Dining and Restaurants / Eating / Food and Cooking

The Generic Gourmet Food News Update

July 2, 2009

GLUTEN-FREE RISES: The Wall Street Journal reports that General Mills has quietly introduced gluten-free Chex cereal and Betty Crocker mixes without advertising because the demand for them was already so strong. If anybody thought gluten-free was a temporary fad, think again. It’s mainsteamed as cases of celiac disease have risen dramatically since the 1950s.

 WINE & BURGERS: QSR Magazine (quick service restaurants) notes that more fast casual chain eateries are now serving wine including The Counter and Pizza Fusion. It makes sense as wine consumption has risen EVERY year for the past 15. Personally, I like a dry chardonnay with my Asian chopped salad at Noodles & Company.

 SEAL OF DISAPPROVAL: You’ll find many unusual meats on American menus including rattlesnake (Buckhorn Exchange, Denver) and horse or cheval is served in France but you’ll have to dine in Canada to taste seal, reports the New York Times. Pan-seared filet mignon-style seal with cranberry sauce is on the menu at Les Iles en Ville in Montreal. The meat is a by-product of Canada’s annual fur harvest of 580,000 seals.

STAT OF OUR TIMES: According to a recent IBM national survey, barely 20 percent of American adults say they trust food companies to offer products that are safe and healthful.

 TWO (THOUSAND) BUCK CHUCK:  “Despite the global wine glut and bargain prices for just about everything in the market, the prices for the most illustrious Bordeaux wines from the great 2005 are still stratospheric for most buyers. Nevertheless, Château Latour 2005, which was listed around $2000 a bottle upon release last fall, is now selling for about $1500-$1600.”

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY: The bar code is now 35 years old. I’m so, uh, veteran that I remember when grocery store clerks had to actually punch in the price of each product bought.

 JUST WHEN WE GOT USED TO ACAI: Gourmet Retailer says that the next, hot, antioxidant-rich superfruits are: lulo, camu camu, rambutan, cupuacu and cherimoya. The latter family of fruits include soursop and guanabana.

 DEPT. OF DUH: This breaking, shocking news from HealthDay News: A new study confirms that a healthy diet can help people live longer. Who would have thought?

 FIT TO BE FRIED: “Even though restaurants are creating more nutritious food and drink, “healthy” items are still dwarfed by regular, and even anti-health, menu items. Mintel Menu Insights found that during Q1 2009, only 5 percent of new items carried a nutritional claim. But nearly one in five new food items was fried.”  – Gourmet Retailer

 UNBIASED SOURCE: According to The Tea Council, one half of all Americans drink tea everyday. Maybe they meant SOUTH Americans.

 GOOD FOR YOUR HEART: The Telegraph of London reports that Brits are responding to the recession just like Americans by turning to comfort foods including baked beans on toast.

 DOLLAR SIGNS O’ THE TIME: According to the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University, the easiest way for restaurants to increase profits is to simply leave the dollar sign off the menu price. A recent study found customers spent about 8 percent more when prices were in numerals with no dollar sign (20.) than in a dollars and cents format with a sign ($20.00) or spelled out (twenty dollars).

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