Edible Insects Making Their Way To A Restaurant Near You

Discover how adding trending edible insects to recipes is a nutritional win-win.

Foodservice Guide to Edible Insects

If the thought of eating bugs bugs you, your palate may not be ready to stomach what’s coming next in the United States food industry. A longtime staple in other parts of the world (in 2013, for example, the United Nations published a report indicating that two billion people worldwide include bugs as part of their diet), edible insect varieties have only recently made their Western debut, and the question on everyone’s mind is: Are bugs coming to a restaurant near you?

The Edible Bug Phenomenon

As a foodservice professional trying to make it in a competitive business milieu, (attention caterers, restaurant owners, bakers, food truck operators, and party planners), staying abreast of current food-and-beverage news is vital. So, grab your oven mitts, hold onto your chef’s hats, prepare your frying pans and spatulas, and get ready to sink your teeth into the following edible bug phenomenon.

History of Eating Insects (Entomophagy)

Let’s start with a brief history lesson: The practice of eating insects, or entomophagy, isn’t a new concept in over 100 countries that are already consuming insect-infused snacks and dishes. Moreover, in many parts of the world, eating bugs is considered a delicacy. Ancient Greeks had no qualms about eating six-legged critters, and both Aboriginals and Australians have been consuming insects for millennia.

Continue reading Edible Insects Making Their Way To A Restaurant Near You

Follow The Success Stories of Women Chefs Who Are Mastering The Food Scene

Female chefs are rising the ranks of the food industry

Female Chefs on the Rise in the Food Industry

Women chefs are trending. Whether you are a restaurant owner, caterer, baker, food truck/food station operator, bar owner, or manager of a bistro, this is good news. While female chefs are not going to be featured on your next menu, they do represent some of the up-and-coming superstars in the biz and are a formidable force to recognize and be reckoned with.

Proliferation of Women Chefs: A Welcome Trend

In what was once a largely male-dominated arena, the increasing proliferation of female chefs is encouraging, especially given the fact that more women are now enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America than men, and in light of National Restaurant Association (NRA) reports that the number of women-owned establishments has increased by more than 50% over the last decade.

This is not only good news for the female culinary stars who are now receiving their due recognition, but to the millions of delighted consumers whose tastes are being tantalized and whose palates are being pleased by scores of mouth-watering recipes and pioneering dishes created by female chefs.

State of the Restaurant Industry Past and Present

In the past, the restaurant industry has been described as generally unfriendly to women, be it in the form of sexual discrimination /harassment, poor or non-existent maternity leave policies, absence of benefits, inability to advance in the field, or failure to secure funding to begin their own businesses. At the same time, a minority of females did manage to beat the odds, mastering the food scene and becoming icons in their own right. Who doesn’t remember the groundbreaking successes of mavericks such as Julia Child, Christina Campbell, and Martha Stewart?

Continue reading Follow The Success Stories of Women Chefs Who Are Mastering The Food Scene

The Growing Popularity of Oat Milk

The growing popularity of oat milk will benefit your business

Oat milk, a plant-based alternative to traditional cow’s milk, is one of the hottest trends in the food industry! If you’re looking for a new beverage to add to your menu, look no further. A popular vegan and dairy free choice gaining widespread consumer popularity, savvy foodservice professionals are jumping on the oat milk fast track and customers are lapping it up.

Maximizing the Potential of Oat Milk

Whether you manage a restaurant, catering service, bakery, café, fast-food chain, take-out service, or food truck, this ‘Oat Milk Guide for Professionals’ will help you learn all about this rising star in the dairy alternatives food market and how you can maximize its potential to grow your business.

If you’ve been following latest trends in the biz, you know that demand for ‘non-dairy’ and ‘dairy free’ foods and beverages has never been higher. What began as a way to cater to lactose intolerant customers, has become a full-blown foodservice phenomenon as a growing public sector is clamoring for healthier menu choices, including plant-based foods and dairy alternatives. Since their debut, the variety of non-dairy products has skyrocketed, with chefs and food manufacturers creating groundbreaking recipes for dairy free ice creams, whipped creams, cream cheeses, cheese cakes, yogurts, pizzas, and more.

Continue reading The Growing Popularity of Oat Milk

Trending Desserts with a Healthier Twist

The latest desserts are innovative, eye-catching, and healthier than ever before.

What’s New in Desserts

Looking for the latest desserts to die for? Then you’ve come to the right place! This “New in Desserts” guide for bakers, chefs, patisserie owners, and anyone working in the food industry will tickle your taste buds, make your mouth water, and fill your customers’ palate with delectable delights. The latest trends in dessert menus are innovative, creative, outrageous, and simply divine…

The Latest Desserts Reflect Food Industry Trends

So, what makes this year’s sweets and confectionaries such a standout? If you’re been following up-and-coming food industry trends, you already know that demand for healthy, more nutritious foods is on the rise, as is consumer craving for savory and exotic tastes, wholesome non-run-of-the-mill grains, nostalgic comfort foods, and tropical flavors. This year’s hottest desserts reflect these trends, as evidenced in recipes with a ‘better-for-you’ spin and in unprecedented concoctions such as hummus shakes, grain-free granola, Mexican hot-chocolate sauces, passion-fruit whipped creams, gluten-free sandwich cookies (aka alfajores), chocolate-chip avocado doughnuts, and more.

Healthier Sweets

Also new on the menu of nutritious desserts are baked goods featuring less artificial ingredients, more whole grains or no grains at all, low-fat and no-fat alternatives, diabetic recipes, and heart-healthy options which allow customers to have their cake and eat it too!

Continue reading Trending Desserts with a Healthier Twist

How To Increase Your Healthy Food Profile with Honey

The nutritional benefits of substituting honey for sugar in your recipes.

Honey: The Complete Guide for Food Professionals

If you’re looking for the comprehensive buzz on nature’s sweetest nectar, you’ve come to the right place! This complete guide to honey for food professionals will give you info on where honey comes from, varieties of honey, honey’s nutritional value, health benefits of honey, honey hazards, cooking and baking with honey, the difference between raw and store-bought honey, organic honey certification standards, and more. Finally, to top off this delectable menu, you will enjoy a rich helping of little-known facts about this golden syrupy nugget!

All-Natural Honey – in High Demand

In an age where interest in all-natural ingredients, natural lifestyles, avoidance of harmful chemicals, and nutritious foods and beverages is on the rise, it’s no great surprise that restaurant owners, caterers, bakers, and other foodservice professionals are taking note of the virtues of honey –and including its plethora of flavors and colors in their menu offerings. If your restaurant or catering company follows current market trends, then adding honey to your recipes is a natural outgrowth of going “green,” catering to consumer demand, and protecting the environment. It’s also a savvy way to boost your business!

Continue reading How To Increase Your Healthy Food Profile with Honey

How to Add Specialized Teas To Your Beverage Menu

Get on board with the hottest trends in the food industry with specialized teas and increase your business and profits.

Specialized Teas: A Rising Trend

If you work in the food industry and you don’t want to miss out on of one the hottest trends in the food-and-beverage market, it’s time to learn the latest about tea. According to reports from World Tea News and market research firm Technomic, the beverage landscape has changed, with tea emerging as the most widely consumed beverage globally next to water.

History of Tea

Did you know that tea is said to have been discovered by Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung in 2737 BC, rendering it almost 5,000 years old? According to this legend, the first tea brew was created when tea leaves by chance flew into the Emperor’s pot of boiling water. A botanical explorer, he subsequently used his new discovery to cure himself from poison 85 times.

During the 1600’s, tea’s popularity reached Europe and the American colonies, while the famous 1773 Boston Tea Party, when American colonists threw 300 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor to protest the British government’s taxation of tea, further put the beverage on the map. And if you ever wondered when afternoon ‘tea time’ or ‘high tea’ began, look no further than 1840 and Anna the Duchess of Bedford, who began drinking tea at 4 p.m. with a light snack to prevent a “sinking feeling.”

Continue reading How to Add Specialized Teas To Your Beverage Menu

Use the Latest Sweeteners to Appeal to the Health-Conscious Client

Using New-Age Sweeteners Can Attract Clientele to Your Business

The New Age of Sweeteners

It’s a well-known fact that refined white sugar is bad for us; too much sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, and a host of other ailments. Nonetheless, when our sweet tooth screams for attention, nothing but a little sugar will do. In the past, a craving for sugar could be satisfied to a degree with honey, maple syrup, or the sweetness of dates; today, however, consumers are demanding more, and food manufacturers are continuing to explore the sweet possibilities of new-fangled sugar substitutes. As the reputation of plain, white, refined cane sugar continues to take a beating, you will find that many of your clients are asking difficult questions about how you plan to incorporate sweetness in your menu without an abundance of white sugar. Read on to learn more about new-wave sugars and how they can work for you.

Why Do We Crave Sugar?

Sugar cravings are hard to resist; when the urge comes upon us for something sweet, nothing else will do. The question, however, is why do so many of us have so little resistance to sugar.

Here are a few possible reasons.

When we don’t eat enough calories – if we’re dieting drastically or just not eating properly – our bodies start looking for fuel as a fast way to catch up, and the instinctive search tends to lead to sugar, one of the quickest energy sources around. Our bodies are so stubborn that even when we try to fool ourselves by ingesting artificial sugars, we go right back to looking for the real thing. Only substantial and real food – the actual providers of energy – can break the cycle, and a craving for sugar will often subside when we eat healthy calories.

Sugar intake can also simply be a bad habit; in other words, what seems like a craving may just be a reaction to a habit that’s both automatic and seemingly impossible to break. Break the sweet-treat habit and the craving may diminish as well. Sugar can also serve as an antidote to too much salty food. Unfortunately most processed and restaurant foods these days are heavily salted, and the saltier our food, the bigger our sweet craving. This is especially true when salt is added artificially to foods and not found naturally, like in olives or cheeses. The salt-sugar progression is a hard one to resist, which is why we tend to reach for a luscious dessert right after we finish a great, big portion of fries.

Continue reading Use the Latest Sweeteners to Appeal to the Health-Conscious Client

Promote Smoked Foods on Your Menu to Increase Business

Smoked Food is the Biggest Trend in Catering

Catering Trends: Smoked Food

When it comes to catering and keeping up with the latest trends, there’s no rest for the weary. Just when you thought you had a handle on the latest trend – be it craft butter or Greek cuisine – along comes the next big thing and the cards are in the air. Now it’s time to prepare for the era of smoked food of all kinds. It’s hard to ignore the appeal of smoke-flavored foods; from the distinct taste to the pleasant and distinctive aroma, smoked foods are definitely rising in popularity.

Smoke is Not Just for Meat

We spent some time in a recent blog discussing how you can incorporate barbecue into your catering menu, in particular Korean barbecue. But smoke is not just for brisket or other cuts of meat and, in fact, nearly any food or dish can be smoked. The Smoke restaurant in Dallas, Texas, serves a cedar-wood infused tequila cocktail and they are not alone – smoky cocktails are all the rage. All you need in order to cook up original and delicious smoked foods are some wood chips (such as hickory, maple, cherry, mesquite, etc.), a grill or smoker, a variety of herbs and seasonings, and your own instinct, imagination, and creativity and voila, a smoked food is born.

Continue reading Promote Smoked Foods on Your Menu to Increase Business

Soft Cheeses Come in a Variety of Types and Can be Used in a Range of Ways

Soft Cheeses: Flavorful, Spreadable, and Special

Soft Cheeses

Although when you think of cheese, you may think immediately of hard, yellow cheeses with their many uses and great varieties, don’t overlook soft cheeses when you’re looking to infuse your next catered event with a tray-ful of flavor. The difference between the many soft cheeses on the market can be subtle, but to the experience palate they are distinct and significant. Some versions of soft cheese work better in certain settings and for many people they are an acquired taste. In any case, learn about soft cheeses here so you can use them at the next possible opportunity.

A Guide to Soft Cheeses

Many people – including caterers – are not that proficient about using a full range of soft cheeses. Beyond putting out a plate of Brie and crackers on a buffet table, many caterers – even those who consider themselves cheese-savvy – don’t give soft cheeses much thought.

Soft cheese can be made from cow, goat, or sheep’s milk and come from countries and places around the globe. Common types of soft cheese are feta, Brie, ricotta, cream cheese, Camembert, Chevre, Roquefort, and gorgonzola, and – of course – cottage cheese. All these cheeses have a special tangy creaminess that no other food imparts.

Hard Cheese vs. Soft Cheese

Soft cheese is un-ripened cheese made by coagulating casein (milk proteins) with acid. Hard cheeses, on the other hand, are aged (ripened), and made by coagulating milk proteins with rennet and culture acids. The ripening process is aided by bacteria or mold. Cheddar, Swiss, Colby, brick and Parmesan are types of bacteria-ripened hard cheeses. Because aging reduces the moisture level in the cheese, hard cheese is drier (and harder) than soft cheese. And, because, bacteria doesn’t grow as easily in dry conditions as in moist ones, hard cheeses keep longer than soft cheeses.

Continue reading Soft Cheeses Come in a Variety of Types and Can be Used in a Range of Ways

Greek Cuisine: A Healthful and Delicious Catering Option

Foods Ideas for Catering a Greek-Themed Event

Greek Cuisine

Ethnic food is all the rage at the moment. We’ve already discussed internationally flavored breakfasts and Southwestern cuisine, so now it’s time to put the focus on Greek cuisine. With its heart-friendly ingredients and unique dishes, along with amazing taste and fabulous flavors, Greek cuisine has been enticing foreigners and natives alike for many years. Here, you will find all you need to know about the history of Greek cuisine, as well as the spices and elements that will make it a hit at your next catered event.

History of Greek Cuisine

Greece, located in the southeast of Europe, has a rich history and culture that permeates throughout the country. Though Greek cuisine has evolved significantly over the course of Greece’s history, many traditional dishes are still popular today. Typical Greek cuisine is derived from a general Mediterranean palette and consists of what is known as the “Mediterranean Triad”: grains/wheat, olives/ olive oil, and grapes/wine. The olives and olive oil in particular; and fruits, vegetables, honey, and fish in general, are the pillars of Greek cuisine, and these foods combined, have made Greece to be known as the birthplace of one of the healthiest diets in the world.

Continue reading Greek Cuisine: A Healthful and Delicious Catering Option