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Appealing to Kids’ Senses

Saturday, 03 November 2012 22:09

food4_nov12When teaching the development of successful children’s menus, emphasize to your students that all five human sensory perceptions (and an arguable sixth) must be put into play.

By Eric Stein, RD, MS, CCE

Getting kids to eat a nutritious meal doesn’t have to be a challenge. Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all learning style in the classroom, kids don’t respond to food stimuli the same way, either. Each child is born with a dominant sense that guides his or her food choices.

Appealing to the senses has a direct bearing on parents’ success getting kids to eat enough of the right foods. And while it is commonly perceived that we eat with our eyes first, aroma and sound also play vital roles in building hunger.

The following recipes are not only visually striking and flavorful, but also appeal to the senses of smell, touch (including texture and mouthfeel) and/or sound:

The Flavorful Culture of Lamb

Saturday, 03 November 2012 22:03

food3_nov12For millennia, specific ingredients indigenous to traditional sheep-growing regions have influenced the types of dishes made using lamb, and today, popular techniques cross global frontiers for many cuts to yield eminently flavorful and satisfying dishes.

By Priscilla Martel

Lamb is among the most common livestock consumed throughout the world, linked to feasts and religious observances. Christians, Jews and Muslims celebrate with lamb, an essential part of the cuisine on Easter, Passover and Ramadan. Lamb is symbolic of spring, sacrifice, fertility and it unites people around a table of delicious food. For centuries, in humble homes, on the street and in the finest restaurants this versatile meat has been grilled, seared, braised, roasted, stewed and served everywhere. The lore and tradition that surrounds the way lamb has been served around the globe is a source of inspiration for new ways to prepare it.

The “New Healthful”: 7 Trends

Saturday, 03 November 2012 21:59

food2_nov12The “healthful” food label gets taken to new levels through nationwide cooperation, resulting in up-and-coming heirloom whole-grain breads and leafy breakfast salads and the well-established veggie-burger revolution.

A health-food renaissance is upon us, as the notion of “healthful” is being redefined nationwide, according to the recently released “The New Healthful: Culinary Trend Mapping Report” by market-research publisher Packaged Facts and San Francisco-based strategic food-and-beverage agency CCD Innovation.

As part of our country’s renewed emphasis on promoting good health comes the focus on the presence of beneficial nutrients and the use of inherently nutritious foods, as opposed to simply eliminating or avoiding certain ingredients that might negatively affect health when over-consumed. As discussed in the report, the New Healthful is also about growth of new distribution outlets, new places where healthful foods can be found. As these increase, the existence of healthful food-and-beverage options alongside more indulgent ones will become an everyday occurrence.

CIA’s Culinary Bible Turns 50

Saturday, 03 November 2012 21:55

food1_nov12The Professional Chef continues to change the world of cooking.

The world was changing in 1962. John Glenn became the man to orbit the Earth and return home safely. The Beatles released their first single, “Love Me Do.” And The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) forever changed the culinary world with the publication of The Professional Chef®.

There had never been anything like it before. The Professional Chef was the first book dedicated to advancing the culinary profession. The 323-page text began by explaining that “knowing how to cook is only one part of the background a chef needs.” Chefs also needed to understand personnel, purchasing, nutrition, menu planning and kitchen layout. It was a guide for men—and it was almost exclusively men back then—who wanted to make a career of cooking: “Today’s chef is a business man … His knowledge and ability do not come overnight.”

Much more than a cookbook, its recipes and techniques were accompanied by sections about hygiene and sanitation, kitchen safety, tools and equipment, food cost, recipe conversions and even how to set up a buffet table. Recipes included Baked Hamburger Loaf, Chicken Cacciatore, Lobster Newburgh and molded salads—illustrated by stereotypical food photos of that era.

How to Teach Culinary Students to Balance the Palate

Tuesday, 02 October 2012 16:12

food3_oct12Demonstrating the importance of adding a little acidity to the final flavor of a dish is especially important when developing low-sodium recipes.

By Carrie Stebbins

In both culinary and dining classes I talk a lot about the balance of a food or beverage on the palate.

It seems like we teach our culinary students to add salt at many stages, but we only encourage them to add acidity on specific occasions. What I like to emphasize is that acidity can brighten a dish without making it taste sour.

A few years back I attended a wine and food pairing seminar given by Jerry Comfort of Beringer Wines. We tasted foods that represented the basic four flavors, plus umami, along with a variety of wines. The results were negative as often as they were positive! Some of the multiple combinations, however, were the best. I decided to try a similar technique with my culinary students at the beginning of a class to show how important adding a little acidity is to the final flavor of a dish. This is especially important for developing low-sodium recipes.

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