Monthly Archives: June 2016

Where in the World to get the best Barbecue

The South African Braai is more than a barbecue. Much more. It is part of the national culture. While closely associated with the boers or Afrikaaners, it has been taken up by every South African. Everyone, that is, except for the total vegetarians and animal activists.

Most homes have a built in braai on their patios, and of course the climate is ideal for the outdoor life.

Every celebration, holiday or weekend is an excellent reason for a braai. A braai begins with lighting the charcoal and allowing it to become hot and the flames to die down. Wood is often added – hard wood from Namibia – that burns for many hours.

A whole range of foods are served from the South African Braai. The most common of these are beef steaks, lamb chops, chicken, kebabs and boerewors. Boerewors is a South African beef sausage made with beef and a variety of spices. Every butcher has his own recipe.

The Poitie Kos is a cast iron pot with little legs. It is placed over the coals to make a slow cooked stew or casserole using a range of ingredients. Many Afrikaans families have their own secret and highly prized recipes.

Marinades for the meat include coke, wine, and a variety of spices.

Fish braais are very popular. A large fish is usually marinated with herbs, spices, wine and wrapped in foil to cook slowly over the coals of wood.

Potatoes and onions are wrapped in foiled and cooked in the fire. ‘Mealies’ or corn on the cob are grilled on the rack.

The beers begin as soon as – or before – the fire is lit, and it could be several hours before the food is actually cooked.

The meat, fish, or poitie kos is served with salads and rolls.

Source:

  1. Best BBQ in America – BBQ Restaurants in USA – Thrillist
  2. How to Create a food diary step by step
  3. Best Barbecue Restaurants in the World | Travel + Leisure

Image Credit

When your Favorite Restaurant changes Ownership

When you see the sign “new owners”, literally, the writing is on the wall.

If the previous owners were a family run business, new ownership means that the previous family has left the building. They have gone, and with them they have taken some beloved memories and recipes. Most of the family is going to leave with the previous owners. You might have wait-staff and bussers who stay, but your cooks and meal preparers will be out the door.

A restaurant that we frequented often, would bring a giant stuffed bear to your table and let him have dinner with you. My children would be so excited knowing that we were going to the Family Buggy for dinner. It was not only the food but the entire atmosphere. They had an old fashioned gift shop at the register and our children would always get some treat on the way out. In the height of the BEANIE BABY days, the Family Buggy also kept a nice supply of these at the gift shop also.

The hostess knew if you had children, you would want the best view of the electric train that constantly ran through the restaurant. She knew that my grandfather had a special diet, and would patiently list the ingredients of each item he inquired about. Years later, the owner also would lay a silent hand on my shoulder, while my grandmother (who by then had Alzheimer’s) told them the same story that she had told them when we first sat down.

And the salads! I would give up just anything to get a spoonful of their famous dressing. One evening was I was pregnant, I sent my husband to the restaurant, for a take out, carrying a large Tupperware pasta container. They filled the whole canister free of charge for me with the special dressing! We never could convince them to part with the recipe though.

Sadly, every day I drive by that location at least twice. Each time I see that streaming banner out saying “new owners”, I think it might as well say “Keep Driving” or “We’re not as good as them, but try us anyways”. The new place can just never compare.

Source:

  1. Frisch's
  2. How To Prevent Heartburn Without Medication
  3. Why do so many restaurants fail quickly after a change in ownership …

Image Credit

What is Pulled Pork or Easy Slow Cooker Recipe for Pulled Pork

How to Make Pulled Pork in a Slow Cooker

 Pulled pork is simply cooked and shredded pork we have learned to enjoy in a spicy (usually southwestern style) sauce, but it has a history, as long as men have butchered pigs, and women have had pots, people have enjoyed pulled pork.

In the earliest days a wild boar brought to the village after a successful hunt would have been cooked whole, over a communal fire pit, and shared with everyone. 

Irrespective of whether it was a wild, or domestic pig raised to provide meat, the butchering process was still the same.  The hog was either skinned or dipped in boiling water and the bristles scrapped off.   To make preserving, (brining, smoking) the meat easier the carcass was then divided in half, because the spine of the hog was so difficult to cut before the days of gas or electric saws cuts were made a few inches from each side of the spine separating the ribs from the back.  The meat that could be readily trimmed from the back bone was removed and the rest was either thrown to the dogs or cut into foot long sections and given to people not considered good enough to eat at the main table, regardless of whether they were serf, slave or sharecropper. 

The meat in and around the spine is not easily removed so, the whole bone in a pot and cooked it until the pork could easily be pulled from the bone, hence the name “pulled pork.”

 Since the advent of grocery stores and electricity, if you want to make pulled pork you can buy a pork roast or a fresh pork shoulder, any cut, bone in or not will make excellent “pulled” pork.  If you have a small family and use a whole pork shoulder the amount of cooked pork may seem overwhelming, so several recipes and serving suggestions are included.  Remember the cooked meat can be packaged in freezer bags for quick after work meals at a later time. The day before you want to serve the pulled pork, trim away excess fat on most modern cuts of pork there will not be a great deal of fat, however if you use a fresh pork shoulder there is considerably more fat to trim.

Place the pork in the slow cooker, at least one half to three quarters of a pound per person to be served season with ¼ cup finely chopped onion and, 1 teaspoon minced garlic per pound of pork, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.Some cooks add whole hot red peppers and generous amounts of cumin at this time, cooking the heat right into the meat.  However it is easy to get carried away with hot spices and end up with a product that is so hot most people cannot tolerate it.  A safer option is to serve with hot sauce, so each person is in control of their own “heat”.  Making sure there is about an inch of water in the bottom of the slow cooker turn it to lowest heat setting.  Let it cook all day or until the meat falls apart and off of any bone.  If the meat does not fall apart let it continue to cook overnight.  When the pork falls apart when touched with a fork drain off and save any liquid from the meat.  Refrigerate until three or four hours before you plan to serve if reheating in slow cooker.

Pulled pork sandwiches are probably the most famous way to serve the pulled pork.  Shred the pork with a fork and mix with your favorite commercial barbeque, or sloppy joe sauce reheat in the slow cooker and serve over oven toasted Kaiser rolls and top with grated cheddar cheese.   To oven toast Kaiser Rolls slice rolls in half spread with softened butter or margarine and toast cut side up under broiler until golden brown. Serve open face or as a regular sandwich.

An excellent way to use leftover pulled pork in barbeque sauce is to mix in a cassarole dish with equal parts black beans,rice and corn, top with grated cheese and heat in 350 degree oven about thirty minutes or until hot through and cheese is melted.

Another way to serve Pulled Pork, make a rue, melt 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine and 1 rounded tablespoon flour (in medium hot skillet) per cup of the liquid you saved from the meat.  Stir rue (flour and butter) until browned add the liquid from meat, if you don’t have enough broth to make the amount of gravy you want you can simply add water to make a sufficient amount of golden brown gravy after adding liquid to the rue stir over heat until gravy is smooth and creamy, add meat to gravy usually 1 cup of pork to 1 cup of gravy, for variation add a can of cream of mushroom soup, and serve over mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, or biscuits.

Source:

  1. Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. Are Protein Shakes worthy Money?
  3. 5-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork – Simple Slow-Cooker Recipes

Image Credit

What is Glatt Kosher

The actual defenition of glatt kosher is when the lungs of a slaughtered animal are smooth and defect free. Today it means of the highest kosher supervision and degree.

So what is the difference between kosher and glatt kosher? An animal that is kosher for consumption has to fit a certain criteria. It firstly has to have split hooves, and secondly has to chew the cud. Chewing the cud is a form of digestion that some herbivorous animals have adopted. Cows, deer and sheep all chew the cud and have split hooves, and thus are kosher, or fit for consumption. The animal has to be slaughtered according to religious specifications, and, if not, it is considered treif or not kosher. After the animal is slaughtered, the lungs are carefully inspected, and if completely smooth and free of deformities, it is considered glatt Kosher. If damage or deformities are found, the meat is considered treif.

Today a more informal attitude to the meaning of glatt kosher is used, and most understand it to mean kosher to the highest standard, meaning more or stricter rabbinical supervision has been followed for the product or products in question. Today it is extremely common to find non mean items labeled as glatt kosher, with the understanding that those who see the identification, understand its signification.

There are also other and different kosher identification. Some like the Lubovich sect only eat meat from a Lubovich slaughter, thinking it guarantees them less of a chance of encountering treif. In truth, all kosher slaughter houses adhere to the same rules and regulations. There is also Halav Yisrael, translated to mills of Israel. Another type of kosher supervision that believes that theirs is better.

There are many supervision levels within the kosher world. they all carry a guarantee of the rabbi in charge of the seal that everything within is kosher or glatt kosher.

For Jewish custom and tradition, food preparation and specific diet is rooted in the religion itself. From what is eaten, to how it is prepared, to the way the animal is slaughtered is extremely important and taken into account.

Source:

  1. Glatt kosher – Wikipedia
  2. Hummus Health Benefits: Nutrition Facts
  3. Glatt Kosher – My Jewish Learning

Image Credit

Unique Dinner Dishes Microwave Lasagna

Microwave Lasagna

The beauty of this is you do not have to pre-cook the noodles! My sister used to make this when the kids were still at home hoping to have some to freeze. Every time she made it there was not even one tablespoon of leftovers. It was definitely as delicious as it was easy. Works well for covered dish dinners at work or church too. It also freezes very well if you make 2 batches. 

32 oz prepared spaghetti sauce plus 1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cup cottage cheese (no fat if you want to cut the fat)

1 egg mixed with 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (can be low fat)

1 package lasagna noodles – I like the whole wheat ones

1# ground round cooked, browned and drained – stir into sauce. You may also use ground elk or venison meat for a leaner version of this recipe. 

Combine the cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese and egg mixture – stir together

1/2 pound mozzarella OR low fat cheddar cheese grated 

In a glass cake pan (13X9) place one layer of noodles to cover the bottom of the pan. 

Layer the cheese mixture, meat sauce and grated cheese then another layer of the uncooked noodles. 

Cover with plastic wrap and cook in microwave for 8 minutes on high. Then continue cooking another 30-32 minutes on 50% power till tender and allow to stand 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with a tossed or fruit salad and you have dinner. This freezes well but I have never had any leftover unless I made TWO batches, one to eat and one to freeze. Kids love it and so do adults. It is definitely a favorite whenever I take it to a church dinner or to work when we all bring something to share with the group.

Source:

  1. Microwave Foods – 15 Ways to Cook Unbelievably Lavish Food in …
  2. Cleveland Clinic Diet
  3. Microwave Lasagna Recipe | Taste of Home

Image Credit

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle casserole is a timeless classic. The following recipe is wonderfully creamy and cheesy. If you are really in a hurry, you can omit some of the vegetables or substitute with others that you have on hand. This recipe is also great to make if you have noodles left over.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups medium noodles
1 (7 oz.) can tuna
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp processed American cheese

PREPARATION

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Stir in tuna, celery, mayonnaise, onion, salt and green pepper. In a saucepan combine soup and milk and heat through. Add cheese, heat and stir until cheese melts. Add to noodle mixture. Turn into 2-quart casserole. Bake uncovered in 425 degrees F oven for 20 minutes. Makes six servings.

Source:

  1. Campbell's Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
  2. Is Tea A Diuretic
  3. Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch Recipe – Allrecipes.com

Image Credit

Traditional Apple Cider Drinks for the Holidays

When pumpkins appear on stands at local farmers’ markets and roadside fruit stands, apple cider season is at hand. Although it can be purchased at your local grocery store any time of the year, it is best when leaves turn to gold and crimson; we take comfort in a cup of hot cider after a day of cold autumn winds. Fresh cider is best and if you are fortunate enough to have local apple farms in your area, you can take delight in the many different ways to enhance its flavor.

Mulled cider is a great drink to serve at pumpkin festivals, fall festivals and Halloween parties. Many times where cider is sold, spices can be purchased in small cartons labeled “Mulled Spices”. Place a tablespoon, or more if desired, on a piece of cheesecloth or coffee filter and twist with a twist tie. Drop in to a pot of hot cider and await the wonderful aroma of fresh cinnamon and cloves. The longer the spices remain in the cider, the stronger the spice flavor becomes and  are easily removed once desired strength is achieved.

If you like cranberry and apple drinks, you will love the romantic flavor of hot apple cider mixed with cranberry wine. Pour approximately one gallon of apple cider in a small crock-pot and let simmer. Add some mulled spices if desired and right before guests arrive for Thanksgiving dinner, add one cup of cranberry wine, a drink that will warm your guests and get them in a festive spirit. A nice touch is to add one cinnamon stick in each glass before the drink is poured and doubles as a stir stick.

A traditional punch for the Christmas holidays can be served cold and the recipe is as follows:

Freeze these ingredients in a round bunt pan or jell mould the day before or sooner if you like.
1/2 bag of cranberries
3 cups apple cider
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup cranberry wine or juice

In large punch bowl add:
1 to 2 gallons chilled apple cider
Dip frozen mould in hot water to release and add to contents of punch bowl
If you want to add a special touch, place a shiny red apple in the center of the mold.

This homemade recipe is a holiday tradition at our house and always sure to bring a compliment or two to the hostess. A glass of apple cider over ice can be a hit at any holiday dinner, depending on what your guests prefer or what your family traditions are, but sometimes a little spice is just what you need to get the party started and perhaps, begin a new tradition at your house.

Source:

  1. Cider Recipes – Allrecipes.com
  2. Stop Eating Too Much & Eat Less Healthy Guidelines
  3. Nonalcoholic Holiday Drinks | Martha Stewart

Image Credit

Why it is so Important to Pick the right Wild Mushroom Species

Mushroom hunting is an adventure on its own. Depending on what type of survival training you may end up going through, you will eventually learn how to hunt for mushrooms. This is in case you are left in the wilderness without any supply of food. In that case, you have to look for your own food supplies. If you are one of many that have played “Metal Gear Solid 3: Operation Snake Eater,” you should be somewhat knowledgeable in mushroom hunting.

The reason you are taught mushroom hunting is so that you do not go out in the wild and pick the wrong mushrooms. While there are plenty of edible mushrooms in the wild, there are plenty of toxic mushrooms. Eating the wrong mushrooms will require you to seek immediate medical treatment. There are some mushrooms toxic enough to put you six feet under.

When learning to hunt for mushrooms you will be educated about the different types of species. You will know which species of mushrooms are edible and which species of mushrooms are inedible. That way, you will know what type of mushrooms to pick and what type of mushrooms to leave alone. Or, if you feel like being evil, know what type of toxic mushrooms to pick and give to somebody else.

The one type of wild mushroom that you need to completely avoid is the “Amanitas.” This mushroom, in its juvenile stages, has the shape of an egg. As this type of mushroom matures, the “egg” breaks open. As it becomes fully developed the amanita has a parasol-shaped cap with gills. Below the stem, there is the sac-like cup that seems to be the root.

They can be easily destroyed. For that reason the amanitas mushrooms need to avoided at all cost. These mushrooms contain a poison called “amanita virosa.” One cap has enough poison to kill a person. They are specifically found during summer and fall on the ground in the woods. If you eat one by accident expect to take a permanent trip to the afterlife.

There are other mushrooms to avoid such as false morels, little brown mushrooms, jack-o-lanterns, and green-spored lepiotas.

Asides from the Amanitas, you need to beware of the little brown mushrooms. There are plenty that are poisonous. However, you could end up eating a mushroom that is a hallucinogen. But, there are certain types of these mushrooms that contain the same poison as the amanitas. Thus, eating the wrong type of little brown mushroom will put you six feet under. To be on the safe side, avoid all little brown mushrooms. This is similar to handling snakes. Like little brown mushrooms, you treat all snakes as poisonous.

If you value your life this is why you have to be cautious on which mushroom species are safe when hunting. The right species will give you sustenance while the wrong species will cause you to be sick or cause you to die.   

Source:

  1. Mushroom hunting
  2. Cinnamon Linked to Lower Blood Sugar
  3. How to pick wild mushrooms | Life and style | The Guardian

Image Credit

The history of coffee is as rich as the brew

The history of coffee dates back to more than a thousand years ago. As I read in Starbucks once, the history of coffee is as rich as the brew itself.

Let’s go way back and begin by talking about the legend itself. Did you know goats roaming in the hills of Ethiopia over a thousand years ago, discovered coffee and got buzzed? The legend tells the story of a shepherd named Kaldi, who observed the goats acting very unusual after eating red berries from a bush.

Kaldi was very curious about the behavior of the goats and when he realized the goats did not die from consuming the berries, he himself wanted to see what reaction he would get if he ate them. To his pleasant surprise he found he had been re-energized and exhilarated.

Now this is just a legend, but I don’t think we will ever know how much of this is true. The legend goes on to tell us the monks were so intrigued by the behavior of the goats and Kaldi, that they also began eating the berries. The monks had some reservations since they believed it was the devils fruit but they believed it would help to keep them awake during their all night inspiration of prayers.

Kaldi soon spread the word and coffee became a part of the Ethiopian culture. As a matter of fact, an Arabian physician named Rhazes mentions coffee in print in the tenth century. However, it was not called coffee, it was called Bunn. It was believed that the beans and leaves of the bushes were chewed but the Ethiopians quickly brewed the leaves and berries with boiled water that tasted very much like a weak tea. As they continued to experiment with the beans, someone roasted and grounded them sometime in the 16th century. Bravo! Coffee was born.

It did not take long before the word spread through trade across the Red Sea with the Arabs who took to the stimulating drink. This is where it rose to the elixir it became, in Yemen, a province in Arabia. Coffee plantations in Yemen were perfectly grown on slopes rising above sea level. Thick mists ascended from the low coast regions allowing protection from the hot sun. The mists would disappear in the evening when the sun went down allowing the plantations to maintain equal temperatures.

By the 13th century, Muslims were drinking coffee religiously. Before long, coffee went to North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and India. By the fifteenth century, coffee was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. However, Arabia controlled the industry for several centuries and only exported roasted, infertile beans to trading partners in both Europe and Asia.

The drink gained so much popularity that it became a “hot” commodity, and people began to smuggle the coffee. In 1616, the Dutch smuggled trees to Holland and being one of the world’s largest shipping trade at that time, it was easy to do.

In the mid 1600’s coffee had reached the British and took London by storm. The first coffee advertisement was made upon the opening of a coffeehouse by a Greek, Pasqua Rosee. It was called “The Vertue of the COFFEE Drink” and said:

A simple innocent thing, composed into a Drink, by being dryed in an Oven, and ground to Powder, and boiled up with Spring water, and about half a pint of it to be drunk, lasting an hour before, and not Eating an hour after, and to be taken as hot as possibly can be endured.
Pasqua Rosee also claimed that the drink would aid in many ailments such as curing headaches, gout, coughs and prevents miscarriages. He stated the following:

“It will prevent Drowsiness, and make one fit for business, if one have occasion to Watch; and therefore you are not to Drink of it after Supper unless you intend to be watchful for it will hinder sleep for 3 or 4 hours”

In the early 1700’s, coffee finally reached many other countries like Germany and France and soon coffeehouses were established gaining popularity in many German cities.
By 1750, coffee trees were growing on five continents and known for a quick pick me up or an aid to sobering up the heavy alcohol abusers in Europe. It also began to be known as a social drink.

Cultivation was happening all over, the French managed to get shrubs and established plantations and the French and the Dutch founded huge coffee plantations in South America and guarded their crop. In Guatemala and El Salvador, coffee cultivation exploded in growth and inequality with plantations being owned by the wealthy and mistreatment of the population. In Costa Rica, cultivation resulted in democracy, small farms and slow but steady growth.

However, it was Brazil who began coffee cultivation in 1727 and was to become the largest coffee growing nation. Columbia became the second largest coffee exporter. Brazil accounted for 66 percent of coffee exports while 30 percent of coffee came from Africa.

So what was happening here in America? Well in 1777, over a hundred women in Boston raided a food warehouse for coffee. In the early 1800’s particularly after the War of 1812, the taste for coffee here in America was becoming very hungry. In the mid nineteenth century, people bought coffee beans from local general stores that purchased them in bulk from the West or East Indies.

Women roasted the beans by frying them on their stoves constantly stirring. This did not work very well and beans were eventually grounded in a manufacturing coffee mill. Women would usually brew by boiling grounds in water and drink when grounds settled on the bottom.

In 100 years, coffee became a commodity crop throughout the world. Fortunes were made and fortunes were lost as not all crops flourished. Coffee by the 18th century was one of the world’s most profitable export crops.

By 1898 2,000,000,000 pounds of coffee was produced and Brazil accounted for 70 percent. The coffee industry was booming by the late 1800’s allowing for large companies to import and make huge profit gains but with substantial risks.

Dominating importers such as B.G. Arnold and Bowie Dash & Co., of New York and O.G. Kimball & Co. of Boston otherwise known as “Trinity” were described as ruling the coffee market for the United States for ten years. The firm made millions but ended in 1880 after the death of O.G. Kimball.

It became clear in 1878 that Brazil was gaining market share that could not be competed with. It was reported after the Kimball’s death the company had liabilities in excess of $1,400,000. Losses related to coffee had amounted to $7 million and $3 million was reported lost in the following year. The history of coffee trade in this country was a record loss and the company went bankrupt.

A year later, an exchange was created in New York with B.G. Arnold as president and soon became the center of world attention. Prices were increased, buying and selling was happening but it was a syndicate in Brazil that boomed the market closing above 21 cents by June of 1887.

By December, the price plummeted to 16 cents and was known as “the slaughter of the bulls”. It was Hermann Sielcken of W. H. Crossman & Brother that purchased 100,000 bags at declining prices and was proclaimed as the one who saved the market bringing the price back up.

Soon coffee exchanges in Europe were responding very quickly with the New York Coffee Exchange tracking the daily price for deliveries comparing with previous prices. Up and through the early 1900’s the exchange suffered its ups and downs as competition lured the market.

In 1909 Sielcken purchased the Woolson Spice Company for $869,000 and made himself a millionaire and saved the Brazilian coffee industry. . Woolson Spice was an ailing company that was purchased by the deceased H. O. Havemeyer who purchased the company for more than $2M and lost $15 million.

Sielcken got a bargain on this deal and turned it around by putting together a consortium of German and British banks and coffee merchants. The syndicate had negotiated loans and used the coffee as security with Brazil. The prices remained stagnant at 7 cents per pound and Sielcken claimed it was the best loans he had ever known but Brazil had mortgaged itself to the syndicate. Sielcken was known as the Coffee King who made millions through the Brazilian vaporization scheme.

Price wars began and Sielcken was sued by the U.S. Attorney General, J. C. McReynolds citing he was manipulating the coffee industry with the Brazilian government. As a result of this legal battle, taxes were abandoned on new plantings and it was clear that Brazil was not immune to competition from other coffee growing countries. Brazil no longer dominated the coffee world as it slowly eroded. The suit was dismissed in early 1913 but nevertheless, Sielcken was a millionaire with an estate valued at over $4 million at the time of his death.

In the early 1900’s Coca Cola came to the legal ground as the cousin of coffee claiming the common drug of caffeine was a prime ingredient in the soft drink. The Judge in the case cited that whether caffeine was a poison or not it was NOT an added ingredient under the law but an integral part of the formula. Coca-Cola won the case proving all testimony was irrelevant.

With all the speculation and controversy surrounding the now called “drug” caffeine, decaf was created. In 1906, shortly after a famous agronomist Luther Burbank claimed his father’s death was as a result of the so called “poison” caffeine, Ludwig Roselius, a German merchant was successful in extracting the caffeine from green beans by superheating them with steam, then flooding them with the solvent benzol.

He patented the process and formed his company in 1906. In Germany it was known as Kaffee Hag and in France it was known as Sanka. Here in the United States it was known as Dekafa from the Merck drug company.

Before coffee, it was Ivory Soap, Listerine and Coca-Cola that claimed the market since coffee was a difficult distribution. Folgers, Hills Brothers, Maxwell House, Chase & Sanborn, Arbuckle Brothers were the visionary coffee companies established. Arbuckle had the Yuban brand but sold it to General Foods because it refused to pay for a national campaign resulting in it fading from the market.

The greatest threat was Eight O’clock Coffee, a private brand from A & P that held its position for privately labeled brands in years to come as it expanded its chain of grocery stores.

In 1921, it was Teddy Roosevelt who supposedly claimed Maxwell House Coffee to be “good to the last drop” but this was done through an advertisement leading one to believe that Mr. Roosevelt did not really make this statement. However, this slogan is still used today in the Maxwell House advertising campaigns.

As the years went by through WWII, coffee was exploding and new brands were being created as well as slogans. Price wars were still going on through the 1980’s and ad campaigns and slogans were all over the world.

Chock full o’ Nuts came out with:

“Chock full o’ Nuts is that heavenly coffee, Heavenly coffee, heavenly coffee; Chock full o’ Nuts is that heavenly coffee, better coffee Rockefeller’s money can’t buy”

On November 14, 1949, the New York Times stated:

Over second and third cups flow matters of high finance, high state, common gossip and low comedy. Coffee is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds, a stimulant of wit, a foiler of sleep if you want it so. From roadside mugs to the classic demitasse, it is the perfect democrat.

The 1952 Coffee Annual is quoted as saying

“There’s every sign that coffee will remain the country’s leading beverage forever” – Wow that was right on.

There was a 1921 ad

That coffee always provided a pick-me-up that helps workers get through the day providing a drug instead of rest according to many critics. The ad shows a worker drinking a cup of coffee and at the bottom of the ad it states “Coffee An Aid to Factory Efficiency”.

Ads were in magazines, newspapers, television and radio and became a huge campaign. Chase & Sanborn became well known as it launched its jitterbug craze at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

In 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt had a radio show every Sunday evening called “Over Our Coffee Cups”

sponsored by the Pan American Coffee Bureau. Displayed above her at the studio was a sign that said “Get More Out of Life with Coffee – The Americans Favorite Drink”

Frank Sinatra

Frank once sang, “The Coffee Song” and during the fifties coffee became accepted in America.

Jim Henson

Did you know that Jim Henson, the famous muppeteer launched his career by doing coffee ads for Wilkins Coffee using the puppet Wontkins.

Creativity was taken on a new task as we were introduced to Latte’s and the like with flavored beans. When Starbucks launched its IPO in June of 1992 it was on everyone’s radar. Starbucks was aggressive and was to rule the world succeeding in becoming one of the global coffee giants as the largest leading coffeehouses.

Let’s rule out some of the myths that still exist today around the effects of caffeine and some of those concern heart disease, ulcers, and possibly cancer. There are no studies that suggest any long term risks, although coffee is often thought of as a stimulant.

Years ago, actor Robert Young campaigned for Sanka decaf advertisements. With the myths surrounding coffee and its reputation for being a “drug”, Robert Young was the perfect choice with shows like Father Knows Best and Marcus Welby, M.D. giving advice to avoid caffeine.

Of course everything we ingest should be taken in moderation; that is common sense. Coffee and caffeine have been implicated in a number of ailments but studies failed to confirm negative findings.

After several hours of research on this topic, I found myself spending the most time reading the very extensive work done by the author Mark Pendergrast. In his book “Uncommon Grounds” he gives a very detailed history of Coffee after spending three years traveling and researching this subject.

The complete history of coffee is such an interesting story from where it began to where it is today. No article can come near the details of all the issues that surrounded this market throughout the years than what I have found in this reading.

I highly recommend Mark Pendergrast’s book as you will truly find it all so fascinating.
I would like to close with this statement made by Mark Pendergrast located in the last paragraph of his book as it seems so appropriate.

“Only one thing is certain about coffee, though. Wherever it is grown, sold, brewed, and consumed, there will be lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation. “The best stories are told over coffee” wrote a wise commentator in 1902, “as the aroma of the coffee opens the portals of the soul, and the story, long hidden is winged for posterity.”

It couldn’t’ be said better than that.

Today, mostly all of us all enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Whether it is a cuppa joe, java, cuppa brew; cuppa jolt; mud or high test, this writer needs a cup first thing in the morning.

Whether it be decaf, caffeinated, flavored, roasted of whatever suits your fancy, we all have to admit that it is the first thing we look for in the morning to get us all jump started. For some of us, it is also the first thing we look for in mid afternoon when we get that tired feeling around 3:00 p.m. and need the quick pick me up.

Okay, so some of us drink it with our dessert after dinner too…..

Resources:
Mark Pendergrast, Uncommon Ground, New York, Basic Books, 1999
WWW – Coffee Universe, HISTORY OF COFFEE, www.coffeeuniverse.com
WWW Big Site of Amazing Facts HISTORY OF COFFEE, www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com
WWW Starbucks THE ROAST STORY, www.starbucks.com
WWW National Geographic’s COFFEE, www.nationalgeographic.com
WWW National Coffee Association of USA, Inc., THE HISTORY OF COFFEE, www.ncausa.org

Source:

  1. History of coffee
  2. TLC Diet
  3. The History of Coffee | Starbucks Coffee Australia

Image Credit

Which is more Important when it comes to Health Food Taste or Nutrition – Nutrition

Important to “health” food is nutrition; that’s why we call it health food. Nutrition doesn’t have to taste bad, however. Nutritious food can be wonderful if prepared with the right marinades or spices.

Raw fruits and vegetables are both tasty and nutritious. Add a little flair to sauteed vegetable by using virgin olive oil, garlic and a few pine nuts. Walnuts and other nuts eaten alone or as a snack are great, or they can added to salads add some pizazz to the food.

Use vegetable oils to fry meat or saute vegetables. It contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, both of which are necessary for a healthy diet. Light olive oil makes an excellent dressing for salad also. Sprinkle a little oregano in with the olive oil and vinegar and you kick up the taste of the salad.

Even the foods we can’t seem to live without, like cornbread dressing with our turkey dinner can be prepared with healthy alternatives like adding wheat and grain bread to the mix to cut down on the corn meal consumption. A bit more sage will flavor the mix to where you’ll hardly notice the difference.

When it comes to meat dishes, the portion matters as much as the nutrition. Animal meat adds unhealthy saturated fat to the diet and it’s true that most Americans consume far more animal meat that is needed. Lean cuts of beef, chicken and pork can be grilled on the outside grill for added taste and less fat.

Fish is a great health food. Certain kinds of fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial to cardiovascular health.

Let’s face it, most people (not all) do not adopt a healthy diet until they are compelled to by deteriorating health. It would be far more helpful if we started our families down this path on day one, but we don’t.

You can change your families diet without depriving them of tasty food. The change can be so gradual they won’t even notice. Switch to olive oil, add nuts and more fruit to your diet and cut down on the servings of meat by adding nutritious and tasty casseroles to the meals several times a week.

The most difficult thing to remove from the family is donuts and baked goods. Good luck with that one!

Source:

  1. Is taste more important than nutrition? – Bug Debates – The Running …
  2. The Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss Diet: Works or Not
  3. What is more important to you, taste or nutrition? – Early …

Image Credit

The growth and processing of coffee

Can you smell it? That first, fresh, hot cup of coffee that wakes you up in the morning is so delicious. Or maybe it’s that aroma wafting for you as you finish off a fabulous meal with the perfect closer. A special cup of Coffea Arabica, or Arabica coffee. What flavor is your favorite?

Coffee. It’s what holds many people together through a difficult morning, or what relaxes others at the end of the day or after a meal. How does an individual go from that first sip to a love affair and a lifetime searching for and finding that perfect flavor, aroma or brand that speaks salvation?

Are you a coffee connoisseur, or will you drink any coffee anytime? There are two main types of coffee: Coffea Arabica, or Arabica coffee, and Coffea Canephora, also known as Robusta coffee. But how does it get from the plant to your cup? It’s actually an interesting process.

Robusta coffee is grown mainly in the lowlands, and it yields more cherries, or drupes, which results in a much higher pound per plant yield each year than the typical Arabica plant. This coffee plant is also more resistant to disease, contains more caffeine and matures more quickly. Because of this, it is less expensive to grow and process, and is used most commonly for commercial grades and institutional uses. This type of coffee is what typical individuals will find in their cups if they are purchasing from major chains which focus on low prices.

If you’ve been planning to expand your coffee horizon or you already prefer a more quality fragrance and taste, then Arabica coffees are your best bet for satisfying your taste buds. These coffee plants produce more complex flavor characteristics which will satisfy even the most gourmet appetite for caffeine. Arabica coffees are highly sensitive and must have specific growing conditions for optimal production and yield.

The Arabica coffee plant is indigenous to Ethiopia and Yemen, and was the first species to be cultivated and grown in southwest Arabia over one thousand years ago. Today, many Arabica coffees are successfully grown in South America and other parts of the world.

They are grown high in the mountains, sometimes referred to as “mountain coffees,” and must be in zones between 10 degrees north of the equator and 10 degrees south of the equator for best results. These mountainous regions are generally located in rain forest or jungle areas, where the temperature remains between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round or during the growing and harvesting seasons.

The Arabica plant needs approximately six inches of rainfall per month and there is generally a peak rainy or wet season with high humidity, mists and clouds in the most successful growing locations. The soil must be fertile and well-drained, and moderate winds help the plant produce between two and three pounds of green coffee per year.

When grown in the ideal areas of the world, plants can be planted, tended and harvested year-round for optimal yield. Once planted, it takes approximately five to seven years for an Arabica coffee plant to produce its first flowers, which are white and smell much like jasmine. When a plant begins to grow, it is important to keep the plant from producing the drupes, or cherries in the first few years, or it will produce more inferior coffee berries, or fruit. To avoid this, the plants are hand-pruned and weeded. They are also fertilized, many times with coffee pulp, to encourage the highest and best yields.

The green cherries ripen to red and are usually hand-picked one at a time, as the cherries ripen at different times. Occasionally the cherries are shaken to the ground, resulting in both ripened and unripened drupes being harvested, but this does not result in the most superior gourmet coffees.

There are usually two beans, or seeds, in each cherry, which are covered by skins or membranes. The outer skin is called the “parchment” and the inner skin is called “silver skin.” This silver skin has many useful possibilities. One such possibility includes recent production of a biomass chip made from the silver skin by a toy manufacturer.

If there is an extra seed, or only one seed, it is called a “pea berry.” These seeds add to the yield, and account for the approximately 3000 beans it takes to yield one pound of coffee.

Once harvested, the beans undergo a processing system. The wet or “washed” processing system is used where fresh water is plentiful. The pulp is removed from the cherry, and the coffee beans are released. The beans are then allowed to sit in water for 24-48 hours to ferment. This fermentation process produces a fine, acidic flavor, which is what most gourmet appetites are searching for in coffee. The remaining pulp is then washed away and the beans are spread flat on a patio to dry.

The beans are usually stirred, sifted or rolled, to encourage the drying process, and can even be put into mechanical dryers which use wood, gas or solar power to speed the drying process.

Dry processing is used when there is little water available in an area. The drupes are picked, and the skin and pulp are removed by hand tools or machinery. The beans are then dried on a patio for several weeks. While traveling through small jungle towns in Peru or Colombia you may have the opportunity to see beans spread on a patio, and you may even have to walk across them to get where you are going, for they are usually simply lying out in plain sight and children are often there to play around them or care for them.

For a very unusual flavor, a different, and rarer, type of dry processing can be used. First, the cherries are allowed to ripen and dry while still on the tree. This natural process takes several weeks, and then they are removed and de-pulped. This process results in a most unusual flavor and is often how the richer, more expensive gourmet coffees are processed.

Once the beans are thoroughly dried, they are polished and graded according to origin, size, quality of preparation and taste, or “cup quality.” Then the beans are bagged and ready for sale, or in the case of most Robusta coffees, they are often ground, bagged and then retailed. Many times they are roasted and possibly flavored before being bagged and sent to your local store. Many companies now offer home delivery through direct mail services which provide consumers with gourmet coffees without the hassle of a trip to a pricey, and sometimes difficult to find, gourmet shop.

The next time you take that first sip, imagine the beautiful jungle countryside where that sip originated from. Whether you are a coffee connoisseur, or you just enjoy a cup of strong, hot coffee, it will relax you or jazz you up for your day, depending on what you drink.

For a quick start, imagine the caffeine pumping through your veins, sending you off on a successful day at the office. For the calm morning, after-dinner coffee or relaxing evening, visualize those beautiful white flowers, the exotic smell of jasmine, and enjoy a moment!

Source:

  1. Coffee production
  2. Coffee vs. Green Tea
  3. 10 Steps from Seed to Cup – National Coffee Association of U.S.A.

Image Credit

What is your Favorite Beverage

Everyone has a certain favorite beverage, they have enjoyed. We all have heard the debates over the years with Coke and Pepsi, in which one has the better taste.

I really love Pepsi, I’m not sure what it is about  Pepsi that I love so much, but it has a certain taste to it, which will send your taste buds tingling.

I must say I do love the crisp taste of Coke, but there are certain types of Coke that I enjoy and maybe you will agree with me. I do love the way the original Coke tastes; it has a crisp and refreshing taste which will leave you wanting more. 

I love Cherry and Vanilla Coke, I’m so glad Coke products came out with different tastes for you to try, it will leave you wondering what will they come out with next? We all have seen the battles between Coke and Pepsi for years, which one do you think tastes better?

Well, then there are Shirley Temples, Everyone has grown to admire Shirley Temples. It is a drink blended with Sprite and cherry flavors and they will serve it most of the time with cherries, but there is one drink that I have grown to love.

You can only find this at an O”Charley’s restaurant. It’s called a Cotton Candy Shirley Temple and it is to die for. Instead of Sprite, they fill it with Sierra Mist and when they bring it out to you, it comes with this huge ring of cotton candy around the straw. You can either eat the cotton candy or you can dip it. I would definitely recommend your dipping it into the  Sierra Mist, because when you do, the whole drink  within seconds, becomes pink. It taste incredible and you can get them bottomless; therefore, once you are done, you may keep drinking them.

I went to a school in the south, I think you know what that means, I had sweet tea, pretty much all the time. You can even still find it in grocery stores in the north. Arizona has sweet tea and I really like they way  they make it. There are so many choices and brands you can find sweet tea in, I’m sure you will love sweet tea, if you haven’t had it yet, I suggest next time you go to the store, look for it in the juice aisle or you can head to a Chic Fil A nearest you and order one.

Another great one, I would say is Green tea, although, I have required a certain taste for certain Green Teas. I’m not a huge fan of the Lipton one, but I do love the Arizona Green tea There are also the Arnold Palmer’s, which are named after the great golfer. They are half tea and half lemonade, they are also quite refreshing.

These drinks will leave your taste buds wanting more, so which one are you going to try first?

Source:

  1. What Your Favorite Beverage Says About You | Real Simple
  2. SONIC Information: Nutrition, Food Menu and Calories
  3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage (let us know …

Image Credit