10 Jun '11, 3pm

Can't get to sleep? How about tucking into some food said to help you nod off?

Most people, if asked which foodstuffs will help you sleep, would probably put their money on roast turkey, followed by Christmas pudding, washed down with copious amounts of wine and port. So it's disconcerting when the first course arrives at Monastrell restaurant in Alicante, southern Spain. I am here because its celebrated chef, Maria Jose San Roman (once summoned to the White House to consult on paella making), claims she knows of a secret ingredient that during the Roman empire was prized for its soporific qualities, and has built a "sleep menu" around it. But the starter, at least, doesn't say snooze to me. It's a plate of grilled octopus, gorgeously aromatic and peppery, chopped into discs. However, according to Elisabeth Weichselbaum of the British Nutrition Foundation, like milk (the classic bedtime drink), seafood contains tryptophan, "an amino acid that increas...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/WineandDine/EDC110610-0000019/...

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