Food Machines

Thank goodness that Shrove Tuesday has moved to March this year! For the last few years it has been in February. So just when we’re recovering from yummy Yorkshire puddings (Yorkshire Pudding Day – February 3rd) a stack of lovely Chinese food (Chinese New Year -February 5th), and, for some, a glut of Valentines chocolates (Valentine’s Day – February 14th) it’s healthy that we can have a break before we’re required to use up all the fat in our house by cooking a pile of pancakes.

Did you know that the earliest pancakes were made about 12,000 years ago; that the annual pancake race in Olney, Buckinghamshire, dates back to 1454, and that around 52 million eggs are used in the UK on Pancake Day, which is 22 million more than usual! If it’s a healthier option is what you’re looking for, did you know it’s possible to use wholewheat flour instead of white? Apparently, you can use oats and bananas as a flour substitute, or you can try and reduce or cut out the butter.

All this sounds quite drastic. Easy-peasy is the simple and tasty change of using a fresh fruit topping instead of sugar and lemon.

Roll on April and the onslaught of Easter indulgence!

Are National months just a mechanism by food producers to get us to buy into a new fad?

March is National Veggie Month, but with the rise of veganism, vegetarianism seems less of a fad and much more mainstream. Long gone are the days of a ‘cheese salad’ veggie alternative on menus. Most restaurants and food outlets now provide a wide range of tasty and interesting vegetarian options. Loved incidentally, by vegetarians and meat eaters alike!

With Shrove Tuesday, Comic Relief and Mother’s Day all falling in March this year, there’s ample of opportunity to experience the best vegetarian dishes there are. So instead of the treating your mum to the traditional Sunday roast, why not try and delicious cashew layered nut roast, a chestnut and mushroom wellington or even a tasty Spanakopita?

Valentines meal out – yuk – and we’re not referring to the food!

Those couples who are planning to brave the dreaded valentine’s meal out will be suffering again this year (and not just in the pocket!) So many lovely local gastro pubs are succumbing to the valentines set menu with cringy dishes such as starters called ‘Amuse-bouche.’ How can you share what is supposed to be bite-size unless of course you’re planning to eat only a tiny morsel! Surely most people want to taste it, in which case why order it to share?

So, here’s a plea to all those lovely pubs and restaurants, don’t offer crazy named options such as ‘sea of love’ ‘wonderful tonight and ‘sweet surrender to describe what is essentially prawns, lamb and cheesecake. Stick with what you do best and offer quality food, cooked well and leave the cheesy love references where they belong – in a greetings card!

Cold brew Coffee, simply coffee brewed cold

Any coffee shop worth its salt should be thinking about adding a cold brew drink to its menu, if they haven’t done so already.

The technique is quite simple and involves steeping coarse ground coffee in cold water for up to 24 hours, then filtering it to leave a smooth, sweet concentrated coffee essence, (which has a lower acidity level than an Americano or filter coffee). This essence can be turned into a variety of chilled drinks.

It also ticks the green box, as it doesn’t require heat or electricity to be brewed.

High street coffee shops are beginning to cash in on this emerging trend and I am sure it will only a matter of time before it hits the Restaurant sector, watch this space.

Check out the health benefits of cold brew coffee here

FEM’s ‘flexitarian’ oven is perfect for quality cooking with no cross contamination

Caterers looking to respond to consumer demand for vegan foods, especially as part of #Veganuary, need to ensure not only that the food quality is excellent but also that there is no cross contamination with animal or dairy product. FEM says the Vector multi-cook oven, manufactured by Alto-Shaam, provides the ideal solution, since vegan and non-vegan foods can be cooked simultaneously, in the same oven, in individual chambers with no possibility of cross over. The company has launched a series of Vector Live demonstrations that will showcase this ability, as well as cooking up some flavourful and unusual vegan recipes. Agen Baccarat

Make your buffet an evento with Parsley in Time

Latest additions to the quality French range available now

Parsley in Time has launched the latest additions to the Evento range, which is manufactured in France by Degrenne.

The Evento collection is a complete range of kitchenware designed for all types of buffet. Made with high quality materials, it is designed to be modular and adaptable, according to operators needs, while creating a coherent, attractive feature.

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