Archive for restaurant SmartBlogs

Snacks used to be those after-school occasions when children savored milk and cookies, or an adult grabbed an apple to tide herself over until dinner. Now snacks are edging in on meal territory, representing half of all eating occasions.

The reasons for this shift are embedded in U.S. food culture. People’s time — and therefore their traditional meals — have become increasingly fragmented, leaving snacks to carry a greater proportion of the physical, emotional, social and cultural desires people have around food, according to The Hartman Group’s 2013 report, “Modern Eating: Cultural Roots, Daily Behaviors.” For example:

  • 73% of snacking is physically driven: That includes 44 percent hunger abatement, often between meals, plus 15 percent nutritional support to recover from physical exertion or meet specific nutrient needs and 12 percent pick-me-ups for a burst of energy to combat lethargy or mental fatigue.
  • […] Continue Reading »

As it has historically in lean economic times, pasta came to the rescue for many families during the recession, when tighter budgets brought tougher choices at grocery stores and restaurants. The economy, coupled with consumer leanings towards healthy options and ethnic foods, have shaped pasta trends in both restaurants and on grocery store shelves.

Pasta can run the gamut from indulgent mac and cheese to healthy whole wheat penne, and the pantry staple proved an essential part of recession-era meal planning, but now there are signs that the recovery may have some U.S.[…] Continue Reading »

From the workers in the fields who pick our produce to the celebrity chefs crafting the 12-course tasting menus at our favorite five-star restaurants, the universe of people who contribute to putting food on our plates is wide-ranging and diverse, with plenty of moving parts.

Whether they’re growing the food, preparing it in factories and commercial kitchens, serving it at restaurant tables or selling it at supermarkets and c-stores, the fates of employees in the food industry are often tied to some common trends, especially when it comes to the economy and the rise of technology.[…] Continue Reading »

In Thailand it’s fish sauce. In Japan it’s miso and soy sauce. In Italy it’s Parmigiano-Reggiano. In Spain it’s cured meats. In Australia it’s vegemite. In the U.S. it’s ketchup (and Doritos, as in the Doritos Locos Taco, which was one of the most successful fast food introductions in history). In Korea it’s kimchi.

It’s umami. And lately chefs can’t seem to get enough of it.[…] Continue Reading »

It used to be that the word “pairings” automatically turned our thoughts and palates to wine, but the rise in craft beer production, small breweries and brewpubs has brought food and beer pairings to the forefront. About 1,200 of the 2,700 U.S. craft breweries are brewpubs, many of which are honing the art of finding the perfect brew to go with at least some of the dishes on the menu, says Julia Herz of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colo.[…] Continue Reading »