Ghost in your kitchen 👻
How the pandemic is changing the restaurant industry forever
Good morning. Being at the forefront of finding random fun days sprinkled throughout the year, we thought it’s high time we create one of our own! So go grab your favorite cold caffeine kick as today marks the day when we claim ice coffee season commences. For the brave, it never ended!
In the food world
Chips and Cheese: Producers of true Parmesan cheese (not Kraft!), a $2.44 billion year industry, are currently facing issues with fraud. According to the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium (the official trade group for the cheese) the amount of fraud is $2.08 billion. To reduce this and have better control of inventory, the Consortium has teamed up with Kaasmerk Matec to embed p-Chip micro transponders into the casein label.
Eat your tapes!: Inventions are big ideas, like the lightbulb or airplanes. But recently students at Johns Hopkins created the next big thing - edible tortilla tape to hold a burrito together! A team of engineering students unveiled Tastee Tape. It is an edible adhesive to keep ingredients tucked inside during cooking and consumption, unless you eat the tape first.
Check your labels: Mars Wrigley issued a voluntary recall of gummies released under the Skittles, Starburst, and Life Savers brands due to the potential presence of metal fragments. Not accounting for the feeling of eating 5 packets of Skittles at one go, no illnesses have been reported.
Ghost in your kitchen
If you are like us, you spent the last week watching the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial and reflecting upon how meal delivery service apps have changed the food industry, as highlighted in our previous edition’s insights.
The pandemic made restaurants experiment with their menus, to be more delivery friendly. Much like our savings due to the current inflation, the menus of a lot of restaurants were halved. For some, the pendulum swung so far that the store front became redundant, giving rise to Ghost Kitchens – kitchens with no public face.
Ghost kitchens allows budding and financially struggling food bloggers like us to have our own restaurant and try out concepts without the risk of bankruptcy.
Space in the kitchen is maximized, enabling the possibility of multiple menus to share the same commercial space.
Brands can have all their restaurants at one location. This allows them to strategically craft menus to share and reuse ingredients, reducing food waste.
Something is lost when apps package up and anonymize thousands of restaurants, making the concept unpalatable for some.
Restaurants no longer are just competing with establishments in a zip code.
Lack of positive face-to-face interactions with customers, hurts customer loyalty, making them (big word alert) promiscuous.
Going forward, restaurant work will not only be divided into front and back of house. There will be a new vertical - out of house as deliveries form an integral part of the dining experience. To provide that unforgettable experience, restaurants will have to start treating delivery drivers as fellow employees instead of annoyances.
Recipe of the week: Raspberry tart
- by Ine @nutritious.cravings
This week was a landmark week for lawmakers. Instead of understanding what big data means, this was first time in more than 50 years, Congress held a public hearing on UFOs. According to a Navy intelligence official, 400 incidents have been reported.
Our theory for these incidents is simple - this masterpiece from Ine! It’s so pretty that species from other planets want to give it a try! The dish features a tart with semolina pudding in an almond oat crust, topped with a coconut raspberry layered and fresh berries. Do let us know if aliens come knocking at your door after you make this.
Guest Meal plan
-by Shivani @themediumspicy
Ever found yourself in the situation where you keep staring at the fridge for answers, only to get completely lost? Not anymore… the specially designed meal plan by Shivani has all the answers! We have been told that following this meal plan is as satisfying as eating bottomless fries at your favorite burger joint. As happy as that made us, according to a very modest Shivani, she’s just trying to play ketchup!
Sprouted moth beans
Kerala kadala curry (black chickpea curry)
Did you know?
Along with formation of the BBC network and start of the Wimbledon championship, 1922 was an important year for all smoothie lovers as Stephen J. Poplawski invented the blender with the spinning blade at the bottom.
The color of blood oranges is due to the pigment anthocyanin, not usually found in citrus fruit but common in other red fruits such as cherries and strawberries.
If all the blueberries grown in North America in one year were spread out in a single layer, they would cover a four-lane highway that stretched from New York to Chicago causing a blueberry jam.
For our quiz this week, can you guess these popular food/drink items based on the trivia?
This specialty dish of Naples, Italy, actually means 'trousers' in Italian
This popular cocktail created around 1900, was named after a village in eastern Cuba
This popular confectionary was once used as currency by the ancient Mayans
*Answers at the bottom
To make the best banana bread, make sure the bananas are very ripe - just about too ripe to eat whole - soft and a little mushy.
The difference between a crappy omelette and great scrambled eggs is (drumroll)…. Patience!! Do not scramble the eggs till the very end for the perfect texture.
Do not show off your chopping skills with basil. Cutting it too aggressively will cause it bruise and darken quickly.
“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”
- Jim Davis, creator of 'Garfield'
May we suggest adding sweet potato brownies to this list?
Planet Money podcast episode about How the burrito became a sandwich per New York tax law.
While this simmers…
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Calzone. Incidentally, it also comes in small/medium/large.
Chocolate. Wouldn’t it be fun if that were to happen again!