Cook and Eat services are all the rage, but are they really worth it?Read More
Bacon makes everything better is a lie according to WHO!
Bone broths have been around for centuries, since the 12th Century to be exact. I grew up on bone broths cooked by mother and grandmother (no i am not from the 12 Century).Read More
Diet soda's are a staple for many consumers thinking its helping them keep the weight off... They are right, however the conclusions from a 10 year study with 60,000 women in The States has reported that of those sampled who drank 2 or more diet drinks were at much higher risks of cardiovascular disease and had more chances of dying from that disease! 30% more likely!
Aspartame is the main culprit here... its the sweetener of choice for most diet drinks such as Diet Coke etc. It is reported to cause a host of health issues including seizures.
The University of Iowa held the study and concluded:
Compared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event [heart attack or stroke] and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.
This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome, says Dr. Ankur Vyas, the lead investigator of the study.
The association persisted even after researchers adjusted the data to account for demographic characteristics and other cardiovascular risk factors, including body mass index, smoking, hormone therapy use, physical activity, energy intake, salt intake, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake.
On average, women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were younger, more likely to be smokers, and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and higher body mass index.
Read more on the report at http://now.uiowa.edu/2014/03/ui-study-finds-diet-drinks-associated-heart-trouble-older-women
Food by the gram has been getting a lot of traction in Australia. You have been about to purchase many things such as raw grains, frozen berries and of course raw meat for many years (or even decades) but what is taking trend is predominately smoked meats by the gram... and its not cheap!
Many a hipster pub and new smoked meats restaurants around Sydney and Melbourne are driving this trend which comes out The States (image above from Austin Texas) where all smoked meats in 90% of the smoke house's are sold per half pound (226gm).
From a business perspective its an attractive offering. On the menu it sounds cheap... $8.50 per 100gms (where 200-300gms is suggested for a dinner in most venues) however there is great margin to be made, well one would think. $8.50 per 100gm equates to $85 per kilo. on average a whole side of beef brisket will cost $12/kg wholesale. This is an amazing markup especially in foodservice land where food costs sit at around 25-35% of plate costs. Plus this cost is only paying for the protein... you want sides with that?? more money please!
There are however a few more costs involved for the venue as they needs to take into account that if you are going to be doing it correctly, you will need a pit master (one who mans the smoker for 12hrs every day). That Pit Master is not as much help in the kitchen because he's usually sitting my the fire....
The verdict is that for a consumer, purchasing meat by the gram is great for us health conscious who either can't eat craploads anymore or are concerned with the fact that eating too much red meat isn't good for us. Its also a great way to sample a number of different flavours and dishes by getting a 100gms of one and 100gms of another cut but be careful as it can sure add up!
My view is that as long as it is good, really good, i am happy to pay for it, otherwise i'll do it at home... cheats recipes coming soon!
Burgers continue to drive consumer engagement across the globe but most notably in The States and Australia.
There's nothing quite as satisfying as a really good burger but a really good burger is few and far between with so many different offerings across the market.
In each of these markets there are 4 levels of burger offerings.
- Major QSR ( Quick Service Restaurants such as McDonald's and Hungry Jacks etc)
- Gourmet Burger Chains (such as Grill'd, Moo Burgers & Fuel Burgers)
- Independants Burger Joints or small chains (such as The Burger Project, Chur Burger, Five Points, Huxtaburger or Mary's)
- The Rest (in your local bar, pub, club or corner milk bar if there are any left!)
The United States:
- Major QSR ( Quick Service Restaurants such as McDonald's, Burger King and Jack-in-the-box etc)
- Gourmet Burger Chains (such as Umami Burger, Habit Burger Grill or The Counter)
- Independants Burger Joints or small chains (such as Five Guys or Shake Shack, P.Terry's or In'n'Out)
- The Rest (such as hotels and bars)
For both markets, i would say that the "Gourmet Burger" chains deliver a level of burger that engages a lot of consumers delivering multiple choices of flavours and styles of burgers from different proteins to different cheeses to different choices of bread rolls and there definitely is a market for this offering.
In The States, the major QSR chains are failing to engage the customers due to offering the same low cost, low service, low quality offering for the past decade (or more) where the likes of the McDonald's in Australia has been the most successfully innovative in keeping with the burger trends. Their "Create Your Taste" Menu is so successful they have bucked the QSR Burger downtrend to have a success year.
The Independent Burger Joints and Chains is where it is at in both countries. Steamed buns, good quality meat, burgers cooked fresh once ordered with minimal ingredients and small offerings (often no more than 5 burgers on the menu).
I can't say that i have eaten at every single burger joint in both markets but i have done a pretty good effort and from my experience, the ones to try in Australia are Five Points Burgers in North Sydney, P.Terry's, Five Guys and Shake Shack in the States...