by Amy Reiter in News, August 18th, 2015
by Amy Reiter in News, August 15th, 2015
If the school year is starting, as it has for some and soon will for others, can Pumpkin Spice Lattes be far behind? The answer, of course, is no. The season for Starbucks’ autumnal drink is close at hand, and for those who had felt compelled to say “no” to the fall favorite after discovering, last year, that it contained no actual pumpkin but did contain the potentially unsafe additive Class IV Caramel Color, the last gasp of summer has brought good news: Starbucks has changed its PSL recipe.
“After hearing from customers and partners about ingredients, we took another look at this beverage and why we created it so many years ago,” Peter Dukes, Starbucks’ director of espresso and brewed coffee, and a PSL co-creator, wrote this week in a blog post on the company’s website, announcing that, when the PSL returns to stores this fall, “it will be made with real pumpkin and without caramel coloring.”
by Amy Reiter in News, August 13th, 2015
Cold brew coffee is hot, hot, hot. Local coffee shops and big chains like Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Starbucks are increasingly switching to it from traditional iced coffee. It may also be heating up demand for coffee beans.
Cold brew, said to be smoother and less bitter than regular iced coffee (brewed hot, then cooled), calls for fresh ground coffee beans to steep in cold water for anywhere from 12 to a full 24 hours. But because the cooler temps and relative stillness in the process prevent as much flavor from being extracted from the coffee as regular hot brew, roasters use more (sometimes double) beans per cup.
by Guest Blogger in News, August 11th, 2015
If a whiskey is aged in space, will it be mellower? It sounds a bit like a Zen koan (“the sound of one hand clapping” and all that), but in fact it is a question that may soon have an answer.
On August 16, the spirits maker Suntory will rocket six samples — five kinds of distilled spirits of different ages as well as a liquid that is 40 percent ethanol — into space in order to explore, the company says in a news release, the “development of mellowness in alcoholic beverage through the use of a microgravity environment.”
by Amy Reiter in News, August 10th, 2015
By Lauren Haslett
Freeze-dried ice cream may be a fun novelty for those of us stuck on Earth, but we’re pretty sure astronauts are tired of it.
Luckily for them, fresh, farm-to-table produce is becoming a real possibility. Those farms just happen to be in space.
by Amy Reiter in News, August 9th, 2015
Sure, you got your fruit pies and crumbles, your ice cream and frozen pops, but there’s a solid argument to be made that no other dessert captures the taste of summer quite like s’mores. With the milk chocolate made melty by the toasted-to-taste marshmallow and smooshed between two graham crackers, s’mores evoke the snap of the campfire, the nighttime cool after a hot summer day, songs under the stars, and the comfort of family and good friends.
Yeah, we all love s’mores, but some states apparently love them — or at least love to tweet about them — more than others.
In honor of National S’mores Day, which happens to be today, Twitter’s Data Analytics team has compiled a list of the top s’mores-lovin’ states of the summer, based on which of them tweeted about s’mores the most from May 1 to July 31, 2015. (Check out the cool companion heat map above.)
by Amy Reiter in News, August 8th, 2015
People around the world like a lot of different things in their sandwiches. (See also this video.) And while we in the United States may generally prefer to eat our potato chips on the side, in the U.K. folks are apparently partial to eating them between two slices of bread — right where you might expect to find your lunch meat or PB&J or whatever.
Capitalizing on this taste for crunchy potato-chip sandwiches (“crisp butties,” they call them) is Mr. Crisp, which bills itself as “England’s first crisp sandwich shop” (apparently Belfast quite enjoyed a crisp sandwich pop-up — Simply Crispy — that launched there in January), offering sandwiches filled with “over 50 varieties of crisp for you to enjoy.” Customers also get their choice of bread (white or brown, teacakes or baguettes) and topping: Try it with ketchup, jam, peanut butter, Marmite or the mayonnaise-like “salad cream,” or get crazy and order it with chocolate spread. Crisp sandwiches start at £1 and go up to £1.50, depending on your toppings. (Marshmallow, anyone?).
by Amy Reiter in News, August 5th, 2015
You love to eat sweet things: yummy cakes, delicious candy bars and sometimes, maybe, on special occasions, crazy-decadent combinations of both. But did you ever stop to wonder if these things taste the same way to the person sitting across the table from you, digging in with – wait, is that equal gusto?
The answer — surprising or not — may be no. A recent study conducted by sensory scientists, and led by Danielle Reed at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, has determined that some people are more sensitive not only to bitter compounds, but to sweetness as well.
by Amy Reiter in News, August 4th, 2015
Seltzer may not be the most-flavorful drink in the fridge, but that hasn’t prevented it, in recent years, from rising like a carbonated bubble to its current status high up on America’s preferred list of beverages.
The Washington Post notes that, while sales of regular and diet soda and “vitamin” drinks have flattened and declined over the past decade like the contents of a half-consumed can, sales of Perrier, San Pellegrino and their fizzy ilk have more than doubled over the last five years, reaching, at last measure, around $1.5 billion — a growth that has exceeded even that of other bottled waters.
by Amy Reiter in News, August 2nd, 2015
Remember when ice cream came in basically three flavors: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry? At a certain point, the options grew to include at least 31. But even those of us who favor flavors like rocky road, pralines and cream, and Jamoca Almond Fudge probably never imagined a world in which foie gras, bacon, chorizo, salt and pepper, and durian-banana ice creams were a thing.
Yet here we are in a world of ice cream flavors that are — shall we say? — unusual. Why do we seek out such oddities, when the flavors we already have — including chocolate chip and mint chip, cookies ‘n’ cream, and fudge ripple — are so delicious?
Eater has taken a look at the wacky-ice-cream-flavor trend. Here are a few takeaways:
First, there were four basic tastes: sour, sweet, salty and bitter. Then scientists said they’d uncovered a fifth: umami, the savory flavor of, say, truffles, meat and anchovies, summoned by monosodium glutamate, or MSG. Now researchers at Purdue University say they’ve found evidence that there’s a sixth basic taste: fat.
Fat — the longest of the three fatty acids you can find in a mouthful of steak or a dribble of olive oil — “is likely another one of the basic tastes. I think we have pretty clear evidence for this,” Purdue professor of nutrition science Richard Mattes, the new study’s lead author, told the Washington Post.