in the elevator may tell you it's Bill Clinton, but they are wrong. Unless they have solid literature, do not listen to them.
Now I've known for some time that xantham gum is irritating stuff. It alone has caused me to avoid XgfX baking, for eleven months now. It has an unpleasant name. It makes me feel nervous and uncomfortable around flour. Also, it's wickedly expensive--what's to like? In New Orleans I could only find it in small bags for $15 bucks or so, too much to spend on a tenuous kitchen experiment. But here in Portland, I can find it in the bulk bins, which is besides the point, since I was recently given a hand-me-down bag of it (more proof that it's rotten stuff, people are trying to pass it off to the innocent). Anyway, I'd finally gotten to the point in my "journey" where I was becoming open to trying a XgfX mix. I thought experimenting with something within my comfort zone like Indian flatbreads--specifically simple chapathis and aloo paratha, would be a good idea.
So you know how slimy and gummy ground flax gets when it's been moistened? Have you ever dealt with psyllium husk slush? Do you know about mixing Gremlins and water? Xanthan Gum becomes a horrid plague when moistened with liquid--like a zillion billion trillion times worse than anything you could ever imagine. I seriously can't believe it was left out of the bible story. I know this to be true because I unknowingly threw some into the sink and then tried to wash it down the drain with running water.
Here's my warning--do not do this. You will be sorry, and you will never get it out of your sink, off your sponges, or away from your skin unless you use coarse gritty sand paper. Even then, you will still know it's there.
Instead, stick to recipes that do not require this evil nightmare, like Isa and Terry's gluten-free cupcakes from VCToTW.
P.S. I wrote a round roundup for Vegan MoFo International today.