As the weather gets sunnier and warmer every day and the days get longer, it gets harder and harder to keep up with the 9-5. June, July, August: These months are associated with vacations, beaches, sun, clear blue water, waving palm trees. Maybe not everyone can escape their job for the tropical islands – but, it is possible to get a small “taste” of island life by serving up popular island fruits and cuisine at your catered events, cafes, restaurants or home bashes. These sizzling, exotic, and tropical fruits can get your guests in the mood for a little sun and surf!
Island Cuisine – A Bit of History
There are a number of reasons why island fruits and island cuisine are so healthy and popular. Island inhabitants were often isolated from mainland cultures. This gave them the freedom to develop their own completely unique flavor profiles, recipes, and cooking techniques found nowhere else. For example, Pacific Islanders have long relied on Fe’i bananas, which grow in bright oranges and reds, and are cooked before being eaten. Fe’i bananas had ceremonial significance in some island cultures.
Continue reading Tropical Island Fruits Can Add a Tangy Twist to Your Menu
Bread is often referred to as the staff of life. This isn’t an exaggeration. Nearly every culture on every continent has built itself on a specific type of bread. However, not all of these breads are made from the “run of the mill” (pun intended) wheat flour that we are so used to consuming. Grains, also called cereal crops, are harvested grass seeds and fruits. These cereals make up nearly 50% of global food consumption, but there are a wide variety of grains, and each culture and region has its own preferred or traditional grain. The Americas, for example, built their civilizations on the maize and corn that their ancestors domesticated. Injera, a gluten-free spongy flatbread made from the teff grass, is a staple of Ethiopian cuisine. And, of course, many parts of Asia are nearly synonymous with rice.
In the increasingly globalized world, consumers enjoy “going against the grain” by experimenting with new, exciting, and different grains, many of which come with nutritional or agricultural benefits. A few years ago, quinoa (actually a pseudo-grain, since it comes from a flowering plant and not a grass) made its pop-culture debut as an exotic grain substitute that was also high in protein. This year brings another “exotic” superfood grain crop to center stage. The United Nations declared 2023 the year of the millet. The millet is a grain family that is nutritious and gluten-free and may also hold the solution to feeding a growing world. Here’s the scoop on millet, and why you should integrate it into your dishes.
Continue reading Millet – An Ancient Grain That is a Nutritious and Delicious Superfood
Did you know that by simply cutting your meat consumption in half, you can save approximately two trees per year? By carrying a reusable spork with you to school or work, you could save nearly 500 single use plastic utensils from the landfill per year. And that’s nothing compared to how much plastic waste you can prevent by using only reusable dishes in your home kitchen.
Those who love to cook (and to eat) have so many reasons to be grateful to Mother Earth. Our vegetables, fruits, grains, and even meat depends on air, water, and dirt. Unfortunately, producing these items has become a major driver of climate change, pollution, and deforestation. The Amazon and other forests are under threat due to land being cleared for agriculture or to pasture animals. Single use plastics, that don’t degrade in landfills, end up in the ocean. And, unfortunately, a lot of edible food ends up rotting away in landfills as well.
Continue reading 7 Ways to Set up an Eco-Friendly Green Kitchen
What do you think the most popular suppers are in America? A survey a few years back revealed the six most popular dinner dishes were:
- Chicken, rice, and salad
- Potatoes, cheese, and beans
- Bread, egg, and bell peppers
- Fries, beef, and tomatoes
- Quinoa, turkey, and broccoli
- Couscous, pork, and spinach
Now, imagine traveling back in time to North America 600 years ago. What were the most common suppers in the year 1422?
Continue reading Rediscovering Indigenous Foods and Their Health Benefits
In Roman times, people used the nickname “white gold” to refer to salt. The commodity could not only make food more palatable, but it also kept meat fresh in the days long before refrigeration. In fact, salt was so valuable that some Roman soldiers received “white gold” in lieu of money. Linguists think the word “salary” comes from the Roman word for salt.
Salt continues to be influential in our modern world, with chefs, home cooks, and food manufacturers using more and more of it, for the same reasons that our ancestors did. It makes food taste good, and it keeps it fresh for longer. The average can of soup contains up to 1,800 milligrams of sodium. For reference, the FDA recommends that adults eat no more than 2,300 milligrams in total in a day!
Continue reading How to Prepare Low-Sodium Food Without Skimping on Taste
Attention lemon lovers around the world: If lemon is your favorite flavor, you have come to the right place! Similarly, if you are a seasoned chef, professional baker, budding culinary student, or restaurant owner, this Comprehensive Guide to Cooking and Baking with Lemons is the perfect recipe for success to keep your customers coming back for more.
So pucker up and prepare to learn all about lemons, one of Mother Nature’s most underestimated flavorful ingredients…
Tapping into the Taste of Lemon
Lemons are best known for their slightly sour or tart taste. Typically used to enhance the flavor of other foods (rather than be consumed alone), their pungent quality becomes citrusy, light, and refreshing when added to sweet and savory recipes alike. During the cooking or baking process, all parts of a lemon can be used: the juice, the pulp, and the peel/rind. Note: In recipes, grated lemon rind is often referred to as ‘lemon zest’. Continue reading Shining the Limelight on Lemons
Summer soup season is here, and the cold soup selections are (ironically) selling like hot cakes. Leading the pack, however, is gazpacho, the quintessential tomato-based chilled soup, appearing on restaurant menus everywhere. Featuring the aromas, flavors, and colors of the season’s top produce, fresh, cold gazpacho is a customer favorite.
With its origins in Spain, there is a famous Spanish saying: “De gazpacho no hay empacho” — there’s never too much gazpacho. If you work in foodservice and want to boost business this summer, it’s time to learn more about what has kept this dish so popular and what’s new in gazpacho recipes today.
Continue reading Gazpacho Takes the Lead on Summer Soup Menus
It was only a few years ago that the beverage industry witnessed the unprecedented rise of oat milk. Since then, there has been a proliferation of non-dairy milk alternatives. While cow milk is by no means obsolete, today’s expanded offerings include picks such as soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, coconut milk, buckwheat milk, macadamia milk, and many more.
The Rise of Dairy Free
Once available solely in stores selling all-natural products and relegated to the realm of health food enthusiasts, today’s dairy-free options are sold at local grocery stores across the globe and are being consumed by many. Also in the spotlight are other dairy substitutes, including plant-based yogurts, butters, cheeses, creamers, and ice creams.
Continue reading Get the Latest on Milk Alternatives for Restaurants in 2021
If you are a chef or restaurant owner looking for a new spice to infuse life into your customers’ favorite dishes, it’s time to add fenugreek to your list of ingredients! A long-time staple in Indian cuisine with a rich history in traditional Chinese medicine, fenugreek is an aromatic plant that is both an herb and a spice. It is available year-round as a seed (popularly known as methi), in whole or powdered form (with the former including the root and twigs), and as dry leaves that are especially popular in Middle Eastern cooking.
Fenugreek Quick Facts
The fenugreek plant is largely grown in South Asia and parts of the Mediterranean. It features small round leaves with long pods that contain distinctive bitter-tasting seeds. Its taste is described as sweet yet bitter with a hint of burnt sugar and a maple syrup aroma when cooked. In addition to packing a tasteful punch, fenugreek seeds provide some significant health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant activities that are good for the body.
Continue reading Add Fenugreek to Your Restaurant’s Menu
The all-natural sweetener that gained fame as a healthy chocolate substitute at the turn of the millennium is popular once again and being featured prominently in restaurant recipes in 2021. Most used to prepare sweet treats and desserts such as brownies, fudge, and milkshakes, there are so many good reasons why adding carob-flavored dishes to your menu is a sure-fire recipe for success.
If you are new to carob, it is a sweet, edible pulp that comes from the pods of a tropical carob tree. Dried and roasted, the pulp is ground into a powder for consumption or transformed into carob chips, syrup, or extract. In an age when wellness tops consumers’ minds, carob steps up to the plate with its multiple health benefits. These include the facts that carob is: Continue reading Carob Makes a Comeback