Posts Tagged ‘Flavors’

Flavored Beer

Sunday, January 15th, 2012
On a visit to SE Asia to one of our customers we were introduced to a new craze…. Flavored beer. Truthfully, I do not like beer.  There’s something about the taste and smell and that I do not like.  However, when flavored, the taste was masked and the drink seemed less bitter to me.  In cafe shops around Indonesia, imagine a long tall beer glass alongside a syrup bar.  Various syrups with pumps for you to squirt into your beer.  The surprising standout flavor, for me, was Kiwi.  The color of the beer is only slightly tinted; the flavor, surprisingly good.  Other popular flavors are Peach, Raspberry, Orange, Lychee and Lime.  Have you tried flavor beer?  What was your impression?

Vodka Neat or in a Cocktail

Monday, February 7th, 2011
The origin of vodka is heavily debated between Poles and Russians as no one can for sure say when the knowledge of distilling spirits spread from France and northern Italy to Poland and Russia.  Nevertheless, both countries make great vodkas.  And during a trip to Poland, I found myself enjoying a few sips of vodka at Qube, Poland’s first specialty Vodka bar. Vodka was originally considered to be a medicinal drink, supposedly curing ailments and promoting longevity and youthfulness.  My take on that would be that if you drank enough you didn’t feel anything and therefore appeared to die healthy.  But back to vodka.  Polish vodka is typically distiller from rye, while Russia and Sweden distill from wheat and Finland from barley.  The East and Scandinavian countries tend to have more flavor in their vodkas than those distilled “neutral” or flavorless.   Since we specialize in Flavors, I had the Wisniowka Cherry Cordial in an ice glass. One sip at a time was delicious.  Not fruity, not sweet and very balanced.  But I have to admit I prefer cocktails.  And vodka’s strength in the cocktail market is king.  It is a completely versatile drink, with enough price points to make it affordable to all and a luxury to some.  All of the mixers we manufacture and many of the syrups find themselves paired in alocholic drinks, typically made with vodka.  So drink up but drink responsibly and be safe.

The Flavors of Provence

Thursday, October 7th, 2010
The south of France is a a delight to the senses.  Visually exquisite, cuisine that is simple, fresh and flavorful, sounds of wildlife, birds and rustling trees, and the sweet fragrance of lavender, olives and grapes.   It is easy to want to sit back and let nature take over your senses.  On my last visit, I did a lot of sensory tasting.  The south of France makes some of the best products in the world… Wine, olive oil and honey and I tried them all.  Here are a few of my most favorites tastes. Wine…because I prefer white wine, I visited Cassis,, a small fishing village near Marseilles,  known for its exquisite whites I ordered a bottle of wine and paired it with battered sole.  The wine was crisp, with a golden hue and an aroma that brought to mind the fresh outdoors.  The taste was a delicate flowery, with hints of Cherry and cassis.  Domaine du Paternel is a very fine house and each sip was delicious.   Olive oil…. Now here is where things get complicated.  There are many, many types of olive oil, but you don’t  fully appreciate how much effort goes into each bottle of olive oil until you have been to the vineyards and seen the olives on the trees.   They are treated almost as delicately as grapes and have a processing that was brought over by the romans centuries ago.  Typically we pour olive oil over dishes.   The new technique is to use a sprayer to spritz, instead of pouring.   It is less wasteful.   Pastis…  Never having really tasted pastis, I decided to linger over one on a sunny afternoon in Marseilles.  Generaly, pastis is a licorice flavored drink.  It arrived to the table as a concentrate, to which I added water.  I decided for the slightly sweeter version, which had orgeat in it, giving it a very almondy flavor, similar to sambuco, or ouzo.  Paired with a tomato and mozzarella salad, the pastis went down very smoothly. Lavendar grows in abundance in Provence, but I had not figured out how to use it in a culinary setting.  Well, I found two delicious examples of it.  The first was a goat cheese spring roll with lavender honey.  This was amazing – the sweet and sour taste, combined with the crunchiness of the spring roll set off the lavender honey.  It was not too sweet as the cheese mellowed it, but you clearly had the sweet and sour sensations.  The other yummy taste was a Lavender creme brûlée.  The first thing I noticed was the creme brûlée was 1) not as thick and firm as our Amercian version and 2) not as sweet.  The  brûlée had the pods of the vanilla bean and a carmalezed lavender layer.  The whole dish was devoured within minutes.  I have brought lavender home to use in cooking and we will see how that turns out. I hope you have enjoyed the culinary tour of Provence.  I can’t wait to taste more.