Never put sodium bicarbonate – bicarb of soda – in your green veg!
When I’m teaching I’m up against strong traditions in the 1970s of cooking green vegetables for at least an hour, then brightening the leaves up with a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate. This pulps the vegetable but also destroys the vitamins and I have to teach them not to do it. But gran often knows best and if gran does it, it must be right, and what does this young teacher know anyway?
I have to persuade them that they can cook green veg in under 10 minutes, which conflicts with the smells coming from the school kitchen who cook their cabbage from 9 in the morning.
Along the way we learn how to use bicarb as a raising agent and make a bottle of fizz by mixing it with vinegar in a glass bottle, putting on the lid, shaking and releasing and fizz!
The cooking experience is to make Crunchy bars which use simply golden syrup, sugar and bicarbonate of soda which are heated and explode into a golden honeycomb as sold in the shops.