Tea has a long history originating from its Chinese and Indian heritage. It’s known as a comforting beverage, but well-publicized research about its health benefits has also helped its popularity.
In the last issue (see Bakers Journal, January/February 2017) I shared the results of a personal experiment I conducted with a sourdough starter (or levain) to determine just how resilient an established starter can be. Leaving two levains in my refrigerator, one for seven months, one for three months, I revived them with no problem over the course of four days.
Feb. 21, 2017, TORONTO -- March 1, 2017, marks the beginning of National Nutrition Month, an over 30 year old campaign designed to focus on bettering food choices and developing improved eating and physical activity habits for Canadians. According to StatCan in 2014, 20.8 per cent of Canadians over 18 are classified as obese, with poor eating choices acting as a major contributor. To help incorporate more nutrient-based items into Canadian diets, Victoria, B.C.-based raw foods chef Heather Pace shares five lesser-known ingredients that pack flavour and function into everyday recipes.
Sweets carry year-round appeal, but customer cravings still have seasonality. A survey of 1,000 consumers found that their chocolate cravings really kick in during winter. And, in fact, the desire to cozy up with all things cocoa only seems to be growing: “Chocolate’s not only the No. 1 flavour on dessert menus, but it’s also risen 7 per cent over the past four years,” says Jana Mann, senior director of menu research at food industry research firm Datassential.
For many years now I have been teaching artisan bread classes to foodies, bread lovers and students. It is interesting that a common theme from students is they don’t like sourdough bread. After a few quick questions, however, I realize they have not had real sourdough bread that’s naturally fermented. Instead they have been eating a “bread product” made with flavour additives like acetic acid, lactic acid and fumeric acid that have been added to a premix or base to replicate the smell and taste of a naturally leavened sourdough bread.
In a move to assist food manufacturers with clean label ingredients, Cargill is adding to its line of emulsifiers with the deoiled canola lecithin. The company now offers customers three plant-sourced lecithin options – soy, sunflower and canola – in the U.S. and Canada.
For the 17th year McCormick has released its annual Flavour Forecast, a guide for trends and ingredients from around the world.
Native to Indonesia and Southern India, turmeric has been harvested for more than 5,000 years and has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and a textile dye. It’s a spice with a peppery fragrant flavour, and it’s part of the ginger family of herbs. Often used in curries, sauces and soups, most recently, turmeric is popping up in teas, drinks, smoothies, breads and baked goods.
Shortbread has been a Christmas favourite of mine since childhood. Mom’s recipe originated in Scotland and only has four ingredients: butter, rice flour, all purpose flour and fruit sugar. She always places the dough in an air-tight container and leaves it in the fridge for up to a week. Chilling the dough provides a slightly darker colour, a more pronounced flavour and a shorter texture. Family and friends look forward to these delights every holiday.
Following an inaugural meeting at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary in November 2015, a group of baking and pastry instructors from Western Canada felt the need to continue their discourse on teaching and learning in the trade. As a result, an invitation for a reunion was sent out to all colleges in the four Western Provinces and Washington State, and 23 delegates made their way to Vancouver Island on the weekend of June 24-26 for a learning/teaching event.
In our fast-paced world, a familiar country apple pie or classic carrot cake made with simple ingredients brings a sense of comfort. Homestyle recipes continue to be a popular line for many bakeries and never really go out of fashion. We are seeing a modern twist on some of Grandma’s favourites that still bring a sense of ease, familiarity and a remembrance of things past.
Barley is an ancient grain that dates back over 10,000 years, nourishing civilizations from Egypt to Rome to the Vikings. But despite its storied history, human consumption of barley has fallen by 35 per cent over the last 10 years. In fact, only two per cent of the crop yield is consumed by people, with the remaining 98 per cent going to livestock. However, Canadian researchers may have just put the spotlight back on this historic grain thanks to newly discovered health benefits.
Sugar is under attack. In Canada, business leaders and politicians are advocating for more revealing sugar labels on foods. In the U.S., the recent 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans now recommends consumers get less than 10 per cent of calories per day from added sugars. It’s the addition of liquid or granulated refined sugar in the form of sucrose that is being targeted. The heightened awareness is being led by health concerns.
Pulses are edible seeds of crops in the legume family. Beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas are some of the best known. Pulses typically grow in pods. Some crops produce seeds in a pod that are not technically pulses and contain a substantial amount of oil. The oil can be commercially extracted and these are categorized as oilseeds.
Did you know that you can whip the liquid in a can of chickpeas into a fluffy meringue? You can, and if you read on, you’ll learn the how-to of this tidbit. It’s just one of the many cool things happening in the world of pulses and baking. Since the United Nations deemed 2016 the International Year of Pulses, interest has most certainly sprouted.
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Bakery Showcase Montréal 2019
May 5-6, 2019