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Archive | September, 2012

Autumn’s Best Apples

Whether you went apple-picking at an orchard, the farmers’ market, or the grocery store, we have some delicious ways to showcase fresh apples! These tasty dishes are sure to please even the pickiest of guests!

Autumn’s Best ApplesApple Pie Baked in an Apple

A simple, natural blend of ingredients with a gourmet presentation.

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Pie crust – homemade or pre-made

Pre-heat oven to 375° F.

Directions:

  1. Cut off the top of 4 apples off and discard. Remove the inside of each apple with a melon baller very carefully, as to not puncture the peel.
  2. Remove skin from remaining apple(s) and slice very thinly. These apple pieces will give you the additional filling needed to fill the four apples you are baking.
  3. Mix sliced apples with sugars and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. Scoop sliced apples into hollow apples.
  5. Roll out pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips. You can also add a strip of pastry inside the top of the apple almost like a liner to add a little more sweetness to the pie.
  6. Cover the top of the apple in a lattice pattern with pie crust strips.
  7. Place apples in an 8” x 8” baking pan. Add just enough water to the cover the bottom of the pan.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sliced apples are soft.
  10. Enjoy!

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt CakeAutumn’s Best Apples

A true fall classic, garnish frosting with toasted pecans for extra flavor.

Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apple Cake Batter:

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (1 1/2 lb.)

    Praline Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Directions:

  1. Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed in a stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
  2. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
  3. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14 cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1 inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
  4. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely.
  5. Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly.
  6. Pour frosting immediately over cooled cake.
  7. Enjoy!

Warm Caramel Apple CakeAutumn’s Best Apples

Serve this delicious apple upside-down cake warm from the oven.

Ingredients:

Cake Batter:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (2 1/3 cups)
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3  cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

    Cake Topping:

  • 2/3  cup Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting (from 12-oz container)
  • 1/2  cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping
  • Caramel topping, if desired

Pre-heat oven to 350° F.

Directions:

  1. In 1-quart heavy saucepan, cook butter, whipping cream and brown sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Pour into 13” x 9” pan. Sprinkle with pecans; top with sliced apples.
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and apple pie spice in a stand mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Carefully spoon batter over apple mixture.
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pan. Place heatproof serving platter upside down on pan; carefully turn platter and pan over. Let pan remain over cake about 1 minute so caramel can drizzle over cake. Remove pan.
  4. In small bowl, mix frosting and whipped topping. Serve warm cake topped with frosting mixture and drizzled with caramel topping.
  5. Enjoy!

Tundra Restaurant Supply stocks everything you need to create the most delicious fall dishes. From kitchen supplies to dining room supplies and cooking equipment to specialty cooking supplies eTundra.com is your one-stop shop for baking and cooking this season!

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CULTURE: Carrying Out Tundra Values

Have fun, exceed customer expectations & work ethically, get to know who Tundra Restaurant Supply really is.

Tundra was created from a set of values that inspired a business which built meaningful relationships with its customers. These values drive Tundra’s mission to solve the needs of their customers and ensure their success. Fulfilling this mission has lead to their own success.

CULTURE: Carrying Out Tundra Values

Internally, Tundra’s Culture Crew assists with carrying out these values. They plan and carry out company-wide events that encourage employees to have fun! Examples include baseball games, BBQ’s, pancake breakfasts, Friday fun days and much more.

Tundra’s Star Card program encourages co-workers and teammates to acknowledge when each other have gone above and beyond. Giving a co-worker a Star Card

CULTURE: Carrying Out Tundra Values

automatically enters them into a monthly drawing for up to $50 in prizes.

The Tundra Megaphone Program allows employees to voice concerns, comments or questions anonymously. The Megaphone Program is marketed as “If I were President, I would…” this program has received positive feedback from employees thus kicking off a variety of changes around the company. A few fun examples:

  • Want high-quality toilet paper – Check.
  • Want picnic table to sit at while at lunch or on break? Check.
    • Plus they accompanied these tables with fresh potted flowers for visual appeal!

Bottom line is that Tundra was created from building healthy, positive relationships with its customers – part of that success has come from building superior relationships with its employees. Tundra has found people who are happy at work – work harder! Complicated idea…

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Commercial Dinnerware: A Complete Buying Guide

Dinnerware is used in every type of restaurant, whether your run a fast-casual, diner or fine dining restaurant. Choosing the right dinnerware will complete a guest’s dining experience. From modern to traditional and bamboo to Fine China knowing the dinnerware options you have is key to creating the perfect place setting.

Commercial Dinnerware: A Complete Buying Guide Bamboo dinnerware is made from bamboo fibers, a renewable resource making these plates and bowls environmentally friendly. All of the bamboo dinnerware Tundra Restaurant Supply offers is safe for commercial use and commercial dishwashing. This dinnerware is manufactured from harvested bamboo that has been dried for an extended period of time. When dry, it is then ground and pulverized into a very fine powder and has 100% food-safe pigments mixed in. High-pressure and heat is applied to cast each piece of dinnerware and then a glaze is applied. Available in a variety of colors, bamboo dinnerware will make an eco-friendly and stylish statement in any restaurant setting.

Commercial China that is found in restaurants and hotels is much more durable then fine china found in residential homes. Commercial china dinnerware is designed to withstand the restaurant environment. Classic white china, with a basic rim is often preferred in restaurants because it allows for a more varied meal presentation. China that is embossed features a wider rim with grooved patterns. China dinnerware that has a banded rim feature two or more colored stripes and an off-white surface. These plates are great for diner and café settings and are manufactured to withstand years of commercial use.Commercial Dinnerware: A Complete Buying Guide

Melamine dinnerware is a type of plastic that is scratch resistant and shatter proof. Melamine’s strength and durability make it a popular type of dinnerware in the restaurant industry. Melamine plates and bowls can be used hundreds of times and withstand the wear and tear of a commercial setting. Our selection of melamine dinnerware includes upscale and basic designs that will compliment any restaurant ambiance. Melamine dinnerware is often found in ethnic restaurants; including Mexican and Chinese food establishments.

Basketweave or Wood Weave dinnerware is beautifully crafted and finished with a smooth, polished finish. The warm finish of basketweave dinnerware will create an inviting ambiance in any restaurant setting. Basketweave dinnerware will impress guests and is perfect for serving salads, appetizers and side dishes. It is normal for commercial-grade basketweave bowls and plates to change color slightly over time – especially when used constantly. Basketweave dinnerware is best when hand-washed making it a better fit for small, quaint restaurants and cafes.

Commercial Dinnerware: A Complete Buying Guide Polycarbonate dinnerware is manufactured from food-safe plastic that is shatter proof and durable. Polycarbonate bowls and plates can often be found in institutional settings; including schools and health care facilities. Polycarbonate dinnerware is typically inexpensive, dishwasher safe and available in a variety of colors and sizes.

Glass dinnerware is not as popular in commercial restaurants because glass tends to be more expensive and very fragile. However, glass plates are great for serving first courses; including salads and appetizers. Traditionally, glass dinnerware is much smaller then melamine and china plates and platters, another reason why glass is great for serving salads and appetizers.

Dinnerware is used for everything from appetizers and salads to main courses and desserts. Make sure you choose the right dinnerware selection or your restaurant. Guests notice the finest details when visiting your food service establishment; show them how much you care with an elegant, tasteful place setting.

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Followerwonk: Why it’s Great For Your Restaurant

Followerwonk is like a pet gopher. This mega tool digs deep into your Twitter data and reveals everything you could ever care to know about your Twitter world. Use it to track your follower gains and losses, compare Twitter accounts, do global searches in Twitter bios, and analyze any account’s followers! Soon enough, this tool will be able to make you hot cocoa and crumb cake because it pretty much does everything!

Do you want to search Twitter bios to target and connect with anyone?

Followerwonk has a unique bio search function that allows you to find potential new customers, friends, talent or even competition. Let’s try a search!

Let’s say I am opening a new Vegan restaurant in Denver, Co. I want to see if I can reach out to Denver based Vegans so I’m going to click “more options” to get a location based search field.

Followerwonk: Why its Great For Your Restaurant

Voila!

Now you can sort the list by criteria such as tweets, following, or followers. This is a good way for restaurants to find customers, future employees and content developers within a specific niche. Then you can start an outreach campaign!

How to Compare Twitter Users:

Compare Twitter users to see whose followers or followed accounts overlap. Use this to see if you are missing any customers in your niche. You can also use the overlapping metrics to see how you stack up against influencers in your business. Let’s search!

When doing a search you will need to compare at least two Twitter users. You can look at either who they follow or their followers. When the results load you will see a breakdown of their followers/followed and an awesome bubble graph.

Followerwonk: Why its Great For Your Restaurant

 

From here you can click on any of the categories to get a report of shared followers or unique followers. You can also click “follow” next to users that you are not currently following. Make sure to pay close attention to to the influence, tweets, followers and following sort options to ensure you are not following spammers or nonactive accounts.

Followerwonk: Why its Great For Your Restaurant

The bar graphs at the bottom of the page help you see things like influence and activity on Twitter. It’s a great way to see how competitive your competition really is in the Twittersphere.

How to Analyze Followers:

Analyze any account’s followers/followed to see a treasure chest of data. You can look at metrics on influence, gender, location, languages, and much more. Let’s go!

Type in the Twitter account you want analyze (in this case it’s @NoochVegan) and choose whether you would like to look at followers or who they/you follow. The first thing you will see is a map of the world. This map is interactive and can show you the geotagged locations of your followers/followed. It’s a great way to get an idea of where your audience is hailing from.

Followerwonk: Why its Great For Your Restaurant

After you track down your followers like James Bond; you can check out a plethora of other metrics displayed on interactive pie charts.

Followerwonk: Why its Great For Your Restaurant

Each section of this delicious data pie can give you insight into what accounts exist in each range. Just click on the section you want to look at and you will get a comprehensive report of the followers in that data set.

Followerwonk: Why its Great For Your Restaurant

You can also check out when your followers are most active on Twitter. The graph is based on GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), but if you hover over the bars you can see your local time. The last thing that makes my eyeballs spin with radness is the word cloud report.

Followerwonk: Why its Great For Your Restaurant

Followerwonk also allows you to track gains and losses of your followers. You can see which followers put you on a pedestal and those who drop you like it’s hot by unfollowing you.

Unfortunately Followerwonk can’t pull historical data on your account so you can only see the losses and gains for the time period Followerwonk has been tracking your account.

In a few days after joining you will be able to see your daily followers, gains, losses or days without change.

The Twitter analytics that Followerwonk returns is insane. From searching Twitter bios and comparing users to analyzing and tracking followers you can optimize for social growth in no time. It’s never too late to connect with new influencers in your niche. Followerwonk is such a great tool for restaurants who are on Twitter. If you’re restaurant is not on Twitter yet, well then, that’s a whole other story…

For more on how to use Followerwonk check out this awesome video from SEOMoz – They acquired Followerwonk in August and believe me, they know their stuff!

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Oktoberfest: What is it?

Oktoberfest: What is it?Oktoberfest is the world’s largest people’s fair where over 6 million people from around the world visit Munich, Germany for a 16-day festival to drink beer, eat “wursts” and join together in song. The celebration is most famous for its heavy liter steins of beer but there is more; dance around with locals, sing with the Bavarian bands, gawk at traditional costumes and get an enormous plate full of German hospitality.

Oktoberfest started when Crown Prince Ludwig, was married to Princess Therese of Bavaria on October 12, 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. The fields have been named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s meadow”) in honor of the Crown Princess ever since, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n”.

Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.

The horse races ended in 1960 but that has not stopped people from attending. There is quite the lineup of events that lure people in from all over the globe. Since 1950 there has been a traditional opening ceremony which includes a 12 gun salute and the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at 12:00 pm by the mayor of Munich with the cry “O’sapft ist!” (it’s tapped in the Bavarian language). The Mayor then gives the first beer to the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria.

10 Fun Facts About Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany:

  1. It takes two months for construction workers to transform the fairgrounds from an enormous 100-acre asphalt expanse to a pulsating city of beer tents and food stands, roller coasters and carnival rides—and one month to disassemble it all.
  2. The festival grounds on located on 103.79 acres of land, there are 100,000 seats in festival halls and they use 2.8 million kWh of electricity (as much as 14% of Munich’s daily need or as much as a 4 person family would need in 52 years and 4 months.Oktoberfest: What is it?
  3. There isn’t a fee for entering festival grounds or beer tents.
  4. 6 million people visit the fairgrounds during the 2-week event and together they consume 6 million liters of beer, 500,000 roasted chickens, 120,000 pairs of sausages, 80,000 liters of wine, 50,000 pork knuckles, 30,000 bottles of champagne and a gazillion pretzels.
  5. You must be seated to order a beer unless you are in the “standing zone”. You also must order beer from the server responsible for your section.
  6. There are roughly 965 toilets and 1 km of urinal troughs at the fairgrounds.
  7. Last year’s lost and found had a mountain 4,000+ unclaimed items, including 260 eyeglasses, 200 cell phones, 2 pairs of crutches, 1 wedding ring and a set of dentures.
  8. The drinking age in Germany is 18 for hard alcohol and 16 for beer; therefore you may see some juvenile faces in the mix.
  9. An immensely popular gimmick and sign of affection, lovers and admirers gift one another huge gingerbread hearts (pictured on the right) that are often worn around the neck before being eaten. “Ich liebe Dich” is the most adoring of all the quotations, meaning “I love you.”
  10. In November 2008, Bavarian Anita Schwarz set a new world record when she carried 19 full beer steins (5 in either hand and 9 on top) totaling 90 lbs—a full stein weighs an average of 5 lbs—over a distance of 40 meters without any spillage and placed on a table.

Oktoberfest: What is it?Oktoberfest in the US.

Almost 20 percent of Americans can claim to have German ancestry. Therefore the traditional fall festival Oktoberfest is a popular event in many cities around the country. Oktoberfest in the USA roughly follows the same calendar as the one in Germany, and includes lots of beer drinking, oompah bands, and chowing down German food like bratwurst and knockwurst. Does that sound like a fun time to you? If you said “Jawohl!” (German for an emphatic “yes”), take a look at the following list of the most popular places to celebrate Oktoberfest across the USA.

Cincinnati – Cincinnati, Ohio, hosts the largest Oktoberfest in the United States with over 500,000 visitors a year. Six blocks of Fifth Street in downtown Cincinnati are closed for the weekend. Started in 1976, you can enjoy the festivities in 2012 from September 21st to 23rd. Highlights include the Running of the Wieners and the World’s Largest Chicken Dance.

Addison– Addison, Texas located just north of Dallas, hosts Oktoberfest from September 20-23, 2012. The Addison Conference Centre is transformed into an authentic Munich beer hall with a Texas twist. It is considered one of the most authentic Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States.

Chicago: Who can forget Ferris Bueller singing “Danke Schön” on a float at the German heritage parade in the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?” Indeed, German roots run deep in Chicago, which makes it one of the best places in the country for Oktoberfest revelry.

Alpine Village, Torrance, Los Angeles – Southern California has been celebrating Oktoberfest at Alpine Village for 44 years. USA Today named it one of the best Oktoberfests in the world. It is held on seven weekends in September and Oktober in a 32,000 square foot tent. Located in Torrance, it is the most popular Oktoberfest celebration in Los Angeles.

Denver – Latimer Street in Denver’s Historic Ballpark Neighborhood is transformed for two weekends in September for this celebration of German culture. Over 250,000 people attend Oktoberfest Denver annually.

Pittsburgh: German heritage is very prevalent in Western Pennsylvania, so it’s fitting that the Pittsburgh area has a couple of Oktoberfest events worth checking out. The best known Pittsburgh area Oktoberfest festivals include the Pennsylvania Bavarian Oktoberfest, billed as Pennsylvania’s largest Oktoberfest, and the Penn Brewery Oktoberfest. Pittsburgh’s Penn Brewery hosts this event in its biergarten and brews a special Oktoberfest beer for the occasion.

Washington DC: The Nation’s Capital and environs has quite a number of Oktoberfest, ranging from beer bashes at local breweries to an Oktoberfest at Jessup, Maryland’s Blob Park, purported to be America’s first Oktoberfest.Oktoberfest: What is it?

New Orleans: If there’s an event that revolves around drinking, you can be sure that New Orleans will be up for celebrating. While New Orleans is not known for its Germanic culture, there are many pubs, clubs, and beer gardens where you can celebrate Oktoberfest in New Orleans. The biggest of these celebrations is at the Deutsches Haus, which celebrates with plenty of beer, schnapps, and chicken dancing.

Atlanta: There are a few places to celebrate Oktoberfest in Atlanta, the most interesting of which is an Oktoberfest party bus that takes revelers to the small town of Helen, Georgia, decked out to look like an authentic German village.

Americans love drinking, eating and dressing up so if you are not involved in an Oktoberfest celebration I recommend you jump on the band wagon. They are fun and a great way to connect with your community. Plus who doesn’t want happy customers in their establishment. Just invest in some Oktoberfest beer, liter steins, brats and you will be good to go!

References: funtober, Harrimon Travel Books, VistaWide

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Fall Menus, What to Expect This Season

Restaurants to highlight affordable happy hours, seasonal ingredients and vegetables!

Fall Menus, What to Expect This SeasonAs the weather begins to cool and the economy remains mild, many food service operators expect innovative side dishes and vegetable based menu options to become more popular, giving their customers the opportunity to mix and match, or share a few sides at happy hour.

While local, seasonal ingredients will continue to show up on fall menus, restaurateurs and chefs alike are focusing on food creations that allow guests to customize their experience and to eat and drink at unconventional times. Happy hour courses including charcuterie platters, cheese courses and extensive bar menu options are ideal for this crowd. Being creative is key; almost any food item can be dressed up or down and made in a small portion – making it perfect for happy hour. Mini pizzas, roasted almonds, parmesan straws and homemade salt & vinegar potato chips are just a few ideas.Fall Menus, What to Expect This Season

Football season is just around the corner and there are plenty of food promotions that go with it. Play off tail-gating classics, including anything BBQ, grilled or dippable. These types of food items make great happy hour appetizers.

Vegetables are expected to take center stage in more dishes this fall, with protein acting as supporting character. When looking at seasonal items, think about launching a micro menu around a particular fruit or vegetable. For example, launch an autumn apple-inspired menu. Apple muffins and apple streusel French toast make decadent breakfast options while savory apple herb roast chicken and grilled chicken apple salad make fantastic lunch and dinner options. Squash and zucchini are other great menu items that can be incorporated into everything from sweet breads to rich, flavorful main courses.

Fall Menus, What to Expect This SeasonShareable vegetable dishes are a way to help customers feel better about what they’re eating without making them sacrifice their protein packed main courses. At the same time, side dishes are a great way to boost check averages. Among our favorite ideas are crispy okra, pureed cauliflower, winter squash with horseradish and braised cabbage.

Fall is a busy time in the restaurant and food service business, highlighting happy hour specials and seasonal fruits and vegetables will get guests excited to dine at your establishment.

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Buying Guide | Flatware 101

No table setting is complete without the proper flatware pieces. Whether your guests are expecting a fine dining or quick diner experience understanding your flatware options is important and will contribute to the ambiance and style you’re trying to achieve. Tundra Restaurant Supply offers a variety of commercial flatware at every price point.

Table/Dinner KnifeBuying Guide | Flatware 101

A table knife is an item of cutlery, part of a traditional table setting. Table knives are typically of moderate sharpness only, designed to cut prepared and cooked food. They are usually made of stainless steel.

Butter Knife

Commonly, a butter knife refers to any non-serrated table knife designed with a dull edge and rounded point; formal table settings make a distinction between a dinner knife (table knife) and a butter knife.

Dinner Fork

The dinner fork is part of the traditional five-piece flatware setting. It is used during the main course. A dinner fork is a tool consisting of a handle with several narrow tines on one end.

Salad Fork

Similar to a dinner fork, but shorter and may have one of the outer tines shaped differently.

Dessert Fork

A dessert fork is smaller and features a thinner build then a salad fork. It is typically used for eating desserts like pie and cake. In Europe, a dessert fork is often referred to as a pudding fork or cake fork.

Cocktail Fork

A cocktail fork is a small fork resembling a trident used for spearing cocktail garnishes, such as olives or cheese. This is an individual fork traditionally used with the standard five-piece place setting.

Buying Guide | Flatware 101Teaspoon

A teaspoon is a small spoon, commonly part of a table place setting suitable for stirring and sipping the contents of a cup of tea or coffee.

Soup Spoon

A soup spoon is a type of spoon with a large or rounded bowl, used for eating soup. This term can refer to the Western soup spoon or the Chinese spoon. The Western soup spoon features a deep, circular bowl for holding liquid. The Chinese soup spoon is usually ceramic and of a distinct Chinese soup spoon shape.

Dessert Spoon

A dessert spoon is a spoon designed specifically for eating dessert and sometimes used for soup or cereals. Similar in size to a soup spoon but with an oval rather than round bowl, it typically has a capacity around twice that of a teaspoon.

Tablespoon

A tablespoon is the largest type of spoon used for eating from a bowl. In Europe, a tablespoon is a type of large spoon usually used for serving.

Bouillon Spoon

This is another type of soup spoon mainly used for clear soups or broths. The bouillon spoon has a rounded spoon head.

Demitasse Spoon

A demitasse spoon is a diminutive spoon and smaller than a teaspoon. It is traditionally used for coffee drinks in specialty cups and for spooning cappuccino froth. It is also used as a baby spoon.

Know the Difference | 18/10 vs. 18/0 Grade Stainless Steel

The 18/10 and 18/0 specifications are simply figures that illustrate the percentages of chromium and nickel content present in the stainless steel. Examples: if a piece of flatware has 18/10 construction, there is 18% chromium and 10% nickel content. If the flatware has an 18/0 construction, there is 18% chromium with zero nickel matter. Chromium is a hard metallic substance that helps increase product hardness. Nickel is defined as a silvery metallic element that helps resist corrosion.Buying Guide | Flatware 101

18/10 Flatware Features:

  • Brilliant luster
  • Rust-resistant material
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to maintain

18/0 Flatware Features:

  • Soft shine
  • Zero nickel content
  • Economical design
  • Subject to staining

Purchasing flatware might seem like a complicated process, but with the proper information and knowing the basics you can create a special table setting for any guest setting. Tundra Restaurant Supply offers hundreds of flatware collections at every price point.

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Test Strips and Sanitizers: A Complete Buying Guide

Are Test Strips Required, and Why?

Commercial sanitizers and test strips are required by health department regulations, and in Colorado those are the Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations.  Why do you need Test Strips and Sanitizers: A Complete Buying Guidethem?  Because test strips tell you if the chemical sanitizing solution is the required concentration.  Section 4-402 reads:

“A test kit or other device that accurately measures the concentration in parts per million (mg/L) of the sanitizing solution shall be available and used.”

What is Sanitization and Why is it Important?

Good questions, and I’m glad you asked!  Here is the definition from Section 1-202:

“Sanitization means the application of cumulative heat or chemicals on cleaned food-contact surfaces that, when evaluated for efficacy, is sufficient to yield a reduction 5 logs, which is equal to a 99.999% reduction, of representative disease microorganisms of public health importance.”

Simply put, if you apply either sufficient heat, or sufficient chemical sanitizer, then nasty microbes that can make you sick are reduced by 99.999%.  That protects you and your customers, and it is important.  The regulations define how much is sufficient, and I discuss that next.

Test Strips and Sanitizers: A Complete Buying Guide

Types of Chemical Sanitizers

The three most common chemical sanitizers are chlorine-based, quaternary ammonia (QA), and iodine- based.  The required concentration ranges are below:

  • Chlorine-based (available chlorine as hypochlorite) | Between 50 ppm and 200 ppm
  • Quaternary ammonia (QA) | Between 100 ppm and 400 ppm
  • Iodine-based (available iodine) | Between 12.5 ppm and 25 ppm

How Do You Use Test Strips and How Often?

Chlorine-based sanitizers:  Dip the strip into the sanitizing solution, then immediately remove and compare to the color chart.  If it reads between 50 ppm and 200 ppm, then the concentration is fine.

Quaternary ammonia (QA) sanitizers:  Dip the strip into the sanitizing solution for 10 seconds, then remove and compare to the color chart.  If it reads between 100 ppm and 400 ppm, then the concentration is fine.

Iodine-based sanitizers:  Dip the strip into the sanitizing solution for 60 seconds, then remove and compare to the color chart.  If it reads between 12.5 ppm and 25 ppm, then the concentration is fine.

If the concentration is either too low or too high, either add sanitizer or dilute as needed in order to achieve the required concentration.Test Strips and Sanitizers: A Complete Buying Guide

How often do you need to check the concentration?  The Colorado regulation does not specify.  But you need to check often enough to ensure the proper concentration at all times.  A minimum of twice a day is my recommendation.

If you have a high temperature dish machine in Colorado, you must provide a minimum temperature of 160 F on the surface of utensils/equipment to ensure that sanitizing has actually occurred.  Since dish machine gauges can be inaccurate, purchase and regularly use hot water test labels.

Fryer oil and pH test strips are not required by the Colorado regulations.

Remember This!

  1. Test chemical sanitizers in all locations.  This includes the buckets for your wiping cloths, the 3-compartment sink, and the low temperature dish machine.
  2. Inspectors will often ask for your test strips and have you test the sanitizing solution, or they will test it themselves. Asking you to provide the strips will show them if you keep them readily available…a manager scrambling to find them is a bad sign!  Secondly, watching you do the test will show them if you know how, so be prepared.
  3. The requirement for test strips is non-critical, and if you violate it, it is marked as an 11C violation on the inspection form. But have the strips, use them, make sure your staff knows how to use them, and keep all your sanitizing solutions at the proper concentration.
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Know-How from the Guys Who Know How

Tundra Restaurant Supply has been in the business of pleasing customers and sharing industry knowledge for almost 20 years. From the sales floor to your kitchen, our team of technicians and know-how gurus are here to make sure your restaurant equipment works properly, is installed correctly, and gets fixed when something fails.

Kevin Nakata, inside sales and technical support, has been with the company for nearly 3 years and frequently helps customers troubleshoot problems. Sharing some technician insight, Kevin has highlighted a handful of valuable products every restaurant can benefit from buying.

Know How from the Guys Who Know How

Kevin Nakata – Inside Sales and Technical Support

What are 5 products service technicians use regularly?

  1. Seat Washers (faucet part) – “Over time seat washers go bad, and this is the main reason for most faucet drips. Techs purchase seat washers because when you have a faucet that drips a seat washer usually takes care of the problem.”
  2. Silicone Sealant –“ Silicone Sealant is used to fill holes in walls or reseal around sinks and toilets. Techs also use silicone as filler in walls instead of spackle. Since silicone comes in a wide variety of colors and you can match it to walls easily techs don’t have to sand and paint the wall. You can use it on sinks to keep the mold from getting behind the sink and for keeping other debris from getting in to the cracks and causing bacteria growth. The reason they use it on toilets is to keep the sewer gases where they need to be. Nothing smells worse than the smell of sewer when you are trying to eat or use the bathroom.”
  3. Thermocouples – “This is the fix-all when a pilot light does not stay lit. Nine out of ten times when a pilot light does not stay lit the thermocouple is bad.”
  4. Faucet Parts – “Techs keep these on hand for the simple reason a faucet is easy to repair and it only takes 30 minutes or less to fix any faucet problem.”
  5. Pilots and Pilot Valves – “These parts are the most commonly used parts for gas range tops. Techs keep these on hand simply because pilot heads and valves go bad after time due to food debris getting to these pieces which causes them to clog. It’s easier to replace a bad pilot than trying to unclog one.”

Each of these technician go-to products can be purchased for less than $50, in some cases less than $1, and save you a ton of time and money. Calling in a technician to fix a small leak or a clogged valve automatically costs you big bucks, and you may be getting charged an hour’s wage for a 15 minute fix. Stock up on some technician essentials and be ready for that leak or clog. It’s smart to keep a tool kit on-site, and adding a few extras like faucet parts and seat washers help complete your kit.

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Is Mayhem Knocking at Your Door?

Is Mayhem Knocking at Your Door?

Mother Nature has had quite the attitude this year! From devastating fires and flash floods to hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes, she has been turning communities upside down. Thank heavens you can plan ahead for such tragic events. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have generated some tips to help restaurateurs make food safety part of their preparation efforts. If you have a game plan for when severe weather strikes you can prevent food loss and potential food borne illness in your establishment. Temperature controlled food storage can be difficult during a power outage if your commercial refrigeration loses electricity so make sure to stock up on dry ice, canned food, bottled water and batteries. Below are steps to follow if natural disasters are knocking at your door.

How to prepare for a possible weather emergency:

  • Keep a refrigeration thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer at all times. Refrigerator and freezer thermometers will provide the internal temperature of your refrigeration in case of a power outage and help determine the safety of the food. Set freezers at 0°F or below and refrigerators as 40°F or below.
  • Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold after power is out.
  • Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you don’t need immediately to help keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Plan ahead and know where you can get dry ice and block ice quickly.
  • Store foods on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
  • Have coolers available to keep refrigerated food cold if power is out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in freezer for use in refrigerator or cooler. Freeze ice packs and blankets ahead of time to use in coolers.
  • Group food close together in freezer to ensure foods stays cold longer.

Steps to follow during and after a weather emergency:

  • Do not taste any of your food to determine if it is safe!
  • Minimize how often you open your refrigerator and Freezer doors to maintain the internal temperatures as long as possible.
  • A refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will keep food at the proper temperature for about 48 hours. If it is half full is will keep food cold for 24 hours if the door is not opened.
  • If your food contains ice crystals or is at 40°F or below it may be refrozen.
  • Obtain dry ice or block ice to keep your refrigeration as cold as possible if the power goes out for a long period of time. 50 pounds of dry ice should hold an 18 cubic food full freezer for 2 days.Is Mayhem Knocking at Your Door?
  • If the power has been out for several days you will need to check the temperature of the freezer with a refrigerator thermometer of food thermometer. If your food contains ice crystals or is at 40°F or below the food is safe.
  • If you do not have a refrigerator thermometer then you will need to check each package of food to determine its safety. If the food still contains ice crystals it is safe.
  • Throw away or compost refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after 4 hours without electricity.
  • If you are ever in doubt, get rid of the food.

How to determine what food to keep and what to discard:

  • Do not keep or eat anything that may have been in contact with flood water.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof food container if it may have been in contact with flood water. (e.g Containers with screw on tops, snap lids, pull tops, and crimpled covers are not waterproof. Also discard cardboard juice boxes, baby formula boxes and home canned foods in they come in contact with flood water because they cannot be cleaned and sanitized)
  • Inspect canned food and discard anything that looks damaged. (e.g Swelling, leaking, punctures, holes, fractures, rusting and denting represents can damage.)
  • Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented bleach per gallon of clean water.
  • Thoroughly wash countertops with hot water and detergent then rinse with sanitizing solution.

How to remove odors from refrigeration:

  • Get rid of all spoiled food.Is Mayhem Knocking at Your Door?
  • Remove shelves, crispers, and ice trays. Wash thoroughly with hot water and detergent then rinse with sanitizing solution.
  • Wash interior of refrigeration including door and gasket, with hot water and baking soda. Then rinse with sanitizing solution.
  • Leave the door(s) open for 15 minutes to allow free air circulation.

If the odor still remains:

  • Wipe the inside with equal parts of vinegar and water. Vinegar destroys mildew.
  • Stuff refrigeration with rolled newspapers, close the door(s) and leave for several days. Remove paper and clean with vinegar and water solution.
  • Sprinkle fresh coffee grounds or baking soda loosely in a large, shallow container in the bottom of the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Place a cotton swab soaked in vanilla inside the refrigeration. Close door for 24 hours.

As you can see there are many precautionary steps you can take to protect your restaurant from food loss, food borne illness and odors that may turn customers away from your establishment. Weather emergencies are not always foreseen so make sure to plan ahead so you don’t go down with your ship!

If you still have questions about the safety precautions you should take before severe weather or what to do post disaster you can contact FSIS representative, Karen, at www.askkaren.gov or m.askkaren.gov on your smart phone. Ask Karen is available 24 hours a day!

 

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