Food Snark
Food and Gift

Entertaining your valuable clients during holidays

November 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sharing a meal with an important client is best way to send a powerful message to your client how much you appreciate his or her business.  You can entertain them in a restaurant or at home, but there are important dos and don’ts that you need to know and observe.

If you decide to entertain your client in a restaurant, consider what your client might appreciate.  Find out what they like. Once you select a restaurant visit the place and discuss your plans with the restaurant.  Select a table and menu including drinks for the event.  Communicate location, direction, time, phone numbers and other valuable information with your client prior to the date.  On the day of the event reaffirm with the restaurant and arrive early.  Greet your client upon his or her arrival and give your client the best seat.  Once seated discuss the menu, offer ideas before dive into any business matters.  Avoid controversial issues and watch your alcohol intake.

If you decide to entertain your client at home, discuss food preferences with the client before the event.  Give clear directions and contact phone numbers.  Decide on menu, music, wine and table setting.  Serve guests first and facilitate the conversation.

Getting a Spectacular and Affordable Range or Cooktop for the Holidays

November 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Certainly, Julia Child was not the only American chef to be especially fond of her cooking range and, this year, expect to find “New Stove” or “Cooktop” at the tippity top of many Christmas (or Thanksgiving) shopping lists. If you’re planning on purchasing a stove or cooktop for your household’s resident lover of home-cooked meals, then make sure to get the details right with regards to that special someone’s preferences. Does he, or she, want a gas range or a sleekly modern electric stovetop? Does this person want a stacked oven?

Consider your beloved’s cooking habits and also his or her vision for the overall look and feel of the kitchen. You’ll want to find an appliance that fits in with your kitchen’s current design scheme. But, really, the best advice one can offer is to shop for this important machine together. Start by looking over and comparing your choices online. Discover how far the hardy stove of yore has come.

The Largest Cup of Coffee I’ve Ever Seen

October 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Pierre Zarokian

If you are the type of person who needs a cup of coffee to get going in the morning, how would 32,160 cups of coffee work for you? It might be enough caffeine to power an Army platoon, but that’s just what GourmetGiftBaskets.com brewed on the morning of October 15 at the Blog World Expo in Las Vegas, when they set the Guinness World Record mark for the largest cup of coffee with a 2,010-gallon batch of Colombian Arabica coffee supplied by Kerry/X Café of Princeton, MA.

World's Largest Coffee Record Broken

The coffee was poured into an eight-foot by eight-foot cup by two high-volume coffee dispensers. I was there at the show, and I watched the cup being filled to the brim throughout the morning as a crowd gathered in anticipation. One of my thoughts was that this much coffee would create the world’s largest restroom line as well, but things seemed to stay calm when it was all said and done.

When GourmetGiftBaskets.com decided to set the world record for the biggest cup of coffee ever, they decided to shatter it! The previous record was set by 2007 with a cup that contained 911.5 gallons. The staff said they were sending the cup back to their headquarters rather than smashing it to bits, so maybe they’ll try to top the record next year. I just hope they have the world’s biggest roll of bubble wrap to protect it during shipping. (I’d hate to be the UPS guy who gets THAT package.)

A shot from the top of the coffee cup

And to top things off, they came back the next day to break the world record for the largest cup of iced coffee. I know that people can stay up late in Las Vegas and might need something to put some pop in their step in the morning, but this is ridiculous! I can’t imagine what they’ll do for an encore, but I can’t wait for Blog World 2011 to see what they have up their sleeve next.

Do Food Allergies Exist At Birth

October 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The top priority for almost any parent after having a child, is to keep that child safe from any harm that could befall them. This may seem obvious, but children are faced with so many dangers in the world that it is also quite a difficult task. Because right after birth, children have not been exposed to anything within the world, no one can tell if they’re allergic to any foods or materials, and as such, allergies pose a large threat to a newborn’s wellbeing. This in turn leads to an interesting question, do food allergies exist at birth?

Researchers have recently posed this same exact question, and have begun studying whether sensitivity to food is a developed characteristic, or if it begins in the womb. During the first studies on the subject, scientists determined that women that ate larger amounts of allergenic foods during their pregnancies, also had children with higher rates of allergic reaction to these foods. Though the mystery seemed to have been solved, the following studies showed opposite or inconclusive results, and these findings were subsequently rescinded.

Now, with allergy rates in children and adults on the rise again, researchers have started pondering this question yet again. Just as before, initial tests are showing increased antibodies and sensitivities being passed on to children in the studies. But yet again, there are other studies going on at the same time, that are showing opposite and inconclusive results. Researchers are now cautioning pregnant mothers to be careful with allergenic foods yet again, but until solid results can be established, it seems that this debate is still far from over.

Analyzing the Impact of our food’s Nitrogen Footprint

September 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Almost everyone who is aware of the environmental term ‘carbon footprint’ is aware of the impact that it has on our climate, but there’s whole new angle that the environmentally conscious must take into consideration as well.

It’s known as the “nitrogen footprint”, and is the primary cause for oxygen-depleted ‘dead zones’ in our oceans.  How this happens is that with the rain in spring, an excess of nitrogen (and phosphorus) is transported by the rivers into the ocean, thanks to fertilizers in farmhouses and even human or animal waste.

What ensues is the process of eutrophication where bacteria consume most of water’s oxygen when feasting on the algal bloom (broadly classified as ‘phytoplankton’) that is attracted this abundance of nitrogen that impacts the coastal regions most.

Due to this lack of oxygen, crabs, shrimp, clams, entire mussel reefs, fish and other animals in our oceans die or leave for ‘greener pastures’, if you will. And since fertilizers are a major contributor to this process, researchers have also been looking into the “eutrophication potential” in cultivating (or rearing) different types of food along with the “carbon footprint” as well.

Remarkably, red meat topped both lists in having the greatest effect on the climate and the coastal ecosystem, as eating a pound of beef releases 22 lbs of greenhouse gases and 2.5 oz. of nitrogen pollution.

And while cereals and carbohydrates were at the bottom of both lists, dairy products which almost have no carbon footprint had a eutrophication potential that was second to beed, releasing 1.1 oz. of nitrogen pollution for every pound.

And even though, the nitrogen footprint study has just started, more and more people are realizing that analyzing just the ‘carbon footprint’ isn’t sufficient.

Sumptuous Delights Best Enjoyed Cold

August 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

To the common man’s palate, ice cream is probably the first thing that comes to mind when asked about a cold dessert. So, a dinner at an upscale restaurant can discourage anyone who comes across less-than-familiar cold dessert terms. Here are the most common ones which are fast gaining popularity and worth learning about, just so you can enjoy life’s cold pleasures, besides the usual ice cream.

Granita

Ice cream is cream frozen, but granite is frozen ice. The difference is, the texture of granite is sharper and grainier and not creamy at all, because it is not churned in an ice cream machine. Fruit, sugar, or alcohol like wine is blended and poured into a shallow pan, and then kept to freeze. When frozen, the dish is created by scraping the top with a spoon. It makes for a good dessert because of the ice crystals that melts immediately upon touching the tongue.

Sorbet

If you love fruits, then you will enjoy a sorbet for dessert. A sorbet is made by combining pureed fresh fruit, and a sugar and water syrup. This mixture is churned by an ice cream machine and then frozen, then whipped to add air. When this is done, the mixture is then stored in the freezer at a preferred temperature of 10 degreees Fahrenheit. Sorbet lovers enjoy this cold dessert between courses, and like it with mint leaves or citrus swirls or biscotti or wafer bits for a palate cleanser.

Parfait

To the untrained taste buds, a true parfait can be easily mistaken for an ice cream. However, it is actually lighter and airier. A mixer is used to combine egg yolks sugar into a whipped consistency, until it is ribbon-like. Simultaneous to the whipping process is the soft ball stage, where water and sugar are cooked together, and poured into the egg yolk mixture to “cook” it. Then, when this cools, flavors like praline or hazelnut are added. Whipped cream is folded in for a light consistency, and the finished dessert is served in parfait glasses.

Food and Gift Packages are a Welcome Gift

July 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

When it comes to giving gifts to friends and family, sending home and garden products adds a personalized touch and tells them that you know what they like. Some of the best gifts that you can give are unique food and drink options such as cookie and chocolate baskets from Become.com. Everyone appreciates a delicious treat and food and drink gifts are a perfect way to show you care.

If that special someone in your life has a sweet tooth, gourmet chocolates are a great gift. If not, there are many other delectable gift choices at Become.com including rich, organic Mexican coffee and delicious nut gift packs. There’s something to match everyone’s taste and when you purchase a food or drink gift from Beyond.com, the person you give it to can appreciate it with every sip or bite.