"exotic" news and stories
Bell compiled a list of the top ten sweet and savory flavors of the upcoming year. For sweet flavors, mango was at the top, along with acai, lychee, pomegranate, mint, blueberry, verbena, goji, noni and guarana. For the savory category, we can look forward to these flavors being dominant: achiote, sofrito, ras-al-hanout, tandoori, tea smoked, chermoula, cumac, kaffir lime, pandan and tamarind.
Flavor creators are going for exotic and unusual flavors both to capitalize on the health aspect and to recapture consumer interest. Apparently, consumers get bored easily, or something. I just can't imagine that, growing up in the MTV generation, and all. So, to get our attention back on their products, flavor industry persons are going to throw us a bunch of super fruits which will be the answer to all our health problems. I say, every little bit helps, so bring it on.
Trifter.com has oh-so helpfully provided us with eight of the "most disgusting delicacies" - although we prefer to think of them not as disgusting, per se, but as ...daring. Different. Deconstructed.
Some of the more colorful examples? In Morocco, you can indulge in oil made from goat excrement. The goats climb the trees in search of food, and the resulting oil is though to have medicinal purposes. Or you could hop over to Italy and try some Casu Frazigu. Sound exotic? It's made when a fly lays its eggs on cheese, and maggots hatch and crawl throughout the cheese. So, essentially, it's rotten maggot cheese.
But that's just kids' stuff compared to what awaits you in Southeast Asia: balut, a fertilized duck egg, comes complete with a partially formed duck fetus inside - at no extra charge! Just season with salt and pepper, and dig in.
And for dessert, engage your senses with Sumatran coffee beans [ed. note - pictured]. Not adventurous enough for you? Well, they come fresh out of the digestive track of a civet, a small, cat-like creature. The civet eats the beans, and when they are excreted, they are scrubbed clean and brewed.
Happy Valentine's Day!
My three year old is in a cooking class learning to make artisanal breads.
Well, my two year old will only eat raw milk cheeses that have been smuggled into the country by our friends traveling abroad.
Oh yeah? My 7 month old will only eat sushi, foie gras and foods prepared by Ferran Adria.
It looks like having kids with gourmet palates is the newest status symbol for the "urban sophisticate." They want their kids to appreciate the finer things in life as soon as possible, so members of this food-forward group of parents - foodies, chowhounds and gourmets all - try to expose their kids to as many different foods as they can. They enroll them in kids-only cooking classes so that they can get some hands-on experience and take them to fine dining restaurants - many of which now offer smaller kid-sized portions - as well as cooking dishes from around the world at home.
Those outside of this adventurous eater movement are less enthralled with it than the parents of the children are, even if the "outsiders" are parents themselves. Not only do they feel that there is no reason to push so much so soon (even adults like mac and cheese!), but some foods like medium rare burgers and sushi seem like they might be opening children to heath risks. The biggest concern arises with restaurants, where many patrons feel that the experience is lessened when they have to sit next to a cranky child. Restaurateurs and chefs, on the other hand, don't seem to mind quite as much. "Eric Ripert, the chef at Le Bernardin, Zagat's highest-rated restaurant in New York, thinks his dress code helps keep children in line. 'They have a tie, so they are almost strangled already,' he said. 'They don't move much.'"
Vosges doesn't leave you on your own to come up with recipes that the chocolate chips can be included in, either. With each of the three types of chocolate chips, they list several recipes that will work perfectly with them. For example the Red Fire Martini and Love Goddess Cake work well with the Red Fire Chips and the Black Pearl Chips are the star in Full Moon Brownies.
For some time brands like Ethnic Gourmet have been producing frozen entrees and sides with Asian dishes from China, Thailand, and India; now they have added other cuisines like American Southwest and Italian, amped up with a bit more spice and flair than we are used to. Many other brands are stretching the culinary envelope into areas like Morocco, with Fairfield Farm Kitchens making refrigerated soups like Moroccan Stew, Tibetan Curried Soup, and Hungarian Vegetable Noodle Soup, all based on a recipes from the well known Moosewood Restaurant. They also have other offerings like Jamaican Style Jerk Chicken with Wehani rice and Thai Style Chicken Curry. Paani Foods Inc. is exploring other areas of African cuisine with Jollof Rice with Chicken and Peas, a mainstream Nigerian dish, and a West African Meat Pie. Two frozen entrees I can't wait to try.
Expect to see Latin cuisine defined by national dishes and regional recipes from places like the Yucatan showing up in your grocers freezer. Indian food has had a strong showing lately and now we can expect to see the tastes and spices amped up so that if the box says spicy, it will be. Also you can expect many of these frozen ethnic foods to be organic and from humanely raised livestock. I love that we are going to be exposed to more varied offerings in the freezer aisle. For many this will be first tastes of new cuisines, with the opportunity to explore safely from our home. I can't think of a better way to get exposed to the varied food of our global society as we eat our way deeper into the 21st century.