February 2009 Archives

Flavours of Spain: Sea Spaghetti

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Flavours of Spain Mixed SeaweedSea Lettuce, Sea Spaghetti and Kombu are among the selection of 15 varieties of seaweed available from Flavours of Spain.

No longer the reserve of Michelin-starred chefs, the seaweeds can enhance soups, sauces, stews, stir-fries and salads and are supplied in dried, flaked, salted and powdered formats.

The seaweeds are hand harvested from waters around the coasts of Galicia and each variety delivers a different flavour, texture and colour.

What's more, chefs can buy the fresh seaweeds in bulk to be delivered to their kitchens within 24 hours of harvest. Nice.

Black Garlic hits the UK

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Black-Garlic.jpgProduct Junkie loves discovering exciting and unusual products so the arrival of Black Garlic drew exclamations of "oohh" and "aaahh" and "Really? How does it look?"

Well you can see for yourselves here that black garlic is pretty much as you'd expect. The main difference is its jelly-like texture, but it is also odourless and has a sweet and sour flavour much like fruit.

Black Garlic goes through a month-long fermentation process where strong white garlic is put on rotating trays in a machine that manages temperature and humidity. 


Animal lovers listen up!

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Penguin milk chocolateProduct Junkie couldn't resist p-p-picking up this penguin story.

McVitie's Penguin has partnered with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to help fund an expedition to Antarctica to study how climate change is affecting penguins.

The company is donating up to £50k to the ZSL and the promotion will be featured on packs of Penguin biscuit bars, cake bars and mini rolls.

As part of the partnership, one lucky consumer will win a family holiday to South Africa with their family to visit penguins in their natural habitat. The promotion will also give away 200 family zoo tickets to London and Whipsnade Zoos.

Find out more at www.zsl.org/misingpenguins or www.unitedbiscuits.com




Flippin' mad?

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pancakes(rex).JPGMaking the perfect pancake is an exact science, according to Dr Fairclough, a lecturer of mathematics and statistics at Wolverhampton University.

If you want to keep your customers as sweet as your pancakes this evening you need to follow a formula that relates to the frying pan temperature, lumps in the batter, number of flips and standing time.

The formula is:

100 - [10L-7F+C(k-C) + T(m-T)]/(S-E)


Make your chairs glide

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chairglide.jpgThere's nothing like the sound of scraping chair legs on restaurant floors to interrupt a lively dinner conversation.

Now caterers can put a stop to the irritating sound of screeching wooden chair legs on floors with the ChairGlide noisy chair stoppers.

Available in three sizes (21, 30, 37mm), the chairglides consist of the glide, an acoustic washer and self tapping, self boring screw.

DIY savvy caterers can quickly screw the stoppers into the bottom of each chair leg with a screwdriver, powerdriver or screwgun.

Peace at last...


Flora signs Atherton to London Marathon

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Jason AthertonTo mark the end of its reign as main sponsor of the London Marathon, Flora has awarded Jason Atherton, executive chef at Maze restaurant, a place to help him raise money for the charity Hospitality Action.

To drum up support for the event, Flora is giving away 14 £1,000 prizes for caterers who purchase one case of Flora original portions or 2kg Flora spread - representing every year they have sponsored the Flora London Marathon.

Atherton said he'd been getting some useful training advice from Gordon Ramsay, who has previously completed the 26.2 mile feat:


The stage is set

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Sapphire.jpgAnyone who watched the Brits last night knows the importance of good staging and while you might not be pitching for Brits 2010, if you hold conference-type events you'll love Product Junkie's latest find.

PSL Events has put together several all-inclusive stage set packages along with an audio-visual system. The ready-made set and stage combinations are available in various sizes, and offered with a choice of four different AV systems. Each package even includes its own technician to rig it and provide support during the event. You don't get that in IKEA, do you?


The Heinz Effect

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HeinzConsumers love Heinz and will continue to stay loyal to the brand despite the economic downturn, according to a study by Brandhouse.

Heinz has scored third out of 100 brands which were measured on seven emotional principles - contentment, belonging, compassion, pride, enjoyment, excitement and desire.

The research showed that brands such as Heinz retain more loyalty than those that seek to provide novelty and excitement because consumers believe in brands that offer "steady contentment" and have "good intentions".

Sweet love by Cadbury

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Bertie-and-Bessie-Bassett.jpgValentine's Day might be over but romance lives on in Cadbury towers with the announcement of the marriage of Bertie Bassett to his bride Betty, the face of Bassett's new red Liquorice Allsorts.
The wedding coincides with Bertie's 80th birthday and the unveiling of Bassett's red Liquorice Allsorts - due to replace Bassetts Fruit Allsorts.
Over 60 factory workers from the Bassett's line were given time off work (to celebrate with the happy couple).
According to Cadbury, Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts were created by accident in 1899, when accident-prone salesman Charlie Thompson tripped up, mixing up all the different sweets he was carrying.
And you thought Product Junkie concerned itself with just hard-hitting news stories...

Unbreakable Vasu vessels

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Vasu2.jpgCaterers can brighten up their flower displays with the handy space-saving Vasu vases.

Displayed flat and filled with water via a tear off top the vases provide a secure, unbreakable and recyclable holdall for flower arrangements and can be used over and over again.

Product Junkie is particularly impressed by the selection of eye-catching designs including brightly coloured flowers, swirls and a modern zig zag scribble pattern.

For further information visit: http://www.vazu.com/


Go Bananas!

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Banana-producersIf you like bananas you'll love the Fairtrade Fortnight event Go Bananas! which encourages anyone and everyone in the UK to eat as many bananas as they can in a 24 hour period.

Running from noon on Friday 6 March until noon on Saturday 7 March, the campaign has attracted the interest of two top London hotels which plan to support the event.

Spilt milk

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There may be trouble ahead. Traditional milk jiggers and the newfangled milk sticks are shaping up for a duel now that dairy company Pritchitts has launched a campaign to get operators and consumers to support the aforementioned jigger.

It all kicked off after Matthew Parris likened the milk stick to "a leaking sow's teat" and called for a return to the jigger in his My Week column in The Times, 15 January 2009.

The jigger was invented in 1962 and Pritchitts says the pot is an iconic design and still doing what it was designed to do and doing it well. The stick format - already commonly used for sugar, coffee and sauces - is claimed by Dairystix to take up 40% less space than the jigger.

To join the milk pot debate email your views to Pritchitts.

Red Nose ale

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Morrissey Fox Red Nose Day Blonde pump clip FINAL.jpgIt's that time of year again when celebrities hold themselves up for ridicule, ordinary people go to work in their pyjamas and very brave men get various hairy bits waxed, all in the name of charity.

Red Nose Day 09 is on Friday 13 March and the nation is being asked to 'Do something funny for money' to make a difference to the lives of thousands of people living in abject poverty or facing terrible injustice both across Africa and in the UK.

But even if you don't fancy climbing Mount Kilimanjaro like Cheryl Cole and Gary Barlow, you can still do your bit simply by stocking Morrissey Fox Blonde Ale, the brew launched last year by celebrity duo Neil Morrissey and Richard Fox and available from Waverley TBS.

Weight loss chocolate

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Xocai.jpgHealthy chocolate may sound like an oxymoron but independent distributor Genuine Chocolate claims to have created a product that can not only help you lose weight but tastes great too.



Xocai is made from unprocessed chocolate (cacao) and according to the company one square contains as many antioxidants as a full bowl of raw spinach.


Owner and self-confessed chocoholic Heather Mitchell explains: "Xocai has been developed with a Belgian chocolate manufacturer using patented technology so that the antioxidants and nutrients are retained as well as the melt-in-the-mouth taste that Belgian chocolate is renowned for."


Pie in the sky

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  A-Good-Luck-Kiss-from-Miss-.jpg                                                                              Welsh food manufacturer Peter's Food Services has created a life-sized pie in the form of Welsh Rugby player Shane Williams ahead of the Wales-England game next weekend.

Miss Wales Chloe-Beth Morgan unveiled the culinary treat at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff today.

The pie will tour Wales until the end of the six nations and be auctioned off for the Toby Cockbain charity next month.

To view the grand unveiling in a video on the BBC website, click here.



Gold hotdog, anyone?

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Gold-hotdog.jpgValentine's Day isn't known for its originality so Product Junkie was very interested to hear about the rather unusual plans of one London venue.

Scratch 'n' Sniff Cinema will be screening Peter Greenaway's classic, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, at the Jotta Craft Fair near Oxford Circus, and customers will be treated to a bizarre menu of treats plus scratch 'n' sniff cards so that they can smell the film.

The menu, created by food company Bompas & Parr, features hotdogs enrobed in 24 carat gold; a naked body in the pop-corn machine and pick 'n' mix including aphrodisiac marshmallows with phenylethylamine in chocolate, "roll your own" candy tobacco and boiled sweets that flash in your mouth.

Wispa has something to shout about

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                                                                    Wispa.jpgThey say the oldies are the best and it seems Cadbury has proved this with the successful award-winning relaunch of its Wispa chocolate bar.

At the Product of the Year awards ceremony held at London's Royal Opera House this month, the Wispa bar was named Product of the Year within the Confectionary category.

Wispa returned to shelves by popular demand last October and it seems customers can't get enough of the bubbly chocolate with a massive 41.4m bars sold.


Bringing home the bacon

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Sausage-Competition-credit-.jpgYesterday Product Junkie brought you chocolate and high fashion, today it brings you pies and sausages. Not quite so glamorous but still very important we think.

County food group Hampshire Fare is calling on butchers and meat producers to enter the 2009 Great Hampshire Sausage, Pie and Ready Meal Competition.

Sponsored by The British Pig Executive, with the support of Hampshire County Council and Lucas Ingredients, the competition comprises 11 categories including sausages, hot and cold pies, bacon, ready meals and barbecue products.

Producers are encouraged to think local, using added ingredients sourced from Hampshire, such as beer, cider, cheeses and chutneys to produce products that will be judged by a team of professional sausage makers from across the UK.

Chocolate Fashion Show

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Westminster-College-Fashion.jpgFashion and chocolate don't usually cohabitate in the size zero world of modelling but Westminster Kingsway College managed to combine both beautifully at its College Chocolate Fashion Show.

Models paraded the catwalk in a selection of dresses enriched with fine chocolate and designed by the second year students of Westminster and Camden colleges at the event last month.

Guests were treated to a chocolate-themed three course menu, produced and served by Hospitality students and their lecturers, including a Haute Couture Baked Chocolate Tart with White Chocolate Ice Cream and Chocolate Crayons.

Who needs healthy New Year's resolutions, anyway...?


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2009 is the previous archive.

March 2009 is the next archive.

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