Building on the success of award-winning Gourmet Sea Salt Collections, The Spice Lab has added sampling selections of spices, seasonings and now tea.
Introducing at NY NOW, three Tea Collections of 11 or 12 tube sets of British Teas, Asian Teas or Infused Teas, showcased in a handcrafted wooden base of reclaimed Colorado pine or sustainable bamboo. Each tube holds enough for three pots of tea.
See them in booth # 3677 in the Tabletop + Gourmet Housewares Show at NY NOW, August 17-20 at Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Hot & Spicy Infused Salts - Sriracha, Smoked Chipotle, Ghost Pepper and More
The Spice Lab blends its own infused salts using all natural unrefined sea salt and premium finely ground chili peppers from around the world. Each unique salt offers distinct flavor and heat, true to the peppers that season it. In 100 ml glass jars and 3-ounce stand-up foil pouches.The line includes:
Click here to read about what’s driving Americans’ renewed interest in spicy cuisines.
During peak picnic season, make sure your spread is complete with the perfect potato salad. With more than 100 potato salads in its rich recipe database, as well as tips from the experts and how-to videos, the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) website is your top resource for this popular summer side dish.
“Through analytics we know that close to 70 percent of the visitors to our website during the summer months are looking for recipes or tips to help them make the perfect potato salad,” explained Frank Muir, President/CEO of the IPC. “Our new recipe database, Ask Dr. Potato question and answer forum, and abundant how-to videos on our YouTube channel demonstrate how and why Idaho® potatoes are the ideal potato for summer salads.”
Hot, cold, traditional, or with a twist, there are so many different mouth-watering Idaho potato salad recipes that you can serve a new one to your family every day during the summer months. It’s hard to resist the traditional potato salad with mayonnaise and hardboiled eggs, but if you’re looking for a light and nutrient-dense option, try the Asparagus and Idaho Potato Quinoa Salad with Orange Parsley Dressing. Loaded with flavor, textures, and important vitamins and minerals, this dish can stand alone as a vegetarian meal or accompany your family’s favorite protein. Did we mention it’s gluten-free, too?
There isn’t a potato-related question that Dr. Potato can’t answer. The number one trending question this season is, “How long does potato salad last in the refrigerator?” Here is Dr. Potato’s response: “Did the salad get made up and then refrigerated right away, and you just have some left over? If this is the case then it should easily last three to four days. Was the salad used at a picnic and then placed back in the refrigerator? Then probably no more than the next day, if that. I usually don’t recommend saving the salad after it has sat out in the heat at all.”
To read more on this topic and other popular potato-related questions, please visit http://foodserviceblog.idahopotato.com.
YouTube How-to Videos
If you have always wondered how to make your potato salad look as good as the pros, try visiting the IPC’s library of videos. Popular food blogger Average Betty shows how she makes her “pota-totally” awesome salad, Roasted Red Potato Salad with Arugula, Blue Cheese, Cranberries, Candied Pecans and Balsamic Dressing. This salad is so flavorful and easy-to-make there’s a good chance you’ll want to serve it at your next meal!
To go directly to the IPC’s potato salad recipe collection, visit: http://recipes.idahopotato.com/allthingspotatosalads
The Kroger Co. has announced 366 winners of the Kroger Scholars award for 2014-2015 school year. Each student will receive $1,000 to assist with post-high school educational expenses.
“We are so proud of each one of these young men and women who have demonstrated a commitment to learning and hard work,” said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs and president of The Kroger Co. Foundation. “For so many parents, sending a child off to college is at once a pride- and anxiety-inducing experience. We hope these funds will make it a little easier for our associates and their children as they transition to studying beyond high school.”
The 2014-2015 Kroger Scholars come from 29 states. A full list of scholarship winners by state is available at http://www.thekrogerco.com/community/kroger-scholars.
Kroger Scholars is a company-wide program of The Kroger Co. Foundation, and is open to children of associates who work in the Kroger family of stores, have at least two years of service and work a minimum of 1,000 hours per year.
Funds can be used at any accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational program.
Scholarship America, a leading national scholarship manager, selected recipients based on a broad range of criteria including scholastic performance, work experience, extra-curricular and volunteer activities and a statement of goals and aspirations.
Since launching in 2008, Kroger Scholars has provided more than $2.2 million in awards to more than 2,200 families.
Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers, employs more than 375,000 associates who serve customers in 2,640 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The company also operates 786 convenience stores, 320 fine jewelry stores, 1,240 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners.
Bauli, a creator of authentic Italian holiday cakes and pastries, is announcing its official launch in the United States. Bauli products are now available at retailers, including Fairway, Whole Foods and Duane Reade stores nationwide. Bauli’s line of products will introduce traditional Italian desserts to the U.S. market, guaranteeing the highest quality of natural ingredients to customers.
Rooted in Verona, Italy with history dating back to 1922, today, the Bauli family business maintains the same dedication to excellence that it started over 80 years ago. Bauli prides itself in having combined the skill of homemade recipes with high technology to bring authentic Italian baked goods and holiday products to consumers. With respect for traditions and ancient recipes, Bauli products are oven baked and made with no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors and no genetically modified ingredients and are kosher certified. The Bauli family’s guiding principle has always been a desire for excellence.
Bauli’s core products include Il Panettone di Milano, the traditional and most famous Italian Christmas bread, loaded with candied citron, lemon zest and raisins; Il Pandoro di Verona, a pan d’oro or golden bread, which is a traditional Christmas bread from Verona that’s baked in a special star-shape mold, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and made with real eggs, which gives it the beautiful golden color; and its everyday croissant treats, which include chocolate cream, vanilla custard, and cherry jelly. In addition to these core products, Bauli is also offering its specialty Italian treats for the U.S., including Il Budino, a moist cake with delicate chocolate filling, exquisite chocolate icing and dark chocolate decorations, and La Bavarese, a soft pan d’oro dough with delicate custard cream and sugared cocoa filling. Bauli’s authentic products are the ultimate holiday hostess gift, arriving in a beautiful packaging, Il Panettone and Il Pandoro are an awaited Christmas tradition at many family tables throughout Italy, uniting the love of family, friends and food. Bauli products are a delicious Italian tradition that’s perfect for sharing with family and friends just like in Italy, and great for making delicious recipes, including panettone pudding and orange ricotta panettone ‘shortcake’.
Nature’s Path Organic Foods has named the winners of its fifth annual Gardens for Good Grant, which helps put organic community gardens where they will serve those who need them most. The three deserving non-profit organizations to receive grants are Franklinton Garden in Columbus, Ohio, Mercy Gardens in Decateur, Illinois, and Growing Chefs, Vancouver, British Columbia.
“It is a true privilege to support these incredible organizations that are making significant changes in their local communities and who share our vision to provide organic food for those who might not have access to it,” said Arran Stephens, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Nature’s Path. “We are honored to have them as partners on the path towards leaving the earth better than we found it.”
Out of the 136 entries from non-profit organizations making an impact at the local level, the three winners rose to the top. They were among nine other finalists who earned the most public support by way of online votes, and were ultimately selected based on the compelling, empowering and inspirational nature in which they described their organic garden project; the feasibility to establish and maintain the garden; and demonstrated community need. The organizations will each receive a $15,000 cash grant for their community garden project, and technical design and production mentorship provided by Organic Gardening magazine.
About the Winners
Franklinton Gardens is a nonprofit urban farming and healthy food advocacy initiative in Columbus, Ohio that strives to build a critical consciousness about the potential of urban agriculture to positively transform the urban landscape. Franklinton Gardens maintains a 2-acre urban farm comprised of seven different gardens distributed throughout the neighborhood. Produce from the gardens is donated to food pantries, community meals, and after-school children’s programs and is sold at three EBT-friendly markets that the organization helped establish in the neighborhood. Franklinton Gardens has a number of additional food-based projects in the works, including the development of a community composting campaign, the remodeling of a neighborhood church’s kitchen to host food processing workshops, and the development of a neighborhood edible perennial orchard-nursery. Franklinton Gardens will use the Gardens for Good Grant to remodel a vacant building to be used as a creative workspace that will provide long-term support for urban agriculture in Central Ohio.
Mercy Gardens is a project collaboration between two non-profits in Decatur, Illinois, that will bring healthy, organic food to approximately 300 food insecure men, women, and children daily, as well as train low-income citizens to become organic gardeners. The idea was born between Decatur Is Growing Gardeners (DIGG), an urban farming initiative whose purpose is to create entrepreneurial opportunities for low-income residents through growing vegetables and fruits sustainably, and The Good Samaritan Inn, whose mission is to maintain a community program to serve nutritious meals to the hungry and economically disadvantaged. With the Gardens for Good Grant, they plan to turn empty lots into organic urban gardens. One area will be used to create an interpretive garden utilizing recycled materials and alternative methods such as living fences and vertical gardens to serve as a showcase to the community and a potential place for agritourism activities. The other area will be used to create a garden more intensely focused on production. Both will be incorporated into a job skills training program teaching low-income people agricultural, construction, and interpretive skills. The Inn is also committed to using the produce from the garden to serve in its kitchen, which will result in around 103,000 meals served with organic, local produce annually.
The Growing Chefs! Classroom Gardening Program inspires kids with a love for growing and eating healthy food through direct experience – getting their hands in the dirt, caring for growing plants, and harvesting and cooking their own vegetables. A volunteer chef partners with the students to plant organic, indoor windowsill gardens consisting of fast-growing vegetables, such as beans, peas, lettuce, and arugula. The chefs return to the classroom every two weeks for 3.5 months to help the students care for their organic windowsill gardens and lead lessons on healthy eating, gardening and plant growth, local and urban agriculture, and healthy food systems. At the end of the program, the chefs help the students harvest their vegetables and teach them to cook delicious meals with the food they grew. Students learn nutritional information and gardening and cooking skills to take home and share with their families and communities. The Gardens for Good grant will help bring the program to 46 classrooms, eight communities, and more than 1300 children.
Karoun Dairies‘ 2014 product launch, Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads, wins first place in the “Labneh, Greek Style Yogurt and Other Strained Cultured Products” category at the annual 2014 American Cheese Society Awards, which took place from
July 29 – August 1 in Sacramento, California.
The 2014 ACS Judging & Competition saw 1,685 entries of cheeses and cultured dairy products from 248 companies in North America. Among them, Karoun Dairies received two awards to add to its growing collection.
“We’re honored by the ACS and their acknowledgement of the quality of the products we produce. We use hand-crafted traditional methods of blending, aging, and fermenting all of our probiotic rich yogurt spreads,” states Mr. Rostom Baghdassarian, COO for Karoun Dairies. “This year, we introduced Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads, as we’ve seen a major demand for healthier, Mediterranean-style spreads. Blue Isle is a fresh, tasty, and health conscious alternative to traditional cream cheeses.”
Karoun Dairies’ winning products at the American Cheese Society 2014 awards include:
Labneh, Greek Style Yogurt and Other Strained Cultured Products: first place - Blue Isle Original Mediterranean Yogurt Spread
Crème Fraiche and Sour Cream Products – Made From Cow’s Milk: second place – Canadian Style Sour Cream
Over 1,400 members strong, ACS is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation, and promotion of farmstead, artisan and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. ACS hosts North America’s foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition.
Blue Isle Yogurt Spreads are distributed by Karoun Dairies, Inc., a second-generation family business with multiple awards for excellence in the cheese and dairy industry. Accolades include World Cheese Awards, World Championship Cheese medals, U.S. Championships, American Cheese Society medals, and California State Fair awards to name a few. Karoun produces some of California’s finest specialty cheeses; using century-old and handmade methods. All 130+ SKUs are made from ultra-premium ingredients, including premium milk from cows that are free of artificial hormones, BGH/rBST, and are Real California Milk certified.
This collection from Gourmet du Village brings back some of the company’s traditional, holiday best tastes, such as Creamy Eggnog, Cranberry Cider, or classic favorites such as Minty Humbugs or their Double Truffle Hot Chocolate. These tastes combined with the striking graphic appeal of traditional tartan for the holidays; with a bold moose design. This collection brings back memories of the mountain lodge, birch log decoration, the open stone fireplace, warm and inviting. Perfect for gifting or to enjoy after a refreshing winter walk in the snow or romantic sleigh ride.
This new product along with Gourmet du Village’s entire new collection of gourmet gifts can be seen at showrooms in Dallas, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
With Tucson’s temperatures sizzling, Heirloom Farmers Markets is celebrating the heat with its 11th Annual Chile Festival.
Attracting thousands of visitors, the Chile Festival kicks off at the Oro Valley Farmers Market in Oro Valley, Arizona on Saturday, August 23 and continues at the Rillito Park Farmers Market in Tucson on Sunday, August 24.
Vendors will be offering delectable chile-themed food, including freshly roasted green chiles, chile spices, zesty tamales and salsas, and an abundance of chile specialties. Chef demonstrations and live music round out this fiery event. Admission is free.
“The Annual Chile Festival is an event close to our region’s heritage,” says Roxanne Garcia, Co-director of Heirloom Farmers Markets. “We showcase the abundance of chile varieties and share fun and creative ways to cook with chile and chile products.”
The Southwest is known for its quality and diversity of chiles. While New Mexico may be the largest U.S. chile producer, Arizona is vital part of the Chile Belt, growing approximately 6,000 acres of chiles valued at close to $10 million. Heirloom Farmers Markets’ Annual Chile Festival salutes the region’s rich chile heritage while supporting a vibrant spectrum of local food producers and proprietors.
Hosting more than a dozen exciting local food events each year – of which the Annual Chile Festival is but one – Heirloom Farmers Markets is a visionary leader in Tucson’s local food movement.
Heirloom Farmers Markets operates three urban, green markets that are open 52 weeks a year. These markets provide a direct connection to more than 90 vendors with deep roots in Southwest Arizona – including farms, nurseries, bakeries, meat and seafood providers, cheese makers, and specialty foods producers. The markets are open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the summer months, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the balance of the year. For more information visit the website at www.heirloomfm.com.
Nine high school graduates from the table grape growing regions in the San Joaquin and Coachella valleys of California were recently awarded scholarships on behalf of California’s table grape growers.
Five of the scholarships were awarded to children of table grape field workers: three $20,000 scholarships to four-year universities and two $3,500 scholarships to two-year colleges. Four $20,000 scholarships to four-year universities were awarded to students majoring in agriculture-related fields.
For 30 years, California’s table grape growers have funded the nation’s first worker-focused scholarship program. The program has awarded over 100 scholarships to field workers and their children from the table grape growing regions in California. A few years ago scholarships were added for students living in the table grape growing regions who plan to pursue careers in agriculture.
“The 2014 scholarship recipients are all very talented and motivated individuals, with a variety of career interests,” said Kathleen Nave, commission president. “These scholarships are one of the ways that California’s table grape growers encourage and support education in their local communities.”
Scholarships will be offered again next year, with applications for 2015 available in the fall of 2014 at www.grapesfromcalifornia.com.
By Lorrie Baumann
A colleague of mine at Oser Communications Group has asked me to review a recipe for Pasta with Jam Sauce concocted by Mr. West Collins and demonstrated in a YouTube video that can be seen at http://youtu.be/90tZUltzRBc. She asked me to respond to the video as a professional writer on matters of culinaria, based on my experience as editorial director of Gourmet News, the business newspaper of the specialty food industry, and Kitchenware News & Housewares Review magazine, as part of her participation in GISHWHES as a member of Team CommorientLoves6RMartial Arts.
Collins’ recipe calls for canned pasta sauce, carrot juice, Goldfish crackers and a whole apple with several bites out of it, which of course does not adhere to our traditional notions of how to make a great pasta sauce. It must be said, though, that there are certainly more recipes for pasta sauce out there than there have ever been pasta cooks to concoct them, so we must not accept without question the notion that Collins’ recipe is entirely new to the world.
We recreated the recipe in our editorial office with Hunt’s all-natural tomato sauce, which does not include added sugar; Polaner strawberry spreadable fruit, which is sweetened only with fruit juice; Bolthouse Farms carrot juice; Pepperidge Farm’s Baked Goldfish crackers, flavor blasted with “Xplosive Pizza + Parmesan” for a little bit of Italian flavoring; and a Red Delicious apple, which was removed when the pasta was served on elbow macaroni from a carton of Kraft macaroni and cheese.
The results admittedly fall short of our expectations for a fine Italian pasta sauce, due primarily to the ingredient choices, which could have been improved. However, ingredients are just one element in a successful culinary experience. Other necessary elements include technique and tools. Collins’ video demonstrates that he had available to him the essential tools of a modern American home kitchen, although it is also apparent that his technique with them is not expert. Clearly, that will benefit from future experiments in the kitchen and additional instruction from a knowledgeable cook with more culinary experience than he.
With quality ingredients, adequate tools and a firm grasp of basic technique, any cook can put an edible meal on the table. But putting an exceptional meal on the table calls for something else: the creativity born of imagination and a willingness to experiment. And that, Collins brings in abundance.
That being the case, the actual taste of the dish that results from Collins’ recipe is almost irrelevant. In any case, the sauce made from his recipe is not all that different from a nationally distributed brand that has certainly turned a profit over the years. What Collins is really serving up here, along with his Pasta with Jam Sauce, is fun. That the adults around him encouraged his experiment fostered his creativity and culinary courage. That they recorded it and shared it with us allows us also to have a taste of the fun.
However, if you are looking for your own opportunity to cook up a playful take on an Italian classic, I would suggest some experiments with the Maple Bacon Aioli recently released by Stonewall Kitchen, a premium product that you’ll find in a specialty grocery or gourmet store. Stonewall Kitchen sent me a couple of jars to sample and review, and I recently tried it out as a pizza sauce with good results. I used a prepared pizza crust from Trader Joe’s, rolled it out and spread it with the aioli, then topped it with chopped roast chicken and mozzarella cheese and baked it. Delicious!