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Period: October 6, 2019 to January 19, 2020
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Vegetables Are Gradually Taking Over Menus At High-End Eateries

A dietary and dining revolution is taking place in the U.S., as the American consumer moves gradually away from traditional meat and dairy. A 2018 survey by Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, for example, found that two-thirds of Americans said they were cutting back on meat. Meanwhile, from April 2017 to July 2019 plant-based food sales grew approximately 31 percent, to $4.5 billion and will probably reach $6.5 billion by 2023. But a quieter facet of the revolution is reflected in the fact that the number of courses in eateries that highlight beef, pork, lamb, and poultry is dwindling at places where a $200 tasting menu is a bargain. New values are changing what’s considered a luxury when it comes to dining. Many of the hot topics and trends in At fine dining restaurants, where meats such as imported Japanese beef and game like antelope and boar were invariably the star attractions, diners might now find well-dressed mushrooms and roots. 

"First, Burger King. Now Fancy Tasting Menus Are Ditching Meat", Bloomberg, December 06, 2019

University’s Grain School: Where Bakers, Farmers Get An In-Depth Look At The World Of Grain

A group of gardeners, growers, and baking enthusiasts from the Santa Fe, N.M., area this month is meeting up in Colorado Springs to attend the Grain School at the University of Colorado. The group has spent the past two years conducting production trials and milling and baking tests on 52 different rare varieties of wheat, barley, amaranth, and other grains. That was precisely the outcome Nanna Meyer was hoping for when she launched the Grain School five years ago after the school’s dining service dropped its contract with a big foodservice company in favor of doing all food sourcing in-house. But chefs at the school couldn’t find locally-grown specialty grains, even though the local climate is perfect for grain production. To fix that Meyer knew there had to be both education and collaboration. The intensive three-day course, which can be taken for credit or non-credit, offers a comprehensive deep-dive into the world of grain, from breeding and agronomy to end uses like milling, ...  More

"3-day grain school: cultivation to consumption", AG Journal, December 22, 2019

University’s “Ancient Grains” Project Hopes To Build A Niche Industry

The mission of the First Grains project at the University of Wyoming is to not only successfully cultivate ancient grains but to make a profitable, sustainable niche industry with them. Emmer, einkorn, and spelt – considered "ancient grains" or "first grains" – were some of the earliest domesticated cereal crops, grown over 10,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia during the first agricultural revolution. The project is growing the grains under dryland and irrigated conditions, using no-till, conventional, organic, and non-organic methods to determine which conditions result in the best yields. The biggest obstacle, though, is the additional step – de-hulling – required after harvesting the grains. A de-huller machine solved the problem, and now “the project can start building the niche industry and take the first steps toward privatization," a project leader said, including exploring potential products and markets.

"Finding a niche market for ancient grains", The Grand Island Independent (Nebraska), December 30, 2019

Alternative Baking Flours Increasingly Find Space On Home Pantry Shelves

Many of 2019’s hot topics and trends in eating will remain with us in 2020, including meatless mainstreaming, the birra boom, virtual restaurants, ugly produce, hyper-regional cooking, legal CBD, grandma/grandpa food, and resource efficient sustainability. Other key trends include the food industry's environmental responsibility, the emphasis on more healthful eating and more sustainable seafood, the growing food-hall phenomenon, keto foods, and the pressure-cooker craze. But let’s not forget the move toward alternatives to wheat, barley, and rye flours in baking. In its list of top trends for 2020, Whole Foods Market makes a case for these exotic baking ingredients, noting that "consumers are seeking out ingredients used in traditional dishes, like teff flour used for Ethiopian injera." That means the home pantry could soon be stocked with cauliflower flour, coconut flour, almond flour, chickpea flour, peanut flour, and tigernut flour, as well as flours made from starches, tubers, ...  More

"What and how we'll be eating in 2020; Plant-based foods, hyper-local cuisine and more on tap", The Houston Chronicle, January 01, 2020

Making Trendy Roman-Style Pizza Requires Some Serious Effort

A Sheboygan, Wis., restaurant is now serving a certified Roman-style pizza that requires days for the dough to rise, is baked three times, and is then cut with a scissors. Purportedly the trendiest pizza on the market, the crunchy pie served at Harry's Prohibition Bistro is certified Roman-style by Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Also known as pizza al taglio, the pie is distinguished by its light, airy and cavernous crust with a slightly crunchy yet chewy texture. To get a thick crust that eats light, the dough is made in large batches with a careful eye on the temperature. If the dough gets too warm from the friction between the rotating bowl and dough hook, ice is added. The dough is separated into balls and proofed in cool temperatures for 72 to 100 hours, slowing the yeast's fermentation process and resulting in a thick but light crust.  "It's like a little pillow of air between the two crusts," says owner Adrian Latifi.

"An on-trend treat; Sheboygan bistro is first in Wisconsin certified to make Roman-style pizza", Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wisconsin), January 08, 2020

Benefits Of Sorghum Catch The Attention Of Chefs, Farmers In The South

A restaurant owner and chef, cookbook author, and TV personality based in Lexington, Ky., believes sorghum, a cereal grain mainly used to feed livestock, has a lot to offer modern consumers because it is sweeter and more complex than sugar and therefore more healthful. Edward Lee’s new cookbook, “Smoke and Pickles,” includes sorghum recipes for Darkly Braised Lamb Shoulder, Bacon Pate. and his own version of the Hot Brown, among many others. Chef Lawrence Meeks, another fan of sorghum, says the grain didn’t catch on in the South because the cash crop was cane sugar. Sorghum lost out because it doesn’t boil down into a crystallized form the way sugar does. Weeks uses sorghum for everything from desserts to meats. "It's my favorite because it offers that light sweetness but has the background notes," he said.

"From cornbread sop to fine cuisine: Sorghum is finding its way onto gourmet Ky. menus", The Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky), January 08, 2020

7-Eleven Unveils 5-Inch Breakfast Pizza

7-Eleven, Inc. has introduced a personal-size breakfast pizza with a suggested retail price of $2. The 5-inch pizza has a flaky biscuit crust topped with creamy white gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage crumbles, bacon, ham, and a blend of mozzarella and cheddar cheese. The hot breakfast option is available in the hot foods case at the front counter of participating 7-Eleven stores during the morning hours, but can be prepared on request at other times.

"7-Eleven Gets Personal with Breakfast Pizza", PR Newswire, January 08, 2020

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