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Top 6 Items to Add to Your Spring Shopping List

Top 6 Items to Add to Your Spring Shopping List

Spring is in the air and a lot of us are thinking spring cleaning, but it doesn’t all have to be left to dusting and scrubbing this month.  Here are a few of our favorite spring items that remind us that there’s more to March than just cleaning.

1.    Food Scales

Food scales are used in the food service industry quite a bit by chains, but we’ve found many small business that still haven’t heard of the money saving benefits behind these items (we wrote about it here and here).  This is why we had to kick off our spring list with food scales – well that, and they have springs, get it?

2.    The Cooler Sno Cone Machine

Get a head start on summer with this lightweight, portable sno cone machine from Paragon.  Weighing in at a little under 11 pounds and measuring 16” wide x 24” high, don’t let its cuteness fool you – it’s capable of producing 500 pounds of shaved ice per hour!  Now you just need to decide on your favorite flavor of syrup!

3.    Springs

Springs for spring, of course!  With over 500 springs in stock, odds are we can keep you stocked up on springs for quite sometime.

4.    Flowering Onion Cutter

Ever wondered how the “Awesome Blossom” was made?  With this unique tool called the flowering onion cutter.  Simply place a colossal sized onion on the machine and slide the handle down – bam, a perfectly, awesomely cut blossom.

5.    Flower Vegetable Trays

Sure, veggie trays are great for game day serving, but cool veggies can be served poolside too.  That’s why we added this simple vegetable tray to the list – in flower design!

6.    Sno Cone Flower Holders

If you’re getting ready for sno cone season anyway, why not get these fun sno cone holders too?  They keep the syrup from dripping over the sides and the adults love them too – seriously, we used them at our last team member sno cone event and they were a hit!

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Food Service Sales

Food Service Sales

Looking for the best deals, sales, and coupons in the food service industry?  Well, we’re here to bring them to you!

Our 72 hour sale may be over, but while we work on bringing you another great offer, take a look at our clearance section – there are always ways to save!

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Grease Traps: Everything You Always Wanted to Know (and More!)

Remember the London fatberg story?

Sorry if you were trying to put it out of your mind.

As you might recall, in August 2013 sewer workers in London discovered a double-decker-bus-sized mass of grease and wet naps, which was immortalized in the tabloids as “fatberg.” The berg had nearly blocked the entire 7-foot diameter pipe. Had it fully blocked the pipe, residents of the London borough of Kingston would’ve been in for a MOST UNPLEASANT surprise.

“The sewer was almost completely clogged,” sewer worker Gordon Hailwood told the Guardian. “If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston.”

The 15-ton London fatberg incident is a great illustration of the unheralded importance—to our infrastructure and to our public health—of grease traps: those toolbox-sized containers that commercial kitchens put below their sinks. The purpose of grease traps, also known as grease interceptors, is to reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases (FOGs) that enter our sewer systems.

As anyone who has cooked bacon knows, grease congeals when it cools, and can cling to and eventually clog your pipes if you pour it down the drain. The London fatberg incident shows what happens, on a macro level, when too much grease oozes into the public sewer system. Because when too much grease accumulates in the sewer, raw sewage has nowhere else to go but … everywhere.

According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, sewers back up an estimated 400,000 times each year due to pipe blockages, and and grease is the primary culprit, resulting in over 10 billion gallons of raw sewage spills each year.

So, the moral of the story? Grease traps are a VERY good thing that EVERYONE benefits from, and that’s why virtually every municipality requires their use in commercial kitchens to prevent FOGs from clogging public sewer lines.

That said, not all grease traps are created equal! To ensure that your device not only does the job but proves durable over the long run, head over to eTundra.com and shop of wide selection of top-of-the-line grease traps!

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Why Flatware Matters to the Success of Your Restaurant

At first blush, choosing forks, spoons and knives for your new restaurant might seem like a relatively insignificant task, just one among many decisions you have to make before opening day.

But make no mistake, flatware is incredibly important to get right.

Ask any restaurant designer worth her salt, and she’ll readily affirm the importance of flatware and how it can help—or hurt—the overall aesthetics of a restaurant’s design.

As a recent New York Times article notes, the three restaurateurs behind the re-opening of the historic Tavern on the Green spent hours debating and testing—with food—over 300 kinds of flatware for their new establishment.

“Flatware is the hardest thing to choose, because people have such strong visceral reactions to it,” Katy Sparks, Tavern on the Green’s executive chef, told the Times. “I want something that speaks to being part of a tavern, but updated.”

Flatware, as Sparks indicates, wields enormous power: it can complement your restaurant’s decor or distract from it. It can help you tell your story or be a glaring contradiction to everything you’re trying to communicate to your patrons. For example, a fork might say “bistro” when you’re trying to say “diner.” It might say “prim” when you’re trying to say “down-home.” Or “old-fashioned” instead of “elegant.”

Your choice of tableware can even alter the taste or your food!

Don’t believe me? Get this: Researchers from the University of Oxford found that a utensil’s color, kind and material can all impact how food tastes or feels in our mouths.

“Subtly changing eating implements and tableware can affect how pleasurable, or filling, food appears,” said study researcher Dr. Vanessa Harrar.

If you don’t believe me, take it from Science: flatware is important.

There’s more to consider than aesthetics, of course. For restaurateurs, durability is another important piece of the puzzle. Lower-grade steel might seem like a bargain in the beginning, but if it can’t stand up to the daily abuse of restaurant life, “cheap” can end up costing more money in the long haul.

With a long tradition of melding durability, precise workmanship and aesthetic appeal, Walco flatware, based in Utica, New York, has become a popular choice for restaurant designers and food service professionals. Walco is a perennial favorite at Etundra.com, offering a wide variety of flatware to complement your decor and earn compliments from your patrons.

So if you need new utensils for your restaurant or hotel, be picky! It’s an important decision! And be sure to check out or selection of Walco flatware.

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Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

Water filters in their simplest form are, well, water filters – they filter out the impurities in water so that it is safe to consume.  Some types of water filters are used to filter ice and drinking water, whereas others are used to filter all of the water in an establishment, e.g. hard water, fluoride water, conditioned water.  Nonetheless, it’s important to know when you should be replacing your filters and the importance of water filtration in a restaurant.

You should also know the difference between filter heads, pre-filters, replacement filters, scale removers, and water filter systems.  Here’s a quick overview on what each of these categories are.

Filter Heads

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

Filter heads go on top of water filters and hold them in place.  You’d typically unscrew the filter from these to change out your water filters, i.e. they’re the head of the water filter system.  Filter heads should only have to be replaced when they are broken, leaking, or are clogged.

Replacement Filters

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

It’s easy to know when to replace an old filter if you can read the specifications on the filter itself.  However, if you’re unsure, try to time a replacement every six months or when the water begins to show signs of the following:

  • Water pressure drops significantly.  Many water filtration systems have a PSI (pounds per square inch) indicator needle.  If that needle is in the red or below 30 PSI, replace your filter.
  • The water tastes or smells funny.
  • Mineral deposits (or scale) start to build up in the equipment the water is being filtered through.

If you replace your water filter and you’re still seeing signs of cloudy water or bad taste, you’ll likely need to use a pre-filter as well.

Pre-Filters

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

Pre-filters add an additional layer of filtration to help purify water. As the name suggests, these filters are used in the beginning stages of filtration – when water that needs to be filtered comes in, the pre-filter works to filter out sediments like rust and silt particles.  They also help extend the life of your replacement filters.

Scale Removers

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

If you have hard water, you likely are very familiar with scale build-up.  Scale forms in the piping of faucets and equipment and causes issues overtime.  It also causes hot water heaters and equipment that uses hot water to run less efficiently, because scale makes heat transfer much more difficult.  If you have an issue with scale, you’ll likely need to invest in scale remover and a scale inhibitor (also known as a scale stick).  The scale inhibitor simply holds the scale remover, whereas, the scale remover is the action-Jackson of getting rid of scale build-up without adding any impurities to the water that is being filtered.  The scale remover Tundra offers is non-toxic and safe for food service equipment.

Water Filter Systems

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

Finally on our list are water filter systems.  Tundra provides over 50 water filter systems that are complete with filter heads and replacement filters.  Some come with a scale inhibitor and scale remover and others are much larger, providing more water filtration.  The size and type of a water filter system you should be investing in, depends on how you run your business and what equipment you already have (or are planning on purchasing).  Although most equipment will have guidelines on what filtration system is best, you also need to be aware of how much water and ice your business will be using – including room for future growth (you don’t want to spend money on a smaller ice machine that you’ll likely outgrow within a year’s time).

If you’re unfamiliar with the workings of water filtration, we’d highly recommend chatting with one of our sales team members.

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Are You Using the Right Zester?

Are You Using the Right Zester?For most bakers, zesting is an everyday occurrence (as well as, at most bars), but for others, it’s a simple zest here and there that’ll satisfy.  From the diehard zesting enthusiasts to the people trying it the first time, here are a few tips and products to help you learn more about the art.

Don’t believe it’s an art?  Did you know that lemons and limes that come from a normal grocery store typically have pesticides sprayed on the outside?  So, even if you scrub the fruit before zesting it, you’re still going to get those pesticides in your recipe.  Besides, when zest is added to the side of a beautiful cocktail, it does start to resemble art.

The Heart of Zesting

For lemons and limes, you’ll always want to find a fruit that feels heavy for its size – this means it’s perfectly ripe. And it’s best to pick your fruits and vegetables from a natural food market, to ensure nothing is sprayed on the outer layer.  Other fruits and vegetables that you could zest, include potatoes, oranges, grapefruit, and apples; actually, we’ve seen avocados zested too.

Whichever fruit or vegetable you’re starting with, make sure to scrub them clean and then wipe them dry.  When you get ready to zest, it is only the outermost layer that you want to take off.  The white part is called the pith, and will give the recipe a tart flavor.  Finally, if you zest more than your recipe calls for, it’s okay to freeze the remaining bits for a few months.

Safety Notice: If you’ve ever zested, you know that you should always keep Band-Aids nearby, but if you haven’t, well, zesting usually involves scrapped knuckles and fingers.

The Zesters

Microplane

Microplane zesters produce a fine, airy zest that is perfect for cake toppings, or to swirl into popsicles before freezing them.  Because the zest is so small, it’s easy to eat, and doesn’t take away from other ingredients, but make sure to avoid the pith.  You can also use them to finely shred parmesan cheese to top Caesar salad and pasta dishes.  These zesters are usually small enough for the waitstaff to carry them from table to table.

Manual Citrus Zesters

These little gadgets are handheld and are also easy to carry around.  They produce a thicker zest than the microplane zester, and the length of the zest can be from very short to long (it takes some time to get used to it to get these different lengths).  These types of zesters will usually take more time to get the end result, but they are very inexpensive.

Vegetable Peeler

For thicker strips, you can also use a vegetable peeler to shave off big pieces of garnish.  There’s the handheld type of peeler, and the table mountable ones that help do the job much quicker.  Again, you’ll have to watch how close you get to the pith.

Zip Zester

The Zip Zester is very similar to a table mounted vegetable peeler, but was made specifically for busy bars and bakeries looking for an easy zester.  This zester is capable of creating:

  • A thick peel for swirled garnish that can be added to the side of drinks.
  • Thin ribbons that can easily be shaped in bows and ribbons.
  • Fine zest or strands of zest.

To create the different types of zest mentioned, you’ll need the 4 different blade types (the main product only comes with the blade for thick peels and fine zest).

What makes the Zip Zester unique is that it helps save time (up to 10 times faster than other zesters), helps prevent knuckle scrapes, and totally avoids the white pith.  It is also capable of cutting potatoes for curly fries, fruit strands to infuse vodka, and other garnish types similar to the zesters mentioned above.

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What You Need to Know to Use a Mandoline

What You Need to Know to Use a Mandoline

Here’s the thing, mandolines are scary, and the majority of us have our bloody tales of hit fingers or knuckles, so why do we keep using them?  If you ask most Chefs, their response is simple, it’s those perfect, even cuts that can be sliced down to size, within seconds. 

If you’re in the market for a new mandoline, don’t let tales of injury leave you missing out on a unique kitchen supply item that can help save time, while delivering perfect cuts for presentation.

Safety First

Mandolines typically come with a hand guard, and if you’re inexperienced with them, we’d advise to always use the hand guard until you’re more familiar with how the mandoline works. Yes, each mandoline is different, so you need to get to know the one you’ll be working with. 

Some people like to slice down until theirs about an 1/8 of the way through the vegetable or fruit and then just discard (or save for broths) what’s left.  Other people continue to use the hand guard, while others feel comfortable slicing down to the very end.  Yet, another solution is to use cut resistant gloves when slicing away.  These gloves are great for all types of cuts, but make sure to look into the different cut levels before making a purchase.

Know the Blades

In case you haven’t picked it up by now, these blades are very, very sharp, but when looking to purchase a mandoline, you should definitely know more about it than just its sharpness.  Our mandolines range from $6 to $150, and the biggest difference in these products is the blade length and type.

Blade length ranges from 3.63 inches to 6.5 inches wide.  When trying to decide on the right length, think about what you’ll be cutting and the average width of that vegetable or fruit.  Potatoes, tomatoes, and apples can easily take up the space of the larger blade, but a carrot or lime could be cut just as easily on the shorter blade. 

Make sure to look at how many blades come with the mandoline and what each of those blades do:

  • Are they adjustable for different size cuts?
  • Do they offer a variety of cuts, like crinkle cut, waffle cut, julienne, straight?
  • Are there specialty blades for tomatoes or grating cheese?

Final thoughts on picking a mandoline, is to check the warranty of the item, whether it has a stand (or if it is handheld), and if it is dishwasher safe.  You could hand-wash a mandoline, but remember the safety factor behind doing this.

See the mandolines available at Tundra or visit us over at Pinterest to see yummy mandoline recipes.

P.S. Do you know the difference between mandoline and mandolin?

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A Very Brief History of Kitchen Utensils

A Very Brief History of Kitchen Utensils

We Homo sapiens have been using kitchen utensils for quite awhile now. How long? Since the dawn of the Stone Age, nearly three million years ago!

Then it was mortar and pestles. Now it’s mortar and pestles and rice cookers sporting the Android operating system.

What happened in between? Let’s turn back the clock …

With the start of the Bronze Age, around 3600 BCE, wealthier households in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions ditched their stone and wood implements in favor of utensils made of—you guessed it—bronze. (And also copper.) As the archaeological record tells us, the Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age, and more sophisticated forms of metallurgy produced more useful tools for food preparation.

But things really started to get interesting around the 8th Century BCE, with the start of Roman Empire. The Romans popularized a variety of kitchen utensils, including meat hooks, meat mincers, spatulas, colanders/strainers and ladles, frequently made of iron, as well as pots and kettles made of bronze and terracotta.

Side note: What ever happened to the meat hook?

The Middle Ages, despite having a reputation for darkness, was a pretty bright time in terms of kitchenalia. Slotted spoons became popular, as did frying pans, pepper mills, tongs, mallets and (one of my favorites) waffle irons. The medieval kitchen also had weighing scales, roasting forks, rolling pins and even cheese graters.

With the start of the early modern period you begin to see even more specialization with tools like apple corers, cork screws and later, with the proliferation of canned food, can-openers.

And at some point, we ditched the meat hook.

The 19th century, particularly in the United States, witnessed a dramatic expansion in the number of kitchen utensils available on the market, such as labor-savers like potato peelers, jelly molds and salad spinners.

Signs of dissatisfaction with copper utensils, which reacted with acidic foods, were emerging, and other metals gained popularity. By the turn of the 20th century, kitchen utensils were commonly made of (tinned or enameled) iron and steel, nickel, silver, tin, and aluminium.

As predicted by Mr. McGuire in The Graduate, the latter part of the 20th century witnessed the proliferation of petro-based utensils—plastics.

See also: The humble spatula’s linguistic origins – The Week

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Tundra: Catering to Caterers’ Needs Nationwide

Tundra: Catering to Caterers’ Needs Nationwide

Whether you specialize in destination weddings, buttoned-up corporate conferences, fast-paced event concessions, high-volume school lunches, or a little of everything, Tundra has what you need to grow your catering business and keep your staff, clients and patrons happy.

Get What You Need—Fast

Our Catering and Buffet Specialty Shop, located at eTundra.com, offers best-in-class parts, equipment and supplies from top brands like American Metalcraft, Cal-Mil and Winco, and provides several handy filters to help you quickly find what you’re looking for and get back to what matters—running your business.

To keep the shopping experience simple and painless, we have several top-level catering and buffet categories to choose from: beverage station, buffet supplies, displays, equipment, serveware, serving utensils, and storage and transport. From there you can drill down into a variety of sub-categories. Or, if you’re more inclined to type than click, just enter your query into the search bar, and we’ll serve up relevant results faster than you can light a can of Sterno.

And since time is a caterer’s most valuable—and scarce—resource, our Catering and Buffet Specialty Shop lets you shop for items that are eligible for Quick Ship, so you get what you need right when you need it, because no one wants to deliver bad news to Bridezilla.

Save Money

Every catering business, no matter the age, size, or specialty, wants to save money. A penny saved is a penny earned, right? To help cost-conscious caterers, Tundra provides competitive pricing, frequent discounts, free shipping on dozens of items, and a low-price guarantee.

Tundra exists to help your catering business thrive and prosper, and we take that commitment seriously. Whether you’re in the market for an $0.90 salad bowl or a $9,000 Refrigerator Transport Cart, we’ll treat you with respect, courtesy and prompt service.

Head Over to Our Catering and Buffet Specialty Shop!

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Rosseto Catering & Buffet Supplies With Style

Rosseto is not like your average catering supplier.  They strive to bring a sense of style and elegance to the catering and buffet world that is unlike most.  With clean-cut lines, their eye-catching products help display the beauty that is in catering, the food.  From dry food dispensers to some of the most versatile catering displays, here are a few of our favorite products from Rosseto.

Riser System

Rosseto Catering & Buffet Supplies With Style

Rosseto’s riser system is a mix of different size towers and tempered glass in multiple shapes and sizes that can be fit together to make different types of display layouts.  It can be setup for a simple breakfast bar, or built out to include warmers at one end and fade to beverage holders at the other end.  The crisp look ads style to the table without hiding the beauty the chef worked so hard creating.

Notice how in the picture above there are slits in different areas of the risers?  This allows for different bends and shapes so that the display can fit in multiple areas, rather than just in a straight line.

Warmer Solutions

Rosseto Catering & Buffet Supplies With Style

The trend in catering has long been turning to food being cooked in front of the customer.  It helps make the food more enticing when customers can see it, smell it, and talk to the cook that is preparing it.  With Rosseto’s warming solutions, you can build the warming station into the riser system, so everything flows and looks incorporated.  There are square solutions, like the ones pictured above, and round solutions where a pot can sit on top, or sunk into the display.

Dry Food Storage

Rosseto Catering & Buffet Supplies With Style

If you’re running an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop, you know that even adults get excited by seeing the toppings displayed and self-served.  With Rosseto’s line of dry food storage dispensers, you not only get to display those toppings in an impressive way, but you also get portion control technology that saves you money.  From 1.5 tbsp to 1 tsp, each portion delivered can be measured to within 1 gram of what is dispensed, which means controlled portions that saves from unintentional spills.

Dry food storage is also great for cereals, coffee beans, tea, spices and bar snacks.  Since the storage containers are sealed, it keeps the product fresher, longer, which means no more stale peanuts or cereal or tea and spices that lose their flavor.

Dry food storage containers can be wall-mounted or placed on the table top, depending on what option you select.

Cooler Solutions

Rosseto Catering & Buffet Supplies With Style

Have product that needs to stay cool: drinks, tapas, cheeses, fish, etc.?  With Rosseto’s cooler solution, you’ll be amazed at how beautiful a bowl full of drinks or display of tapas can look.  Mixed with other catering solutions from Rosseto, or alone, the cooler solutions help bring chilled beverages and foods to the table without compromising décor.

Beverage Dispensers

Rosseto Catering & Buffet Supplies With Style There are beverage dispensers and then there are artfully created beverage dispensers.  In multiple color varieties, the beverage dispensers also integrate with the other display stands from Rosseto.  There’s also an ice chamber that floats atop the beverage, to make sure it stays cool as it sits.

Bakery Cases

Rosseto Catering & Buffet Supplies With Style

Last, but not least, Rosseto also offers bakery cases, beyond its riser system.  With sliding drawers that are clear, and design detail to help showcase food, the bakery system helps keep baked goods fresh, while adding grace, even with their tiered clear displays that come in two-three stacks.

Have you invested in Rosseto products for your catering business or buffet display?  Share your story with us below.

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