Friday, 5 December 2008


Summer 2006 saw the launch by Arla Foods of Apetina – a mild and cream, medium-hard cow’s cheese. It is both convenient and versatile coming in Feta type packets but without the watery texture so often accompanying Feta. It’s ideal for salads and I am well and truly hooked.

I’m limited in which cheeses I can have by the tyramine content. Tyramine gives me migraines. In organic chemistry tyramine (4-hydroxy-phenethylamine, para-tyramine, p-tyramine) is a monoamine compound derived from the amino acid tyrosine. Bet you didn't know that! I don’t know but I suspect from the lack of reaction so far that Apetina has very little tyramine. All protein-rich foods which have been matured will contain tyramine depending on the temperature and how long they have been stored. While there are some cheeses, such as cream cheese, ricotta and cottage cheese, that have little to no notable amounts of tyramine, most aged cheeses have high concentrations of tyramine. Regular cheese of the kind typically used on bread and pizza can safely be consumed in normal amounts.

Other foods containing considerable amounts of tyramine include meats that are potentially spoiled or pickled, aged, smoked, fermented, or marinated (some fish, poultry, and beef); most pork (except cured ham); chocolate; alcoholic beverages; and fermented foods, such as sour cream, yogurt, shrimp paste, soy sauce, soy bean condiments, teriyaki sauce, tofu, tempeh, miso soup, sauerkraut; broad (fava) beans, green bean pods, Italian flat (Romano) beans, Chinese (snow) pea pods, avocados, bananas, eggplants, figs, red plums, raspberries, peanuts, Brazil nuts, coconuts, processed meat, yeast, and an array of cacti. Alcohol and chocolate I like but can just about live without and fortunately I don’t eat cacti but I love bananas and peanuts and cannot resist them.

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