Interview with Samantha Schnur from The Naughty Fork
To be honest, not a lot of people have heard of the all-natural, plant-based additive, acacia gum. And even if they have, not a lot of people know that it can be found almost everywhere – ranging from dairy products to baked goods, cosmetics and even dog food, its applications are endless! Acacia gum (otherwise known as gum arabic or E414) is truly versatile: colourless, odourless, and with an exceptionally low calorie count, it can be added to almost anything in order to boost fibre content or even improve product texture with no side effects at all!
We got in touch with Samantha Schnur, who runs the food and lifestyle blog, The Naughty Fork, who produced a delicious vegan chocolate ice cream recipe containing an extra-special ingredient… (you guessed it) acacia gum! Samantha agreed to answer a couple of our questions to tell us more about her first-ever experience of using acacia gum…
Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog. When did it start? Which major food trends interest you?
I started ‘The Naughty Fork’ for fun while I was a pre-med student at Florida State University. It was a good way to let off steam from all the stress that comes with being one of the many students in the pre-med field. I began taking pictures on my phone of food that I had either ordered to my house, or went out to eat during the weekend. The account slowly started to grow, and at one point I began getting phone calls from PR companies to come in and enjoy a comped meal in exchange for a photo post. From there, it took off. I moved back to Miami and finished my education at the University of Miami while continuing to grow ‘The Naughty Fork’. As you might be able to gather, I did not finish the Medical School route; I decided to take ‘The Naughty Fork’ on full time and it was the best decision of my life! As far as food trends go, I am a huge fan of the gluten free/vegan/smart eating trend. I know that is far from what ‘The Naughty Fork represents’, but in a country where obesity is an issue, shedding light on the benefits of eating healthy is so important. I am also a huge animal lover, so understanding what the processes are for eating the meats that we eat and the milk we drink are important as well.
Before working with Alland & Robert, did you know that acacia gum (otherwise known as gum Arabic) is found in countless everyday products as the natural additive, E414?
I had no idea! I started reading up on it and found that I must’ve been eating it without ever knowing. My dog must be eating it too!
Tell us about your recipe and how you incorporated acacia gum into it. Which of its properties interested you the most and why?
I had never used acacia gum before, so I wasn’t entirely sure how it would perform in the recipe or how much would be needed for it to be effective. For the ice cream, it seemed to be the thickening agent. Which in ice cream terms, is the most important thing, as the recipe wouldn’t have worked as well without it! I was impressed! I think the best property of acacia gum is the natural essence of it. Like I said before, I am really interested in the health food trend and using something that is natural in recipes is always a bonus, and I’d like to incorporate it into some of my future recipes.