Fun Fact: Memorial Day was originally created to honor Union soldiers who’d died while fighting in the Civil War. Because of this, southern states did not observe Memorial Day until after World War I, when the holiday was expanded to include soldiers from all wars.
Archive | 2013
Here at Tundra we love beer, and according to the Brewers Association, we’re not alone. There are 2,347 craft breweries across the country, providing an estimated 100,000 part-time and full-time jobs. These stats are amazing, especially because overall beer sales numbers have decreased across the board… except in craft beer’s case, which saw a 15% increase in 2012! According to Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association:
“Beer-passionate Americans are opening breweries at a rate faster than at any time since the day Prohibition ended for the beverage of moderation. There is nearly a new brewery opening for every day of the year, benefiting beer lovers and communities in every area across the country.”
I’ve learned that craft beer is many different things to many different people. American tastes are changing, consider coffee, tea, cheese, chocolate, bread, and (yes) beer. American consumers increasingly want choices of flavor in the foods that they buy.
- Quality: Small and independent craft brewers are known for being passionate and innovative makers of full-flavored beer.
- Taste: It may be opinion, but craft beer enthusiasts report craft beer simply tastes better than mass produced, mass marketed beer brands.
- More Alcohol: Craft beers come in many shapes and sizes, but one thing remains the same – they pack the punch! Most craft beers range from 5-10% alcohol by volume. Some craft beers can even reach 20%+ alcohol by volume.
- Choices: With over 2,000 craft breweries across the country, there are literally thousands of delicious, flavorful craft beers to try!
- Health Benefits: I questioned this one, but like red wine, craft beer does offer some health benefits (moderation is key). Craft beer contains soluble fiber, B vitamins, a range of antioxidants, and is also a rich source of silicon.
Craft Beer Market Segments
The craft beer industry is defined by 4 distinct market segments: microbreweries, brewpubs, contract brewing companies and regional craft breweries.
- Microbrewery: A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year with 75% or more of its beer sold off-site.
- Brewpub: A restaurant-brewery that sells 25% or more of its beer on-site. The beer is brewed primarily for sale in the restaurant and bar.
- Contract Brewing Company: A business that hires another brewery to produce its beer. It can also be a brewery that hires another brewery to produce additional beer. The contract brewing company handles marketing, sales, and distribution of its beer, while generally leaving the brewing and packaging to its producer-brewery.
- Regional Brewery: A brewery with an annual beer production of between 15,000 and 6,000,000 barrels.
- Regional Craft Brewery: An independent regional brewery who has either an all malt flagship or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance, rather than lighten, the flavor.
Craft beer distributors face uphill battles when it comes to distribution laws, and other post prohibition regulations, but American consumers continue to turn to craft beers. Whether it’s for taste, quality, alcohol content, health benefits, choices, or all five, we expect to see this food service segment to continue to grow through 2013.
Share your comments, what do you love about craft beer?
Imagine sitting down at a restaurant and being met with disgust when you question a menu item; unfortunately, that’s what a lot of people with dietary restrictions are being met with when they dine out. The message here isn’t that every restaurant is this way, but rather that you should think about how your restaurant is making certain patrons feel, and why they are choosing to eat elsewhere.
Examples Are Always Good
My son has tree nut allergies, and I’ve been there when his throat started to close up simply because the person serving the food said that there was absolutely no nuts in any of our meals (we are nut-free altogether, because his allergy is so sensitive), and we trusted them when they said that. I’ve also seen how the server rolls their eyes when I tell them how important it is to not have nuts anywhere near our plates.
I have friends that are vegetarian and vegan and get the cold shoulder when it comes to being choosy on their menu choices. They have specific needs and have to ask questions like whether the soup broth is vegetable or meat based, if the grease used was vegetable or bacon grease, and if butter was used to grill the veggies. And at some restaurants they visit, they know that these types of questions will likely result in a bad dining experience that includes eye-rolling and a Chef that’s less than happy to adjust the menu choice – who wants to eat food from an upset Chef?
I’ve also been the waitress that had to chat with the Chef about what’s in a certain dish, and have the Chef reply, “Just tell them what they want to hear;” meaning, even if the soup has meat based broth, I’m supposed to say vegetable broth. I’m sure those of you that are vegan or vegetarian are cringing right now – I did when I was told that – but I did the right thing; I told the customer that the soup probably wouldn’t be a good choice for them. I can’t say this incident happens all the time, but I’m sure it happens more often than not.
Changing Up the Menu
Your restaurant can decide not to serve people with dietary restrictions, but with the way things are going, the number of people with a limited diet is only going to grow and this could be a potential loss in revenue. Currently, 10% of Americans consider themselves to be Vegetarian, Vegan, or Vegetarian-Inclined, and 7% of Americans have food allergies that fall into the “Big 8”: milk, peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, eggs, fish, soy, and/or wheat. That’s a total of 17% of Americans that must be a bit more cautious when picking what restaurant to dine at, and there are plenty more diets that fall under the “special menu” umbrella:
- Japanese meal
…just to name a few.
If you’re thinking to yourself “There’s no way I’m changing my menu to accommodate every new diet that pops up,” I’d recommend taking a look at how other companies are successfully doing this:
People don’t expect you to be everything to everyone, but they are going to do their research to see if dining at your restaurant is worthwhile for them; and believe me when I tell you that there’s site after site devoted to helping people with dietary restrictions find the right restaurants. Some are national sites, but most are local, and do a great job of keeping up on the latest restaurant openings and where to eat: like Vegan Coloradical, a site that has almost 500 pages devoted to Vegans eating, living, and traveling in Colorado.
He’s Just A Hungry Man
The next time someone walks into your restaurant and asks for a menu choice that’s just a little different than what’s listed on the menu (as my Vegan co-worker said),
“The one vegan who eats at your restaurant isn’t trying to tell you you’re wrong for the way you do things, or the way you eat. He’s just a hungry man looking to grab some food with friends who aren’t vegan.”
Fun Fact: World Baking Day began as a way for cake lovers around the globe to share their passion for baking.
From May 17th – June 14th we’re running a photo contest on our Facebook page. The grand prize is a Metalfrio Beverage Cooler valued at $949.95 and this puppy is packed with features including auto defrost by thermostat cycle, an LED temperature display and a front facing ventilation grill at the base for built-in applications. But above all, the HBC60 Beverage Cooler keeps beer at temps below freezing – how cool is that?
You can pack in 51 12 oz. bottles or 48 12 oz. cans, it has a 115V electrical rating which is perfect for any residential or commercial space and its only 15”W x 23.3”D x 34.5”H.
So… it’s obvious this arctic beast is a desirable piece of equipment and you probably want one, am I right? If so, you should enter our kick ass photo contest. It’s easy peazy and fun! Just go to the Facebook Photo Contest App, like our page and submit a picture of yourself enjoying tasty beverages with family and/or friends.
TIP: The Digital Marketing Team at Tundra will be judging the contest and picking one of the top 5 photos with the most votes. (that’s right – there’s voting involved!) The marketing team is a bunch of goof balls and will most likely select a humorous photo.
You can submit a different photo and vote every 24 hours so don’t forget to share your submission and invite your pals to vote!
The winner will be selected and notified via email. How terrible would it be to win and not know about it? Make sure you enter an email you check frequently. The winner will have 7 days to respond before another submission will be selected.
What are you waiting for? Submit a goofy drinking picture before you forget! Who knows, the winner could be you!Enter Now
- There are ancient Sumerian and Babylonian records that date back to 2100 BC that describe honey, but this was only the first record of the sweet stuff. Historians believe that honey is likely way older than this.
- When the Spaniards arrived in the Americas in 1600 AD, they found that the natives had already developed beekeeping. So, odds are that the practice of humans using honey (for consumption or health reasons) was much more wide spread than records show.
- Honey never expires – never! Supposedly, there was a 1,000 year old jar of honey found in an Egyptian tomb, and the brave soul that dared tasting it said it was delicious. We’ll take his word for it.
- To produce 1 pound of honey, the honey bees have to visit an estimated 2,000,000 flowers and fly an estimated 55,000 miles.
- 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey is produced per honey bee during its entire lifetime (which is a short 45 days during the summer).
- A bee colony can consist of 30,000 – 60,000 bees, and only one those bees can be the queen.
- Each colony has a unique odor so the bees always know where home is.
- The worker bees and honey bees are 99% female. So, what do the male bees do all day? They’re reserved for the queen, and they’re called drones.
- The brain of a worker bee and honey bee tiny, but they have the densest neuropile tissue of any animal.
- When the honey bees return to the hive (which they find easily because they have an impeccable sense of smell), they do a little dance to communicate with the other honey bees. That dance helps the other bees find where the flowers are.
- To get the nectar, honeybees pull the liquid from the flower with its long, tube-like tongue. It then stores the honey in one of its two stomachs. Think of the stomach as a kangaroo pouch for honey; it makes it not so gross when you read what’s next.
- The amount of honey 1 bee can hold can equal her total weight, but to get to this point, she must visit 100-1,500 flowers.
- When the honey bee returns to the hive, she opens her mouth and a worker bee comes up and sucks the nectar out of her stomach honey pouch. The worker bee then chews on the nectar for a while to fill it full of enzymes; in other words, she’s turning those natural complex sugars in the nectar to simple sugars that makes the honey more digestible and keeps bacteria away. It’s not bee vomit.
- Nectar is 80% water, so the bees have to work together to pull some of the moisture out of the chewed up, enzyme goodness; to do this, they spread the soon-to-be-honey over the honeycombs. This helps the water evaporate much more quickly and leaves a yummy, gooey honey.
- A honeycomb always has six sides.
- Actually, these bees mean business when it comes to drying out the honey. They don’t just sit back and let Mother Nature take its course with the evaporation process; heck no, these girls know how to get things done! After the honey is spread-out over the honeycombs, the worker bees get to flappin’ those wings to help speed up the drying process.
- And once the honey is nice and gooey, the girls seal off the honeycomb with a bit of beeswax.
- Bees are totally self-efficient. A colony of bees can eat around 120-200 pounds of honey per year.
- 2 tablespoons of honey can fuel a honey bee long enough to fly 1 time around the world.
- The queen only eats royal jelly, which is created by the worker bees and helps plump up the queen. It is unknown if it’s this jelly or because the queen is overly-spoiled, but she lives 50 times longer than any of the other bees. We need to get our hands on this royal jelly stuff.
- Out of about 20,000 bee species, there are only 4 that make honey.
- There are over 300 distinct types of honey available in the US.
- A typical beehive can produce 400 pounds of honey per year.
- That “honey thing” is called a honey dipper (also honey wand and honey drizzler). If you surf the web you’ll see that many people don’t quite get why a honey dipper is better than a spoon, but for those that grew up with one, they know that it’s the ONLY way to serve honey.
- In 1 tablespoon of honey, there are 64 calories, none of which are fat calories.
- Honey is the only food humans eat that is produced by an insect.
- Honey is the only food that includes everything humans need to sustain life, including water, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.
- When honey hits our tables, it’s typically 17% water.
- Remember we said that honey never expires? Well, that’s true, but it has to be properly stored. If moisture is reintroduced to the honey, it can begin to ferment.
- 30 years ago, the average honey price was $.30 per pound. Today, the average price is pushing $6.00 per pound. Let’s say you stumbled upon grandpa’s secret stash of honey – a 30 year old 50 gallon bucket to be exact. That bucket of honey was only worth $125 back then, but today it’d be worth $2,500! Thanks grandpa.
- Pediatricians warn against giving children less than 1 years of age honey because there has been harmful bacterium Clostridium botulinum spores found in honey. These spores can cause botulism in young children because they don’t produce the stomach acids and protective digestive bacteria needed to break down these spores.
- 1 cup of sugar can be replaced by ¾ cup of honey. Just make sure to reduce liquids in the recipe by ¼ cup. If you aren’t using sour cream or sour milk in the recipe, make sure to throw in a pinch of baking soda as well (this helps reduce acidity levels in the honey).
- When making particular recipes with honey, there are additional things to note. Like jellies and jams should be cooked at a higher temperature and candies should be beaten longer.
- But higher baking temperatures are not recommended for most recipes. To keep recipes from getting to brown, lower the oven temperature by 25⁰ F.
- In stored honey, if crystallization occurs, it doesn’t mean the honey is bad. Just stick the container in hot water until the crystals dissolve away.
- But don’t boil it: getting honey too hot can change the flavor and withdraws the pollen that’s naturally present.
- Ever heard of mead? Referred to a lot in older novels, mead is a wine made from honey.
- There are a lot of honey fakes out there. It has been found mixed with sugar syrup, corn syrup, glucose, dextrose, molasses, invert sugar, flour, starch, and many, many other fillers.
- To slap on a “Pure Honey” label, manufacturers have to add an unidentified amount of pure honey. So, the “Pure Honey” could be only 5% pure honey, and the other 95% just fillers, but you’ll still pay the price of expensive honey.
- All of those fillers that go into honey have to natural ingredients. They may be fillers, but by law, they’ll always be natural fillers.
- It’s rather hard to test for pure honey, but there are a lot of different methods that people have come up with to test for pureness. Unfortunately, none of these have been proven to be 100% accurate, so make sure you do your research to find out the truth. Hint, use the Internet to find the real stuff, we thought Honey.com was a great resource.
- To help soothe allergies, take 1 teaspoon of honey per day. The honey helps your body develop a resistance to pollen, which helps reduce overall allergies.
- Skin burns can also be soothed with honey. Mix an even amount of honey with cod liver oil and rub over the burn. Keep the burn wrapped up, and change daily. You should see that the healing process is much quicker.
- It’s believed that the use of honey to help heal wounds dates back to the ancient Greeks in 50 AD. We don’t know how the Greeks knew it had medicinal powers, but medical professionals have found that honey creates a barrier to moisture and prevents dressings from sticking to the wound. It’s also believed to provide other nutrients and chemicals that help to speed up healing.
- Try a teaspoon of honey to help soothe a sore throat or bad cough.
- Honey is lower in glycemic than normal table sugar; meaning, it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels as quickly as sugar does.
- Athletes take honey to help improve endurance, strength, and performance. During a work-out, a teaspoon of honey can help give you the extra boost needed to keep going.
- Athletes that take honey before and after workouts show to have faster recovery time than those that don’t take honey at all.
- Ever heard, “…we can put a man on the moon, but we still have no idea how a bumble bee can fly?” Yeah, that’s not true, sorry.
- Bees are being used to sniff out bombs. Seriously, a team at Los Alamos National Laboratory has formed the Stealthy Insect Sensor Project where bees are being trained to detect explosives.
We’re no doctors around here; we just dig into the Interwebs and find all of this fun information. We tried our best to give credit where credit was due, but when it comes to medical information, you should ALWAYS contact your doctor before following advice you find online.
Other honey articles on the Back Burner:
Have you ever been so upset with no-show diners that you’ve wanted to shout your anger from the rooftop? Well, you’re not the only one. Some restaurants have started to slander no-show customers publicly through social media – using customers full names!
Have you heard of Red Medicine? It’s a hip Beverly Hills dining establishment serving Vietnamese cuisine, with a trendy twist. It’s an establishment that is tough to get into without a reservation and, even then, you may not be eating until 9:00PM (did I mention it’s trendy?). Recently, Red Medicine took a bold move and showed their anger for no-shows, all with the help of social media.
According to The Eater, who reached out to restaurant manager Noah Ellis about the daring posts, no-shows cost restaurants a lot of money and Ellis was at his wit’s end that weekend. He used Twitter as an outlet to express his frustrations.
Ellis later explained that no-shows have always been a problem for restaurants, primarily because the situation becomes difficult when a restaurant is forced to overbook to ensure it stays filled:
“Invariably, the assholes who decide to no-show, or cancel 20 minutes before their reservation ruin restaurants for the people who make a reservation and do their best to honor it. Either restaurants are forced to overbook and make the guests (that actually showed up) wait, or they do what we do, turn away guests for some prime-time slots because they’re booked, and then have empty tables.” – Noah Ellis
He mentioned that they tried to go down the “no overbooking” route a year ago because they presumed that they would be able to recover from no-shows, but would inevitably ruin a few experiences along the way… especially when guests are waiting for more than half an hour for their table. Ellis said:
“I remember a handful of times where those guests who had to wait were celebrating something, or were a younger group who brought their parents from out of town to show them the restaurant; we felt terrible. So we made the conscious decision to eliminate the ghost tables and set our turn times to a realistic length for making reservations.”
“We tried taking a credit card with every reservation, but it hurt our business; there’s a contingent of people who just won’t put down a card, regardless of if they plan on coming or not. The ticketing systems are interesting, but we do most of our business a la carte, and I’m also not sure that we have the consistent demand to justify it. We could do walk-in only, but then if you’re celebrating a special occasion, having a meeting, or trying to have a nice night out, it sucks to not know when you’ll be able to get a table. There’s no winning.”
Ellis was at his boiling point and blew up on Twitter because he didn’t know what else to do, but what else is there to do?
According to The Evening Herald a similar situation came up with Ireland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef, Oliver Dunne. He publicly roasted customers who didn’t show-up for Mother’s Day on his Twitter account. Need I mention that, that no-show ended up costing him over $1,300? His tweet sounded something like this:
“To the 30 people who confirmed and no-showed today – well done. I’d say your mother is proud.”
Take a Side
With all of that said, what is your take on no-show diners – how should they be handled? Is it fair to publicly denounce them via social media? What would be a better solution?
Time to sound off!
Fun Fact: On Mother’s Day 2011, more than half of the shoppers surveyed by the National Retail Federation said they wanted to take mom to a restaurant to celebrate, which was an estimated spend of $3 billion.
Weddings have classically been known as a formal affair with rooms filled with round tables, elegant place settings that include seating cards, and a wedding cake large enough to be seen by everyone. And even though a few wedding parties still opt for a more formal setting, there are many that have ventured over to the social side. The idea is to add “foodertainment” to the mix – a perfect blend of culinary visual appeal and taste that allows for guests to mingle, instead of being locked at a table.
From drinks and finger foods to late night munchies, here are a few wedding catering trends that we hope to see more of this wedding season.
1. Creative Beverages
There’s definitely never a lack of alcoholic beverages at most weddings; in fact, the majority of us go for the wedding, but stay for the party afterwards. Drinking and mingling with friends and loved ones always makes for a perfect night, but when a little fun is brought to the mix, what can go wrong? A few fun beverage trends we’ve seen at recent weddings include a bloody Mary bar, bubbly bar (make a custom glass of bubbly, which includes fruit juice and fruit slices), specialty cocktails and a variety of draft brews.
But don’t forget the guests that prefer not to divulge in alcohol for the evening. We’ve also seen an increase in hot drink stations and water infused stations.
Lastly, when serving food, try recommending a paired beverage – a nice shot of Hefenweizen always goes great with salty finger foods.
2. Finger Foods & Small Plates
It’s easier for guests to mingle when they don’t have to sit at a table as they dine, which is why we’re guessing there’s been a huge increase in finger foods and small plates at weddings. When the caterer offers to walk the room with plated food that can be easily grabbed and munched as guests carry on conversation, the night seems to flow much better – which sets even Bridezilla at ease.
3. Food Trucks & Picnics
We love this trend, it marries simplicity with great food where you least expect it. If you would have told us a few years ago that food trucks would be making their way into weddings, we would have likely laughed, but the only thing laughable about this new trend is how much it encourages people to have their own laughs.
Yes, it’s informal, but how fun and easy is it to have a food truck for dinner and another for dessert. Spread out some beautiful linen on the grass (or on tables) and the entire event can be picnic style.
Farm-to-table isn’t just for residents anymore. In fact, Lyons Farmette, located in Lyons, Colorado, has seen an increase in weddings that want to take place at the farm (and the wedding party has no issues mingling with the wandering farm animals). But it’s not just about farm animals here, the culinary experience offers guests the freshest ingredients, while also being able to entertain guests with special dietary needs – vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and other allergies.
Think about a table in the middle of a farm surrounded with the rustic beauty that the land brings – it’s hard not to fall in love with the setting and food, even if it does involve a few goats and chickens.
5. Chef Stations
A lot of what attracts people to finger foods and farm-to-table trends is seeing the masterpiece of food on the plate. It’s not just about the food, it’s an interaction that involves all of the senses, and getting food prepared right in front of you helps improve that experience. Chef stations offer a great way for guests to be able to ask questions as they watch their meal being prepared. They also get restaurant quality food that is served hot and fresh.
For those brides that still want a sit down dinner, there are always meals that can be served family-style to encourage guests to keep the chatter going. Family-style catering delivers meals to the table in big dishes that are then passed, and helps to boost guest interactions.
As a word of caution, having big dinner plates and bowls on a table takes up a lot of room – the bride should remember to keep the centerpieces small so the table doesn’t get too crowded.
7. Dessert Bar
Sorry wedding cake lovers, brides are keeping the social train moving right on through dessert time. We’ve seen some interesting dessert choices lately, like smores bars, frozen yogurt bars, fondue bars, and other extravagant dessert buffets.
But cakes aren’t entirely out the window. We’ve also seen cake pops, rice crispy treat cakes, cheesecake bars, and mini-cakes.
8. Late-Night Snacking
Once dinner is done, it’s time to dance the night away, but all of that drinking and dancing leads to late-night munchies. We love seeing that more caterers are offering to entertain the night-owls of the group by serving late-night snacks, like mini pretzel bites, sliders, meatballs, and other fun finger foods. And don’t worry about going over the top; keeping it simple is perfect for this hungry bunch!
9. To-Go Bags
Bless those that are able to rock-the-night-away, but not all guests can stay up into the wee hours of the night to experience those late-night munchies, so opt for helping to cater for guests on the go as well. Think of easy-to-pack foods like trail mix and cookies. You can have the food pre-packed or setup buffet style so they can dip up their own grab-bag.
With summer weather trying to make up its mind and move in full force, the itch and urge to don the short sleeves and spark up the barbecue is strong. If you’re sizzling some steaks for a comfortable night in or covering the grill with a wide array of meats for a family barbecue, simple yet reliable shortcuts are always welcome; that said, a staple of any good backyard barbecue is corn on the cob.
Here’s an extremely easy, and arguably innovative, way to prepare mouth-watering corn on the cob.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 beer cooler
- As many ears of corn as you’d like
- Boiling water
How It’s Done:
- Wash out the inside of your cooler for sanitary reasons (if extremely dirty you can sterilize with boiling water)
- Shuck, clean, and rinse your ears of corn
- Pile corn into the cooler
- Pouring boiling water over the corn – enough to cover ears and then a little more
- Let sit for 30 minutes
Cooler Corn, as it’s unofficially being called, eliminates the need to keep your eyes on a big boiling pot of water. It’s simple, safe, and completely hands free after the lid closes. Just slide the cooler into a corner while the corn cooks, and go about your business for the next half hour. It’s that easy. Plus, people jumping on the cooler corn bandwagon insist the corn holds well long after the 30 minute mark – this means no sogginess or overcooking.
So, the next time you’re mouth starts watering over the thought of a scrumptious ear of cooked corn, remember it’s as easy as some boiling water and a cooler!
Great video, although I’d recommend wearing shoes when pouring out boiling water!