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A survey found that more shoppers want worldly ingredients in their supermarkets
More and more shoppers are eager for ethnic foods.
Oh good, it looks like home cooks are getting more adventurous. According to a survey from ShopperVista, commissioned by IGD, 75 percent of shoppers surveyed wanted more "world foods" in supermarkets.
Obviously, "world foods" would mean different things in different countries, but it turns out that there is a general ranking for what items would be the most popular. Food Navigator reports that Chinese items would be the most popular, followed by Italian, Indian, Mexican, Thai, Spanish, and Greek. French, Caribbean, and American foods finished up the top 10 list.
In London alone, the survey says, 88 percent of shoppers want a wider variety of food, which might mean that London's food scene is getting better (and expanding beyond the meat pies of the past). "Most of us are traveling abroad and sampling world cuisines," Joanne Denny Finch of IGD told Food Navigator. "We want to continue enjoying exotic tastes when we get home." Or, you know, some of us might just stick to ramen.
Grocery Ninja: Sweet 'Football' Olives
The Grocery Ninja leaves no aisle unexplored, no jar unopened, no produce untasted. Creep along with her below, and read all her mission reports here.
Add enough sugar to anything and you’ve made candy, right? I mean, why else would you find oddments like candied baby crabs, anchovies, and cuttlefish in the Asian grocery snack aisle? Despite the initial ick-factor, they can be pretty good (except for the crabs. those are not my favorite. I have a texture issue with them). If you already eat beef jerky and bacon bits, and are not averse to seafood, then these are just, well, jerky and bits from the sea.
I reckon half the foods we eat are acquired tastes—I adore olives as an adult, but I remember how the first time I tried a “Western” olive (Olea europaea) as a kid, my mouth puckered up and I wanted to cry. You see, at that time, I had only ever tasted the “Chinese” olive (Canarium album L.) and knew it to be a sweet-tart treat with an appetizing licorice hit. I’m sure straight off the tree, both species are equally, unpalatably bitter. But once they’ve been through the curing and flavoring process, no one would confuse the Chinese olive with the kind you get on a martini swizzle stick. Slightly more elongated than the Olea europea and with two pointy ends, Canariums are called “footballs” in Hawaii and are part of the popular crackseed family of cured fruit. They’re nicely crunchy and usually a tad moist. Though, as you can see from the picture, I got a dried-out pack that had been sitting on a shelf for too long. (Shopping Hint: Most “Western” supermarkets place new stock right up front, so older stock get pushed to the back. Asian supermarkets unfailingly stack the oldest stuff in front, so shoppers who grab and go clear the way for newer stock. Therefore, if you want the fresh stuff, you need to roll up your sleeves and dig. Unfortunately, all Asian shoppers know this already, so what this system really does is create a big mess.)
My pack lists ingredients as: green olive, sugar, salt, citric acid, and bitter spices (probably anise). It’s not a bad car snack and is supposed to curb motion-sickness too. What disturbs me though, is the picture of a spanking new lab with people in lab coats on the back of the pack. Remember how science and technology = good? These days, all I want to see on the back of food packaging is a picture of a farmer and his cow.
All You Salty-Sweet Fans, Chinese Sausage is For You
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All of my best memories with family center around food: getting up early with my parents on a brisk October morning to catch a street vendor selling jianbing, my dad’s favorite breakfast growing up drinking tea with aunts and uncles while eating our body weight in lychee lingering at the dinner table, bellies full from a meal by the best chef in town—my mom.
After moving away from my North Carolina home, recreating the flavors of my family’s cooking has helped me keep them close. I’ve found that nothing beats lap cheong (the Cantonese name for Chinese sausage) for a quick fix when nostalgia hits, reminding me of the fried rice my mom makes whenever I visit.
Chinese sausage dates back to the period of Northern and Southern Dynasties (
300–500 AD). An almanac from the period describes a unique starch-free sausage-filling-technique that was developed to preserve meat and is still followed to this day. Southern families traditionally made a supply of sausages in preparation for the new year, and many still consider homemade sausages a New Year’s dinner staple.
Chinese sausage is a broad umbrella category encompassing many types of sausage, both air-cured and smoked, from all parts of China as well as Vietnam and Thailand. It can be made from fresh pork, pork fat, livers, and, sometimes, chicken, and tends to be as sweet as it is savory, with a rich, dense, emulsified texture. According to Baidu, Chinese sausage falls into two big categories: a sweet variety from the Canton region, often preserved with soy sauce, salt, and sugar, and a spicy one, made with chili, from Sichuan. Since the sweet kind is by far the most prevalent in Chinese supermarkets in the U.S., I normally compensate by adding plenty of spicy ingredients.
In terms of brand preference, my local Chinese supermarket carries Kam Yen Jan, and I’ve been happy with the pork-and-chicken variety. The kind made with only pork is more authentic, but those made with both pork and chicken have a lower fat content. In general, look for a dried sausage with a marbled pink-and-white exterior in the refrigerated section.
What do shoppers want from supermarket social media?
In some cases, social media has now become a customer service channel, as people can ask questions or make a comment instantaneously – while sharing their experience with others. On the face of it that sounds like a really positive use of the medium, but 19% of consumers follow brands on Facebook and Twitter to solely complain about products and services. This is an issue that brands and retailers have quickly had to address to ensure customer satisfaction is maintained and to minimise the chances of any negative comments going viral. Unfortunately, as the use of social networks have accelerated in recent years, the result of a negative review or post can significantly impact the future of the product or service and leave lasting damage.
A study commissioned by Maybe showed that 1 in 4 shoppers use social media to help them with purchase decisions. Polly Barnfield, Founder of Maybe, has said that retailers need to shine a light on the consumer journey process and bridge the gap between shopping and buying, as findings suggest that social media is a key component and one that retailers should be exploiting.
81% of shoppers admit that recommendations and posts from family and friends directly impact their future buying decisions, while 78% of them said that social media posts of brands and retailers influence their buying decisions. This highlights the importance of the content posted on company social media pages, as consumers rely heavily on these pages to gain additional information and recommendations about the product.
The future impact social media will have on retailers is still unknown, however, it has clearly been highlighted that retailers need to monitor their social media networks to help influence purchase decisions. Based on the above statistics, YouTube is the best social media for consumers to use to learn about products and services. For example, Morrisons have recently posted a video demonstrating a family creating a homemade pizza, showing all of the ingredients needed, all available to purchase from them. The ability to convey this message on other social media channels such as Twitter would have been challenging due to the limited characters available. It is incredibly important to share a variety of content across multiple social media channels to ensure that you’re delivering the right message in the right place at the right time.
Professional butchers, personalized service, make a selection of your favorite item and thick or thin we will cut it your way — "Corte al gusto!"
The freshest seasonal favorites and huge variety — it’s like visiting your local mercado.
A wide variety of fish — and delicious ceviche made fresh all day.
Authentic homemade tortillas made fresh all day, and tamales whenever you want them.
Nothing says, “Welcome home,” like a meal from La Cocina.
Our deli, featuring authentic flavors and ingredients of Latin America.
Every day is a special occasion with fresh flowers.
Hundreds of breads, rolls, pastries and cakes to complement your next meal or celebrate your next holiday!
Everything you need to make you feel at home is here.
La Isla Juice Bar
Aguas frescas, wellness shots, and fresh juices made-to-order.
It’s not a party without some candy — and a piñata!
The Truth About Cooking With MSG at Home
I've had a bag of MSG sitting in the cupboard, unopened, for some time, purchased who-knows-when out of a vague notion that someday Iɽ see what all the hype was about. And by "hype" I mean the headaches, the night sweats, the bad trade agreements, that whole deal with the polar bears, the low-grade anxiety that you're pissing away your short days on this earth, and the various other maladies that MSG is blamed for.
Blamed for unfairly, it turns out. The evidence of MSG's effects on human health isn't particularly strong, and in fact in recent years its reputation has been revived by the enthusiasm for umami—the "savory taste"—which MSG is a pure source of.
So this past weekend I opened my bag of MSG. (MSG is not marketed as MSG, of course. The product name on this particular bag was Ajinomoto, from a Japanese manufacturer in the United States you can find it as the "flavor enhancer" Accent.) I was intent on finally cooking with the stuff. But first, I wanted to do a little more research.
How to Make Seafood Broth in 10 Minutes
The discovery of MSG, the coining of umami, and the launch of the product Ajinomoto (Japanese for "essence of flavor") happened in quick succession. The story goes like this: A Japanese chemist named Ikeda Kikunae, in 1908, wondered what gave the classic Japanese broth dashi its meaty flavor, since dashi contained no actual meat—just kelp and dried flakes of fermented bonito. Figuring that it came from the kelp, Kikunae eventually isolated the compound he felt was responsible for the meat flavor: glutamic acid, a nonessential amino acid that occurs naturally in foods like tomatoes and mushrooms, and in fermented products like soy sauce and cheese.
Kikunae promptly filed a patent for the flavor enhancer MSG, which is glutamic acid plus sodium, and he called the taste he discovered umami, related to the Japanese word umai, or "delicious." (It's nowadays considered the "fifth" taste, after sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.) In 1909, MSG went on the market as Ajinomoto, billed as a way to make bland foods better.
(Two comprehensive histories of the life of MSG are available at Gastronomica and the Smithsonian online.)
After spreading to other parts of Asia—namely China and Taiwan (which is today the world's leader in MSG consumption per capita!)—the seasoning landed in the U.S. via Chinese restaurants, which were growing in popularity in the midcentury. That's how it reached diners, in any event.
Around the same time, MSG was embraced by canned- and frozen-food manufacturers, like Campbell's, for its ability to punch up bland, cheap food, and by the U.S. military for the very same reason—it was hoped the stuff would lend some allure to flavorless rations. Accent seasoning hit supermarkets in 1947. Americans were eating MSG and nobody was the wiser.
Chinese-American restaurateurs were unfairly maligned for a Japanese invention widely present in American foods
In 1968 a Chinese-American doctor published a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine about a strange condition that befell him when he ate out at Chinese restaurants, including "numbness and palpitations." Journal editors put the heading "Chinese restaurant syndrome" atop the letter monosodium glutamate was blamed for the doctor's woes thus did Chinese-American restaurateurs get unfairly maligned for a Japanese invention widely present in American foods. (It remains in plenty of processed foods, by the way, including Doritos, KFC, Campbell's chicken noodle soup, and Pringles.)
Though there's been a lot of research on the subject since the 1970s, it's still not clear whether it's bad for human health, or responsible for whatever "Chinese restaurant syndrome" is. In fact, as far as the FDA is concerned, MSG is "generally regarded as safe."
This fried rice was definitely harmed in the process of reporting this article.
I decided to start throwing MSG into whatever I cooked to see if it was the thing that was needed to make ordinary home cooking—mostly no-recipe, whatever's-in-the-fridge-type dishes—into something mysteriously fancy and delicious.
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Grow Your Own Veggies
Have you ever wished that you knew your vegetables were not just fresh but also picked only moments before you used them in your favorite recipes? Your dreams can come true! The answer is to grow your own vegetable garden. Worried that you need some kind of “green thumb” or magical ability to grow veggies [&hellip]
Fast Tips for Quick Cooking — Anytime!
Before you resort to another night of fast food or ordering takeout, consider this: Preparing a delicious, nutritious meal can take less time. In fact, you can prepare a meal for one or for a whole household of hungry folks in under an hour. What is the key to being able to produce incredible entrees [&hellip]
Global markets in Middle Tennessee
Aleksey's Market (Russian and Eastern European market) - 718 Thompson Ln, Nashville, TN 37204
K&S World Market (products from many countries) - 5861 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209
Kim's Market (Asian grocery store) - 1118 Memorial Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
King Market (Asian market with Thai-Laotian cafe) - 1801 Antioch Pike, Antioch, TN 37013
Leone Star African Market (African grocery store) - 459 Bell Rd, Nashville, TN 37217
Maemax Market (Filipino market and restaurant) - 3016 W Nir Shreibman Blvd, La Vergne, TN 37086
Mi Favorita Super Mercado (Hispanic grocery store) - 6317 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209
Newroz Market (Kurdish market and restaurant) - 393 Elysian Fields Ct, Nashville, TN 37211
Patel Brothers (Indian grocery store) - 420 Harding Pl, Nashville, TN 37211
Plaza Mariachi (Mexican entertainment, shopping and dining center) - 3955 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211
Just as the ingredients of each dish and presentation is important, table manners and courtesy among diners are very much part of the Chinese cultural tradition. The facility to partake of these delights is also distinctive - chopsticks! To see even the smallest child eat with such dexterity is quite amazing for many foreigners. The use of two simple sticks in this way is an art in itself and chopsticks have determined the way in which dishes are presented at table. Only by combining excellent dishes with good manners can the high art of Chinese cuisine be truly enjoyed to the full.
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Is it possible.