Archive for Tasteology

Grocery Consumers Choose Convenience Over Nutrition

Prepared food has become a massive industry at about 29 billion dollars a year, growing twice as fast as overall grocery store sales. A recent survey of 63,000 participants found that more than 50% had purchased prepared meals at the supermarket. This trend can be explained by the convenience aspect where people can shop for retail and foodservice products in the same place, as well as following the other themes of time efficiency, health/nutrition and value for the money. Consumers have been buying prepared food at a very high rate, but possibly not all consumer expectations are being met.

supermarketNot all prepared food is fully prepared in store, according to a study conducted by Consumer Reports. Only around 50% of prepared meals purchased were actually made on premise. Another potential problem can be found in the nutritional value of the food. Made in store does not necessarily mean free of preservatives or ingredients found in processed foods. Many meals reviewed in the survey were found to have higher than recommended levels of sodium, fat, and other undesirables. The nutritional value is also hard to judge because there are no serving sizes available for consumers. An additional concern could be the higher price for prepared meals compared to those made at home. In some cases, the prepared foods could be twice as expensive.

Even with these downsides, convenience is key. Consumers have limited time and the last thing they want to do is spend their few free minutes in the kitchen. This is what is driving the prepared food trend.

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Dry Rubs & Pastes

Sometimes you already have that perfectly tender piece of meat, but it could use a little flavor enhancement. Enter the dry rub. It forgoes the acids normally used to break down connective tissue in the protein, and instead focuses on dry components like aromatics and spices to add taste and visual appeal.

dryrubAnother benefit is that the dry rub will form a crust, adding a great texture to the eating experience. You can add in an oil or soy sauce too, forming a paste if desired, but in either case application is the same. Gently apply the rub or paste and evenly coat the protein. The best way is to just use your hands.

Unlike a marinade, you can apply a rub just before cooking and get the same great taste benefit. However, if you want to get the rub flavor deeper into the muscle, wrap the meat in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Careful! You don’t need a lot of rub to get that flavor. A little goes a long way and you could overpower that delicious cut of meat.

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Plus One Ideas

Cream Cheese

Strawberry Yogurt Dip
1lb cream cheese
½ cup strawberry puree
½ cup vanilla Yogurt

Chive Cream Cheese
Whip 1lb of cream cheese
Add fresh chopped chives from your backyard garden (TT)
I like a little cracked black pepper

Salad Dressing

Italian Bacon Parm
1 cup of your favorite Italian dressing
1 tbsp “fresh” grated Parmesan (not the green plastic jug)
3 tbsp “cooked” Benton’s Bacon pieces (or you favorite bacon)

Spicy Avocado Ranch
1 cup ranch dressing
¾ cups pureed avocado
2 tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp lime juice


Zesty Orange Mustard
¾ cup Dijon mustard
1 ⅓ cup orange marmalade

Creamy Dijon Sauce
1 cup Dijon mustard
2 cups sour cream
Black pepper (TT)
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp tarragon


Shrimp Dip
1 cup mayo
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp Chesapeake Bay seasoning
2 tbsp chopped chive

India Dip
1 cup mayo
⅓ cup sour cream
½ cup orange marmalade
1 tsp curry powder

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Keep It Hot

Don’t forget; always cook food to its minimum safe temperature to prevent foodborne illness.

  • Ground beef, pork, and lamb – 160⁰F
  • Poultry – 165⁰F
  • Fresh beef, pork, or lamb – 145⁰F


Cooking to a safe temperature is your first line of defense against foodborne illness but, Newly Weds Foods’ DefenStat can provide a further layer of protection from E. coli and Salmonella in raw meat and poultry if and when minimum temperatures are not achieved. Contact your Newly Weds Foods sales representative to find out more.

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Adding Fuel To The Fire

As a first step, determine the cooking method for that optimal grilling experience. More traditional grilling tends to call for the use of charcoal briquettes because of consistency and quick prep time. Pit-masters and barbecue enthusiasts like to try their hand with hardwood to add desired flavor characteristics from the smoke to their barbecuing masterpiece.


Interesting Facts:

Charcoal Briquettes:

Invented by Henry Ford as a by-product of making fuel to run his factory. They are manufactured by burning wood product in the absence of oxygen until the wood is reduced to carbon and starch binders, then ground coal is added. The result is the formation of briquettes.

Hardwood Lump Charcoal:
Additive free charcoal that comes in irregular shapes, also known as pure charcoal. Hardwood is burned in closed containers with very little oxygen, until it is turned into carbon. Using Hardwood Lump Charcoal creates a hotter fire, burns clean, holds heat longer, and responds to oxygen more quickly allowing for greater control of the fire.

Can be difficult to cook with because of the irregularities in size, consistency and moisture, even within the same log. Resin and knots within the wood will affect the burn. This method of fuel requires a longer set up time to cook correctly, and should be noted that only woods that are seasoned and aged are recommended for use.

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Wet Marinades

Even very good meat, poultry and seafood can benefit from the addition of a marinade. They were originally conceived to both preserve and tenderize tough proteins, but today are designed to deliver textural and flavor attributes. And, most wet marinades work across all proteins as well as vegetables.

marinadesA marinade should consist of at least one of each of these ingredients.

  • Tenderizer (orange juice, lemon juice, etc.)
  • Oils (olive oil, sesame oil)
  • Fresh and Dry aromatics (rosemary, basil, mint)
  • Spices

How much marinade should you use? A simple rule of thumb (when using a plastic bag to marinade in) is 1 cup of marinade for each pound of meat. Double the marinade if you are using a flat baking dish to soak. Using this method, you’ll want to evenly and completely cover the food. The final, most important piece of the puzzle is, how long do you marinade? Fish needs the least amount of time, followed by chicken, then pork, then beef. Be careful in using acid when marinating fish. You could end up cooking the fish instead of flavoring it. Also, reduce the acid if planning a long marination (with any protein). Add it in more toward the end of the process.

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Team Disruptive Q Takes First Place

Our Culinary team has been working overtime. When Chef Matthew Freistadt joined our company late last year, he brought with him 16 years of competitive BBQ passion. That passion caught on with our other team members and the result is “Disruptive Q”, a competitive BBQ team comprised almost entirely of Newly Weds Foods Chefs.

Our culinary group has taken it upon themselves, in their free time, to deep dive on BBQ, one of the more long standing and prominent trends in the food industry. They have spent weekends honing and perfecting their culinary techniques in exploring everything this hot cuisine has to offer.

bbq-1Chef Mathew (AKA Pit Master Mat) and team members have already participated in two competitions this summer. Masters in May in Appleton, WI, provided knowledge and a better idea of what to expect for our less experienced BBQ aficionados and helped prepare them for competition #2 at Red, White & BBQ in Westmont, IL. They are planning to participate in other Midwest events this summer and into the fall as they follow their quest for a Grand Championship and the ultimate goal of an invitation to the World Championships hosted at The Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.

At the Westmont Red White and BBQ event, the team was awarded a first place prize for their pulled pork. The pork was slowly cooked all day and brushed with a thick Kansas City style sauce, then seasoned with a specially formulated blend of spices and honey crystals created by Chef Mathew. That certainly gave the hometown crowd for the Chicago based team something to cheer about. “It was an amazing gathering of Newly Weds employees
and families who showed outstanding support” said Chef Mathew.

bbq-2The purpose and mission of “Disruptive Q” is to have fun while cooking and competing. Why disruptive Q you may ask? Chef Mathew says, “The idea is not to do the same thing the others are doing. Win with our own flavors and techniques.” Each flavor and ingredient used while cooking BBQ is hand crafted and formulated by Chef Mathew and the Team to deliver a specific profile, and most of all a big smile on the faces of the judges when they taste.

We couldn’t be more proud of our culinary team, and look forward to cheering them on at their next competition.

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Unwrapping The Secret to Great Grilling

One grilling method often overlooked is the use of foil pouches. It is a versatile and easy way to cook a variety of different and tasty flavor combinations. The light, sturdy and compact construction makes it a perfect devise for use with gas and charcoal grills or even in a campfire. Despite their utilitarian nature, they can help make any and everything you put inside smell, taste and look wonderful. Here are just a few examples of trendy things that turn out great when cooked in foil.

foil packetHow to make a foil packet:

  • Lay a large sheet of heavy-duty foil or a double layer of regular foil on a flat surface
  • Put the ingredients in the center of the foil. Bring the short ends of the foil together and fold twice to seal; fold in the sides to seal leaving room for steam. Grill as directed.

Shishito Peppers
Toss ½ pound shishito or Padron peppers, a drizzle of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon paprika on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over medium high heat, 7 minutes, sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Sesame Bok Choy
Toss 1 pound baby bok choy, 1 Tbsp sesame oil and 1 teaspoon each grated ginger and sesame seeds on a sheet of foil. Arrange in a single layer and form a packet. Grill over medium high heat. 15 minutes.

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Fire It Up – Time to Get Your Grill On!

Aah summertime…with warmer weather and the sun shining how can anyone not be in a happy mood!?! Happy moods usually go hand and hand with happy times… and this time of year that could mean a summertime favorite…Grilling. Our culinary team has come up with a variety of “Grilling Inspirations” that will fill up your summertime menu.

grillingAt Newly Weds Foods, because we love grilling with friends and family so much, we actively track globally the culinary, flavor and ingredient trends related to this cooking form. From our research we have found that “grilled” or “charred” preparation and flavors are growing.

Grilled items have a 79.8% menu penetration according to Datassentials. However, charred preparation/flavor has increased by 157.5% on menu call outs over the last 4 years. From a retail perspective sourced from Mintel GNPD, grilled/charred flavor call outs increased by 68% on U.S. new product launches from 2013-2015. That extends one of the flavors of summer to a year round event.

To learn more about grilling and BBQ from around the globe , reach out to Newly Weds Foods and ask about our Global BBQ “Deep Dives”. We highlight BBQ/grilling concepts from flavors and proteins to more than 25 preparation methods from a worldwide perspective. All with the intent to inspire our customers with new flavor profiles for future new products. For now though, savor the idea of enjoying summer with some of these grilling ideas for all eating occasions!

Enjoy And Happy Grilling From The Newly Weds Team!

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Gluten Free Panko Crumb & Coating System

At Newly Weds Foods we are always looking to create the best possible solutions to help our customers address demands reflecting current trends in the consumer marketplace. Two of the biggest and fastest growing trends have been Panko bread crumbs and gluten-free products.

glutenfreeAs a leader in the development and manufacturing of food coatings systems, we have combined these two trends, putting our knowledge and technical know-how to work in formulating a high quality glutenfree Panko. So, this crumb has all the unique attributes of a conventional Japanese Style Panko crumb including its slivered appearance, light & crispy bite and golden brown color.

Newly Weds Foods introduced Japanese style bread crumb to the U.S. in the 1970’s so we have a very good understanding of what constitutes a top of the line product.

In addition Newly Weds Foods has developed gluten-free pre-dust and batter components that are very complementary to this crumb and present a complete coating system with excellent adhesion, texture, and taste.

The Gluten-Free Panko crumb & coating system consists of:

  • Gluten-Free Predust
  • Gluten-Free Batter Mix
    • Two product applications/options
      • Parfry/Oven Recon and Raw Bread/ Fry Recon
  • Gluten-Free Panko Crumb
    • Two product applications/options
      • One For Parfry/Oven Recon and Raw Bread/ Fry Recon

Contact your Newly Weds Foods salesperson to learn more about this coating system and other gluten-free solutions available.

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