Friday Faves No. 189

favorite finds from the front lines of food

Looking for disruptive dining? Just go to some dinner theater. No, that's not a cheeky suggestion, it's truly a thing. New productions such as Beauty and the Feast, put on by The Vaults, are offering a fun on three-course delightfully eccentric theatrical culinary performance where the audience participates in the Beauty's journey through the initially bleak foodscape. These are much more than your ol' murder mystery dinner productions!

We kindly request to amuse your bouche with some fine art feasting.    It is with the most sincere pride and overwhelming pleasure that eloquent designers Darling & Edge invite you to be their guest for a palatable pantomime.   Your Godmother, Fairy Liquid, has invited you to attend the Beast’s palace to help break the spell. Fairy Liquid is tired of regal dancing, mute dinners and the same old conversations; she needs you to help get the party started. This re-telling sees you follow in the footsteps of Belle, arriving at the Beast’s grey palace where the serving staff, desperate to satisfy, transport you into this modern fairytale. You’re invited through to dinner, where the Beast, and the Feast, awaits. As the booze flows and dinner goes, you are more and more integral to the breaking of this romantic curse. Except, you should expect, this is not a fairytale task. Should you manage to break the spell, the celebration will go on late into the night. The thigh slapping will begin, disco balls will spin and the chandeliers will swing. Forget sipping on soup, abandon regal dances and leave your manners at the door. Come as a beauty, leave as a beast. (Suitable for ages 16+)     official description of the production - The Vaults

We kindly request to amuse your bouche with some fine art feasting.

It is with the most sincere pride and overwhelming pleasure that eloquent designers Darling & Edge invite you to be their guest for a palatable pantomime.   Your Godmother, Fairy Liquid, has invited you to attend the Beast’s palace to help break the spell. Fairy Liquid is tired of regal dancing, mute dinners and the same old conversations; she needs you to help get the party started. This re-telling sees you follow in the footsteps of Belle, arriving at the Beast’s grey palace where the serving staff, desperate to satisfy, transport you into this modern fairytale. You’re invited through to dinner, where the Beast, and the Feast, awaits. As the booze flows and dinner goes, you are more and more integral to the breaking of this romantic curse. Except, you should expect, this is not a fairytale task. Should you manage to break the spell, the celebration will go on late into the night. The thigh slapping will begin, disco balls will spin and the chandeliers will swing. Forget sipping on soup, abandon regal dances and leave your manners at the door. Come as a beauty, leave as a beast. (Suitable for ages 16+)

official description of the production - The Vaults

Network, a performance put on by the National Theater, based in London, has a ballot system where winning participants will actually dine onstage during the performance (the audience gets to eat too). This production, which stars Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad fame, even has a name for this on-stage restaurant, it's call Foodwork.  Diners will be directed through a secret passage and enter the scene as if entering into an actual restaurant.  You can enter here.

Gingerline is producing the Chambers of Flavors v2.0, where the audience experiences five parallel realities and each is a different course. 

In other food news, Costco is expanding into China through the Alibaba subsidiary Tmall.  While Costco in China is not new per se, this deal almost doubles the number of SKUs. This includes wine and food products as well as furniture, electronics, huge teddy bears and the like. Another aspect to this new arrangement, it now means that Costco is licensed in China and can now set up brick and mortar locations throughout the country.

Interesting note, Costco set a Guinness World Record for selling 7,238 tons of mixed nuts during singles day in 2015.  (Alizila)

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! 

Well, yeah, kinda. We have seen all kinds of disasters these past few weeks, including natural, man-made and political. (the salt - NPR)

Hurricane Irma ruins crops

Smoke from wild fires in the PNW could damage this years vintage

French fishermen who catch 70%+ of their fish in British waters are scared of Brexit

Friday Faves No. 188

favorite finds from the front lines of food


"Live your life as if everything you were going to do could be put on a cake." - Kat Thek, Troll Bakery & Detective Agency

No, it's not a light summer read, the Troll Bakery & Detective Agency really exists.  Baker/Detective Kat Thek makes internet trolls eat their words literally by turning posts into actual cakes and sending it to the troll in question through the mail.  Kat has a great little piece of advice on her site: "See something? Cake something." (Cnn Money - video-, NPR, Troll Cakes)

CHEERS! Well at least I think that is the saying du jour chez Clooney.  George and his partners just sold their boutique tequila brand Casamigos to Diageo for beaucoup de dinero.  Word of caution-  enough of this tequila and you start mixing up words and languages.  (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Big news this past week about the possible Amazon-Whole Foods acquisition, but those in the supermarket industry are now asking all sorts of questions and taking a hard look at their business model. One thing we are looking at is how Gen Z will react. Will they purchase groceries online? (Supermarket News)

Here is a good news story from Morro Bay.  We have been aware of this effort since the beginning but it is great to see some national coverage. These fishermen are working together and that is encouraging. (Marketplace)




Friday Faves No. 172

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Oil-cured Coho salmon. We're still waiting on the seafood "charcuterie" revolution. Photo by Polished Brands.

Oil-cured Coho salmon. We're still waiting on the seafood "charcuterie" revolution. Photo by Polished Brands.

Shop till you flop: Why can’t anyone make money in online grocery delivery? "Despite immense growth in demand in recent years, the online grocery business remains largely unprofitable. As an online grocery business grows, it can no longer rely on sending workers to local grocery outlets to fill orders. Instead, they must invest heavily in more intricate and more costly ordering and logistics systems in order to pick, pack and deliver the near-infinite combinations of items customers select."

‘Big ag’ omega-3 solutions in canola oil, algae stoke fears for fishing companies. It's not good news for fishmeal producers, but it is good news for the oceans and the food chain. (Undercurrent)

Teff could be the next quinoa as Ethiopia boosts exports. Ethiopia’s staple grain is the latest superfood, but there are fears about impact of rising exports on local people who rely on it as their staple food. “What happened with quinoa will not happen with teff. We just won’t let it," said Khalid Bomba, the head of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA). (Guardian)

Time for more product innovation. Sales of specialty meat and seafood are up, and Millennials are pushing the trend. "Specialty frozen and refrigerated meat, poultry, and seafood accounts for 10.5 percent of all meat, poultry, and seafood sales. The category hit $3.6 billion in 2015, jumping 23.1 percent since 2013." (Specialty Food)

Friday Faves No. 165

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

image via Washington Post

image via Washington Post

Huge, once-hated fish now seen as weapon against Asian carp
"Persecuted by anglers and deprived of places to spawn, the alligator gar (above) — with a head that resembles an alligator and two rows of needlelike teeth — survived primarily in southern states in the tributaries of the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico after being declared extinct in several states farther north. To many, it was a freak, a “trash fish” that threatened sportfish, something to be exterminated."(Washington Post)

Where the girls (chefs) are: Why are so many women chefs drawn to the coast of Maine? “While male chefs tend to follow the money and status, women chefs are in search of appreciative, knowledgeable audiences, a sense of community, and a more balanced life outside the kitchen.” (Boston Globe)

Meal kits an eating less meat continue. Restaurants enter the meal kit space. Operators who have been following the growth of delivered meal kits are now experimenting with their own. "And while more than 100 meal kit delivery companies are attempting to differentiate themselves by offering niche categories such as vegan, paleo and even Southern food, restaurant operators are beginning to see the wisdom of offering a grab-n-go meal kit or quick delivery kit that’s prepared by local chefs who consumers know." (Restaurant Hospitality)

Grill Concepts launches new Laurel Point seafood-focused restaurant with Millennial appeal.  “We saw a void in the marketplace...Few restaurants are going in this direction and doing it well, though people are eating less meat.” (Restaurant Concepts)

A super-cute new video for Chipotle. Guess it take a lot of cute to make people forget about e. coli.

A futurist on food: Farming on the moon, lab-grown meat, and old fashioned boring stuff like greater transparency. (Washington Post)

A Space-Age Food Product Cultivated by the Incas "What did the Incas and NASA have in common? They both faced the problem of long journeys through harsh, forbidding territory" (New York Times)

The Curious Appeal of ‘Bad’ Food In the age of Instagram-perfect dishes, why are there so many sites and blogs dedicated to culinary disasters? "Feeding yourself or others is a success, an act of love, even when the meal resembles unappetizing brown mush."  (Atlantic)

Bycatch is no small matter. A shameful death on the part of we humans for an animal that had lived so long: 400-year-old Greenland shark is the oldest vertebrate animal (Guardian)

Friday Faves No. 163

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Whelk from Macduff Shellfish in Scotland, photo by Polished Brands.

Whelk from Macduff Shellfish in Scotland, photo by Polished Brands.

Is whelk having a moment? When it got in front of our camera, we thought it was gorgeous. Tasted good too. ‘Ugly’ snails, once ignored by fishermen, now a prized catch "Some upscale New York City restaurants now feature fresh or even raw whelks on the menu. The old-school Italian restaurants that serve sea snail salad — a popular Christmastime dish — usually get it canned from a handful of specialty processors." (Seattle Times)

Pickled and Smoked: Reasons to Get Excited About the Good Food Awards New Preserved Fish Category "In the past years, smoked and pickled seafood had been a subcategory of Charcuterie. It now has its own, with subcategories for roe, rillettes/pates, salt preserved, water and oil packed, pickled, and of course, smoked....Along with sustainability, there’s the deliciousness factor. Imagine a mezze platter with preserved anchovy fillets, a hiking trip that includes rich smoked black cod rillettes, a simple winter evening meal of pickled herring in sour cream on rye. We are on the verge of something big, good, and delicious." (National Geographic)

Would you, could you, on a boat? Biggest Salmon Producer, Marine Harvest, Wants to Farm Fish Inside Cargo Ship (Bloomberg)

The Grocerant goes on: Millennials driving sales of grocery prepared foods "In-store dining and takeout of prepared foods from grocers has grown nearly 30 percent since 2008, accounting for 2.4 billion foodservice visits and $10 billion in consumer spending in 2015, according to NPD’s research." And “40 percent of consumers would like name-brand foods at grocery or retail restaurants." (Restaurant Hospitality)

A peak into the best of the new food halls, from New York City to Denver, photo essay. (Restaurant Hospitality)

A Nonprofit Grocer Tries To Sell More Healthful Food Without Going Under "If you're on a budget, you're not purchasing food with the intent of improving your health. You're purchasing food to satisfy hunger,...You make choices you can afford on things you know your family will eat."
(NPR/ The Salt)

Isn't it time we all learned how to make Japanese fried chicken? (Gear Patrol)

Friday Faves No. 161

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Would make a great fitness class: High Speed Mochi (link to video) (Laughing Sqiud)

Buy some vegetables already. For some growers, farmers markets just aren’t what they used to be. "The decline in sales is, arguably, one result of the contemporary farmers market, which has evolved to meet the needs of a new generation of shoppers who view these outdoor markets as more a lifestyle choice than an opportunity to support local agriculture." More sophisticating marketing can help: "But market managers say farmers must also help themselves if they want to survive and thrive in this new era. It’s not enough to simply show up at a market and expect consumers to buy all your gorgeous, freshly harvested stone fruits and greens. Farmers must be attuned to consumer demand and be better marketers and shopkeepers, even at their makeshift outdoor stands." (Washington Post)

There is always room for compassion, and another bakery: Syria’s Beloved Sweet Shops Follow Its Refugees Into Exile "Civil war has scattered Syria’s bakers, pastry chefs, and restaurateurs. For the foodies—and children—in their new communities, it’s a tasty turn of events." (National Geographic)

We're not generally fond of "food as medicine" headlines, but we do love our seaweed. Seaweed Could Help Fight Food Allergies (Food & Wine)

The New York Times is barely dipping its toe in here, but the further we get from the "farmed = bad, wild = good" trap the better. Farming for Fish As leading chefs are turning away from the sea and toward sustainable hatcheries, it seems we’ve just begun to skim the surface of aquaculture (New York Times)

A great new food site for the breakfast obsessed — Extra Crispy with some really fine personal essays like: Soup is the Breakfast of Kings 

The future is in the works, with both rising interest in sustainable food and domestic production in China: International hotel chain starts serving 'low carbon' Chinese salmon (Seafood Source)

Friday Faves No. 157

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Seaweed is good eating, as these wooly beast know. Saving seaside Scottish sheep: The future of a rare, seaweed-eating sheep in Orkney looks more secure, thanks to the work of a new charity. (Country Life)

Figuring out how to get humans to do what's good for them can be a bit more muddled. "It’s nice to see Mark Rylance’s bottom. But our oceans deserve better" Getting celebs to take their kit off won’t change attitudes to overfishing. The public are intelligent beings, not morons who have to be bribed to pay attention. (Guardian)

Traceability in Seafood Chain About Money, Not Just Ethics Not much of a surprise. "But traceability also comes at a cost. Providing the story of the catch means disentangling the seafood supply chain, which involves communicating with harvesters, shippers, wholesalers and retailers on the chain of custody. Buyers might also require some kind of independent third-party certification program." (New York Times)

Rise of the Grocerant with more and more prepared foods sold at retail. And putting restaurant seating in and around retail isn't just for Eataly anymore. “Providing on-trend menus is only the beginning. More retailers are creating in-store areas with seating and table service like a traditional restaurant, if not operating full restaurants in, or adjacent to, their stores. Non-food retailers have proven the success of this model, Johnson notes: in-store foodservice at Nordstrom’s can rake in nearly $1 million in sales a year per unit, and Ikea’s casual dining operations do well over $2 million per store.” (Specialty Food)

Food and fashion cross-pollinate again: Nike Is Releasing a Chicken-and-Waffles-Themed Shoe (Munchies)

Friday Faves No. 155

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

For Rockfish, A Tale Of Recovery, Hidden On Menus The slipperiest part of fish is sometimes the name. We have to agree with John Rorapaugh: "And a little tableside education could quickly help consumers get over the unfamiliarity factor, adds John Rorapaugh, owner of a seafood wholesaler and distributor in Washington, D.C., called ProFish. "I think it's more interesting to use the real names," Rorapaugh says. "If you have thornyhead rockfish on the menu, it will start a conversation." (NPR)

Note to seafood producers — time to start upgrading your communication and storytelling “The biggest factors driving the use of farmed seafood in restaurants are pricing, consistency and availability...But chefs still need to be convinced that farming seafood is an ecologically sound practice.” says the report's author. "That data becomes even more interesting when combined with another finding from the survey: 44 percent of participating chefs said they preferred researching seafood sustainability online, versus 33 percent of chefs who preferred getting information from suppliers, vendors and visits to sources." (Seafood Source) 

Oaxaca’s Native Maize Embraced by Top Chefs in U.S. and Europe "In New York, Los Angeles and beyond, a taste for high-quality Mexican food and its earthy centerpiece, the handmade tortilla, has created a small but growing market for the native, or landrace, corn that is central to life in these plains and to Mexican identity." (New York Times)

Nestlé admits slavery in Thailand while fighting child labour lawsuit in Ivory Coast The company has won plaudits for its admission of forced labour in the Thai seafood industry but much of the supply chain remains hidden. (Guardian)

‘Forked’ Rates Restaurants On How They Treat Their Workers "One in 12 working Americans work in this industry, [and] 1 in 2 Americans have worked in [a restaurant] in their lifetime. But it has continued to be one of the absolute lowest paying employers in the U.S. For every year that the Department of Labor lists the 10 worst paid jobs, seven are, every year, restaurant jobs." (KQED)

Friday Faves No. 153

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Wishing a good Burns Night to all our Scottish friends! Scotland's beloved poet (above) looking quite delicious. Artist Prudence Staite creates edible portrait of Robert Burns using Scottish Breakfast items for a promo by Toby Carvery restaurants. (Scotsman)

What were all those chickens for if we weren't eating them? Chickens Weren’t Always Dinner for Humans (New York Times)

The sonic meal — how sound influences your food experience. Take a listen and run your own little experiment. (Science Friday)

Seaweed, seaweed everywhere — or at least it seems so to us. We approve. Move Over, Kale: Dulse is the Superfood of the Future (Fast Company)

Why we’ve been hugely underestimating the overfishing of the oceans. "A study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications suggests that the national data many countries have submitted to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has not always accurately reflected the amount of fish actually caught over the past six decades. And the paper indicates that global fishing practices may have been even less sustainable over the past few decades than scientists previously thought." (Washington Post)

From Candy To Juleps, Persians Left Imprint On Many Edible Delights "Iran was the first home of many commonly used herbs, from basil to cilantro, and to scores of familiar preparations, including sweet and sour sauces and almond pastries. We know that quinces, pomegranates, almonds, fenugreek (despite its name), cumin, coriander and mustard seeds went from Iran to the West." (NPR)

Food and Drink Trend lists abound, but this UK-focused list is particularly delightful with quite a few things we hope catch on, from immersive dining to Alpine cuisine and a mead revival. (Drinks Business)

Friday Faves No. 150

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Is this the face of the new Scottish "super food" above: What Is This Weird Weed, and Why Are Farmers and Health Nuts So Into It? It's chock full of omega 3's. "The EU this month awarded corn gromwell the status of “Novel Food,” a designation to let consumers know that this might be a new thing, but it’s safe and approved for consumption." (Modern Farmer)

Does story trump product? How Millennials Are Changing Wine "Yet with conventional wisdom holding that millennials don’t care about luxury and aren’t loyal to brands, it’s little wonder that wine producers all over the world—like every other business—are scrambling to figure out what they want." (Wall Street Journal)

Because the young ladies who lunch want artisan pizza, Urban Outfitters adds food to hipster empire with Vetri restaurant group acquisition.  (Restaurant Hospitality)

Entrepreneurs Pitch Sustainable Seafood Ideas; Investors Take The Bait at Fish 2.0  "Entrepreneurs presented ideas that ran the sustainability gamut: Licensing schemes designed to keep local family fishermen on the water; developing consumer-friendly, ready-to-cook sustainable seafood products; collecting old nylon fishing nets to recycle into skateboards and sunglasses; cutting-edge technology to monitor everything from a fishing fleet's location to the storage temperature for its catch; land-based aquaculture solutions; and programs designed to create both jobs and sustenance for tiny remote fishing communities in the Pacific." (NPR)

And in sucky news, the FDA approves GM salmon for sale in the US.  (Wall Street Journal and just about everywhere else)

Friday Faves No. 149

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

A really great read: “Kelp Is the New Kale.” A New Leaf: Seaweed could be a miracle food—if we can figure out how to make it taste good. "Much as kale needed Barber and his ilk to turn it from a T-bone garnish into a way of life, kelp will need a chef to make us desire it." (New Yorker)

U.N. taps crowdfunding app to tackle refugee camp food shortages "The WFP, which requires $26 million a week to feed the 4 million refugees residing in countries bordering on Syria, earlier cut back its food rations to 1.3 million people due to a funding shortage in 2014." (Reuters)

America, Scotland Thinks You’re Ready to Eat Lungs Now We do love haggis, although I sincerely doubt it's about to sweep the nation with "tens of millions" of new American devotees as Scotland’s rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead hopes. (Munchies)

Urban Ag in Detroit gets even bigger (although as always, more funding is needed) "Recovery Park and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced last week an ambitious plan to create a 60-acre urban farm (35 acres of which comes from the government, through the Detroit Land Bank Authority) to be settled not with new houses for people but greenhouses and hydroponic systems for specialty produce. Recovery Park already operates a pair of smaller urban farms, growing vegetables like radishes, greens, and edible flowers and selling them to restaurants in the city." (Modern Farmer)

Restorative planning is for more than just urban blight: The Sushi Project: Farming Fish And Rice in California's Fields "The salmon project is likely within a year or two of overcoming the last bureaucratic obstacles keeping it from operating as a government-sanctioned method of mitigating environmental harm. Though less-developed, the forage fish venture offers the prospect of global impact by taking pressure off of wild fish stocks. Both projects suggest the rising influence of "reconciliation ecology," which argues for the reconfiguration of human-dominated landscapes to include other species as the only way left to sustain most ecosystems." (e360)

This Food Truck Spends Part Of Its Route Delivering Meals To Hungry Kids "As efficient as food banks are, they still have a hard time delivering food to the margins of our community," says Mike Zserdin from Made Possible By Us, the startup launching the truck. "A lot of times the people who need the food aren't able to get it at the delivery points." (Fast Company)

Friday Faves No. 148

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Could triple-decker floating farms (like above) address future food issues? They sure look awesome. "Forward Thinking Architecture’s triple-decker Smart Floating Farms would feature 2.2 million square feet (2.04 sq km) of fish farm, hydroponic garden, and rooftop solar panels to power a floating barge, which could be anchored to the beds of oceans, lakes or rivers. The company estimates that each of its floating farms could produce about 8 tons (7.3 tonnes) of vegetables and 1.7 tons (1.5 tonnes) of fish per year." (Nisa Media)

Underused species of fish to schools is expanding. “'We wouldn’t be able to meet their price point for wild salmon and other fish...The only way we can offer the program is with species that are undervalued.” The CSF also found a bycatch species with a mild flavor kids want to eat – similar to tilapia. “It is not mainstream and we are hoping it doesn’t go mainstream, because the price would go up.'" (Seafood Source)

Is the Democratic Republic of Congo the Switzerland of Africa? Let's hope it can be. "Cheesemakers in this region are thriving, despite having survived decades of tumultuous warfare." Culture)

A formerly downright nasty stretch of Market St. in San Francisco has been getting a food-focused spiff-up.  "A new culinary scene has been born seemingly overnight, the child of a three-way love affair among real estate developers, tech workers and food professionals that many say is unprecedented." (New York Times)

Pacific to Plate allows public seafood markets to set up like farmers markets. "Pacific to Plate streamlines the permitting process so that commercial fishermen can organize under a single permit—just like certified farmers markets—allowing public seafood markets to operate as food facilities and fresh fish to be cleaned for direct sale." (San Diego News)

Texas-based supermarket chain H-E-B strikes import deal directly with Italian trade bodies for specialty foods. (Houston Chronicle)

EU Looks into Insects as Food. This is where food processing really earns its keep. Turn them into textured protein. "How and to what extent the inclusion of insects in gastronomy can impact the general consumption pattern in the population is unclear but (it) holds the potential for a rapid change in future consumption patterns," EFSA's report said. You're going to need some serious marketing with that. Best line of understatement: "Belgian supermarket operator Delhaize in 2014 introduced tapenades based on mealworms in its Belgian supermarkets, but they were not a hit." (Reuters via Specialty Food)

Scientists say Maryland’s gigantic new oyster reef is a pearl that could save the Chesapeake Bay. "Maryland can lay claim to the world’s largest man-made oyster reef. It was finished just days ago, and rests at the watery bottom of Harris Creek on the Eastern Shore, spread across more acres than the national Mall." (Washington Post)

Friday Faves. No. 145

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Women fishing in Alaska, image via Glamour Magazine.

Women fishing in Alaska, image via Glamour Magazine.

This week, instead of the "the good, the bad, and the ugly," we bring you the Cool, the Gross and the Glamourous. 

Cool — The farmer who’s starting an organic revolution in Cuba. (Guardian) And clever marketing: Reynolds makes an endless table on instagram. (Ad Week)

Gross — I love you, coffee, but not like that. Face lids for your coffee cup. (Bored Panda)

Glamorous — Women Fishermen in Alaska: Says Melanie Brown:"I think that I feel the most beautiful when I'm fishing. I'll have slime on my face and fish parts—but when we're picking really hard and getting the fish out of the gear and we're racing against the tide—to feel something where I get to feel my strength; to be out in the open air and on the water; to feel the power of the water and the tide—there's something really amazing about that. And it's something I get to return to every year. Other things in my life continue to change, but I get to have that return, that reference point. It's a really great way to check into a bigger perspective." (Glamour — that's right, fishing in Glamour!)

Burgundy joins other storied wine making regions, like Champagne and the Douro Valley in winning designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (New York Times)

Scottish Processors Gain from Boston Show Learning Journey

"To sell a high-end product into the US market, you also have to have a good ‘story’ linked to heritage and provenance, and the trip helped my understanding of what is needed.  Polly and Alisha’s workshop was excellent, because the presenters made a complex subject easier to understand." 

— Archie MacMillan, owner of the Kintyre Smokehouse in Campbeltown


"I learnt how little I know, rather than how much, including the need for constant innovation in product development to stay ahead of the game, and the fact that more than 70 percent of all seafood sales are through the food service sector."

— Angus MacKenzie, MD of Marine Products Scotland in Glasgow

Ten companies from the Scottish seafood industry joined a trip to Seafood Expo North America in Boston in March, as part of a learning journey organised by Seafood Scotland.

The visit served as an introduction to the North American market for companies wanting to explore its potential. 

During a busy four days, the representatives were given the opportunity to meet with an importer/distributor and to visit wholesalers, retailers and foodservice outlets. 

They also enjoyed a networking dinner at Taranta Restaurant with a Q&A session on supply hosted by Chef Owner Jose Duarte, learned about market requirements from Polly Legendre and Alisha Lumea of Polished Brands, and spent time at SENA walking the floor, developing their own contacts, and making use of expertise provided on the Scottish Development International/Seafood Scotland stand. 

Read the full article here.

Friday Faves No. 135

our favorite finds from the front lines of food


If you ever thought you were the most cocktail obsessed person, you're wrong. The people who make ice sculptures with 3D printers (like above) and then put them in drinks win. (Food & Wine / FWx)

History of the Egg Cream "The sweet, frothy combination of bubbly seltzer, frosty cold milk and sugary chocolate syrup explains the enduring appeal of the egg cream. But the true origin of this classic American drink remains a delicious mystery. Despite the fact that there’s no egg and no cream, most New York natives have a story about the famous potable, and whether it was invented in Brooklyn or on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is a source of heated debate." The excellent song about Egg Cream by Lou Reed was a Sing Along Snack. (Imbibe)

Now available on Amazon — rental goats! Yes, really. They're "vegetation management experts" to you. (KUOW / NPR Seattle)

Gluten Free Museum Tumblr painstakingly removes gluten products from famous works of art. (Dangerous Minds)

Most irresistible headline of the week: How I Went From Being a Backstreet Boy Impersonator to a Sustainable Seafood Chef  You had us at Backstreet Boy Impersonator, but talking about working for healthy fisheries in the Bahamas isn't bad either. (Munchies)

Friday Faves No. 134

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

The house that Champagne built: a Russian man has built a house made almost entirely of Champagne bottles in the city of Chelyabinsk, where it is known as the “Palace of Oz.” It took 12,000 bottles, so you'd better start drinking if you want one of your own.(Drinks Business)

In hard new this week, the seafood world has been called out in an new AP Investigation: Are slaves catching the fish you buy? (AP)

Is the Strawberry Field The Next Farmworkers’ Rights Battleground? It's not just hard work, it's literaly poison: "Roman Pinal, the Southern California regional director for the United Farm Workers (UFW), says strawberry pickers are more susceptible to pesticide exposure than the average farmworker because the fields are more densely planted than other crops, meaning chemicals are being sprayed or are drifting closer to farmworkers. What’s more, compared to crops that are harvested once a season, strawberry plants produce fruit every two days—creating a situation where chemical management and harvesting occur “right on top” of each other, he says." (Civil Eats)

New waves of distilling have been a boost for rural areas, and that was the case in the 1920s and 30s too. Old Time Farm Crime: The Hooch Farmers of Templeton "Templeton Rye, “the good stuff,” was a hot commodity in Prohibition era Chicago, Kansas City and New York and its popularity helped save many a family farm in rural Northwest Iowa where the booze was illegally distilled by desperate farmers during the lean years of the 1920s and early-30s." (Modern Farmer)

'New Nordic' goes to the bar with Icelandic Birch Cocktails. (Huffington Post)

A Belgian chef Is making summer in a bottle with gin flavored with lobster. (Munchies)

Now Marriott has a magazine. You could too. Don't worry about all this new lingo. "Content" = stuff worth looking at that makes people like you. “Content marketing is a marathon; it’s not a sprint, said Lisa LaCour, vp of global marketing at content-recommendation platform Outbrain." (Digiday)

Scottish Langoustines

Just in time for Seafood Expo North America in Boston (SENA 2015), Polished is working with Scottish company Macduff Shellfish to launch a new product to the North American market — frozen clusters of Scottish langoustine tail meat chunks. 

The langoustines are wild-caught from a well-regulated fishery. The meat is not treated — just straight-up frozen shelled langoustine meat. The clusters are small, so chefs can quickly thaw just what they want to use. 

Quick thaw, Quick cook Pre-shelling means no labor in the kitchen and the tender, delicate meat cooks up in minutes. And because its frozen, chefs can keep it on hand to always have something for specials or a knock-out dish for a surprise VIP.

Menu Versatility Langoustine meat is at home cozied up to caviar as it is at the bar in a deviled egg, and it can be used to replace crab or shrimp in a variety of dishes. Check out the slide show — styled and shot by Polished — for inspiration. And if you're still hungry, there's more from around on the web on the Macduff Shellfish Pinterest page.

Friday Faves No. 131

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

The ladies-only beer club of Sweden launches their first pale ale (above). Tired of the guys at the bar mansplaining beer to them, they took brewing into their own hands. (PRI/The World)

'Cheese Cupid' Is Like Tinder For Wine And Cheese, But It's ALWAYS A Match (Huffington Post)

Mardi Gras is around the corner. The real story of Gumbo.  (Serious Eats)

That’s not a sheep, it’s a WiFi router! It’s also a sheep. (Grist)

Helena Bonham Carter strips off with a tuna in ad campaign against overfishing. Alas, click bait has not been proven to lead to activism, or even good everyday choices. (London Evening Standard)

Siracha has gone about as mainstream as an ingredient can go — it's now a new Heinz ketchup flavor.  (Laughing Squid)

Moxie — it makes Mainers mighty. Turns out that the treasured New England soda also makes a mean cocktail (or six). (Bangor Daily News)

Friday Faves No. 130

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

You think those little individual K-Cups of coffee are cute, do you? Sure, this little video is just a dramatization of what could happen. That's what you think now. But it's time to kill the K-Cup before the plastic wins. Don't say you weren't warned. (NPR)

New York’s Health Department Wants to Freeze All of Its Sushi An attack on authenticity? Good public heath sense? Other states already do it. (Munchies) 

Relax, people. You are the boss of your food. Stop being afraid of it. We’re "clean eating" our way to new eating disorders. Is orthorexia about to join the DSM?  (Salon) 

We see perfect produce. He sees pain and danger.  How the produce aisle looks to a migrant farmworker. (PRI/The World)

Bad for fish and bad for people: Meant to Keep Malaria Out, Mosquito Nets Are Used to Haul Fish In  (New York Times)

A Compound in Beer Might Save Your Brain from Degeneration "The beneficial compound is a flavonoid called xanthohumol, which is found in hops (and thus, in beer)." (Munchies)

If that inspired you to get your geek on, and throw around doozies like oxidation and red anthocyanin molecules, we've got you covered. Everything you ever wanted to know about cork, but were afraid to ask. A Chemist Explains Why Corks Matter When Storing Wine  (Wine Folly)

What does a fictional world taste like? Londoners will get a sample as a Game of Thrones pop-up restaurant offers a taste of Westeros. How about a sample of a dish called: “The Lies of Tyrion Lannister and his Proclaimed Innocence” which happens to be poached veal tongue with beetroot, horseradish and Oldtown Mustard”. (Guardian)

And if you think that sounds unappealing, how about beer made from treated waste water? A trial of home brewers and one commercial brewery in Oregon are giving it a go. "Clean Water Services spokesman Mark Jockers said his company is the top provider of recycled water in Oregon. Its high-purity water treatment system turns sewage into water that meets or exceeds all drinking water standards." Want a cricket burger to go with that? (NPR)

Will fish be the next up and coming fake meat? Sounds pretty good compared to "recycled" beer, right? (NPR)

Friday Faves No. 122

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

We've been seeing glimpses of fish skin leather for years, but now the big kids of design are getting into it. Prada, Dior and Nike are finding a fashionable new purpose for fish skins. Fish leftovers are often turned into meal for animals, but top brands are turning fish skin into leather

21 Food Words & Phrases That We Should All Probably Quit Using  A list of food writing pet-peeves from the twee (sammy, delish) to the philosophical (sinful: "Eating is pleasure and sustenance, not sin. Don't mix the two.) Amen. (Kitchn)

So book trailers are a thing — and this pastry one is totally out there! Prepare for confusion. First there was Thug Kitchen now this for Brooks Headley's Fancy Desserts. Warning: Both are NSFW.

Whole Foods to Chobani: Please Leave Was it because they got too big, or because they're not green enough compared to other, smaller producers?  (Inc.)

Supreme court backs California's foie gras ban (Guardian)

A Peek Inside the Lunchbox Museum in Columbus Georgia, the largest collection of antique lunch boxes in the world, with all your childhood faves (1930-80's) from Hopalong Cassidy to Mork & Mindy.  (Honest Cooking)

Take note aspiring food business people: Our friends at Local Food Lab are taking their business training show on the road with one-day intensive workshops across the US.