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TRENDS: Fall Beverages

Are you anticipating a special beverage with the change of season…say, a certain latte?

The Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL, to fans) has arrived at coffee shops, engendering peals of delight among a gaggle of young ladies in our neighborhood.

But how do adults feel about fall beverages?

Seasonal coffees are the most anticipated beverage for them, too, according to a KRC Pulse Poll.

The results—in the photo—are from a nationwide survey conducted online by KRC Research in August 2015, among 507 American adults ages 18 and older.

Our vote: fall’s seasonal beers!

 

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What’s your preference? Image courtesy KRC Research.

 

  

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TRENDS: Breakfast For Dinner

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This idea, from Krusteaz, adds peanut butter
and jelly for a riff on the PB&J sandwich.
Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy Krusteaz.

 

Can it be true that 9 out of 10 Americans enjoy Breakfast Night?

After a long day of tasting foods for THE NIBBLE, we often welcome a simple dinner of cereal, eggs or French toast. But we are not alone; we’re part of the 90 percent!

Krusteaz, maker of premium pancake, waffle and other baking mixes, has just released the results of its annual breakfast survey, a national poll conducted by an independent research firm*. Breakfast for Dinner continues to be a popular trend in the U.S.

  • More than half of the survey participants enjoy Breakfast Night dinners once a month or more, with nearly 25% eating Breakfast For Dinner once a week.
  • Those with children at home are somewhat more likely to eat breakfast for dinner (94% vs. 88% without kids in the house). For 30% of families, Breakfast Night is a weekly affair that’s either “very enjoyable” or their “absolute favorite.”
  •  
    In a shift from 2014, more kids are helping out in the kitchen. Thirty-nine percent of responders said that Breakfast Night preparation is a “joint effort,” compared to just 17% of last year’s survey participants.

     
    What makes Breakfast Night so popular?

  • Thirty-eight percent of survey participants noted that having all the ingredients on hand is the main appeal.
  • Thirty-five percent cite the “love” of breakfast food (the comfort food factor?).
  • Thirty-one percent like that it is easier and faster than preparing a traditional dinner.
  •  
    Families with children at home are more likely to use Breakfast Night as family night, when Dad’s in charge, and for celebratory occasions such as birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

    Krusteaz has selected Wednesday dinner to be Breakfast Night. Need recipes? Head to Krusteaz.com.

     
    *The Breakfast for Dinner survey was conducted by ORC International on behalf of Krusteaz. Findings are based on an online survey of 2,033 U.S. adults ages 18 and older in August 2015.
     
    THE HISTORY OF MEAL TIMES

    The history of meal times could fill a large book. The number of meals consumed per day differs greatly from culture to culture, by era and by socioeconomic status.

    In Europe alone, the name of the meal and time of day vary widely. Depending on the era, dinner could be in the morning or late afternoon. In the millennia before electricity, people lived differently than we do, typically retiring at nightfall. In the winter, that meant the last meal of the day was what we might call a late lunch.

    Thanks to FoodTimeline.org for most of this information:

  • In ancient Greece meal times were variable, but a midday meal was usually called ariston lunch… and an evening meal deipnon, dinner. The latter was typically the biggest meal of the day, and for some of the poor, the only meal.
  • In medieval times, the very poor ate when they could (as was true since the beginning of mankind), but the slightly better-off peasants ate three times a day: breakfast at a very early hour, dinner at about 9 a.m. and supper before it got dark, which could be as early as 3 p.m. in the winter.
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  • In Christian countries, the times and number of meals were originally derived from the hours of devotions of the Church. Monks ate their main meal after the celebration of nones, which was nine hours after daybreak—some time between midday and 3 p.m. The evening meal was after vespers, around sunset. For lay people, to break one’s fast after devotions was the general procedure.
  • Through the Renaissance, the larger meal was the prandium, or dinner, at ten or eleven in the morning. Supper, coena in Latin, was served around six in the evening. Most authors agreed that two meals a day were sufficient, although the English vehemently defended their custom of taking breakfast.
  • Breakfast was not a popular meal elsewhere. Writings suggest that it was only eaten by children and laborers. But by the 15th century it was commonly consumed by everyone. However, a 1478 household ordinance of Edward IV specified that only residents down to the rank of squires should be given breakfast, except by special order (sounds like budgeting).
  • At some point, there were four meals a day: breakfast, dinner, nuntions or nuncheons (eaten by workmen around noon) and late supper.
  • With the advent of oil lamps, the evening meal was served later in the day. In southern Europe, where the evening meal was the largest of the day, breakfast did not become important—merely coffee and perhaps a piece of bread or a pastry.
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    English Breakfast

    This is just part of an English breakfast,
    which can also include porridge, fruit,
    baked beans and other favorites. The practice of eating a large breakfast emerged in the 19th century. Photo © Indigolotos | 123rf.

  • In England and northern Europe, by the 18th century breakfast was the norm, eaten around 9 or 10 a.m. In the 19th century breakfast emerged as a full and sumptuous meal with bacon, eggs and even steaks for those who could afford them. Afternoon tea, as a snack between lunch and dinner, was created in 1840 by Anna, Seventh Duchess of Bedford (here’s the history of afternoon tea).
  • Thus, the three-meals-a-day practice is a relatively recent phenomenon—and of course only relates to those who could afford three meals a day.
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    NEWS: Italian Food Remains #1 With Americans

    Nation’s Restaurant News (NRA) reports something that may not even be news: Italian food remains America’s favorite “ethnic” restaurant cuisine. No other cuisine comes close, although Mexican and Chinese round out the “big three.”

    Sixty-one percent of the 1,000 people surveyed said they eat Italian food at restaurants at least once a month. By comparison, Mexican cuisine was eaten at least once a month by 50%, and Chinese cuisine by 36%.

    We couldn’t find an official survey of the most popular Italian dishes, but one informal survey we found nominated the following as the Top 10 favorite Italian restaurant entrées in the U.S. (excluding pizza, the majority of which is consumed at pizzerias* rather than conventional Italian restaurants):

    1. Chicken Parmigiana
    2. Fettuccine Alfredo
    3. Lasagna
    4. Linguine With Clam Sauce
    5. Veal Marsala
    6. Chicken Saltimbocca
    7. Pasta Primavera
    8. Shrimp Fra Diavolo
    9. Penne Alla Vodka
    10. Spaghetti Marinara (with tomato sauce)

     

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/chicken parmsesan cookingclassy 230

    Chicken Parmesan, the American spelling
    of Parmigiano. Here’s the recipe. Photo
    courtesy CookingClassy.com.

     
    Our own Top 10 list would be different, but we wouldn’t turn any of these down! And we’d add our own Top 10 Italian Desserts list: cannoli, panna cotta, zabaglione, tiramisu, berries with mascarpone, riccota cheesecake, biscotti, gelato/semifreddo/spumoni/tortoni, sorbetto/granita and bomboloni.

    The NRA defines “ethnic” cuisine broadly as any cuisine originating in a different country or within a specific region of the United States. We prefer the term “international cuisine” (it’s hard to think of French and Italian food as “ethnic”), but that doesn’t always work. American cuisnes—think Cajun and Creole—are ethnic but not international, as are California, Hawaiian, New England, Southern and Southwestern cuisines, among others.

    Choose the term you like better and read the full article at NRN.com.

     
    *Pizzerias serve other more casual fare as well, including calzones, stromboli and submarine sandwiches.

      

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    TRENDS: Current Favorites & Next Wave Foods

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    Will kimchi, Korean hot pickled vegetables,
    be replaced by Mexican hot pickled
    vegetables as a topping for burgers,
    sandwiches, eggs and other fusion dishes?
    Photo courtesy Bento.com.sg.

     

    What’s next after the current food trends?

    Parade magazine took a look at What America Eats with predictions from Mimi Sheraton, author of 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover’s Life List.

    She takes a peek at what’s coming next. Here are current trends and what Mimi thinks will follow.

    1. HOT SAUCE

    Now: Sriracha, the fiery Thai chile sauce.

    Next: Piri-piri, the fiery African chile sauce. A Peruvian version is spelled peri-peri.

     
    2. INTERNATIONAL SNACK

    Now: Hummus, now ubiquitous in an every-expanding number of flavors, including fusion flavors like chipotle, jalapeño and wasabi.

    Next: Khachapuri, a Georgian* comfort food of cheese-filled bread. Leavened bread is filled with cheese, eggs and other ingredients. According to Wikipedia, in a 2009 survey, 88% of Georgians preferred khachapuri to pizza.

     
    3. PICKLED VEGETABLES

    Now: Kimchi, Korea’s spicy-hot fermented vegetables, enjoyed as a condiment.

    Next: Mexican hot pickled vegetables, a take on Italian giardiniera that combines garden vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, celery, onions) with jalapeños, garlic, oregano and cider vinegar. A condiment with tacos, it has been ported to American burgers and sandwiches.

     

    4. GREEK YOGURT

    Now: Thick, creamy, tangy Greek-style yogurt, a category so hot, there’s no more room in the grocer’s dairy case.

    Next: Labneh, a thick, creamy, tangy fresh cheese, often called “yogurt cheese” in the U.S., that’s a mainstay for breakfast and snacking in the Middle East.

     
    5. BEVERAGE

    Now: African ginger beer, which is even spicier than Caribbean ginger beer. If you’d like a much more intense ginger ale experience, pick some up.

    Next: Matcha, the mellow, powdered green tea that’s drunk hot in Japan (it’s part of cha no yu, the Japanese tea ceremony), but available hot, cold, sparking, in green tea lattes and more in the U.S.
     
     
    It’s up to you: Keep eating what’s hot today, or get ahead of the trend!

     

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    Labneh looks like tangy Greek yogurt and tastes like it, but it’s a spreadable cheese. Photo courtesy Good Eggs | New York.

     
     
    *From Georgia, the country that lies between Russia and Turkey.

      

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    TRENDS: Restaurant Produce

    Many of us who love to cook get ideas from creative restaurant chefs. It’s their job to present new and different preparations to tempt customers.

    It could be as simple as produce (NB the onslaught of kale, first in restaurants, then in our homes). What’s next?

    Nation’s Restaurant News polled nearly 1,300 chefs in its annual What’s Hot survey. The chefs pointed to produce that distinguishes them from their competitors and gives them cred for sourcing specialty items. Here are what they see as the top produce trends for 2015.

    LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE

    Consumers like to see locally grown produce on the menu. It shows support for the community, an appreciation for seasonality and reduction of carbon miles, the extra fuel required to the transport food from farther distances. It is the top trend noted by the chefs in the survey.

     

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    Easy for home cooks: Try chervil instead of parsley. Photo courtesy HerbTable.com.

     
    ORGANIC PRODUCE

    Americans have growing awareness of the desirability of organic produce—fruits and vegetables raised without artificial pesticides or fertilizers. “Organic” on a menu is well received (even when consumers don’t buy organic produce for their own kitchens); and all-organic chains such as Sweetgreen are finding success.
     

    UNUSUAL HERBS

    It’s time to think beyond parsley. Chefs with classical French training are turning to chervil as a garnish, Mexican restaurants are wrapping more foods in hoja santa and Japanese chefs are using kinome, leaves of the sansho/Szechuan pepper plant.

     
    HEIRLOOM FRUIT

    Heirloom apples, grown from seeds that are passed down from generation to generation, are making a comeback. Heirloom foods fell out of favor because they are more difficult to grow, more expensive and/or other reasons that made farmers turn to other varieties—even if those varieties are less flavorful. You can look for heirloom varieties in your local farmers market. Ask the farmer to point them out.

     
    EXOTIC FRUIT

    Chefs have a growing interest in fruit that’s a little out of the ordinary. It could be açaí and goji berries added to fruit beverages and fruit salads, or desserts made with Asian pear or dragon fruit.

    What’s your favorite fruit or veggie trend?

      

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