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Belcour Cookbook Launch Coincides with Fancy Food Show

Belcour cover imageBelcour Blue Mountain Preserves, makers of savory condiments, pepper sauces and fruit preserves, taps into its’ rich Jamaican, Chinese and French culinary heritage to release a beautiful 270 page storybook cookbook, “Belcour: Jamaican, French and Chinese Family Recipes for Entertaining,” available at www.belcourpreserves.com.

This unique cookbook features the most well-loved family recipes of chef and author, Robin Lim Lumsden paired with captivating stories of legendary entertaining among several family generations. From love stories and family gatherings to how her grandfather became co-founder of the iconic Red Stripe Beer company and more, this cookbook is an instant classic with its mouth watering imagery and effortless step-by step instructions.

“I’ve gathered an eclectic collection of recipes derived from my Jamaican, French and Chinese culinary heritage passed down from generation to generation, all using our preserves and condiments,” says Lumsden. This cookbook will expand and diversify your recipe repertoire and help you create new, delicious and cosmopolitan meals that your guests will both savor and remember.”

Belcour’s Blue Mountain Honey, which is produced on its own apiary, is home to more than 75 bee colonies and is the signature flavor that sweetens all of the delectable tropical preserves, hot sauces and condiments. Each bottle is full of ripe, flavorful, Jamaican fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices that are cooked slowly, crafted with love and sourced from local Jamaican farmers.

Belcour will exhibit in booth #2168 at the Fancy Food Show in New York City June 29-July 1, with nine of its versatile gourmet condiments, including pepper sauces, fruit preserves and savory condiments. Learn more about Belcour Blue Mountain Preserves at www.belcourpreserves.com.

Pirate Jonny’s Debuts Jerk Hot Sauce at Florida Festival

Pirate Jonny'sPirate Jonny’s Caribbean BBQ Rubs, Seasonings & Sauces has often been asked by consumers to produce a hot sauce to complement the line of barbecue sauces. A name selection for the hot sauce has finally been created, after having input from its customers on Pirate Jonny’s Facebook.

Pirate Jonny’s new Jerk hot sauce, Syrena’s Seduction, made its debut in the 8th annual Hot Pepper Festival contest June 7 and 8 in Pinellas Park, Fla.

Pirate Jonny’s product line consists of an array of award winning products, starting with its National BBQ Association Award winners, Caribbean BBQ Rub and Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. The product line of Caribbean barbecue rubs extends onward to seasonings, barbecue sauces, chili and crab boil mixes and now its own creation, Syrena’s Seduction.

Syrena’s Seduction will be available online this month at Pirate Jonny’s for consumers to purchase.

Economic Well-Being Propels Interest in Spicy Cuisines

 

 

By Lorrie Baumann

As the world’s economy emerges from economic recession, American foodies are ready to launch out from the safe harbor of Italo-American and traditional American comfort food for deeper culinary waters, and all the indications are that this is going to be a spicy voyage. Demand for seasoning and spice is increasing due to the increasing demand for new flavors and flavor ingredients, growing popularity of ethnic cuisines and increasing health awareness among consumers, according to a 2013 report from Transparency Market Research, a market intelligence company.

This is part of a global phenomenon, according to both Transparency Market Research and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which released a report in 2011 on growing opportunities for small farmers in developing nations to participate in the global spice trade. India is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and exporters of seasonings and spices, and growth in the Asia-Pacific spice trade is riding on the developing spice markets in India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, which have traditionally been net exporters of spices.

FlavorTrends-CS“What’s really changed in the spice business in the past couple of years, Spice 2.0, is that 300 million Indians and 400 million Chinese have entered the middle class and want to eat the food of their cultures. American spice prices have gone through the roof as the Chinese and Indians buy more spice,” said Tim Ziegler, Spice Master for Italco Food Products, Inc. a specialty food distributor in Colorado and the co-author of “Spices and Culinary Herbs” by Tim Ziegler and Brian Keating, a poster presentation designed to aid chefs in creating flavors by pairing spices and herbs from the same culinary family. “India is now a net black pepper importer. It is the most staggering development in the spice business in the past 25 years.”

Spices can be defined as vegetable products used for flavoring, seasoning and importing aroma in foods. Herbs are leafy spices, and some plants, such as dill and coriander, provide both spice seeds and leafy herbs. Around 50 spice and herb plants are of global trade importance, but many other spices and herbs are used in local traditional cooking. There is also an overlap between spices and herbs and plants normally classified as vegetables, as for example some mushrooms that are used as spices in China and Pakistan. Paprika is widely grown by small-scale farmers in Africa, while chiles are widely grown in Central America, Asia and Africa. Cloves are grown in low-lying tropical areas including Indonesia, Madagascar and Zanzibar.

Trade is dominated by dried products. In recent years, fresh herbs have become more popular, and spice- and herb-derived essential oils and oleoresins are sold in large and growing markets.

Pepper, the world’s most most important world spice crop, is grown in areas of South America, Africa and India and some Pacific Ocean countries that have high rainfall and low elevations. Lemongrass is another important herb, and it’s grown widely in the tropics. The leaf is used dried in teas, and the stems are used fresh and dried in Asian cookery. Growing interest in organic food and beverages is also catching up with the market as large amounts of certified organic spices have been introduced to the market over the past few years, according to Transparency Market Research.

This trend is already having its effect in home and restaurant kitchens across the U.S. “If the melting pot is true anywhere in America, it’s true in the kitchen,” Ziegler said. “American cuisine is not roast beef and mashed potatoes and asparagus spears any more.”

Ziegler says that Americans are growing more interested in the flavor profiles that originated in Middle Eastern and southwest Asian cuisines. “I’m a history major and I’m a chef. I sell spices on a daily basis, and increasingly the flavor profiles that even the young chefs are asking me for are increasingly southwest Asian,” he said. “I believe that 3-1/2 million to 5-1/2 million Americans have traveled or lived extensively in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrein and the Middle East, and those flavor profiles have come back to the United States, and I think that’s going to be a burgeoning trend.”

New Dehli-born Chef Suvir Saran, Executive Chef at Devi in New York City and Chairman of Asian Culinary Studies for the Culinary Institute of America, says that he sees Americans’ growing interest in spices as an indication that Americans are becoming more mindful about how they cook and eat. “My feeling is that we’ve been a nation that’s reactionary and loves fads and diets and trends. With the economic recession ending, people have become less reactionary, and they’re becoming more mindful,” he said. “Taking Mediterranean or whatever comfort food we were already doing and adding more herbs and flavors and spices will be a way that we can cook and eat more mindfully and also save money in the end. Spices and flavoring ingredients are cheap. They’re wallet-friendly and last a lifetime. They give you great joy and great flavor without spending too much…. As there is more availability for aromatics and spices, we can incorporate these into what we already know and create more breadth and depth in our repertoire.”

Chef Staffan Terje, Chef/Owner of Perbacco restaurant in San Francisco, agrees. “I don’t think food ever gets boring. I never think flavors go out of style. I think that people find new things and discover new things for themselves, whether they’re eating or cooking, but I never think that basil and tomato is going to be boring,” he said. “Chefs are exploring other spices and herbs and flavors that might not be familiar to people. Spices had a place that’s been pretty constant for a long time in different foods, but I see that people are exploring things in the spice realm itself. It’s not so much about the heat of spiciness but about different flavor combinations. You’ll see things like cloves and allspice sneaking their way in.”

“I look at how I flavor my own dishes, cooking northern Italian food, and I look at history. Italians were part of the early spice market and adapted things that came from the East and from the New World,” he continued. “You start looking at old European recipes, and you’ll find some very interesting things – the use of cinnamon, the use of ginger – things that came from the Middle East. It’s not just about chile peppers.”

Chef Hosea Rosenberg, owner of Blackbelly Catering in Boulder, Colo. and winner of the fifth season of “Top Chef,” says he’s hearing a lot from his fellow chefs about their interest in the cuisines of Morocco and Latin America. “Everyone’s familiar with Americanized Mexican, but there are so many regional cuisines in Mexico that have not been highlighted, such as Oaxacan,” he said. “I see a few chefs that are starting to get a lot more press attention that are either from Morocco or have Moroccan heritage. It’s an amazing cuisine, and I don’t think there’s enough attention to it as of yet.”

He is exploring both of these cuisines in his own cooking, especially the tagines characteristic of Moroccan cuisine. “I just love the slow cooking, especially in the wintertime. Slow braises of meat. I have a farm and we raise our own lamb, and I’m always looking for creative ways to cook and serve lamb,” he said. “This type of cuisine really lends itself into turning a cheaper cut, if you will, into a remarkable centerpiece-type dish.”

“Now that it’s so easy to access all these spices, I see people really taking regional American cuisine and applying global spices to them as well to enhance those dishes,” said Chef Matt Greco, Executive Chef at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards in California. “People are using spices that, not long ago, no one had ever heard of.”

“You’re definitely seeing a lot of that cross between American, especially southern American, with Asian flavors,” he continued. “I definitely see a lot more fermented products. Korea uses so many fermented products in their food. I definitely see those types of influences applied to American cuisine. The past five years have seen a rebirth of southern American food, and that whole movement is going to other areas of the United States that have their own food cultures.”

 

“Spices and Culinary Herbs” poster by Tim Ziegler and Brian Keating is available at http://www.chefzieg.com/ or http://www.mondofood.com/spiceposter.html.

 

America’s Best Potato Salad Challenge Back Again

The quest to find the perfect potato salad is a life-long journey that has been the source of friendly family rivalries for decades. To celebrate this timeless debate, Reser’s Fine Foods® decided to make things interesting and invite people to put their spuds on display for a national debate. Back for its third year, Reser’s Fine Foods is inviting the nation to participate in America’s Best Potato Salad Challenge, boasting more than $20,000 in prize money plus a trip to Las Vegas to compete for the national title at the World Food Championships.

The America’s Best Potato Salad Challenge is a two-tiered competition, inviting competition barbecue teams, as well as any chef or home cook with a tasty potato salad recipe, to take their chance at the national title. Five select Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned events will make up the BBQ Competitor Series, with the top two placing teams at each event receiving a cash prize and the first place winner receiving an additional $1,000 travel stipend to compete in the championship round in Las Vegas.

But the competitive barbecue teams won’t be having all the fun. In the Consumer Series portion of the challenge, home cooks are invited to submit their favorite recipe online. Reser’s will select the 10 best recipes and invite those finalists to pack their potato peelers, and their bags, for Las Vegas.

“Reser’s has been whipping up world famous potato salad for more than 60 years, so we know a winning recipe when we taste one,” said Teresa Carter, Category Manager at Reser’s. “We can’t wait to dig in to this year’s entries and name a new champion!”

The first contest of the Competitor Series will take place next Friday, on April 18 at the High on the Hog Festival in Winchester, Tenn. To register, view a schedule of events and official rules for participation, visit kcbs.us/potatosalad.

On Tuesday, April 15, Consumers are invited to submit their recipes for the Consumer Series at resers.com/potatosaladcontest.

Red Lake Nation Wild Rice and Gift Baskets

Red Lake Nation Foods wild rice and gift baskets feature all natural foods, which include all natural wild rice, wild hand-harvested fruit jellies, jams and syrups, handcrafted gift items, all natural batter mixes, popcorn and herbal teas. Red Lake Nation Foods began in 2005 and is a member of the Intertribal Agricultural Council and features the Made/Produced by American Indians trademark on its products. Red Lake Nation is owned and operated by the Red Lake Band of Chippewa of Northern Minnesota, whose mission is to provide award winning, specialty natural foods and gift products that represent the nation’s cultural heritage for the benefit of over 9,600 members of the Red Lake Nation.

Red Lake Nation wild rice resembles rice, but is actually an aquatic grass seed often referred to as a pseudo grain or false grain. Wild rice boasts higher nutrition than regular rice, with more protein (12 percent) and minerals. Wild rice also has more niacin than brown rice and is a good source of B vitamins. A 1/3-cup serving provides approximately 16 grams of whole grains, or the equivalent of one serving of a whole grain. It is low in fat and, like other pseudo grains (quinoa and flaxseed), it is gluten-free. A staple of the Ojibwe, wild rice has been called a delicacy by non-Native Americans.

Traditionally, the month of September was the time when the Ojibwe left their homes and spent their days gathering and processing the wild rice. Processing included drying the rice in the sun or parching it over fire, and separating the hulls from the seeds. Because it was such a valuable food wild rice became a staple at trading posts. Cooked wild rice keeps in the refrigerator for one to two weeks, frozen up to six months, and uncooked it will keep indefinitely when placed in dry storage. Red Lake Nation wild rice is easy to prepare, affordable, and available year-round. It is a Minnesota-cultivated premium, dark roasted long grain rice and is available in gift, retail, bulk and family-size packs.

Red Lake Nation Foods wild berry jams, jellies and syrups are chock full of wild fruits harvested locally at the peak of freshness. They contain no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors and are scrumptious on pancakes, yogurt, ice cream or your favorite bread. Try them with Red Lake Nation’s traditional fry bread mix for an easy delicacy. Flavors include the Chokecherry Jelly that won the 2012 Taste Test Award in Cooking Light magazine. Other flavors are Wild Blueberry Jam, Wild Grape Jelly, Wild Hawthorn Jelly and Wild Plum Jelly. Syrups include Real Maple Syrup, Wild Plum, Wild Grape and Wild Blueberry Syrup. Red Lake Nation’s Wild Rice Pancake Mix is all natural, preservative free and is made in small batches to ensure the freshest product. Native American Fish Batter Mix is a preservative free lightly seasoned batter mix for fish or anything else you want to use it on. Other mixes include Traditional Bannock Quick Bread Mix and Wild Rice Fl our. Bannock Quick Bread Mix is an all natural batter mix that produces a rich, cake-like bread mix. It needs only water and heat to make traditional baked flatbread. Wild Rice Flour is an all natural, gluten-free whole grain flour with a sweet, nutty aroma. It contains all the nutritional benefits of whole wild rice and is high in B vitamins and rich in zinc and potassium.

Red Lake Nation gift products make the perfect individual or corporate gift and are available in regular or custom designed boxes or handmade birch bark baskets. A personalized gift card may also be included. Wholesale pricing is available for gourmet and specialty retailers, gift and gift basket retailers, up-scale grocery, caterers and restaurants or foodservices. They may also be purchased on-line at www.redlakenationfoods.com.

For more information, contact: Red Lake Nation Foods, 888-225-2108, www.redlakelakenationfoods.coml Fax: 219-679-2714.

FoodChannel.com Announces Its 2014 Top Ten Dessert Trends

The Food Channel® (foodchannel.com) has released its “Top Ten Dessert Trends for 2014,” sponsored by Otis Spunkmeyer®. The popular report looks at market trends around sweets and treats. Based on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves®, the list identifies the significant behaviors of consumers, foodservice professionals and manufacturers, with original recipes and photographs to illustrate each trend.

The Food Channel Top 10 Dessert Trends for 2014:
Spoon Desserts – Puddings and other soft desserts—called “spoonables”—are big.
Layers – We are layering just about anything.
Hand Pies – The mini dessert has finally extended itself to the pie.
Midwestern Influence – One of the big trends for 2014 is Midwestern foods, and when it comes to desserts that means cobblers, pies, crisps, tarts, upside down cakes, and bar cookies.
Mashups and Muffins – Muffins are the new doughnuts, or what some are calling the duffin.
Pepper, Flavored Salts, and International Spices – New desserts on the menu are heavy on the stronger spices. Cracked pepper is particularly on the rise.
Dessert Butters – These are actually ground up cookies turned into a soft filling that is perfect for rolling into a truffle or adding to a sandwich cookie.
Crepes – People are looking to add adventure to their repertoire, and crepes fit the bill.
Nuts – Nuts are big in desserts right now, particularly as we tally up the health benefits.
Small Batch Desserts – We don’t have to make enough dessert to feed an army to be satisfied; we’ve discovered it’s okay to just make a little.

To view the complete Top Ten Dessert Trends story as well as the recently released Top 10 Valentine’s Dessert article, visit www.foodchannel.com.

EVOL Foods Expands Frozen Entree Product Line

EVOL® Foods, Boulder-based maker of new age frozen meals, burritos and snacks, is introducing two new innovative product lines: MultiServe Skillet Meals and Lean & Fit single serve meals. These new products further round out EVOL’s growing product portfolio while still remaining committed to providing, convenient, clean food made with real ingredients that taste great. The MultiServe Skillet Meals also marks the first time EVOL has moved beyond the singe serve market, with meals meant to be cooked on the stovetop and served for two.

“Our food philosophy is simple: love what you eat. At EVOL, we are a on a continued quest to find innovative ways to provide delicious food without sacrificing nutrition, flavor or convenience,” said founder Phil Anson. “Our new MultiServe Skillet Meals and Lean & Fit Meals mark our continued evolution as a company and I think people are going to be truly excited when they taste these new products and realize they are a standout in the frozen food category, showing that just because something is convenient doesn’t mean you have to give up on unique flavors and taste.”

New MultiServe Skillet Meals for Two

EVOL has expanded its reach and flavor profile, as well as moves beyond the single serve market for the first time, with the introduction of the new MultiServe line of frozen entrees. Available in six flavors that are sure to appeal to everyone’s palate, the new MultiServe Skillet entree options take you on an exploration of flavor, creating new dishes that are meant for two.  The entrees are ready in just 10 minutes, combining the convenience of frozen food, with simple clean ingredients. Share the food love and EVOL goodness and take your dinner to the next level with one of the new MultiServe Skillet meals, including:

  • Uncured Bacon Mac & Cheese – a comfort food lover’s dream, this meal features elbow macaroni, crispy uncured bacon and peas, combined with a rich, delicious cheddar cheese sauce.
  • Thai Style Curry Chicken – EVOL’s first foray into Thai cuisine is sure to deliver on this authentic dish. With grilled white meat chicken, red bell peppers, baby corn, carrots, snap peas and white rice and a tasty Thai yellow curry sauce, this may become your new favorite dish.
  • Teriyaki Chicken – a new gluten free, classic dish features grilled white meat chicken, red and green bell peppers, snap peas, carrots, broccoli and brown rice with a zesty teriyaki sauce.
  • Grilled Chicken Parmesan – this Italian classic starts with grilled white meat chicken and brings together spinach, basil, penne pasta and parmesan cheese in a roasted garlic tomato sauce.
  • Chicken Tikka Masala – Indian comfort food with a hint of spice, this gluten free dish combines grilled white meat chicken, carrots, peas and white rice in a rich and creamy tikka masala sauce.
  • Butternut Squash and Sage Ravioli – enjoy the savory flavor combinations of a sage and roasted garlic sauce with grilled tomatoes and kale coating delicious ravioli stuffed with roasted butternut squash and ricotta cheese.

New Lean & Fit Entrees

Stay true to your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier with EVOL’s all-natural Lean & Fit meals.  This new line takes EVOL’s mission to love what you eat to a new level, further showing that you do not have to compromise on flavor or convenience when you choose to eat healthy. As with all of EVOL Foods’ entrees and classic dishes, these frozen entrees are made with simple, clean ingredients and no preservatives or artificial ingredients. The single-serve Lean & Fit meals are all 300 calories and Low in Fat.  The exciting flavors include:

  • Teriyaki Chicken – a healthy take on a classic favorite, including grilled white meat chicken, brown rice, red and green bell peppers, snap peas, carrots and broccoli tossed in teriyaki sauce.
  • Lemongrass Chicken - tender white meat chicken, brown rice, broccoli, carrots and snap peas all come together with a fragrant, delicious lemongrass sauce.
  • Chicken Tandoori – enjoy a lean version of this popular Indian dish with grilled white meat chicken, brown rice, roasted tomatoes, carrots and peas in a traditional tandoori sauce.
  • Chicken Penne Pomodoro – this classic dish will appeal to the pasta lover in anyone, with whole wheat penne, red & green bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, spinach and grilled white chicken in a roasted garlic tomato sauce.

The MultiServe Skillet Meals and Lean & Fit Meals will be available nationwide at Target, Harris Teter as well as in select grocery stores. The Multiserve Meals will retail for $6.99 to $8.49 and the Lean & Fit Meals will retail for $3.99-$4.99.