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The Moose Lodge Collection from Gourmet du Village

 

gourmetduvillage mooseThis 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.

 

Get It While It’s Hot! Heirloom Farmers Markets Hosts 11th Annual Chile Festival

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.

California Table Grape Growers Award Scholarships

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.

A Playful Take on an Italian Classic

 

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!

 

 

 

MauiGrown Coffee Wins Cupping Awards

 

On July 18, 2014, MauiGrown Coffee reaffirmed its coveted place in the coffee world by capturing first place for its Maui Mokka® – Natural at Hawaii Coffee Association’s 6th Statewide Coffee Cupping Competition held in Kealakekua on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The 2014 field included 77 total entries. The Commercial Division included 22 entries, 12 of which came from the District of Maui. In the Commercial Division, MauiGrown Coffee’s Maui Mokka – Natural and Aloha Hills Kona Coffee tied for first place with a score of 87.3 out of 100. MauiGrown Coffee also took second place in the Maui District Division for Maui Mokka – Natural.

According to the Maui Coffee Association’s 2014 Cupping Committee, the quality of coffees entered in this year’s competition was of the highest level, and they commended the winners for being an accomplished group of farmers who raise great Hawaiian coffee.

“Great coffee doesn’t just happen,” said Kimo Falconer, President of MauiGrown Coffee. “It takes a dedicated team of farm workers to produce award-winning coffee, and I couldn’t be prouder of our Maui Mokka team.”

The Maui Mokka variety of coffee originated in Yemen and was planted on the Kaanapali Estate by Pioneer Mill 25 years ago. Today, it is one of four exceptional coffee varietals grown and harvested in West Maui.

Maui Mokka’s small, roundish chubby beans produce a cup delightfully fused with a range of subtle chocolate flavors. During this year’s cupping competition, judges described the Maui Mokka varietal as “a winey, sparkly coffee with good acidity, nice body and hints of a fruit and nut bar. It has notes of boysenberry and blackberry and tones of cocoa and bittersweet chocolate and finishes like a good port and a cigar.”

According to Falconer, the soil and nutrition, the water cycle and the sun are just part of the process of producing a sweet coffee cherry.

“We allow the coffee cherries to stay on the tree until they turn purple which produces the maximum amount of sugars concentrated into the fruit,” said Falconer. “After harvesting we let the coffee age for almost six months in the coffee pulp to bring out the various fruit flavors. The coffee bean is then milled, bagged and sent off to our customers worldwide.”

“Roasting is also critical to bringing out the maximum flavor of the coffee,” said Jeff Ferguson, Co-owner and Manager of the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store. “We invite the public to taste the fruits of our labor at our store in Lahaina. We offer a medium roast and a dark roast to please all palates.”

For information, visit www.MauiGrownGreenCoffee.com or contact Kimo Falconer at jkimof@msn.com or 808-357-1204. The MauiGrown Coffee Company Store is located at 277 Lahainaluna Road in Lahaina, Maui adjacent to the historic Pioneer Mill smokestack, call 808-661-2728 or visit www.MauiGrownCoffee.com for information and/or store hours or to order online.

 

JBS USA Launches Beef Information Website

JBS USA has launched SwiftBeef.com, an interactive website highlighting Swift’s history of excellence while serving as a resource for retail and foodservice operators, as well as an easy-to-use source of information for today’s discerning consumer.

“SwiftBeef.com is an influential source of knowledge, from product information to recipes,” said John Flynn, JBS USA Beef Sales and Marketing team lead. “It is essential that our customers are able to easily navigate brand information and selling tools that can help strengthen their operations.”

Consumers are increasingly inquisitive about their food purchases and beef is no exception. The Swift website provides information about how the Swift brand first developed, and details the brand’s history of excellence since 1855. From boxed beef to value-added items, the Swift website presents the brand’s comprehensive product offering, which has strengthened through the years to accommodate the needs of customers. SwiftBeef.com also serves as a resource for delicious and convenient meals with its user-friendly recipe page.

“Research shows that consumers want more information about how to select or prepare beef and that they rely heavily on digital resources for guidance,” said Alexandria Tyre, Marketing Manager at JBS USA. “In addition to appetizing recipes, SwiftBeef.com features frequently asked questions, covering topics from cooking temperatures to where specific beef cuts come from.”

SwiftBeef.com gives consumers easy access to the information they desire and creates an open doorway of connectivity. The website is compatible with all portable devices, making it a convenient resource for retail and foodservice customers, as well as consumers who want to access the site on-the-go.

Swift Beef is a product of JBS USA, an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of JBS S.A., the world’s leading animal protein processor. JBS USA is a leading processor of beef, pork and lamb in the U.S., a leading processor of beef in Canada and a leading processor of beef and lamb in Australia. JBS USA processes, prepares, packages and delivers fresh, further-processed and value-added beef and pork products for sale to customers in more than 100 countries on five continents. JBS USA is also a majority shareholder of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, the second largest poultry company in the U.S. For more information, visit www.jbssa.com.

Jarlsberg Now in Mini Snack Size

 

Jarlsberg® Cheese, a nationally recognized premium quality brand, is now in a mini snack size. Available in a 30 count UPC barcode for individual sale—in a display ready case for immediate placement in the refrigerated case—Jarlsberg Cheese Minis offer convenience stores, drugstores, retail, institutional and hospitality foodservice channels profit opportunity that taps directly into current consumer demand for all-natural and fresh, ready-to-eat formats of favorite brands.

Each 20g portion-sized Jarlsberg Cheese Mini is just 70 calories and a good source of calcium and protein. Dipped in wax and wrapped in cellophane to replicate the popular Jarlsberg wheel, it’s mild, mellow and nutty flavor makes it a delicious grab-and-go alternative choice to sugary snacks. Jarlsberg Cheese Minis are also available in a 50 count bulk case, with or without UPC, offering a wide range of foodservice channel applications.

For more information, contact Deborah Seife, General Manager – Marketing,dseife@norseland.com.

 

Emmi Roth Brings Home 4 Awards from ACS

Emmi Roth USA received four awards at the 2014 American Cheese Society Competition in Sacramento, California, including a first place award for its GranQueso® Original in the Hispanic & Portuguese Style Ripened Cheese category.

GranQueso, a Roth® Original inspired by the cheeses of Spain, is cellar aged for six to eight months to create a distinctive bite and sweet finish with hints of citrus, spice and hazelnut. This award is the 11th consecutive award for this cheese in the category. Earlier this year, GranQueso was also awarded Best of Class in the Hard Hispanic Cheese category at the World Championship Cheese Contest.

Roth GranQueso Reserve took second place in the Hispanic & Portuguese Style Ripened Cheese category, continuing Emmi Roth USA’s tradition of success with this style of cheese. GranQueso Reserve, which is carefully cured for more than 15 months, bears a dense texture and sweet flavors of candied pineapple and browned butter. It was also awarded second place in the Hard Hispanic Cheese category at this year’s World Championship Cheese Contest.

Additional Emmi Roth USA award winners included Roth’s Private Reserve, which placed third in the Washed Rind Cow’s Milk Cheese category, and Roth Rofumo®, which received third place in the Smoked Cow’s Milk Cheese category.

“We are proud to be part of the growing and thriving American cheese industry,” said Linda Duwve, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Emmi Roth USA. “Our team is dedicated and passionate about crafting and curing outstanding, high-quality products and wins like these help showcase everyone’s hard work. Our congratulations go out to all of the award winners.”

This year, 248 companies entered 1,685 different products in the competition. A full list of award winners is available online.

Specialty Food Ad Contest Winner Announced

Vanda Asapahu, founder of Ayara Thai Sauces, is the winner of the Specialty Food Association’s second annual advertising contest for specialty food professionals to tell a compelling story about their passion for specialty food.

Asapahu’s story was selected from 142 inspiring entries about family businesses, culinary breakthroughs, childhood memories, career changes, and more. The prize is a professional ad that will be part of the Association’s national advertising and marketing campaign. The ad will be featured in leading specialty food trade magazines, online, and at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. The show takes place Jan. 11-13, 2015.

More than 12,000 votes were cast in the not-for-profit trade association’s second annual “My Story, My Ad” contest. The 10 entries with the most votes went on to a final round of judging by a panel of advertising and specialty food professionals. The contest was open to members of the Specialty Food Association.

Ayara Thai Sauces was born out of requests from loyal fans of Asapahu’s family-owned restaurant, Ayara Thai Cuisine in Los Angeles, for takeout containers of its distinctive sauces. This company’s Ayara Thai Peanut Sauce was a finalist in the Specialty Food Association’s sofi™ Awards contest for the outstanding products of 2014.

“As our restaurant grew, visitors came to love not only the food we prepared, but also the sauces served with them,” says Asapahu. She adds that customers would return with “amazing stories of how they creatively used our sauces to impress their friends and share in the joy of cooking.”

The contest also included a People’s Choice Winner, based on a popular vote. The trio of women behind Simply Panache, maker of Mango Mango mango preserves, emerged as winners. They are Tanecia Willis, Lakesha Brown-Renfro, a military spouse, and Nzinga Teule-Hekima, a family physician. The company is based in Hampton, Virginia. The prize is an iPad.

For the winning entries, click here.

The contest spotlights the Association’s brand for the industry, “Specialty Food. Craft. Care. Joy.” It is designed to highlight the people behind the small businesses that fuel the $88.3 billion specialty food industry and the innovative foods and beverages they create and bring to market.

“This year’s entries showed how much passion and care our members bring to their work,” says Association President Ann Daw.

The panel of judges included Katherine Alford, Senior Vice President, Culinary Productions, Food Network; Tom Cook, Executive Creative Director, York & Chapel; Tracy Nieporent, Partner and Director of Marketing, Myriad Restaurant Group; Beth Snyder Bulik, freelance writer for Advertising Age; and Denise Purcell, editor of Specialty Food Media.

Let Them Eat Cake: Robert Rothschild Farm Celebrates 30th Anniversary

 

RobertRothschildFarm2-SBRobert Rothschild Farm celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Summer Fancy Food Show with a cake, as well as with the introduction of a new certified organic product line.

We are extremely excited to launch our new organic product line,” said Jim Gordon, President and CEO of Robert Rothschild Farm. “During our extensive research, we determined that great-tasting organic sauces are challenging to find. Consumers are seeking healthy choices, and we felt compelled to create outstanding sauces with on-trend flavors. Our sauces are an easy way to add distinct flavor to organic proteins or vegetables.”

The Robert Rothschild Farm product line now includes several new organic sauces, including Blueberry Balsamic Sauce, Citrus Chardonnay Sauce, Pineapple Habanero BBQ Sauce, Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce, Whiskey Pepper Cream Sauce and White Wine Creole Sauce.

In Robert Rothschild Farm’s Blueberry Balsamic Sauce, sweet blueberries are complemented by balsamic vinegar with flavorful notes from shallots, basil and black pepper. The organic Citrus Chardonnay Sauce pairs fennel with the sweetness of honey and bursts of flavor from oranges and chardonnay. The popular Roasted Pineapple & Habanero Dip inspired the company’s organic Pineapple Habanero BBQ Sauce. Sweet pineapples, honey, spicy habanero peppers and ginger make this sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. Classic teriyaki sauce with sriracha and a hint of orange are blended to create the company’s new organic Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce. The company’s organic Whiskey Pepper Cream Sauce has a medley of flavors, including Dijon mustard, rich cream, garlic and black pepper – all accented by a touch of whiskey and white miso to create a creamy sauce with a kick of heat. Finally, the organic White Wine Creole Sauce is started with a spicy tomato base, adding a splash of white wine to the classic trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions to create a Southern-inspired sauce.

All of Robert Rothschild Farm’s new sauces are packaged in bottles that resemble old-timey milk bottles for a retro look that underscores the tradition behind them.

Chef Steve Constantine showcased the company’s new Citrus Chardonnay Sauce during the Summer Fancy Food Show by incorporating it into a citrus slaw that he used to top shrimp tacos. The tacos were served to an eager crowd at the Robert Rothschild Farm booth.

Robert Rothschild Farm is also reintroducing its Raspberry Thunder Sauce, back by popular demand. “Our consumers continually asked if we could make the Raspberry Thunder Sauce,” said Jim Gordon. “We listened to our consumers and are relaunching the spicy hot sauce with a new look but the same great taste.”

 

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