|Photos | Drew Lazor|
Snagged a pint of chef Georges Perrier's signature sorbet, sold under the name Pure Gourmet, at Whole Foods over the weekend. (Look at GP muggin' on the back!) The Le Bec-Fin kingpin's dessert line features flavors like mojito, chocolate caramel and the mysteriously dubbed "tropical," but we opted for pear-ginger. How's it taste? Like cold pears and gingers. Maybe a little French? A container of the stuff costs $6.29.
Photo | Drew Lazor
Some folks give edible gifts -- baskets stuffed with cheese, fancy jellies and summer sausages.ï¿½ Others give cozy, fuzzy slippers.ï¿½ Now you can give both with the R&E Praspaliauskas Bread Slippers.ï¿½ Hand-carved from baguette, challah and pumpernickel loaves, the fresh-baked loungers come packaged in real shoe boxes.
Purchase a pair at Dadada; kids' challah versions are ï¿½22, while a grown-up pair runs ï¿½62.
Barclay Prime (237 S. 18th St.) topped New York City's Daniel (warning: site automatically plays smooth jazz) in a bidding war for a 500-gram (1.1 lb.) white Alba truffle, the largest specimen of white Albas to land Stateside this truffle season.
New York purveyor Mikuni Wild Harvest welcomed the 'shroom as it arrived Monday on the red-eye from Italy, promptly featuring their new star in a YouTube video of fungus porn.ï¿½ Bidding commenced, with Barclay executive chef James LoCascio emerging triumphant.
Get a slice off this monster when LoCascio begins adorning steaks with it, most likely tomorrow, at Barclay.
Before she opened her all-vegetarian, all-pie eatery Sweetie's Pie Diner, Stephanie Thaw was doing Sweet! Her mini poundcakes and oatmeal cookies are stuffed with organic grains and are only minimally sweetened, but made quite an impression on local eating enthusiasts.ï¿½ Around the same time Thaw started Sweet!, she began running and developed an energy bar to fortify her fellow distance runners.ï¿½ Motley Fuel bars come in four flavors and pack 334 calories, 18 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein in a chewy, all-natural package that bears no resemblance to the dust-colored clay of a Powerbar.
Try the Mosh Pit Mix of oats, honey, peanut butter, coconut, raw almonds, sunflower kernels, dried cranberries and apricots, semi-sweet chocolate bits and flax seed -- all organic excepting the honey, 'cause who knows where bees go?ï¿½ A portion of the sale price of every Motley Fuel bar benefits Students Run Philly Style, a program that helps city kids achieve success through marathon and distance running training.
Motley Fuel bars are available at Sweetie's Pie Diner (1822 Spring Garden St.), Pumpkin Market (1610 South St.), Cafï¿½ Cret (16th St. & the Parkway), Breakaway Bikes (1923 Chestnut St.), both Philadelphia Runner locations (1601 Sansom St. and 3621 Walnut St.) and in Mt. Airy at InFusion Coffee & Tea (7133 Germantown Ave.).ï¿½ï¿½ If all else fails, order themï¿½ online at RegionalBest.com
|All Photos l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|David Michael produces natural alternatives to synthetic food coloring|
David Michael & Co. has been in the Philadelphia food business for over 100 years, but you've never heard of them. That's because DM is a flavor developer who sells their taste technology to the companies you do know ï¿½ sellers of consumer packaged goods, or CPGs.ï¿½ï¿½ CPGs purchase flavors, stabilizers and coloring agents from the food scientists at DM, as well as technology and product-development insight.
The Innovation Roadshow, held yesterday at the Delaware Avenue Hyatt-Regency, invited food scientists and marketers from DM's exclusive client list to taste flavors and products that DM predicts will be trendy two to three years out. DM CEO Skip Rosskam offered teases of what's up next. "Our research indicates persimmon will [be] on-trend in two to three years," Rosskam said in an interview with Meal Ticket. "So right now, we are educating our clients on this flavor, so they can taste it and get familiar."
DM also produces prototypes of finished goods that they predict will be highly desirable, like this year's Pie Pops ï¿½ portion-controlled, 50-calorie mini pies on a stick ï¿½ and Meatloaf Cupcakes. "Comfort foods are big in this economy," Rosskam said. "So we developed an idea for mini-meatloaf "cupcakes" iced with flavored mashed potatoes." Keep in mind DM would not produce such a frozen, direct-t0-consumer product, but rather the flavorings that would enhance it.
"We can make a flavor that tastes exactly like roast beef," said Rosskam. "When you put a roast beef in the oven, a natural reaction happens ï¿½ browning, caramelizing; and we can do this in science. We recreate taste by reacting a protein with a sugar ï¿½ this is done with natural chemistry to manipulate and modify the flavor.ï¿½ We can create a rare roast beef flavor, or a grill-charred beef flavor.ï¿½ One advantage is such a flavor is meatless ï¿½ a great addition to a veggie burger."
|Care for cake in your milk?|
In addition to predicting and manufacturing the popular flavors of the future, like authentic Chinese fruit flavors honey sweet date and sea buckthorn or exotic Australian rosella (wild hibiscus) and blood lime, DM presents product possibilities to their CPG clients. The Roadshow offered looks at product prototypes like real fruit snacks infused with bacon or barbecue flavors, savory spicy tamarind lollipops, "Tipsy Chips" that taste just like a blood orange-jalapeno margarita or bleu cheese dirty gin martini, milks flavored like bakery treats such as carrot cake and blueberry muffins, dessert bruschetta, single-origin ice creams, chocolate sparkling water and cocktail gel shooters delivered in plastic packets akin to oversize single servings of ketchup.
One item that seemed immediately marketable was DM's natural alternatives to FD&C colors for food and pharmaceutical products. Developed by Nathalie Pauleau-Larry of David Michael Europe, which specializes in natural color, the line ranges from green-yellow to red-purple and uses ingredients like tumeric, carotenes, paprika, carmine and anthocyanins from fruit and vegetables, like black carrots or red sweet potatoes to create bright but lifelike colors.
"A 2007 study in the UK [published in The Lancet] showed FD&C colors had indications of causing hyperactivity in children," Rosskam explained. "By 2010, the United Kingdom will have regulations in place that require products using synthetic colors to carry a warning on the front of the box that they may cause hyperactivity." That kind of marketer's nightmare boilerplate presents a unique opportunity for DM to fill a void in the market with their natural colors, in Rosskam's opinion.
Though you've never heard of them, some of DM's 100 years of R&D are likely sitting on your cabinet shelf right now. "Our client list is confidential," says Rosskam. "But you can't walk very far in a supermarket without seeing hundreds of examples of our work."
|Photo courtesy LYFVE|
Faith Beckford, founder and co-owner of LYFVE (Love Your Fruits & Veggies LLC.) is on a mission to get your kids reaching for carrots instead of cookies.ï¿½ Beckford's cooking classes for children, nutritional coaching and delivered meals and snacks focus on fresh, whole foods that promote holistic well-being for children and adults.
Her latest scheme is the Life Giver, a countertop fruit and vegetable dispenser. One turn of the lever delivers a one-ounce portion of mixed fruits or vegetables, much to the delight of gadget-happy kiddies.ï¿½ "We went to a birthday party," says Beckford, "and I was watching a mom trying to get her three-year-old to stop eating cookies. We bring the Life Giver in and when the kid turns the handle and the grapes come rolling out,ï¿½ he was just so excited... the cookies were forgotten."
Life Givers are available for purchase ($49 for one, $43 for more than ten) and refills of fruits (strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pineapple, raisins) and vegetables (green beans, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, corn, etc.) are $15 each and can be delivered or picked up.ï¿½ï¿½ Beckford notes that the Life Giver is sanitary, has an air-tight lid, reduces packaging and the container can be lifted off the dispenser for storage in the refrigerator.ï¿½ï¿½ Her primary customers so far have been schools, who often add squeeze bottles of LYFVE's homemade "ketchups"ï¿½ (honey mustard, hummus, strawberry-banana) to add a fun dipping element for kids.
"People are buying them for their homes," said Beckford. "It makes it easy to eat healthy, when the things are already prepared.ï¿½ It's also the novelty and fun of it... it's like a jackpot machine."
Life Givers are available for rental or purchase by calling LYFVE at 267-584-0831 (PA) or 877-445-6051 (outside PA).
|Chocolates at Donna Toscana|
Passyunk Avenue dessert restaurant Golosa (806 S. 6th St.) is giving chocoholics a perfectly elegant excuse for eating the whole box.ï¿½ This Thursday from 6-10 p.m., they will offer five- or ten-piece tastings ofï¿½ new, culinary-inspired truffles called Gastronomie Chocolat.ï¿½ The collection is a collaboration between local chocolatier Diane Pinder and James Beard Award-winning chef Craig Shelton.
Pinder, who owns Donna Toscana Artisan Chocolate Lounge in Cranford, NJ, as well as Donna & Co. chocolates,ï¿½ paired unexpected ingredients like lemon and basil or blue cheese and Tellicherry peppercorn with her rich, high cacao-percentage chocolates to create the Gastronomie Chocolat line.
Choose a five- ($15) or ten ($28) piece tasting, complete with two shots of drinking chocolate and a glass of Layer Cake Shiraz, at Thursday's tasting event.ï¿½ Guests are also welcome to bring their own wine, beer or spirit pairing.
RSVP to 215-925-1003 or email@example.com.
See the tasting menus after the jump.
5 pieces and set of 2 drinking chocolates, $15 per person*
Lemon & basil
Olive Oil and Sea Salt
5 pieces and set of 2 drinking chocolates, $15 per person*
Strawberry & Mint
12 year aged Balsamic Vinegar
Blue Cheese & Tellicherry Pepper
10 pieces and set of 2 drinking chocolates, $28 per person*
Sampler #1 + Sampler #2
*Due to the nature of the special menu, Golosa does not allow splitting of tastings
|Go Mambo! Tour Journal|
Go Mambo! is the rolling incarnation of Mambo Sprouts, a marketing company whose trademark is offering deals on natural and organic products by distributing free coupon books at retailers like Whole Foods, as well as on their Web site.
The Go Mambo! van is beginning their carbon-offset cruise of the MidAtlantic region this Saturday, when they will make stops in Philadelphia to distribute coupons and samples of products from Kashi, Organic Valley, Back to Nature, Canus Goat's Milk, Chef Paul, Florida Crystals (organic cane sugar), Seventh Generation and Traditional Medicinals, among dozens of others.
Mambo Sprouts, which represents more than 800 clients producing natural or organic products, was founded by Matthew Saline of Philadelphia and is based in Collingswood, NJ.
Grab some free goodies at the Go Mambo! stops, which you can view after the jump.
Sat., Sept. 19: Look for the Go Mambo! van making stops at 2nd & South, 43rd & Baltimore and 9th & Market
Wed., Sept. 23: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Whole Foods Market (2001 Pennsylvania Ave.);ï¿½ 4-7 p.m., Whole Foods Market (929 South St.)
Thu., Sept. 24: 4-6 p.m.,ï¿½ Whole Foods Market (339 E. Lancaster Ave. in Wynnewood, PA)
Aida Mollenkamp, star of the Food Network's Ask Aida and editor at CHOW.com, though likely thinner, prettier and richer, is just like us. She's part of the 93 percent of women who report feeling a "slump" in the afternoon and crave a pick-me-up bite, according to the highly scientific ï¿½Yoplait Delights Snacking Survey.ï¿½
Mollenkamp, a graduate of both Cornell University's serious Hospitality Management program as well as Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, told Meal Ticket in a phone interview that she has "always been a yogurt lover. "Thus the chef is the fresh face of Yoplait Delights, a double-layered yogurt parfait in flavors like chocolate raspberry, triple berry crï¿½me, lemon torte and crï¿½me caramel.ï¿½ The General Mills-produced treats are sold in packages of four, $3.99 at major grocery stores, and are 100 calories each ï¿½ a major selling point.
Meal Ticket used its 5 minutes with Mollenkamp to talk about gender-specific marketing and how one can dessert at 3 p.m. without the wrenching emotional aftermath.
Meal Ticket: Why do you think yogurt, especially dessert-style items like Yoplait Delights, are marketed so specifically to women?
Aida Mollenkamp: I think that there is that afternoon slump we all go through at 3 to 4 p.m. every day, and as women we want to choose something that is healthy. We have guilt if we choose the wrong snack. This is indulgent without the guilt. The texture is creamy and really rich, so you feel like "I'm having a snack but it's low-cal and low-fat, but it doesn't taste like it"... it's that good compromise.
MT: CHOW.com (where you are an editor) is all about cooking ... how does a product like Y.D. appeal to your readers and other serious cooks/food enthusiasts?
AM: I think that we all need to find that balance ... I come home and I'm still cooking dinner and all that ... I still want something for a snack that I don't have to prepare. I'm a big yogurt lover.
MT: Which is your favorite flavor?
AM: I've always turned more towards the berry flavors ... strawberry, triple berry, summery flavors.
It's not local, and I can't sustain regular shopping there on my income, but MoMA Store still wins my heart (and money) with their sleek kitchen toys.ï¿½ The new fall catalog has me wishing for a fiancï¿½e, soley for the wedding registration possibilities.
Clockwise from top left: Once you get a nice table, you need a nice trivet.ï¿½ This Alessi crinkled, stainless-steel number ($70) can be flipped to keep small or large hot pots a safe distance above the tabletop.ï¿½ Add clear elegance to the coffee ritual with Liz Dubois' glass half-pint creamer; giftable at $14.ï¿½ Speaking of gifts, this pair of inside-out champagne flutes ($65) is both striking and sensible: the double layer of mouth-blown borosilicate glass has an insulating effect on the bubbles within.ï¿½ A silicone pig lid from Destination: Japan ($18) can be placed directly over ingredients in a pot or microwave; steam vents through the swine's snout.
Members of the Museum of Modern Art get 10 percent off non-member prices; all the more reason to join up and see the James Ensor's 1891 painting, Skeletons Fighting over a Pickled Herring, before it departs September 21 for the Musï¿½e d'Orsay, Paris.
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