How data mining reveals the world’s healthiest cuisines

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Algorithms are teasing apart the link between food and health to provide the first evidence that we really are what we eat.

Jean Brillat-Savarin was a 19th-century French lawyer famed for his writings on gastronomy. In his most famous work, he said: “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.” Or “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”

This idea—that you are what you eat—has become increasingly popular. Since Brillat-Savarin’s time it has been used as the title of various cookbooks and health guides; for some it is a way of life.

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Snail Caviar Is Toast Of French Culinary World

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Balls of Culinary Bliss

He is a former builder who once made a living fitting kitchens. Now Dominique Pierru is being hailed as a gastronomic genius after creating a delicacy likely to mark the history of Gallic cuisine — snail caviar.

France may be the land of l’escargot but never before had anyone come up with a recipe for gastropod eggs capable of satisfying the most demanding palates. Pierru took three years to develop the product after abandoning his fitted-kitchen business to buy a snail farm in Picardy, northern France, in 2004.

He had to find a way of softening the eggs, of conditioning them and of persuading his 180,000 snails to lay enough to make the business viable. The result is being hailed as a triumph, earning widespread acclaim in France and elsewhere, and a place on menus of three-star restaurants as well as an order from Harrods in London.

(video after jump…)

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