Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News April 2016

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BY LORRIE BAUMANN U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said February 25 that he's optimistic about America's farm economy. "It's easy to look at things in a pessimistic view because of softening commodity prices and decreasing farm income, but I don't share that pessimistic view," he said. Vilsack was speaking at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, which is intended as a discussion of novel and innovative ways to ex- pand opportunity and provide sup- port for America's farming families. He noted that among his reasons BY LORRIE BAUMANN Start-up company Cibo Califor- nia, founded last year, has reached exclusive distribution agreements for artisanal products previously unknown in the United States and is ready to launch them into the American market. Cibo California CEO Massimo Cannas says he spent months and even years persuad- ing families that make artisanal Italian food products in tradi- tional ways to share these prod- ucts with the American market and to trust his company with that mission. One of those product lines is Italian Delicacies from Cibo California Launch in U.S. Continued on PAGE 9 Continued on PAGE 8 Campofilone egg pasta from the Pastificio Decarlonis Srl, a family company run by brothers Paolo, Pietro and their father Enzo De- carlonis, who agreed to hold a "serious family meeting" after a long conversation with Cannas that ended with the decision that they were ready to enter the Ameri- can market. "I spent several years convincing this family to start selling their products to the United States," Cannas says. "We are the only com- pany that is able to import their prod- ucts to the U.S." The company is located in the Marche region on the eastern coast of Italy, directly across the Adriatic Sea from Croatia and separated from Florence by the Appenine Mountains. It's a beautiful part of the country with an uncontami- nated environment, and the pasta made in the tiny village of Cam- pofilone is protected by the Ital- ian government with an IGP designation, "Maccheroncini di Campofilone I.G.P.," which means that the pasta can be traced back to this geographic area. "It's only there that they can use this name, the Campofilone pasta," Cannas says. "Only there, by the law, are people authorized to pro- duce this kind of pasta and au- thorized to call it Campofilone pasta." Made with just egg and flour, Chewing the Fat About Eating Meat USDA Projects American Farmers to Feel Some Economic Pain in 2016 for optimism is that the unemploy- ment rate is falling in rural America, and rural America's poverty rate is also falling. "We've lent a hand in making sure that rural America continues to thrive," he said. Vilsack's sunny outlook is in dra- matic contrast to the more dismal forecast offered by the department's Economic Research Service, which is forecasting a $9.6 billion drop in cash receipts for the country's farm sector. 'The expected drop in 2016 cash receipts is led by declines in nearly all major animal/product cat- egories (including dairy, meat ani- mals, and poultry/eggs), as well as vegetables and melons," according to the USDA's farm income forecast for 2016. Those drops in farm in- come are driven by falling commod- ity prices that reflect higher production. While farmers have tightened their belts on expenses, commodity prices are falling faster, which means that farmers are likely to have to borrow more money to stay in business, according to USDA Agricultural Economist Ryan Kuhns. Farmers will also offset some of the decline in their rev- enues through federal subsidies, which are dependent on commod- ity prices. Direct government farm program payments are forecast to BY MICAH CHEEK Debate over hot dog toppings in America can get as vicious as our politics. Eric Mittenthal, new President of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, relishes any opportunity to speak on the subject. "Every re- gion really has its own fa- vorites," says Mittenthal. "I'm a chili guy, I like a chili mustard [hot dog.]" While the traditional lines have been drawn on top- ping preferences, from New York's onion and mustard stan- Continued on PAGE 7 Ways & Means of Topping a Tube Steak dard to California's preference for jalapenos, recent shifts in public opinion are changing the way consumers are topping and eat- ing their wieners from the ball- park to the back yard. One of the most contentious issues in the hot dog community is that of ketchup. Following the Chicago rules of hot dog top- ping, the NHDSC dictates that ketchup is only allowed as a hot dog condiment if the diner is less than 18 years of age. "When you talk about Chicago, they're very anti-ketchup," says Mittenthal. "They'd probably get mad at you if you asked about it." But while mustard remains the top topping choice for consumers, ketchup is gaining ground. In the NHDSC's most recent polls, 79 percent of Americans said that ketchup was an acceptable condiment for everyone. Steamie Weenie, a hot dog restaurant in Henderson, Nevada, takes the diplomatic route in this debate by putting ketchup bottles at the table BY LORRIE BAUMANN American demand for food that tastes better is helping some food animals live better lives, says D'Artagnan CEO Ariane Daguin, who credits chefs in fine dining restaurants for elevating Ameri- cans' expectations for how their food should taste. "Customers are getting more educated and are ask- ing retailers to source these good pieces of meat for them," she said. "A happy chicken makes a tasty chicken. this is what we've been doing for 30 years, making sure the animals are not stressed and they're raised humanely. It makes a better piece of meat on the table." D'Artagnan distributes high- quality meat products in the east- ern, southern and midwestern United States from warehouses and logistics facilities in Chicago, Houston and New Jersey. For much of the company's 30-year history, its primary market was fine dining restaurants, but the company's reach into the retail grocery market is growing because educated American consumers are demanding high-quality meats that have been raised humanely and without unnecessary VOLUME 81, NUMBER 4 APRIL 2016 n $7.00 SUPPLEMENT n Condiments PAGE 13 RETAILER NEWS n Convito Celebrates 35 Years PAGE 10 SUPPLIER BUSINESS n The Bites Company PAGE 11 SMALL ELECTRICS n Popcorn Poppers PAGE 21 NATURALLY HEALTHY n California Olive Ranch PAGE 20 News & Notes.................................6 Smorgasbord ................................22 Ad Index .......................................22 www.gourmetnews.com HOT PRODUCTS: Stonewall Kitchen SEE PAGE 12 SPECIAL FEATURE: Condiments The New American Classics SEE PAGE 19 G OURMET N EWS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y ® RETAILER PROFILE: Wynn's Market SEE PAGE 10 Continued on PAGE 7

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