Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News special issue for Summer Fancy Food Show 2016

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GOURMET NEWS www.gourmetnews.com n JUNE 2016 n GOURMET NEWS 1 2 6 Aunt Sally's Pralines: Rich Treat, Richer History Generally, as things are replicated, they lose value. They lose the relationship to their namesake. However, sometimes in replication a certain magic happens, a magic that changes the meaning of the word entirely. The New Orleans praline was one of these magical mu- tations. Like life springing from the primor- dial soup, the rich New Orleans praline is now the universally loved and beholden confection of Louisiana, and Aunt Sally's Pralines does them best. The traditional, proto-praline was created in the early 18th century for a French Marshal and Diplomat, Cesar du Plessis-Praslin (pro- nounced prah-lin) by his chef, Clement Las- sagne. Lassagne concocted the treat by melting sugar over an almond, and named it after Praslin. When merchants and business- men traveled on old sailing vessels, they would often find whole new worlds of foods and delicacies. This was certainly the case when a New Orleanian brought back one of these sugar-coated almonds from Paris soon after its creation. Intending to replicate the French treat, his plantation chef substituted a handful of Louisiana pecans and sugar cane syrup, and gave birth to the saccharine bliss that we now know and love. This treat came to play a pivotal role in the 19th century as many black women in New Orleans with little to no economic opportuni- ties would make and sell pralines on the street to support their families. This movement si- multaneously gave pralines a definitive fame while also giving them a very important face. This is the exact face that founders Diane and Pierre Bagur honor with Aunt Sally's Pralines. Aunt Sally's Pralines began in 1935, when Diane and Pierre opened a small shop in the New Orleans French Quarter where they and their four children would all work together to make and sell their confections to passersby. In just a few generations, Aunt Sally's Pra- lines became a multi-million-dollar business known all across the country and the globe as the one place to get a genuine New Orleans Praline. From the four generations of family history to the delicate ritualization and adherence to the original recipe, Aunt Sally's world-famous pralines are as good as they get. Each praline is made from local Louisiana ingredients and hand-poured from a copper pot into distinctly unique shapes. This may be why every bite feels like it is right out of your family's kitchen, taking you back to the three-feet-tall days when you had no worries, the smell of home cooking and absolute comfort. For more information, call 800.642.7257, go to www.auntsallys.com or email service@auntsallys.com. McKenzie: Natural Artisan Meats, Cheeses McKenzie, a 100-year old artisanal deli com- pany from Burlington, Vermont, is on a mis- sion to do good, be good and bring good to others that is anything but old fashioned. There are a growing number of people in the world who want to know what they're eating, where it's from and how it's made. They want to see all natural ingredients go into their food, and unnatural ingredients left out completely. The folks at McKenzie couldn't agree more, which is why the company is returning to its roots with an all new and truly all nat- ural line of turkeys, hams, chickens, beef and cheese, each one made without antibiotics, growth hormones, nitrates, nitrites and any- thing else Mother Nature isn't personally re- sponsible for. Taking it a step further, coming soon will be Non-GMO Project Verified roast beef and uncured hams. But far more impressive is what you can find inside any McKenzie product. Hand- crafted in small batches, every roast beef, chicken breast, country ham and provolone is handcrafted with the very best of ingredients, like whole muscle meat, premium spices, raw milk and locally sourced pure Vermont maple syrup, then bathed in a signature blend of hard- wood smoke. Add to the mix three generations of hard work, conviction and a dedication to getting the little things right, and you'll start to understand why, over 100 years later, the McKenzie family recipe is still making lunchtime better all over New England. For you, for your family and for the world around you. It's not just the tastiest way to do business, it's the best way, and it's what's kept M c K e n z i e McKenzie for all these years. There's a whole lot of good that comes out of thinking little. Taste the difference yourself. For more information, go to www .mckenziemeats.com or call 888.685.2686. Choctal Single-Origin Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Creams By Lorrie Baumann Choctal is a brand behind chocolate and vanilla ice creams made with single-origin ingredients. "Single-origin, especially in ice cream, has its very own niche," says Choctal Co-owner and Chief Strategy Officer Nancy Hytone Leb. The current owners bought the company and the concept in 2013, and since then, they've updated the packaging, refined the recipe to remove chemical stabilizers and made some changes in the suppliers, then re- launched the brand at the 2014 Winter Fancy Food Show. "We loved the product. It was a really high quality outstanding product," Leb said. "We loved the fact that it was a whole line. So much of ice cream is about the newest, coolest flavor or about inclusions." Its eight varieties are now in 400 to 500 retail outlets in the western U.S, Minnesota and St. Louis, Missouri. The origins include Ghana Chocolate, Kalimantan Chocolate, Costa Rican Chocolate, Dominican Choco- late, Indonesian Vanilla, Papua New Guinea Vanilla, Madagascar Vanilla and Mexican Vanilla, all available in both cups and pints. In 2015, the Kalimantan Chocolate was a sofi Award finalist in the frozen dessert cat- egory. Each variety depends on a unique fla- voring ingredient that reflects its origin. "We have been fortunate to travel to Costa Rica, where we have met our farmers. Our focus is on direct trade and building those relation- ships." Leb said. "We also have direction connections with our farmers in the Domini- can Republic and Ghana. We're always on the search for new and different suppliers." While the single-origin concept might have been ahead of its time when the brand was founded almost a decade ago, con- sumers are now familiar with the concept, especially those who appreciate gourmet food, wine and coffee. "Like wine as well as coffee, where it grows has an influence on the flavor of the product," Leb noted. In ad- dition to the main flavor ingredient, each ice cream includes only about half a dozen other ingredients. The pints retail for $6.99 to $7.49. "It's priced competitively with other super-premium ice creams despite the single- origin cachet," Leb said. "We use two to three times more chocolate or vanilla than other manufacturers, so it's a much richer flavor." There are plans to expand the product line, but those are nascent. Choctál recently launched four-packs of 4-ounce cups of each of the four chocolate flavors and each of the four vanilla flavors. The Chocolate Tour and the Vanilla Tour four-packs will sell for about $8.99. "We've had huge interest in those on the retail level," Leb said. The company is also researching potential products other than ice creams that will also incorporate chocolate and vanilla flavors. "It'll be something that wouldn't be subject to the challenges of shipping a frozen prod- uct – it might be a sauce that highlights sin- gle-origin ingredients." Leb said. Choctal is a member company of One Per- cent for the Planet, which means that the company donates 1 percent of its sales every year to benefit nonprofit environmental or- ganizations around the world. "They're non- profit organizations based in those countries for which their mission is at least 50 percent environmental, which can include empower- ment and education. We're very proud of that," Leb said. "For 2015, Choctál is donat- ing to the East Bali Poverty Project in In- donesia and the Bright Generations Community Foundation in Ghana." Café Valley Bakery Introduces Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes come in a vari- ety of flavor offerings: Cinnamon Cream Cheese, Raspberry Cream Cheese and Lemon Cream Cheese. These items are a multiple deposit product made with farm fresh cream cheese and all natural ingredi- ents. Café Valley uses Madagascar vanilla, whole eggs, butter, natural raspberry filling, natural lemon curd filling, white streusel top- ping, European style butter and just a hint of sea salt to ensure an incredible tasting prod- uct. Rick Wolf, Vice President of Culinary In- novation and Research and Development, worked diligently on this very special lineup of products, which are unlike all other prod- ucts in the market. "We want to offer our customers a custom bite size product in a va- riety of flavors that will appeal to everyone," said Wolf. The multiple layers of cinnamon, filled raspberry and lemon curd along with the cream cheese and streusel topping offer an incredible eating experience with a moist and sweet crunch in every bite. Brett Morrison, Vice President of Sales for Café Valley, is very excited about the new Café Valley Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes. "These prod- ucts are a great opportunity for our retail customers to offer their customers a very nice, upscale custom product that will generate incremental sales and profits for the in-store bakery," said Morrison. There are many other bite size products in the market, but none that compare with the custom look and taste of Café Valley. Café Valley, based in Phoenix, Arizona, is committed to developing high quality, upscale products to meet the needs of its customers. Ron Ogan, Chief Executive Officer of Café Valley, said, "In addition to our Phoenix facility, with our new 300,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Marion, Indiana, we are now positioned to support our customers efficiently on a na- tional scope. We will continue to re-invest in our company to ensure we can meet the needs of our customers long-term." For more information, go online to www.cafevalley.com.

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