Monday, December 5, 2011

Around The Culinary World

Good evening everyone! It has been awhile since we’ve had a ‘traditional’ Around The Culinary World on the blog. Over the past two weeks, we’ve focused in on the ‘pizza as a vegetable’ debate and used Monday as an extra day for cooking. This week, we’re back to the basics. Interesting food stories, ‘best of lists’ and a ‘WTF?’ tale sprinkled in on top. Let’s dive right into the food news for this week!

When I initially saw the following headline: “Burger King Begins Charging For Kid’s Meal Toys” my reaction was disbelief. How in the world can burger joints justify charging for the little trinkets they throw into their kids meals? What is wrong with these companies today? After a little further reading, however, I realize this was an instance of a good ‘bait and switch’ article and was actually an interesting story for a whole different reason.

While it is true that San Francisco Burger Kings and McDonalds stores are now charging for their kid’s meal toys, it’s not for the reason you might think. If you’ll recall, San Francisco recently passed a law stating that fast food companies could no longer give away toys in their kid’s meals. This was due to the assumption that fast food restaurants were baiting children into unhealthy food by ‘giving away’ a low cost toy. Fast food providers have worked around this by ‘charging’ for the toy instead. The cost? A paltry .10. Even better, McDonald’s is donating the .10 increase to their Ronald McDonald House charity. No word on what Burger King is doing with the extra funds as of yet.

While I’m not a fan of major companies skirting the rules meant to create a healthier society, I do support the move in this case. In my opinion, the kid’s meal toy has no bearing on whether or not the kids in question actually order and eat the meal. It’s not like children are driving by, see that there is a brand new ‘Spongebob’ toy in the latest McDonald’s meal, swerve across three lanes of traffic and run inside. And, I’m willing to bet no 2 year old is weighing the menu thinking “Hmm, without that Hello Kitty toy, I see no reason to settle on McNuggets. I’ll go for the ¼ pounder with extra cheese instead”

My point being, children aren’t driving these purchases, their parents are. Therefore, omitting the toy may be a bit of an overreach by San Francisco’s government. A well intentioned reach and I support the sentiment, but a reach non-the-less. Factor in that this extra cash is going to a good cause, and I support the ‘charge’.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am a fan of bourbons, whiskeys and scotch. Well aged, full of flavor – these alcohols top my list for a relaxing weekend beverage. If you even remotely enjoy whiskeys or scotch, you’re well aware that certain products can go through ‘stages’. Typically the smaller distilleries can run into variations from year to year product. This leads to great ‘years’ for some brands while others are a little down. As such, you have to keep tabs on the up-and-comers as well the ‘surprise’ products for the year. That makes articles like THIS ONE so handy. Tony Sachs takes a look a 9 new spirits that are sure to wow your holiday crowd this year. Maybe you’ll find a spirit or two to give a try or to give as a gift this season. You’ll look like a connoisseur and everyone will get to enjoy a great scotch, rum or whiskey. That’s a true ‘win-win’!

It appears I’m not the only one that is a fan of a good whiskey. High demand for scotch and whiskey in Asia and Latin America has producers fearing that there will be a shortage of the spirits this holiday season. Due to the nature of production, whiskey and scotch producers cannot increase their output to keep up with demand. Most (good) whiskeys you enjoy are over 10 years old by the time they hit the store shelves. As you can imagine, it’s hard to forecast demand 10 years in the future! If you’re in the market for a good spirit this winter, you might want to stock up now to avoid any shortages (or to avoid a price hike!) Read more about this story HERE.

Before you stock up and over indulge on your newly discovered whiskeys, you might want to read a few tips on avoiding hangovers. Check out this ARTCILE featuring bartenders’ tips for avoid the pain the next day.

This time of year marks the return of the most revered or reviled (depending on your perspective) holiday item. Eggnog. Some love it, some (like myself) cannot understand how people can force themselves to swallow that vile liquid. Either way, it’s back on the shelves this holiday season. For our readers who are ‘nog drinkers, we found a list of the Best (And Worst) Eggnogs courtesy of the Huffington Post food editors.

Football season is now into full swing ‘every game matters mode’. While my Minnesota Vikings are a pathetic 2-10, my Wisconsin Badgers have just locked up their second straight Rose Bowl trip. Who am I kidding though? My teams don’t have to be on the field and I’ll watch football. What goes better with football than some game time snacks (why – nothing of course!) Food52 has put together 7 ‘Classy’ football snacks that are sure to win over the game time crowd and even impress your guest while you’re at it! Check out the recipes HERE.

Now, presented without comment (because I don’t really know what to say….) you can now purchase THIS from your local grocery store.

There you have it folks, all the news that’s fit to blog about for this week. We’ve got another full week of recipes line up for you. Maggie takes to the kitchen on Tuesday night with a unique dish (AKA Maggie’s favorite recipe type!) and I’ll close out our cooking week on Wednesday with a first for the blog. Until then,


1 comment:

  1. Hey friends,
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