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Top Stories for 5/21/13
A bill to crack down on agricultural products that are falsely labeled under the “Jersey Fresh” program cleared the New Jersey Assembly May 20. Under the legislation, law enforcement officials would be able to confiscate foods that are falsely labeled under the marketing program, which is designed to boost local farmers and fishermen and run by the state Department of Agriculture. The measure would allow state courts to oversee the process of taking the falsely labeled agricultural goods, reported The Record. Full Story
The vast number of high-rise buildings constructed of concrete and glass make Tokyo one of the least likely places that you’d expect to find fresh produce. That was, until a recent movement integrating farm space and urban hydroponics with other aspects of this expansive concrete jungle was put into motion. Turning small plots between buildings into a usable farm space is only the beginning. From rooftop community gardens, to floors specifically designed to incorporate farming into an otherwise typical office space, to other spaces within high-rises filled with racks of perfectly lined leaf vegetables, companies in Tokyo are participating in this farming revolution. Full Story
As bottled-water sales boom and traditional soda sales slump, companies are marketing water that hints it could taste like soda. Talking Rain's Sparking Ice carbonated, fruit-flavored, zero-calorie spring water sweetened with sucralose was one of the 10 best-selling new products in grocery stores last year, according to IRI. Last month Coca-Cola's Glaceau division introduced a sparkling, fruit-flavored, artificially sweetened drink called Fruitwater. Sales of products like Mio, a "liquid water enhancer," are booming. Slightly less than 20 percent of households that buy bottled water also buy "liquid water enhancers" to flavor it, states the brand director of Dasani, reports The Wall Street Journal. Full Story (WSJ Subscription Required)
Maple Farms, Lake Placid, N.Y., is launching a kickstarter campaign to allow donors to receive its new line of syrups. Not yet available on the market, Maple Farms offers more than a dozen different flavors of infused maple syrup, cream and candy using fresh, farm-raised fruit and award-winning, craft liquors from small-batch distillers. The syrup is naturally infused with organic fruits from local farms during the condensation from sap to syrup and then again upon bottling. Its line of liquor-infused maple syrups are reverse infused, by barrel aging pure Adirondack medium amber syrup in oak casks previously used by some of the region's small-batch distillers including Berkshire Mountain Distillers and Finger Lakes Distillery. News Release
Brent Delman, founder of The Cheese Guy, Yonkers, N.Y., recently introduced goat cheese logs to his extensive product line. These fresh and creamy logs, are available in 4 ounces and 10.5 ounces, are all natural and made on small family farms. They come in original plain, and fine herb varieties.
Phil Noto, president and co-owner of Santisi Imports, started the business in 2005 as more of a hobby to bring extra virgin olive oil produced by his cousin's factory in Sicily back to America. After selling the product primarily to friends and family out of his garage, he began to sell to commercial customers. In 2006, Noto and his original co-owners, Frank Oieni and Gino Giunta, moved their inventory, which now includes oregano and other Italian specialties, to a warehouse. They operated out of that space until 2011, when they expanded again into a larger warehouse on the same property. During that transition, they added a business office, showroom and tasting room adjacent to the new warehouse. Now, they're growing yet again. Noto, along with Oieni and new co-owners, Vince Sciascia and Mario Vicidomini, spent the past three months renovating three rooms on the property for use as Santisi Imports' retail store. The shop offers a wide variety of premium Italian foods, including pastas, balsamic vinegars, canned tomatoes, grilled artichokes and tuna-stuffed peppers, reports The Morning Call. Full Story
Slim Lizzy’s Cocktails is the first strategically positioned brand by Social Blends, a company placing social consumption at the heart of its business operations. Social Blends’ formula focuses on creating exceptional tasting, low-alcohol and low-calorie beverages for socially conscious alcohol consumers. Slim Lizzy’s Cocktails contain half the calories of leading national “skinny" brands. It is only 45 calories per 4.5-ounce serving. News Release
After graduating from an MBA program for entrepreneurship at Babson College, Scott Rousseau and his wife, Sarah, recently purchased Beyond the Shaker, L.L.C., Boston, a sea salt and organic spice company. Beyond the Shaker has a line of natural sea salts and also specializes in distinctive and proprietary blends that pair unrefined sea salt with premium organic and sustainable ingredients. Each Beyond the Shaker blend is chef-created, hand blended and all natural.
Ron Reed's Signature Barbeque Sauce is made in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. Owner Ron Reed offers three flavors: brown sugar and black pepper, brown sugar and jalapeno, and brown sugar and habanero. The product line is available in 19 Kroger stores in the Knoxville market, three in Franklin, one in Brentwood, one in Gallatin and two in Clarksville. It is also sold out of Houston’s Meat and Produce in Mt. Juliet as well as online. Reed also introduced his dry rub a couple of weeks ago, reports The Tennessean. Full Story
Kate Weiser, the Dallas chocolatier who did notable work for the city's Chocolate Secrets, is launching her own eponymous spot at Trinity Groves. Kate Weiser Chocolates is slated to open in the fall, offering filled chocolates and fudge. Her chocolate will come from Valhrona, reports Culture Map Dallas. Full Story
It wasn’t until the 1990s that bread, at least in Des Moines, Iowa, started its rise from humble peasant food to an artisan category all its own, paralleling an increasing fascination nationwide with things foreign, organic and gourmet. Des Moines’ currently thriving market for true artisan bread required only a few quality ingredients: George Formaro’s obsession with the European-style breads he couldn’t get here; Michael LaValle’s culinary prescience; and Joe and Steve Logsdon’s entrepreneurial dedication to fine food. Formaro and LaValle’s South Union Bakery baby is now 18 years old, while Logsdon’s La Mie bakery turns 10 this year, reports Des Moines Register. Full Story
The Lovely Candy Company will launch its first line of premium gluten-free candies, including licorice, caramels and fruit chews. The company was founded in 2013 in Chicago when Mike Nakamura set off on a quest for his wife Jackie's favorite candy, licorice. The problem? Jackie required gluten-free candies, and Mike soon learned that traditional U.S. licorice brands are not gluten-free. The company developed a line of flavorful and unique offerings including Lovely Candy Original Chewy Caramels, Lovely Candy Chocolate Swirl Caramels, Lovely Candy Super Fruit Chews, Lovely Candy Fruit Chews and Lovely Candy Organic Cherry Licorice Drops. News Release
Like his father and his grandfather before him, Shep Ysselstein’s life revolved around milk production. Gunn’s Hill, near Woodstock, Ontario, has been a dairy farm since the 1800s, and since the Ysselstein family bought it in the 1960s, the daily routine is to feed and milk the herd of 130 Holsteins morning and evening. Rather than sending away the milk, his inspiration was to use it to make artisanal cheeses to add more value to the farm. In his second year of sales, he figures the cheese operation will break even this year and turn a profit in 2014, reports The Globe and Mail. Full Story
Ghirardelli Chocolate created two new filled chocolate flavors, mint cookie and toffee crunch, to join the existing lineup of dark chocolate and sea salt caramel, milk chocolate with caramel, dark chocolate with raspberry and dark chocolate and caramel. All seven chocolates have been designed so that the candy squares break cleanly into smaller segments. News Release
Plenty of chefs inspire loyalty, but Jacques Genin has so perfected his art that someone has been graffiting slogans about him outside his Marais neighborhood patisserie. Earlier this year, Genin decided to scale down his pastry production to focus on chocolates and caramels. Rich, pliant and buttery, they come in eight flavors: hazelnut, cashew, macadamia, pistachio, chocolate, vanilla, plain and a mango-passionfruit. Genin supplies some of the finest addresses in Paris, including Hotel de Crillon and Le Meurice. But you can get your hands on his sugary delights directly from his store, where everything is made fresh daily, reports The Wall Street Journal. Full Story (WSJ Subscription Required)
When Carton Brewing first came to be, one of its goals was to make a beer you could drink on a boat. To Augie Carton, this meant two things: that it be complex enough that you wanted to drink it and light enough that you can keep drinking it. This led to the creation of Boat Beer as a session IPA (a session beer is one that you can drink for an entire session of drinking). Boat Beer pours a somewhat hazy light golden-orange. There's a large white head with very good retention and great lacing. The aroma is that of citrus hops and grapefruit, reports The Star-Ledger. Full Story
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