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McDonald’s Expands Its Canadian Plant-Based Burger Test, And Cuts The Price

CANADA-FOOD-MCDONALD'S

Last fall, McDonald’s gingerly joined its competition in the plant-based burger race, rolling out the P.L.T. in a small region in Canada.

Now, McDonald’s is nearly doubling the number of outlets where the faux meat burger is available. And, it is cutting the price, perhaps heeding complaints that the sandwich was a tad too expensive.

McDonald’s Canada said Wednesday that the P.L.T. — short for plant-based, lettuce and tomato — now will be available in 52 locations in Southwestern Ontario, up from an original 28.

The locations still skirt Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, and Windsor, across from Detroit, two major locations where the P.L.T. would get significant media scrutiny and, presumably, draw more buyers than McDonald’s could easily serve.

But the expansion shows the company is willing to keep trying with a plant-based product, especially given its popularity at other fast food outlets.

“The initial test of the P.L.T. allowed us to learn more about guest demand and how to integrate this new menu item into restaurant kitchen operations, while delivering the P.L.T. to our guests with the level of quality and craveability they know and love from McDonald’s,” Jeff Anderson, the chef of McDonald’s Canada, said in a statement.

Image result for mcdonald big size gif advertisements“As a test and learn company, the McDonald’s expansion of the P.L.T. into more restaurants in the Southwestern Ontario region will help us learn more about our guests’ tastes while continuing to provide variety within our menu.”

The P.L.T. test began September 30, and marked McDonald’s effort to enter a market where Burger King, White Castle and Del Taco had already gone, along with numerous independent restaurants.

But, where Burger King offers a plant-based patty on its existing Whopper, and White Castle is offering plant-based sliders, McDonald’s decided to create an entirely new sandwich.

The P.L.T. is constructed with a faux-meat patty, made by Beyond Meat, plus lettuce and tomato, a slice of cheese, onions, pickles, catsup, mustard and mayo. Diners can opt to add bacon.

Photos of the P.L.T. displayed in the St. Thomas, Ontario McDonald’s that I visited last fall made the sandwich look as large as a quarter-pounder.

But I found the patty was only the size of a conventional McDonald’s cheeseburger, and nowhere near the girth of one of its premium sandwiches, and wondered if McDonald’s hadn’t set the price too high.

Originally, the P.L.T. on its own cost $6.49 Canadian ($4.90 in U.S. dollars), or in a combo with fries and a drink for $9.89 Canadian ($7.46 USD).

Others must have spoken up, because on Monday, McDonald’s said the P.L.T. will now cost $5.99 Canadian as of January 14, or $4.60 USD. It said prices could vary by outlet.

“We gathered a lot of feedback in the initial test about what people like about the P.L.T.,” Michaela Charette, head of consumer insights at McDonald’s Canada, said in the news release.

“As we expand the test, we’re continuing to listen to our guests across Southwestern Ontario and assess the appetite for a plant-based alternative within the McDonald’s menu.”

By testing the P.L.T. in Canada, McDonald’s has escaped the spotlight that might have shone on the company had it chosen an American city.

It has gotten to see how its supply lines handle deliveries of the ingredients for the burger, and the time it takes McDonald’s outlets there to prepare and serve one.

Image result for amazon big size gif advertisementsAlso on Monday, Impossible Foods told Reuters that is no longer trying to land a contract to supply McDonald’s with plant-based patties, saying it can’t provide a big enough supply.

Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown told Reuters in an interview that “it would be stupid for us to be vying for them right now … Having more big customers right now doesn’t do us any good until we scale up production.”

So, if McDonald’s decides to blanket Canada with P.L.T.s, or bring the sandwich to the States, it’s likely to partner with Beyond Meat, or find another company to produce its patties.

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I’m an alumni of the New York Times and NPR. I learned to cook from my mom, and studied with Patricia Wells and at Le Cordon Bleu. E: mamayn@aol.com T: @mickimaynard I: @michelinemaynard Sorry, I don’t honor embargoes.

Source: McDonald’s Expands Its Canadian Plant-Based Burger Test, And Cuts The Price

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A Beverage Behemoth Awakens As Coke Adds Energy Drinks To Its Portfolio

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It’s still the real thing. But Coca-Cola hasn’t been shy about change over the decades. The company that launched in 1886 has gone through dozens of taglines to convey its brand, from “Drink Coca-Cola” to “Life Tastes Good,” “Taste the Feeling” and many more. Now it’s going beyond spin and slogans to stay relevant with today’s customers, launching a new portfolio of products—possibly its biggest ever —led by energy drinks.

The company made headlines at the National Association of Convenience Stores Expo in Atlanta in October when it said it is debuting energy drinks in the United States next January. But that’s only part of the story.

Coca-Cola’s also launching a baker’s dozen of other drinks and many more flavors, a major change for a company that until not long ago focused on classics and continuity. At a time when soda sales overall are flat (or declining), Coke’s looking for growth in new areas.

The company, in addition to being a giant in the carbonated beverage category, lately has been trying to enter and dominate other nonalcoholic beverage categories, such as coffee and energy drinks. Coke’s seeking to harness its brands, resources, distribution and marketing. It’s focusing on growing and expanding into new sectors, which could lead to a bigger company and, if things work out, other growing brands.

The company, based in Atlanta where the show took place, doesn’t only want to take over shelf space. It wants to eliminate the competition. The goal is to become a leader in each of the categories. The mission is to improve profitability for shareholders, grow market share, enter new markets, leverage brands and ride the tides of taste, while growing top and bottom line. Coke’s second-quarter revenues and margins rose—a double punch. At least for now, Coca-Cola is growing, even as soda is under fire.

The behemoth awakens? With a 60% market share in nonalcoholic beverages, it’s about time that Coca-Cola jumped on board with the trends. There is, nevertheless, room for growth. Simply deciding to debut Coca-Cola Energy in the U.S. already took a bite out of Monster’s stock. Expect the same with Monster’s sales. Coke is also making waves from coffee to vitamin water to energy drinks to fruit juices, smoothies and on. It’s going after nearly anything without alcohol, adding energy to the business—and not just as a drink.

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey talks about a “strategy to transform as a total beverage company” in the nonalcoholic beverage space. He isn’t kidding. The company already has more than 500 brands (from Minute Maid to Powerade and beyond) in more than 200 countries and territories. What’s another dozen more? These are often in new categories.

When Coca-Cola paid $5.1 billion to buy Costa Coffee, it was betting big. Coke launched Costa Coffee ready-to-drink chilled product in Great Britain. The company wants to own the morning, building on other big brands with Dunkin’ Cold Brew Coffee. Expect Coca-Cola to try to try to stir up coffee sales with more debuts. You couldn’t be a “total beverage” company without tea. Coke’s expanding Peace Tea with three new flavors next March.

It’s rolling out Coca-Cola Cherry Vanilla and Cherry Vanilla Zero after debuting Coke Orange Vanilla this year as the first new flavor added to the Coca-Cola brand in over a decade. The company this year also rolled out Sprite Lymonade. It’s trying to cash in on the holidays with Coca-Cola Cinnamon and Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry.

Coke even filed a number of patents in 2019 to expand its range, including a way to buy food and beverages from vending machines with cell phones. Add to that methods to produce potable water from otherwise undrinkable sources. A classic company is innovating.

It’s always nice to be number one. When Coke puts its marketing and distribution muscle behind products, magic can happen. The behemoth has woken. Let’s see where it goes now that it’s awake.

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I am the national leader of Marcum’s Food and Beverage Services group. I’ve been an entrepreneurial leader in accounting for over 40 years, and am a frequent lecturer and published author on various financial and business topics. My expert advice has appeared in both national and local publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Long Island and New Jersey Business News, Supermarket News, and Food Dive. I also founded a series of best practice forums for food and beverage companies, which attract nearly 500 senior executives annually, as well as an annual food and beverage survey.

Source: A Beverage Behemoth Awakens As Coke Adds Energy Drinks To Its Portfolio

Hard Boiled Eggs: What May Be Behind This Deadly Listeria Outbreak

This is totally not eggs-ellent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced yet another Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. This time the culprit seems to be, egg roll please: hard boiled eggs.

Yes, the CDC may have finally cracked the case on why seven people in five states have gotten sick with Listeria from April 10, 2017, to November 12, 2019. It can be hard to figure out the source of a Listeria infection, since symptoms of Listerosis can take a while to appear. Typically, symptoms appear one to four weeks after the consumption of the bacteria but can take up to 70 days to manifest.

For this outbreak, public health officials had detailed info on five of the cases. Of these, nearly all, with only one eggs-eption, had reported eating egg-containing products. Three had consumed hard-boiled eggs in salads. The common source seemed to boil down to bulk, fresh hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods of Gainesville, Georgia. Although there currently isn’t a recall of such products , you may want to be eggs-tra careful about eating hard-boiled eggs, especially if you are at higher risk for Listeria badness.

Those at higher risk for Listeria infections include those 65 years and older, pregnant women and newborns, and anyone with a weaker immune system. If you fall into one of these categories, you are are probably all right if you are doing the boiling and hardening of the eggs yourself. However, any eggs that are already hard-boiled may not be all right, especially if they are from Almark. If you find out a hard-boiled egg is from Almark, put the egg down, step away from the table, and make sure that everything that touched the egg is cleaned and disinfected thoroughly.

As I have described before for Forbes, a Listeria infection may just give you a bout of flu-like symptoms. However, the greater concern is if the bacteria gets into your bloodstream or central nervous system. That’s when a Listeria infection can become deadly. This outbreak has already led to four people being hospitalized and one dying. Listeria can also cause many problems for pregnant women such as miscarriages and premature births and their newborns.

So, count these hard boiled eggs as yet another food product in the yolk of Listeria. Already this year, I have reported on Listeria contaminating deli meats and cheeses, happiness (otherwise known as avocados), sandwiches, salads, and wraps, sausage, oh Mann vegetables, and more happiness (otherwise known as sushi). What’s the eggs-planation for so many outbreaks? Have food safety regulations and monitoring been relaxed to the point that such contamination is becoming more common? It seems that this situation needs to be more closely eggs-amined.

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I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. Currently, I am a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the City University of New York (CUNY), Executive Director of PHICOR (@PHICORteam), Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and founder and CEO of Symsilico. My previous positions include serving as Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, and Senior Manager at Quintiles Transnational, working in biotechnology equity research at Montgomery Securities, and co-founding a biotechnology/bioinformatics company. My work involves developing computational approaches, models, and tools to help health and healthcare decision makers in all continents (except for Antarctica) and has been supported by a wide variety of sponsors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIH, AHRQ, CDC, UNICEF, USAID and the Global Fund. I have authored over 200 scientific publications and three books. Follow me on Twitter (@bruce_y_lee) but don’t ask me if I know martial arts.

Source: Hard Boiled Eggs: What May Be Behind This Deadly Listeria Outbreak

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Public health officials are encouraging consumers to take steps to reduce their risk of listeria infection after recent outbreaks of the foodborne illness. “Listeria is a type of bacteria that can be found in food products, and can cause quite serious foodborne illness in certain populations,” says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist. “We worry about it especially in pregnant women and their newborns, and people who have weakened immune systems, and in the elderly.” She says the most common foods that listeria infection is associated with are usually deli meats, hot dogs, and products that are refrigerated for a prolonged period of time. “Listeria is one of the few bacteria that likes to divide at low temperatures. That’s why we see this being a problem in foods that are refrigerated, and in foods that usually don’t transmit too many infections.” More health and medical news on the Mayo Clinic News Network http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/

Tradition And Innovation Are On The Menus of San José, Costa Rica

The gastronomy of Costa Rica does not differ radically from other countries’ in Central America, with rice, beans, corn, pork and seafood always playing major parts. But the internationalism of its capital, San José, means you’ll find both typical and refined versions of favorite dishes, along with upscale restaurantes and places committed to the most ancient culinary traditions of the indigenous people, whose numbers continue to dwindle. Here is a range of places I ate at with pleasure on a recent trip. (And if you’re dying for Chinese food, there’s a four-block Chinatown in the city.)

MERCADO CENTRAL

Between Calle 8 y Avenida 1 Entrada Noroeste

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The best way to get a crash course in Costa Rican food culture is to visit the vast Central Market, where you’ll find every kind of fruit, vegetable, seafood, meat and condiment for very little money. There are tiny stalls where women are making fresh tortillas, but the principal eateries —called sodas, dating back to when soda was the principal item sold—are just inside the entrance where scores of people jockey for a table, ordering their favorite dishes and watching the cooks do their magic from compact kitchens.  The menus at these sodas are all pretty much the same and very traditional. At Soda Cristal I stuffed myself at lunch with a rich soup of mixed meats and vegetables with a huge platter of rice; tender boiled chicken with French fries; and lengua (tongue) tortillas. I then walked over to the bustling La Sorbetera de Lolo Mora, the city’s oldest ice cream shop (1901), for some wonderful vanilla-cinnamon ice cream—the only flavor they sell.

 

A meal will cost about $10-$15, plus drinks.

only flavor they sell.

 

LA POSADA DE LA BRUJAS

400 Este de la Municipal de Escazu

2228-1645

This open air “place of the witch” is packed every day of the year, largely with locals who might happily wait an hour outside, sipping Pilsen beer and getting hungrier by the minute. The night I ate there a table of 20 Chinese tourists were trying to make sense of a menu in Spanish with 79 small bites and soups and 29 main courses.  My local friend ordered patacones (fried green plantains) stuffed with black beans, shredded beef, cheese and mayo (Costa Ricans use a lot of mayo); a platter of huge barbecued ribs with cassava; very tender oxtail with tomato sauce; and a delicious tripe soup.  Nobody rushes you, but tables turn fast.

A meal will costs about $20-$25, plus drinks.

SIKWA

Avenida 1 Calle 33, 100 Norte del Antiguo Bagelmens

506-8499-0585

 

Located in the East Side’s Barrio Escalante, one of the city’s nightlife neighborhoods with bocastapas bars and restaurantes on every corner, Sikwa would be unique anywhere in Central America for its fervid commitment by owners Diego Hernandez and Pablo Bonilla to serve the food of the indigenous people of Costa Roca (the menu changes every three months), based on the sacred traditions of four strains of corn. It is a small, rustic place with a counter up front, wooden tables and a brighter room to the rear.

 

My meal was truly like an expedition through an ancient food culture, beginning with an infusion of orange, lemon, wild cinnamon and guava intended to “balance mind, body and spirit.” Then came a wide swathe of fascinating dishes: a chica infusion of corn, ginger and sugar cane fermented for three days; a corn husk with garlic, cilantro and cheese;  a posole with smoked pork, radish and tomato sauce (I noted that hogs were brought by the Spanish to the Americas); sweet corn tamale with pork and onions in vinegar, and an ice cream of smoked plantain with cacao truffles.

Sikwa deserves the attention it has received from the media and is a terrific way to get a sense of the very old done in a very novel way.

A big meal will cost about $15-$29.

 

TONY’S HOUSE 

Calle 4 y Avenida 2

Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica

506 8836 7074

I can’t imagine there are many places like Tony’s House in San José. The Tony in question is Antonio Aguillar Solis, who, along with his sister Melissa, operates this tiny eatery in the backyard of their house, where Tony also fashions extraordinary folk mannequins for parades and social events.

 

The Solises are very sweet hosts, and Melissa makes everything from scratch right in front of you, measuring the ingredients by experienced eye, building textures and flavors and serving them straight from the stove. There was a picadillo of beef broth to which she added bananas, then onions, cilantro and bell peppers, and annatto paste. Then she cooked a perfect omelet using eggs from their own hens, with cilantro and onions, together with steaming rice and beans, homemade tortillas with queso blanco and a rich sour cream-like mayonnaise.  Tony’s is BYOB, but they offer a delicious sour guava drink that goes perfectly with this food.

You may telephone at the number above, or better, have hotel concierge arrange a reservation, for two to 20 people.

A meal will cost about $20.

RESTAURANTE GRANO DE ORO

Calle 30 Avenid

855-875-49030

Though 33 years old, a re-opening in 2013 of the Hotel Grano de Oro has made it one of the top places to stay in San José, very contemporary in its amenities but also with public and private rooms—some very grand indeed; mine had a little patio—done with a carefully refined traditional look. The pretty, leafy outdoor patio, where guests have breakfast under umbrellas, is as peaceful an oasis as any in this fast-paced city. The handsome, hacienda-like restaurante that surrounds the patio is elegantly set with white tablecloths, signature china and soft lighting, and the menu incorporates Costa Rican dishes with modern culinary techniques and presentations. The international wine list is the most extensive in the city.

 

We began with the house cocktail, a tico sour of white rum and lime, and a first course of sweet palm fruit soup ($6.50) and an extensive plate of housemade  charcuterie with rabbit rillettes, sausages, head cheese and smoked ham ($15.50). There are four pasta dishes, including delicious tender ravioli filled with mozzarella and ricotta, accompanied by ratatouille and verdant herb oil ($13). Costa Rican roasted pork tenderloin ($18.25) came with a yucca croquette, mango chutney and a sweet-sour tamarind sauce. Sample an array of seafood on a plate that includes sautéed sea bass, jumbo prawn, wilted spinach and an aromatic cardomon essence ($22).  Desserts include a luscious signature pie of coffee cream and chocolate cookie crust ($6.69).

By the way, a portion of the restaurant’s profits goes to support Casa Luz, a home for poor or abused adolescent women and their children.

 

SILVESTRE

Ave. 11 Calle 3A – 955

506 2221 2465

 

Sylvestre, now two years old, purports to serve “cocina sotarecense contemporane,” and in its artful look and use of global ingredients along with traditional spices delivers on that idea, based on Chef Fernandez Benedetto’s experience cooking in Dubai, Australia and Spain.

Downstairs is a cantina that plays movies against the wall; upstairs is a lovely, formal room with red brocade wallpaper, and a more casual one with some folkloric furniture and low lighting.

To get a good sense of Benedetto’s range, go with the  ambitious tasting menus (three courses $36, six courses $50), available with individual wine pairings (though the pours are stingy). I began with an amuse of pejibaye palm chips with mayonnaise, then two starters: an empanada of goat’s cheese and spinach with an egg yolk relish, daikon, grilled asparagus and watercress salad; and house-smoked bacon with noodles. The fish course was a fillet of snook baked in hoja santo leaves, with a hearts of palm puree, roasted green peppers, mussel blanquettes and cassava crisp. The meat course was a fine, slow-roasted shoulder of lamb scented with fennel and served with a mint salad, new potatoes and light mustard sauce.

For dessert there was a superb osa tart made from “primitivo” chocolate beans from Talamanca, guava, caramelized corn and cashew nut butter.  With this I thought the only thing to do was  a 25-year-old Costa Rican Centenario rum.

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John Mariani is an author and journalist of 40 years standing, and an author of 15 books. He has been called by the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the most influential food-wine critic in the popular press” and is a three-time nominee for the James Beard Journalism Award. For 35 years he was Esquire Magazine’s food & travel correspondent and wine columnist for Bloomberg News for ten. His Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink was hailed as the “American Larousse Gastronomique” His next book, “America Eats Out” won the International Association of Cooking Professionals Award for Best Food Reference Book. His “How Italian Food Conquered the World” won the Gourmand World Cookbooks Award for the USA 2011, and the Italian Cuisine Worldwide Award 2012. He co-authored “Menu Design in America: 1850-1985” and wrote the food sections for the Encyclopedia of New York City. In 1994 the City of New Orleans conferred on him the title of Honorary Citizen and in 2003 he was given the Philadelphia Toque Award “for exceptional achievements in culinary writing and accomplishments.”

Source: Tradition And Innovation Are On The Menus of San José, Costa Rica

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A variety of street food dishes on friendly Central Street Food Market in San José in Costa Rica. Seafood, cheese tortillas, Gallo Pinto, Ceviche, fruit shakes – you name it.

A Lot of Companies Want to Save the World. Impossible Foods Just Might Do It with Its Plant-Based Meats

On January 7, 2019, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Impossible Foods announced its masterpiece: Impossible Burger 2.0, a soy-based protein batter that, when clumped into a patty and thrown onto a griddle, sears and sizzles like a real cow burger. To showcase the edible tech–the first ever presented at the gadget expo–the team had booked the patio and bar of the Border Grill in the Mandalay Bay hotel and prepared Impossible sliders, tacos, empanadas, and even steak tartare. To explain the underlying science and the environmental benefits and the culinary possibilities, they rounded up a panel featuring the restaurant’s chef, Mary Sue Milliken, Impossible’s chief scientist, David Lipman, and the company’s founder and chief executive, Patrick O. Brown.

“The Impossible Burger 2.0 is demonstrably better in flavor, in texture, in juiciness” than the 1.0, Brown told the throng of 350 as more folks pushed their way inside. “And unlike the cow, we are going to be getting better every single day from now until forever.” As he spoke, he looked a little nervous. He swayed in his seat; some in the crowd noticed that he’d absentmindedly left his iPhone’s flashlight on–it was glowing as he fidgeted with it. “We’re not just a technology company,” he said. “We are, right now, the most important technology company on earth.”

Brown, like the cattle he competes so hard against, is generally happiest back home among his herd (other research scientists). But no matter where he roams, the lanky 65-year-old dresses like a tech bro put out to pasture: faded hoodie, scuffed Adidas, dreamy gaze. Just don’t mistake his calm affect and soft monotone for bovine docility.

Halfway through the press conference, a reporter raised her hand and inquired about the burger’s safety. Wasn’t Impossible meat’s key ingredient, heme, made using genetically modified ingredients? Brown’s eyes went hard. He then treated her to a three-minute lecture on heme’s origin and biology. “The fact that heme is produced by genetic engineering is a complete non-issue from a consumer safety standpoint,” he said, sharpening his voice, word by word. “It’s a way safer way to produce it than isolating it from soybean roots, and a vastly safer way to produce it than covering the entire frigging planet with cows, which is the way we’re doing it now.”

Rachel Konrad, Impossible’s chief communication officer, brought her thumb and index finger to her forehead and stared down at the floor. To Brown, you see, Impossible Burger 2.0 is not simply a tasty, albeit processed, veggie option. Impossible meat is humanity’s best chance to save the earth. Forgive him if he gets a little wiggy about it.

Every December, Inc. recognizes a startup that, in the past year, has done more than succeed in the marketplace, but, in some way, has changed the world, shifting how we think or how we live our lives. Impossible Foods has given a radical twist to what used to be a straightforward question: What’s beef?

Well, beef is food, and an ever more popular one–the fatty protein generated a record $310 billion in global sales last year. But beef is also an environmental catastrophe. And the reason beef is so destructive is simple: It comes from cows. Cattle collectively occupy 27 percent of U.S. land, devastating biodiversity. Every year, a typical American cow eats five tons of feed, consumes 3,000 gallons of water, and subsequently belches and farts the equivalent of 15 kilograms of greenhouse gases for every 100 grams of protein it provides, making cattle one of the planet’s biggest contributors to climate change.

But what if juicy, delicious beef didn’t come from cows?

In 2009, Brown, an accomplished biochemist and pediatrician, took a sabbatical from Stanford University and decided to make a head-on charge at animal agriculture. He’d grappled with mind-bendingly ambitious projects before. In the 1980s, he helped map the human genome as a postdoctoral student in the lab of Nobel Prize winners J. Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus; in the 1990s, Brown invented the DNA microarray, also known as a biochip, which scientists still use to study gene expression, earning him membership in the National Academy of Sciences. But get the world to give up cows? Nothing came close.

Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown has made plant-based meat the most important oxymoron in the food business. Kelsey McClellan

Ten years and hundreds of millions of dollars in venture funding later, Brown and his team brought forth Impossible Burger 2.0, a veggie burger that tastes so uncannily like cow that a lot of people–vegetarians, carnivores, gourmands, fast-food executives–can’t believe their taste buds. Until very recently, the product would have sounded like an oxymoron: plant-based meat. Yet, in 2019, Burger King added the Impossible Whopper to its menu throughout the U.S., and José Cil, CEO of parent company Restaurant Brands International, credited the sandwich with a chainwide boost in foot traffic as the company posted its best same-store revenue growth in four years.

Practically every fast-food chain in America is now testing Impossible Burger or one of its competitors. There are Impossible sliders at White Castle and Impossible fajita burritos at Qdoba, not to mention patties made by Beyond Meat–Impossible’s more widely distributed, if not as meaty-tasting, competitor–at Carl’s Jr., McDonald’s, and Dunkin’. Food industry giants have raced to bring out their own beef substitutes, too.

Much like Tesla’s Model S electric car, the Impossible Burger is a fancy and costly invention, concocted by an outsider genius, that has proved that consumers will make an environmentally friendly choice if you give them an attractive product. In the process, it has done something even more remarkable: It made veggie burgers sexy. Its name is now synonymous with plant-based meat; people call almost everything an Impossible Burger whether it’s produced by Impossible or somebody else, making Impossible the faux-meat company to watch. And, unlike Beyond Meat, Impossible remains resolutely a privately held company.

Also like Tesla, Impossible Foods is unprofitable– despite revenue expected to surpass $90 million in 2019–and its future is uncertain. The success of its product has threatened to overwhelm the company, with staffers fighting, sometimes heroically, to meet demand and managers adjusting standard business processes on the fly. More than anything, Impossible Foods provides a lesson in the craziness that can ensue if what you do becomes a really big deal.

On a clear, crisp morning in late September, Brown parked his Chevy Bolt in the lot of Impossible Foods headquarters in Redwood City, California, and trotted into a conference room, a mug of coffee and a vegan chocolate chip cookie in his hand. He’s been a vegetarian since the 1970s, and cut dairy from his diet 20 years ago. The past week had been a whirlwind: Impossible Foods had introduced 12-ounce packs of Impossible beef in three supermarket chains, its first foray into the grocery business, and he’d traveled to Los Angeles and New York City for launch events.

Shortly after noon, he joined the weekly marketing department meeting. Thirty or so employees poked at salads in compostable bowls. (Impossible Foods provides a buffet of raw veggies, fruit, and other snacks in the break room every day, but not Impossible meat, which is still too costly and in demand to give away.) Joe Lam, a director of consumer insights, went over the first few days of grocery sales, highlighting the promising results–that weekend, the company had outsold ground beef by a considerable amount at Gelson’s, a chain in L.A.–and glossing over others–at Wegmans, Impossible had the No. 1 unit sales in “meatless proteins,” but he didn’t say much more.

Impossible Foods’ researchers had zero qualms about employing cutting-edge science that farmers’ market types find freaky.

Brown peppered the team with questions about the data. “But does it come at the expense of ground beef?” he asked about the Gelson’s results. “Were ground beef sales up, down, or steady? What else happened? Did they run out of hamburger buns?”

Since founding the company, Brown’s natural tendency has been to run it like a science lab–just like the ones he had at Stanford and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Born in the D.C. suburbs, Brown saw a lot of the world as a child–his father was in the CIA–and then settled in at the University of Chicago, where he majored in chemistry and later earned an MD and a PhD in biochemistry. He had his first brush with the business world only in 2010, as co-founder of Kite Hill, which sought to make plant-based dairy products and quickly commercialized yogurt, cream cheese, and ricotta.

At Impossible, he and his R&D staff began their study of beef development at the molecular level, mapping the 4,000 proteins, fats, and other biological compounds that add up to a cow. Next, they put together a catalog of all commercially available plant-based ingredients, such as protein isolates from soy, peas, hemp, and potatoes. From there, Brown’s group created their simulacrum, matching plant compounds to the bovine ones, testing their concoctions for flavor, smell, and texture–occasionally by nibbling on them, but usually via sophisticated gear that could gnash meat samples and spit out chewiness data in charts.

Impossible’s competitors approached the problem differently. More than 30 companies were attempting (fairly unsuccessfully) to grow actual animal protein in petri dishes, while startups like Beyond Meat were formulating plant-based patties from all-natural and gluten-free ingredients. Only Impossible Foods researchers sought to reverse-engineer beef from plants–and had zero qualms about employing cutting-edge science in the name of beefiness, including methods that some farmers’ market types find freaky.

This is how, using genetic engineering techniques, they got yeast to bleed mass quantities of soy leghemoglobin, which is typically found in soybean roots but is chemically similar to the myoglobin found in our own mammalian veins. Both contain heme–and heme is what makes Impossible possible. It looks like blood and tastes like blood, and when you add it to textured soy protein and a few other ingredients, it makes an extremely convincing burger.

Brown’s development process was painstaking and expensive. Impossible raised more money each year than the year before–$3 million in 2011, $6.2 million in 2012, $27 million in 2013, $40 million in 2014, $108 million in 2015–and poured it almost entirely into R&D. “The staff was 95 percent scientists” as late as the fall of 2015, says Dana Worth, a graduate of Stanford’s business school who joined Impossible that year, when it started hiring actual business people.

Scientists at Impossible Foods, many of them former biochemistry colleagues of CEO Pat Brown’s, worked for five years on their plant-based beef recipe before the company sold a single burger. Here, in the test kitchen at headquarters in Redwood City, California, Impossible Foods is developing everything from breakfast sausage to fried chicken to steak. Much of the hundreds of millions of dollars raised by the company–which includes $300 million in 2019–has gone toward R&D.Kelsey McClellan

As Brown went about adding a company to his science lab, he approached entrepreneurship as he had beef–as though he were building the business from first principles. Some early decisions left the MBAs scratching their heads. Brown banned Gantt charts, the step-by-step product-management tool taught in business school, because they failed to account for the unpredictability of new projects. On the day I visited him, he launched into a lengthy complaint about using spreadsheets in Excel for sales modeling.

“Excel is–and no offense to Bill Gates, who is one of our investors, and a good guy–a shitty tool for modeling. OK?” said Brown, swiveling his chair over to the dry-erase board, marker in hand. He then excitedly began sketching out a Monte Carlo simulation, which can generate thousands of possible outcomes–a method he prefers.

Yet Impossible has struggled with issues that other companies handle matter-of-factly. When I asked Worth, who is now head of U.S. food service sales, and CFO David Lee about how budgeting worked there, they looked at each other and laughed. “We’re figuring that out,” said Lee, who tries to synthesize Brown’s many-world analytical approach with investors’ more conventional expectations.

Nor has Impossible’s publicity always been glowing. On September 5, 2018, a bar fight broke out at a company party when a man tried to stop a male Impossible employee from harassing one of their female co-workers, according to a legal complaint. “What you read in the newspaper is not necessarily an accurate representation of what happened” is all that Brown will say about it. “By and large, I don’t think our employees are any worse behaved” than his researchers at Stanford were.

The Impossible Burger 2.0 launch in early 2019 quickly showed what happens when a company isn’t ready for its wildest dreams to come true. Impossible’s existing distributors, which already sold Impossible beef to some 5,000 restaurants, vastly increased their orders–by mid-summer, Impossible meat would be on the menu at another 5,000 locations.

Yet, as demand swelled, the sole manufacturing facility still operated just one assembly line with staff sufficient for only a single eight-hour shift. Inventory ranging from vital ingredients like heme to basic supplies like liquid nitrogen, which helps keep the assembly lines cold, quickly dwindled. The company had achieved Brown’s first great ambition: It created a plant-based protein, and it was a hit. Only now, the company was speeding toward crisis.

Impossible Foods’ investors, who have owned a controlling stake in the company since the early funding rounds, say they knew about the company’s vulnerabilities from the outset but decided the risk was worth it. “There was no due diligence, no spreadsheets, no rates of return calculation,” says Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures. But, he felt, the issue of animal agriculture “is too large and too important not to address, and this is a world-class guy to address it.” For his part, Brown concedes he’s no moneyman. “My wife manages our family finances,” he says. “I find the whole area just so tedious.”

The company would have to play catchup. Impossible’s board had finally joined the search for an operations-focused president to assist Brown in September 2018, eventually wooing Dennis Woodside, a veteran Google executive and Ironman triathlete who had most recently been chief operating officer at Dropbox. But by the time Woodside was ready to begin, it was mid-March, and he was blindsided by what he found.

“When I started having conversations about the role, everybody said it was initially going to be largely about sales,” he says now. “Then, two weeks in, Pat said, ‘You’ve got to go up to Oakland. You’ve got to figure out how to scale supply.’ “Frustrated employees, writing reviews on Glassdoor that month, described a company with its wheels coming off. “The organization is eating itself alive. The arrogance is overwhelming,” wrote one. “It’s a great mission with some of the worst management in the bay area,” wrote another. “The CEO has good intentions (and is a true scientific genius), but is a terrible business leader,” posted still another.

Brown believes that staffers were feeling more stressed than they needed to be, and were doing a good job. “It’s not really in my phenotype to freak out or assign blame,” he says. “People were kind of demoralized because they felt like, oh, we fucked up. But, frankly, I never felt that way. I felt like the problem was we had planned naively, and we could learn from it.”

His takeaway was that the supply crunch arose not from mismanagement but from a misunderstanding of “the kinetics of the food sales process,” as he puts it, notably the delays as orders filter up from restaurants and distributors stock the products. That lag disguised demand at the end of 2018, so the company failed to ramp up production quickly enough. “It wasn’t so much that our sales fell below projections,” Brown says, “but that they were a couple of months behind.” Welcome to Restaurant Biz 101.

“It’s not really in my phenotype to freak out or assign blame. I felt the problem was we planned naively, and we could learn from it.”

Regardless of what the data said, the company now had to scramble. Starting in April, it shifted salespeople from prospecting for business to addressing concerns of existing customers. It then hurried to make a deal with OSI, a Chicago-based food processor that makes beef patties and the like for McDonald’s and other chains, to duplicate the output of Impossible’s Oakland plant.

Meanwhile, the good news kept getting worse. That very month, overjoyed Burger King executives flew to Impossible’s headquarters to tell them that their small test of an Impossible Whopper at 59 of their locations in St. Louis had been a roaring success. They wanted to roll the product out to all 7,200 U.S. Burger Kings as soon as possible.

On April 22, Brown sent a companywide email, explaining that surging demand, along with the new Burger King rollout, was putting the company in existential peril: “We will need to increase production at least sixfold over the next several months and 10-fold by the end of 2020. (Yes, you read that correctly),” he wrote. He asked for volunteers to come to Oakland to staff a second assembly line.

The work would be hard, he added, “but an epic opportunity for heroism, with huge stakes.” Forty employees (who got overtime pay) headed up to the refrigerated facility. There, a motley crew of scientists, salespeople, and IT staff took turns working 12-hour shifts, stacking patties and operating machinery. Person by person, the R&D lab was transformed into a manufacturer.

In 2019, Impossible beef popped up everywhere from steakhouses like Le Marais in Manhattan, where an Impossible burger with Sriracha mayo and a side of fries sells for $21, to fast-food joints like White Castle, which sells an Impossible slider with a slice of smoked cheddar for $1.99. “It works well in any place you’d use ground beef. You can crumble it, fry it, form it into patties,” says J. Kenji López-Alt, who sells an Impossible meatball sub at his restaurant, Wursthall, in San Mateo, California.
After rolling out the Impossible Whopper ($5.59) nationwide, Burger King saw its highest same-store sales growth in four years. Also pictured: an Impossible banh mi sandwich at Peaches in Brooklyn ($15) and an Applebee’s Handcrafted Impossible Burger ($20.99) at its Times Square location in New York City.Cole Wilson

Unified by the stress and the cold, the staff put together a plan they called Back to Redwood City, with the aim of getting scientists home to R&D. By August, the partnership with OSI was up and running, just in time to supply all of those Burger King outlets for the fastest launch in the chain’s history.

On a recent morning at Impossible’s Oakland plant, production was brisk. In a specially sanitized fabrication area, staff in full bodysuits operated huge paddle mixers as dry ice vapor wafted through the air and five-pound bricks of bright pink Impossible beef ­chunked along a frozen conveyor belt toward the packaging station. Still, Oakland employees appeared to be under enormous pressure.

Earlier that morning, I’d watched a distraught quality assurance technician rush up to the plant manager and ask if production staff could be tasked to help her meet an urgent sampling deadline. “I’m going to cry,” she said, fighting back tears and rushing off before getting an answer.

But Impossible is making progress in smoothing out processes. At the Oakland facility, the company added a noon standup meeting to check production against targets, and implemented a scheduling system for the trucks that deliver the 20-kilogram sacks of textured soy protein, the vats of sunflower and coconut oil, and the 55-gallon drums of heme. Improvements like these, along with cost savings from economies of scale, have brought down the cost of goods by 50 percent this year alone, Woodside says.

The challenges remain formidable. Impossible is taking a measured approach to retail, for now selling only in small chains. But the slow rollout leaves it vulnerable: Beyond Meat is already in 28,000 U.S. groceries, and Nestlé, Tyson, and Don Lee Farms have all recently introduced simulated-meat products.

The beef industry is fighting back, too, with lobbying under way in 24 states to ban the phrase “plant-based meat.” Impossible Foods won’t have the newest tech forever, either, with upstarts working on gadgets like 3-D printers that make steak. And Impossible is burning cash as it builds production and develops new items, from breakfast sausage to fried chicken.

Impossible Foods did the unthinkable and got everyone hooked on its plant-based burgers. Kelsey McClellan

The company must also fight off negative perceptions that its product is “processed crap that comes in a box,” as South Park recently described plant-based meat in an episode titled “Let Them Eat Goo.” Impossible Foods doesn’t like to talk about the provenance of heme, its magic ingredient, perhaps because it’s produced by a contractor in a microbial fermentation plant that has turned out antibiotics, biopharmaceuticals, and enzymes used in biofuels and fracking. And the Center for Food Safety, an environmental group, has petitioned the FDA to keep Impossible meat out of groceries, contending that testing of heme has not been sufficiently rigorous.

Brown argues that nothing about heme should trouble consumers–it has been approved for use by the FDA–and that the term processed is an almost meaningless buzzword. “Virtually every food that you love is processed to a similar degree as the Impossible Burger in the sense that a bunch of ingredients are carefully chosen and fermented, cooked, or blended to make something that’s delicious,” he says. “It’s useless–like food racism or something–to just slap some stupid, broad label that mischaracterizes our products in this way.”

He is equally dismissive of nutritional cavils like the fact that Impossible meat has four-and-a-half times the sodium of beef. “You’d have to eat six Impossible Burgers to hit your sodium limit,” Brown says (though at Burger King, two Impossible Whoppers would nearly do the job.) “It’s kind of like saying passion fruit has more sodium than a peach, but who gives a shit?” As for lab-grown meat, says Brown, “Good luck harvesting embryos of calves, feeding them intravenously, and, since they’re immuno­deficient, making sure not a single virus or bacteria gets in there.”

Brown would rather focus on what he does best: rallying the troops toward his planet-saving vision and running his highly pedigreed R&D lab. He says he expects to double production every year, which would help him with his goal of achieving cost parity with traditional beef by 2022. That’s no mean feat, given that the price per pound of textured soy protein–Impossible’s primary ingredient but not its most expensive one–is about the same as the wholesale price of ground beef. “All the economics of everything we’re doing get progressively better with scale,” he says.

And size matters. Though he generally avoids speaking ill of his plant-based competitors–they’re all working to tip Big Cow on its ear–sometimes he can’t help himself. He scoffs at Beyond Meat’s research budget, which was a mere $9.6 million in 2018–not even the same order of magnitude as his company’s. “The goal here is we have to completely replace animals as a technology in the food system,” Brown says. “That is a huge task.”

To anyone who hasn’t been sipping heme recently, the phrase “replace animals as a technology” sounds insanely ambitious, or just plain insane. But consider who’s saying it, and what he’s achieved so far, and, perhaps, this simple fact: A few years ago, what would most people have said about the idea of making meat from plants? Impossible.

Additional reporting by Guadalupe González.

 No Cows Allowed: A Millennium of Plant-Based Meat

Getty Images

Ca. 900 CE: Let There Be Soy
Chinese writer Tao Gu describes tofu as “small mutton”–the first recorded reference to tofu as a meat substitute.

Wikipedia

1877: Spam for Vegans
John Harvey Kellogg introduces Protose, faux meat in a can made from peanuts, wheat gluten, and soy, to feed patients at a vegetarian sanitarium.

1985: Fun With Fungi
In the United Kingdom, a company called Quorn makes fake meat out of a microfungus. In the U.S., Gardenburger brings out a patty made from mushrooms, onions, brown rice, rolled oats, cheese, garlic, and herbs. It tastes remarkably like cardboard. The company files for bankruptcy in 2005.

2013: Petri-Burger
Dutch scientists make the world’s first lab-grown burger from cow muscle cells, fetal calf blood, and antibiotics for the bargain price of $325,000, while in the U.S., Beyond Meat introduces its faux chicken made from pea and soy protein at Whole Foods.

Kelsey McClellan

2019: Head of the Class
Impossible Foods unveils Impossible Burger 2.0, which contains heme, derived from soy leghemoglobin, giving the patties their beefy, bloody flavor. Burger King fashions it into the Impossible Whopper.

By Burt Helm Editor-at-large @burthelm

Source: A Lot of Companies Want to Save the World. Impossible Foods Just Might Do It with Its Plant-Based Meats

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Plant-based meat is gaining traction among carnivores and vegans alike. Here’s what the Beyond Meat hype is all about. Introducing The Upstarts, a new series about the companies you love that came out of nowhere and are now everywhere. » Subscribe to CNBC Make It.: http://cnb.cx/2kxl2rf About CNBC Make It.: CNBC Make It. is a new section of CNBC dedicated to making you smarter about managing your business, career, and money. Connect with CNBC Make It. Online Get the latest updates: http://www.cnbc.com/make-it Find CNBC Make It. on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBCMakeIt Find CNBC Make It. on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBCMakeIt Find CNBC Make It. on Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstagramCNBCMakeIt #CNBCMakeIt #BeyondBurger #PlantBased How The Beyond Meat Burger Is Taking Over The Multibillion-Dollar Beef Industry — The Upstarts | CNBC Make It.

The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of MSG

For the uninitiated, monosodium glutamate, more commonly (and ominously) known as MSG, is a chemical compound often used to enhance the flavor of food. It’s kind of like salt, only supercharged. “In 2002, the discovery of the umami taste receptor officially established umami as the fifth basic taste,” explains Taylor Wallace, a food scientist at George Mason University. “MSG combines sodium (like that in table salt) with glutamate, the most abundant amino acid in nature and one that provides umami, a savory taste.”

So despite its unsettlingly scientific moniker, MSG is nothing more than sodium mixed with one of the 20 amino acids crucial to the human body. “MSG is glutamic acid, which is an amino acid that, when it forms a salt with sodium, changes to glutamate instead of glutamic acid,” says Wallace. “And so, if you think about it, your body is made up of many essential amino acids, one of which is glutamic acid.” As per John Mahoney’s 2013 BuzzFeed article on MSG, we consume this substance in three different ways: Through proteins that contain glutamic acid; foods like Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, seaweed or soy sauce; and lastly through MSG itself — “of which the FDA estimates that most of us eat a little over a half a gram of every day,” according to Mahoney’s article.

But the decades-long hysteria around MSG has largely ignored the facts above, and indeed its history, which — though easy enough to uncover — isn’t widely known. The substance was originally discovered by Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda in 1907, after he noticed a common flavor between foods like asparagus, tomatoes and the broth his wife made with seaweed. “Ikeda was as enterprising as he was curious, so soon after his discovery, he refined and patented a way to produce pure glutamic acid, stabilizing it with a salt ion to create what we now know as monosodium glutamate,” reports Mahoney. “He called the company he founded to produce MSG Ajinomoto (‘the essence of taste’), thus forever linking umami, the taste, with glutamic acid, the chemical. It remains one of the largest producers of MSG in the world today.”

But despite being created by a Japanese chemist, MSG would, as we all know, gain notoriety in the U.S. due to its association with Chinese-American cuisine. “A lot of it has to do with political, social and cultural trends that were happening in the 1960s,” says journalist Thomas Germain, who has previously written about the MSG debate for the Columbia Undergraduate Research Journal. “So at the beginning of the 1960s, a writer named Rachel Carson published a book called Silent Spring, which is about the dangers of pesticides and chemical companies.” Carson’s book, says Germain, spurred an idea “that became really popular in the U.S.” — namely, that chemicals and additives that are made artificially are inherently dangerous and able to harm you in mysterious ways. “You don’t even realize it’s happening,” Germain says in summary of the book’s main takeaway about pesticides. “It can be invisible, almost.”

Germain continues to say that just a few years later, in 1968, Dr. Robert Ho Man Kwok — a then-recent Chinese immigrant — wrote a letter to the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, stating that he got headaches when he ate in Chinese restaurants, but didn’t get them with his own home cooking, reasoning that the culprit might be MSG. “Almost immediately, this idea caught on and it just exploded,” says Germain.

Compounding this, Germain notes in his article on MSG that, in 1969, a different study showed a “causal link” between MSG, headaches and CRS [Chinese Restaurant Syndrome]. “That same year, Washington University’s Dr. John Olney published an article in Science which found that mice dosed with MSG developed brain lesions, stunted skeletal growth, obesity and female sterility,” writes Germain. “A few years later, Olney published a new study that found similar defects in infant primates.”

As Wallace points out, though, these rat studies were highly medically problematic, with rats being given an IV injection of MSG at levels far above those you’d ever experience with your food. Even had those studies been more realistic, he adds, they still wouldn’t necessarily be relevant. “We do a lot of rat studies at George Mason, but the bad thing about rat studies is, it’s only about 10 percent of the time they translate to what actually happens in humans,” he says. “It’s kind of like how chocolate is a neurotoxin in dogs, but we can all eat chocolate and we’re just fine. It’s the same thing with rats.”

A similar example, according to Wallace, occurs in studies on saccharin. “If you drink 20,000 Diet Cokes a day for 15 years, maybe it’s detrimental, but who’s going to consume that level of it?” he says. “And when you have an intravenous injection, that’s completely different than what happens when you digest something and it’s broken down and then absorbed.”

Beyond the dubious nature of these studies, there’s also the simple fact that MSG isn’t unique to Chinese food — it’s in everything from Campbell’s soup to Doritos to Ranch dressing, not to mention that it’s naturally found in, for example, kelp. So why, then, did Chinese restaurants shoulder the brunt of the MSG hysteria?

“At the base of it, it’s really xenophobia that’s been passed down,” says food and travel journalist Kristie Hang. “MSG is found in so many food items, but no one complains or even thinks twice about it until they set foot in a Chinese restaurant.” Germain agrees, telling me that the anti-MSG narrative plays into a long history of anti-Chinese racism in the U.S. “Part of that has to do with the fact that this was happening at the height of the Cold War,” he says. “

So the idea that the Chinese were doing something that was sneaky and harmful with chemicals was just a very easy idea to believe for a lot of Americans. It was just this confluence of all these different ideas that hit at once that made it the perfect storm to strike fear in the hearts and stomachs of America.”

According to Wallace, in spite of the fact that you’ve probably heard someone tell you that they have an “MSG intolerance,” or that they’re “allergic to Chinese food” because of the MSG, the truth is, that’s physiologically impossible, considering “seven pounds of your body weight is actually made up of glutamic acid.” For those reasons, Wallace says that even though there’s been plenty of pressure advocating for an MSG ban, it’s always remained on the FDA’s “generally recognized as safe” food list.

It should be noted that some researchers believe there are those who’ve shown signs of genuine MSG sensitivity. “In my research on the effects of MSG in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome and the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, I observed headache (including migraine), diarrhea, gastrointestinal pain and bloating, extreme fatigue, muscle pain and cognitive dysfunction — all of which improved when subjects were put on a diet low in free glutamate, and which returned with re-introduction of MSG,” writes Kathleen Holton, a professor in the School of Education, Teaching and Health and the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at American University for Live Science

Interestingly, Hang tells me that it’s not just non-Chinese people who share the anti-MSG opinion. “Chinese and Chinese-Americans have thought very lowly of their own food as well,” she says. “It’s a cultural perception, unfortunately.”

But as is often the case with the winds of food trends, the direction appears to be changing. Thanks in large part to chefs like David Chang, who have worked to rewrite the narrative around Asian cuisine being considered “cheap food,” MSG is no longer the universal food ingredient pariah it once was.

As per Mahoney’s BuzzFeed article, one of the focuses of Chang’s Momofuku research and development lab in New York’s East Village is to find different ways to achieve the much-sought after umami flavor provided by MSG. And although technically speaking, what they’re developing there is done via a natural fermentation process, the final product is chemically identical to the much maligned non-essential amino acid. “It just so happens that inside that tin of MSG is the exact molecule Chang and his chefs have worked so hard for the last three years to tease out of pots of fermenting beans and nuts,” writes Mahoney. “It’s pure glutamic acid, crystallized with a single sodium ion to stabilize it; five pounds of uncut, un-stepped-on umami, made from fermented corn in a factory in Iowa.”

In addition to Chang’s reinvestment in MSG as a viable, non-hazardous flavor enhancer, researchers are also actively working to dispel the unfounded and racist MSG narrative. Most recently, Wallace and his team at George Mason found that glutamates like MSG can actually help reduce America’s sodium intake. “MSG contains about 12 percent sodium, which is two-thirds less than that contained in table salt, and data shows a 25 to 40 percent reduction in sodium is possible in specific product categories when MSG is substituted for some salt,” Wallace told Eureka Alert. “As Americans begin to understand that MSG is completely safe, I think we’ll see a shift toward using the ingredient as a replacement for some salt to improve health outcomes.”

Which brings us back to my decade-long abandonment of an entire nation’s cuisine, all because of a three-lettered ingredient I was brainwashed to believe was no good for me. The Plum Tree Inn, my favorite Chinese restaurant in the valley, has since shuttered its doors, and as such, I will never eat there again. This, I accept as my deserved punishment for a decade of ignorance. But as anyone who lives in any American city knows, Chinese restaurants are plentiful, and never have I been more excited to get some MSG — by way of a giant helping of sesame chicken — back in my belly.

By:

Source: The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of MSG | MEL Magazine

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Exclusive Content!! http://www.patreon.com/psychetruth The Truth about MSG Monosodium Glutamate Clinical Nutrition What effects does MSG have on diet, obesity, health and food cravings? Because MSG is absorbed very quickly in the gastrointestinal tract (unlike glutamic acid-containing proteins in foods), MSG could spike blood plasma levels of glutamate. Glutamic acid is in a class of chemicals known as excitotoxins, high levels of which have been shown in animal studies to cause damage to areas of the brain unprotected by the blood-brain barrier and that a variety of chronic diseases can arise out of this neurotoxicity. Dr. Vincent Bellonzi is a chiropractor and a Certified Clinical Nutritionist. He has been in practice for over 12 years. He received his Doctorate from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in 1991. Since 1998, Dr. Bellonzi has practiced in the Austin area. He works with athletes at every level to provide sports conditioning and rehabilitation. Visit Dr. Bellonzi’s website at http://www.bewellrx.com http://www.austinwellnessinstitute.com This video was produced by Psychetruth http://www.myspace.com/psychtruth http://www.youtube.com/psychetruth © Copyright 2007 Austin Wellness Institute. All Rights Reserved. #Psychetruth #WellnessPlus

These Superfoods Can Stop Cancer, Heart Disease, Obesity, And So Much More

In an age where most of our food options are nutritionally deficient and loaded with fats, salts, and carbs, it’s hard to know exactly what to eat to have that well rounded and healthy diet. Introducing: Superfoods. These foods are naturally grown and loaded with important nutrients and antioxidants that fight against everything from your everyday cold to terminal diseases. If you’re looking to prevent issues like high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, clogged arteries, and diabetes, a healthy diet matters most. Some simple changes to your diet and routine exercise are directly correlated to a longer, happier, and healthier life. Read on about the amazing powers of these superfoods and how they can help you live the kind of life you’ve always wanted!

Oranges

Next time you pass by the fruit section of the grocery store, make sure to pick up some oranges. This fruit not only provides the body with tasty hydration, but is also high in various nutrients, fiber, and Vitamin C. The secret behind the power of oranges is in their high levels of pectin, a soluble fiber that naturally gets rid of the cholesterol found in your body. And if you thought bananas were the only fruit with potassium, think again! Oranges have an extraordinary amount of potassium, which gets all that extra sodium out of your system so that your blood pressure naturally returns to a healthy level. Best of all, the potassium in oranges neutralizes proteins that can scar the development of heart tissue and lead to heart failure.

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Kale

The popularity of kale has grown substantially in recent years, and now it’s difficult to find a supermarket that doesn’t carry it! This is great news if you’re looking to stop the onset of heart disease. Kale has a variety of nutrients that regulate your cardiovascular system which regulate the function of vital organs, including your heart. You might not believe that kale has way more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber than most other vegetables out there! As an added bonus, it has low calorie and fat content, so if you haven’t been adding kale to your meals already, it’s time to get started!

Kale

Garlic

Garlic is well-known for its ability to repel vampires, but did you know that it has superfood properties that make it a worthy addition to your diet? Garlic has been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce the plaque in your arteries that can lead to heart problems. But wait, there’s more! Garlic can also decrease the number of enzymes that constrict your blood vessels. If you’re not a fan of the taste or lingering smell of garlic, a great alternative is to take a garlic supplement in the form of a pill. Studies show that this method of ingestion reduces the build-up of plaque in the arteries by as much as 50%!

Garlic

Chocolate

We have some good news for all you chocolate lovers out there! We all know this sweet treat helps with our mood, but did you know that it also reduces the chance of heart disease and strokes? A new study from Harvard found that people who regularly ingested raw cocoa showed absolutely no signs of hypertension and in fact, their blood pressure reduced! This is because dark chocolate has an antioxidant called flavnols, and eating a small and regular amount can lower blood pressure and lower the chances of heart-related diseases.

Chocolate

Lentils

Lentils are a great superfood already part of many diets around the world. Besides being a great way to add some flavor to salads or other dishes, lentils have tons of great health benefits. This powerful legume reduces the risk of strokes and heart disease. Lentils have high amounts of proteins, potassium, and magnesium, and this combination has been shown to regulate blood pressure, decrease high levels of cholesterol, and eliminate dangerous plaque build-up in blood vessels.

Lentils

Almonds

Who knew that such a tasty nut could boost your IQ? Almonds are a popular snack choice, but did you know their unique mix of nutrients has been shown to increase intelligence and memory? As if that wasn’t reason enough to grab a handful, they also lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The reason is that almonds have a high level of plant sterols, which prevent your body from absorbing bad LDL cholesterol that can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Almonds

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a great addition to salads, smoothies, and shakes. If their great taste wasn’t convincing enough to add it to your pantry, this fantastic superfood harbors an excellent mix of antioxidants that protect the accumulation of plaque on the walls of your arteries. If warding off heart disease isn’t reason enough, scientists have found that the fruit helps prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and also helps keep your skin, joints, and liver healthy and in working order! Oh, and pomegranates also help your teeth look great.

Pomegranates

Blueberries

Have you ever found yourself craving… blueberries? This superfood is part of the family of berries that regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduce plaque build up in arteries. Each berry is jam-packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that are so powerful that they stop some types of cancer right in their tracks! Last but not least, they help lower the risk of heart disease. Now that’s what we call a superfruit!

Blueberries

Beets

These purple vegetables are unique in their color and in the high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Unlike other vegetables, they contain B-vitamin folate and betaine. Studies have shown that this colorful addition to salads brings down homocysteine levels in the blood, which reduces the chances of developing heart disease. Moreover, beets have been found to mysteriously strengthen various organs and eliminate the chances of contracting certain forms of cancer.

Beets

Green Tea

Green tea recently became popularized in the West thanks to lattes and other tasty drinks. This herbal drink is a superhero when it comes to the number of antioxidants it contains. Just one cup of green tea can stimulate the reduction of plaque in arteries, lower bad cholesterol levels, and also improve heart regularity and overall health.

Green Tea

Salmon

Salmon has always been a restaurant staple for its fantastic taste, but did you know this type of fish has enough omega-3 fatty acids to stop the onset of heart disease? The combination of nutrients and good fats found in the fish can reduce triglyceride levels, open up closed off blood vessels, and stop the occurrence of blood clots.

Salmon

Turmeric

Turmeric is the best ingredient to enhance the flavor of any kind of curry. This spice has been a part of medical treatments in the East for centuries, but only recently has it entered the diets of those living in other parts of the world. Recently, scientists have isolated the active compound that makes turmeric a superfood. Curcumin, specifically found in turmeric, has been found to block cardiac hypertrophy, also known as heart enlargement. Turmeric also fights against obesity, high blood pressure, and lowers the chances of developing heart disease.

Tumeric

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds taste great in pudding or as an addition to any kind of smoothie. These tiny seeds are among the world’s best superfoods. They’re loaded with protein, antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Better yet, they’re super low in calories! Their combination of nutrients and antioxidants work hard to lower your cholesterol, lower the risk of a plethora of diseases, and keep your heart healthy and strong — no pills necessary!

Chia Seeds

Apples

We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” That old adage isn’t far from the truth! Apples are a commonly overlooked superfood that have incredible amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. That apple a day lowers blood pressure and reduces the chances of developing heart disease. The best news is that, since there are so many varieties of apples, you’re bound to find one that you like! Or, if you get bored, you can always switch it up for a new tasty flavor.

Apples

Avocados

Avocados are a tasty addition to your meal or snack, any time of day! They are probably the one kind of superfood we could never live without. In addition to being amazingly delicious and versatile, avocados have tons of antioxidants, potassium, and monounsaturated fats. This combination promotes the health of your heart and also reduces the chances of developing heart disease.

Avocadoes

Eggplant

These fantastic purple vegetables are great grilled or baked, as well as in a  cold vegetable dish. They have high amounts of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, flavonoids, and even nasunin! These purple vegetables are your cardiovascular system’s best friend because they increase circulation, lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, and also reduce the risk of heart disease. Your brain might also enjoy your next eggplant dish, too! They help prevent cell membrane damage and ward off cancers in brain tissue.

Eggplant

Broccoli

Broccoli might be one of the most dreaded dinner vegetables for children and teens, but these little green trees are an excellent source of nutrition for your heart. So as an adult, we hope you’ve overcome your dislike for this green giant because it’s an excellent addition to stir-frys, pasta, and sometimes even salads! Broccoli is known to lower cholesterol and keep your blood vessels healthy and strong. This superfood is rich in sulforaphane, which helps with problems related to blood sugar issues.

Brocolli

Carrots

Carrots are a great crunchy snack by themselves or paired with ranch, hummus, or other delicious dips. They are also a food that keeps your heart in tip-top shape, and in fact, can help you see better at night! This orange superfood has high levels of carotenoids and this antioxidant fights against the free radicals that can lead to heart disease. Carrots also have an abundance of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C, and a ton of other nutrients as well. This combination of vitamins and nutrients have been studied and seen to fight against the onset of cancer, promote healthy bone growth, and maintain a healthy nervous system.

Carrots

Chicken

Chicken is the first superfood listed that isn’t a fruit or vegetable, and that’s for a very good reason! This amazingly lean meat has less saturated fat and cholesterol than any other red meat. Because of its health benefits compared to red meat, meat eaters often choose baked, stir-fried, or grilled chicken over that cholesterol-dense burger option for dinner.

Chicken

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are much more than the tasty main ingredient of everyone’s favorite side dish: hummus. While small and seemingly innocuous, these little peas are packed with nutrition for your heart. Each one of these little legumes is loaded with potassium, fiber, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin C. More than any other legume out there, chickpeas use this special combination of nutrients to reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

Chickpeas

Coffee

We have some fantastic news for the coffee drinkers of the world! A new study has shown that coffee actually helps your heart (in addition to being a great start to your day). Moderate coffee intake reduces the risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease, and even stroke! Hold on, I’m getting my french press.

Coffee

Cranberries

Cranberries might be tart on their own, but they’re a staple juice in households around the world, and also a staple Thanksgiving dessert for Americans. These berries are high in antioxidants, and just like blueberries, they reduce the chances of developing heart disease. Regular cranberry intake also reduces the chances of contracting a urinary tract infection and lowers the chances of developing stomach ulcers and cancer.

Cranberries

Figs

Figs are one of the most underrated fruits at the grocery store! Raisins, dates, and figs all contain the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain a healthy heart. This versatile fruit can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, or even in the form of a jam. Figs are high in fiber and calcium, and these two work together to keep your heart healthy and astoundingly reverse the effects of heart disease.

Figs

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are essential to any diet that doesn’t include fish or nuts. This is because flax seeds are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids which help maintain a healthy heart. Flax seeds can be sprinkled onto smoothies or salads. One tablespoon of these seeds has more estrogen, antioxidants, and other nutrients than many other seeds!

Flax Seeds

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Excuse the comparison, but besides making for a fantastic rock band, this terrifyingly spicy vegetable is, in fact, great for your heart! The tiny terrors contain capsaicin, and this neuropeptide helps lower cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy blood pressure. While they are a great addition to your diet for heart health, it might not be a good idea to ingest them whole, sort of like this guy! If you’re up for the challenge, make sure to have your water ready!

Chilli Pepper

Ginger

If you’re a sushi-lover, we have great news for you! This wonderfully-smelling spice has been linked to maintenance of a healthy heart. You might be surprised to learn that a small daily intake of ginger can lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease and even hypertension. It’s no wonder that this superfood has been a vital part of recipes for centuries.

Image result for ginger"

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is an exotic fruit in both appearance and taste. The reason for this is because the pink fruit is loaded with nutrition. This delicious fruit has high levels of potassium, lycopene, choline, and vitamin C; now that’s not a combination you see every day! Grapefruit helps keep your heart healthy and is also included in the highly recommended DASH diet. It also helps lower blood pressure.

Grapefruit1

Source: http://www.crowdyfan.com/worldwide/heart-attack-cancer

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In July 2013 Alison Gannett was found to have a deadly baseball-sized malignant cancerous brain tumor in her frontal lobe. After an initial partial surgery, Alison has forgone traditional approaches and instead has used a ketogenic diet, DNA testing, and a new lifestyle to starve the remaining cancer cells and provide health to the rest of her body. Her new goal is to help others customize their diets and lifestyles to either prevent cancer or conquer cancer, and also to start ketogenic cooking camps at their farm. For More Info visit: http://www.lakanto.com/ambassador/ali… How is Monkfruit Sweetener Made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Q_T… The Story of Lakanto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J0v7… Monk Fruit Recipes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9UfO… _______ “For the last several years I’ve been doing a therapeutic ketogenic diet which is very high levels of fat, two and a half cups of fat a day, nine cups of low glycemic vegetables and I’ve been using that to treat my terminal malignant brain cancer because cancer can only ferment glucose so I deprive it of glucose and give it plenty of fatty acids and it can’t grow or spread or do anything. My name is Allison Gannett and we’re here at Holy Terror farm which is where I live and work. I have many different hats for occupations. I’m a cancer survivor a ketogenic diet coach. I’m a world champion extreme skier and a climate change consultant. In 2013, I started behaving very strangely and one day I almost burned the house down making bacon and at that moment my husband knew that I wasn’t just acting bizarrely—that something was truly wrong. He brought me to the emergency room and they found a baseball-sized tumor in my brain and the diagnosis was terminal malignant brain cancer. They rushed me into surgery and said please sign this paper—I don’t even remember signing the paper nor do I remember them you know telling me the odds of coming out of a brain surgery that severe were not good. They extracted one baseball-sized tumor out of the front of my brain—you can see the little dent my head right here and the scar is actually hidden up here in my hairline—very nice that they can do that these day—and they did miss another tumor right here by my ear. I call him Junior and he is kind of my barometer anytime I want to eat something sugary or carb-y, I think about junior as a little Pacman and it keeps me from ever cheating. So a friend of a friend suggested that I get in touch with Dr. Nasha winters of Optimal Terrain Consulting immediately. She put me on the ketogenic diet. The amazing thing about being on this diet that I never expected is not only is it yummy and delicious but it’s had a lot of interesting side effects that I never expected. My Polycystic Ovarian Disease has completely disappeared in two years. My Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was gone in eighteen months. My breast fibroids were gone in five months and those probably would have turned into [they were worried about] cancer with those. You know, I make recipes of all my favorite foods that I used to like like macaroni and cheese and pizza and ice cream and brownies. I figured out how to make all of those without sugar and Lakanto been key for that for me because it’s the first non-glycemic sweetener that actually tastes good. When my doctor put me on the ketogenic diet, my first thought was what do I eat, you know? how do I get all this fat in my diet and what do I do to replace all the things I love like where’s my ice cream? Where’s my brownies? Where’s my pancakes? And at first I just deprived myself of all that food and that wasn’t very fun. And then I started playing with some recipes and trying some different alternative sweeteners. I grew stevia and yokan and tried flavoring things with those and they were okay but it wasn’t what I remembered. And then my husband was trying all my recipes and he hated everything! He thought all the sweeteners—he was just making horrible faces every time I made ice cream—and then one day I ordered Lakanto on the internet and I made ice cream–vanilla ice cream and I handed it to him and he had this big smile on his face and he was like: “this is the best ice cream I’ve ever had!” I couldn’t believe it! He hadn’t liked anything I’d made in over a year and a half so ever since then we’ve used nothing but. I could have my cake eat it to. Cure my brain cancer and have a brownie and ice cream for lunch every day. I sometimes have ice cream and brownie for breakfast–but I still get my nine cups of veggies in every day. When I help other people with my coaching, to have them use the ketogenic diet for cancer or for Alzheimer’s or diabetes–it has to be delicious for them in the same way. It’s delicious for me so I helped them recreate their favorite recipes and having a sweetener that is palatable, yummy and non glycemic non GMO is so important to me and to them.”

Javaher Polo Recipe Persian Jeweled Rice 

Morasa Polo or Javaher Polo is one of the most delicious, beautiful, and formal dishes that you can serve in ceremonies. You do not need a lot of time to prepare this dish but you have to use a wide variety of ingredient.

Javaher Polo Recipe with Chicken

Ingredients (for 6 to 7 people):

  • Rice: 5 Cups
  • Chicken Fillet: 500 g
  •  Butter: 150 g
  •  Orange Peel Slices (sweetened): 2 Cups
  •  Pistachio Slices: 1 Cup
  •  Almond Slices: 1 Cup
  •  Barberry: ½ Cup
  •  Brewed Saffron: 2 Tsp.
  •  Onion: 1
  •  Citric Acid: As needed
  •  Oil: As needed
  •  Sugar: 1 Tsp.
  •  Salt and Pepper: As needed

Instructions:

First prepare the rice like a regular Chelo and place it on the stove so it steams.

Meanwhile, in a suitable pan, add some butter and fry the onions in it, stir-fry the chicken fillets and spices and let the chicken cook with some water. Wash the barberries with cold water, and mix them with sugar.

Add a tablespoon of butter in another pan, add the barberry and sauté for a minute. Add the brewed saffron to the barberry as well.

To sweeten the orange peel, boil the slices four times each time for five minutes, pour them in a strainer and place in cold water for one hour. Next, for each cup of orange peel slices, add one cup of sugar and two cups of water.

You need to mix the water and sugar and place them on the heat. When the mix was boiling, add the slices and let them cook for 30 minutes on a gentle heat. Finally add the lime essence and remove it after a few seconds.

When the rice is completely ready and steamed, serve it in a suitable dish with the chicken decorate it with the nut slices, orange peel, and barberries.

Tip: You can soak the pistachio and almond slices in water and sugar so they have a better taste. Also, in the last 10 minute of steaming the rice, you can wrap the nut slices with some butter (separately) in a piece of aluminum foil and place it on the rice so they soften.

javaher polo

Javaher Polo Recipe with Ground Meat

Ingredients (for 4 to 5 people):

  • Rice: 4 Cups
  •  Ground Meat: 250 g
  •  Small Onions: 3
  •  Almond Slices: 4 Tbsp.
  •  Pistachio Slices: 4 Tbsp.
  •  Sour Orange Peel: 2 Tbsp. (sliced)
  •  Barberry: 3 Tbsp.
  •  Raisins: 2 Tbsp.
  •  Brewed Saffron: ½ Cup
  •  Salt, Black Pepper, and Turmeric: As needed
  •  Lime Juice: 1 Tbsp.
  •  Rose Water: 1 Tsp.

Instructions:

First, rinse the rice with water and soak. Then knead the ground meat with the two of the onions (grated) and spices. Form the mix into small meatballs and fry them in a pan with some oil. Then stir them with the remaining onion (diced) until they are golden.

After cooking and draining the rice, add the meatballs and fried onions between layers of rice and let it steam. If you want to have a more formal rice, you need to drain the rice sooner than the usual.

In the meantime, slice the sour orange peel and pour it in water and let them cook for a while. Remember to change the water several times to remove any bitterness completely.

Finally, after changing the water for 3 to 4 times, stir the slices with the lime juice and rose water. If you prefer sweet tastes, we can add a tablespoon of sugar too.

Next, wash the almonds and sauté with the barberry. Stir pistachios with raisins as well.

Finally, serve the rice in the dish and decorate it with a variety of slices and saffron rice. Remember that decorating this dish is very important. Nooshe Jan!

Source: Javaher Polo Recipe – Persian Jeweled Rice | Epersian Food

Related Links: https://www.northjersey.com/videos/entertainment/dining/2019/10/29/jeweled-rice-persian-holiday-dish/2501621001/

 

The Popeyes Fried Chicken Sandwich Is Back. Here’s What You’ll Find

The Popeyes fried chicken sandwich that kicked off last summer’s Great Fried Chicken Sandwich Wars returned on Sunday. And judging by my experience in getting one, the buzz around the sandwich is back, too. Popeyes announced the sandwich’s return last week, in time for National Sandwich Day. The signs were up, but there was no sign of the sandwich.

“Sunday at 10 am sharp,” the counter clerk told me, via the drive-thru intercom. “You better get here early.”

I hadn’t been planning to be there at the opening bell, but I woke up in time, thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time. So, I bundled my 91-year-old aunt, Maxine Clapper, into my Prius and set off.

The scene. We arrived at 9:50 am to find a knot of people waiting outside the door, and 14 cars in the drive-thru and the parking lot. We were car No. 11 in the drive-thru.

But at 10 am, we were told there was a delay. The restaurant would open at 11 am, despite the instructions we were given and the hours posted on the door .

The delay wasn’t explained, but the restaurant then posted “cash only” signs which made me think it might have been a credit card processing issue.

The wait. We contemplated leaving, but decided to stay. Around us, others stayed, too, including the group at the door. A manager eventually came out and gave those people numbers so they could go wait in their cars in the 37F cold.

As the 10 am hour ticked by, more people arrived. The drive-thru line re-formed, and eventually, it stretched down the side of the restaurant, through the parking lot, past the front of the restaurant and onto the road outside.

I chatted with a couple of customers, and learned they had been unable to get the Popeyes sandwich during its first appearance (I nabbed one just before it sold out).

They were determined to get one this time. And after the restaurant doors finally opened at 11 am, the first customers emerged, holding their Popeyes bags high in victory.

It took us about 25 minutes to get up to the drive-thru window and collect our sandwiches. We pulled into a parking lot space, and opened the bag. On Friday, I stopped by my local Popeyes near Ann Arbor, Mich., just to see if it had arrived early.

The sandwich. This iteration of the Popeyes fried chicken sandwich seems identical to the previous version. For $3.99, you get a generous portion of fried chicken breast, a dollop of mayo, two pickles and a soft bun.

If anything, the chicken was even more moist than last time, perhaps because it was prepared in the morning rather than afternoon.

And the pickles seemed thicker, almost a little too thick for a sandwich. We both took them off the sandwich and ate them as a side dish.

Since I’d tried it before, I was curious what Maxine thought of it.

She pronounced it “good,” her all-purpose compliment for something she enjoys eating, and said she would have one again if I brought it home to her. (She’s not from the eat-in-your-car generation, which is understandable.)

She was unable to finish her sandwich, which seems a little large for elderly appetites. Popeyes would do just fine if it made a chicken sandwich slider.

The buzz. A huge advantage to this Popeyes launch, of course, is that it took place on Sunday, when its main rival, Chick-fil-A is closed, and something Popeyes touted in its run up to the chicken sandwich’s return.

Popeyes sign

That Sunday availability is likely to result in a big launch day.

As we drove off, I counted 25 cars waiting in the drive-thru line, and the parking lot was nearly full. I asked the counter clerk how many she thought they would serve, and she estimated it would be more than 100.

Based on the early demand, they most likely sold them all by the end of the lunch hour.

Business may not keep up at that rate, and Popeyes might not get the massive marketing boost that the chicken sandwich generated last time.

But at least for now, it has successfully fired its second shot.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I’m an alumni of the New York Times and NPR. I learned to cook from my mom, and studied with Patricia Wells and at Le Cordon Bleu. E: mamayn@aol.com T: @mickimaynard I: @michelinemaynard Sorry, I don’t honor embargoes.

Source: The Popeyes Fried Chicken Sandwich Is Back. Here’s What You’ll Find

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Popeyes Chicken Sandwich returned to all locations today, ready for all to enjoy but what has changed IF ANYTHING AT ALL?!?! Let’s discuss this in the comments and be sure to slap a like on this video if you enjoyed it. Sharing is Caring and so be sure to share this video with friends and family. Tell them all to SUBSCRIBE and TURN ON THOSE NOTIFICATIONS my SEXY PIECES!!! Mrs Drops Update: For anyone curious, all you had to do was follow your boy on my IG: @OFFICIALDAYMDROPS and you would have known what time it was! 😉 I post there DAILY is all I am saying 😉 Royalty Free Music: Epidemic Sound ► (DD Ice Cream & MORE) https://linktr.ee/officialdaymdrops ► I’m now w/ McJuggerNuggets on his StoryFire App: https://storyfire.com/write/series/st… Royalty Free Music: Epidemic Sound BEST & WORST RESTAURANTS LISTING: BEST CHINESE: https://youtu.be/CFTnPqIRFOs WORST CHINESE: https://youtu.be/h9dAUaWFuto BEST JAMAICAN: https://youtu.be/73xnuACRLCM WORST JAMAICAN: https://youtu.be/8aa0uojyWBM BEST PIZZA: https://youtu.be/XQ6n1A7uMwY WORST PIZZA: https://youtu.be/USP3TA7JHKA BEST BREAKFAST: https://youtu.be/oOUsmkOdqjQ WORST BREAKFAST: https://youtu.be/a8nA7mVctAo BEST MEXICAN: https://youtu.be/Dzd3Doqj-YA WORST MEXICAN: https://youtu.be/UnKIqpozsGQ BEST STEAKHOUSE: https://youtu.be/OOw_hM7u–0 WORST STEAKHOUSE: https://youtu.be/JmjRfontkTo BEST GOURMET BURGER: https://youtu.be/gF9ZTMxhWDA WORST GOURMET BURGER: https://youtu.be/lUxmuq0lEoE BEST BBQ: https://youtu.be/3xX9zJVcZ38 WORST BBQ: https://youtu.be/BxKCI-IuikM BEST SEAFOOD: https://youtu.be/wZadbE_sRv4 WORST SEAFOOD: https://youtu.be/K052EEog2YU BEST WINGS: https://youtu.be/hTiPKWUvCG4 WORST WINGS: https://youtu.be/UK21FhxbRWs BEST ITALIAN: https://youtu.be/bw8TidYD_1s WORST ITALIAN: https://youtu.be/mKmS6KIQgxs BEST FOOD TRUCK: https://youtu.be/LqsESitm0s4 WORST FOOD TRUCK: https://youtu.be/BvnG330VWVo BEST BUFFET: https://youtu.be/en842DdTHaQ WORST BUFFET: https://youtu.be/UBNWGpJo3tw BEST SANDWICH: https://youtu.be/sdNm6eRoQ-w WORST SANDWICH: https://youtu.be/fgKprIVLNhg BEST RIBS: https://youtu.be/NmWEbDF6YX4 WORST RIBS: https://youtu.be/rWr3Id136pQ BEST LOBSTER: https://youtu.be/7I9lyPnik0k WORST LOBSTER: https://youtu.be/fX4-lO7YkK0 BEST HOT DOGS: https://youtu.be/_4QKKCPHQbU WORST HOT DOGS: https://youtu.be/0-l-wYldRMI BEST FRIED CHICKEN: https://youtu.be/PMkC2D3U-Uk WORST FRIED CHICKEN: https://youtu.be/Ba-nwSXRoR4 BEST ICE CREAM: https://youtu.be/2hSdsZ0MHaI WORST ICE CREAM: https://youtu.be/LUPWXcNShUg BEST BAKERY: https://youtu.be/8A-lQnuBf9c WORST BAKERY: https://youtu.be/PTudTfCVLEA #daymdrops #popeyeschickensandwich

21 Incredible Pasta Dishes To Enjoy On National Pasta Day

 

Bucatini Cashew-Kombu Cream at Osteria 57 in New York City.

National Pasta Day is coming soon. While October 17 may be a great excuse to try a new pasta dish, these options are so incredible that we recommend enjoying them all year long. Starting today, ideally.

At Osteria 57 in New York City, this is a vegan pasta dish with incredible Japanese Umami flavor. The dish is made with cashew-kombu cream, Mediterranean pesto, Sorrento lemons and breadcrumbs to give it a fresh, satisfying Mediterranean taste with rich, savoriness from the umami flavor. “It’s uncommon to think ‘vegan’ when you hear of Italian cuisine since most dishes have meat and/or cheese. So I thought of a pasta that I can serve my customers that’s packed with flavor and combines ingredients from my two favorite cuisines- Italian and Japanese. Knowing that a majority of umami flavor in Japanese cuisine stems from kumbu, I decided to create a cashew-kombu cream sauce and flavor it with ingredients that reminds me of the southern region of Italy. There’s fresh basil, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, white fennel, capers from Sicily, lemons from Sorrento with the cream sauce as a clear tribute to the magic of ingredients,” said chef Riccardo Orfino.

Wagyu Pappardelle

Wagyu Pappardelle at Margot Los Angeles.

Margot

At Margot Los Angeles, this dish is made with Einkorn wheat and ragu Bolognese. “Our Pappardelle is the most unique pasta dish on offer right now at Margot. It’s made from heirloom einkorn wheat that is milled weekly for us by a local grain mill. It’s served with a Bolognese sauce made with wagyu beef that’s simply delicious,” says executive chef Michael Williams.

Today In: Lifestyle

Blue Crab Carbonara

Blue Crab Carbonara at The Wilson in New York City.

Jenna Murray IGC Hospitality)

At The Wilson in New York City, this dish is made with spaghetti, guanciale, Calabrian chilies, basil crumbs. “We make ours with rustichella spaghetti, EVOO, guanciale, garlic, calabrian chilies, and blue crab. Finished with butter, parmesan cheese, black pepper and chives. Garnished with pangrattato, which is bright green basil bread crumbs, and grilled lemon. It’s a fun and modern spin on an already delicious classic,” said executive chef, Stephany Burgos.

Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea Pasta at Electric Lemon at Hudson Yards in New York City.

Electric Lemon

At Electric Lemon at Hudson Yards in New York City, the Chickpea Pasta is a linguini type noodles topped with a fresh tomato sauce made à la minute. Chef Kyle Knall roasts garlic, shishito peppers and basil in a pan then squeezes skinless sun gold tomatoes to make a fresh, vibrant sauce that coats the gluten free pasta without being too rich. The dish is then garnished with fresh basil and halved sun gold tomatoes.  “We wanted to make a true chickpea pasta that was actually gluten free. So we took the ratio that we would normally use for our traditional dough with farm egg yolks and switched out the pasta flour for chickpea. This keeps the dough soft and rich,” said chef Kyle Knall.

Squid Ink Linguine

Squid Ink Linguine at Siena Tavern in Chicago.

Siena Tavern

Forget the lobster roll and the bisque because black is the new… black at Siena Tavern in Chicago with Top Chef alum, Fabio Viviani’s Squid Ink Linguine. Having a celebrity chef behind the Italian restaurant’s menu guests know dishes served there are going to be amazing and delicious which includes his Squid Ink Linguine served with a lobster tail and spicy lobster sauce. Not only is this dish one of the most popular entrees served at Siena Tavern, but it is also eye-catching with its shocking color. Although, the silky black-hued pasta is not the only reason this dish is so popular; the flavor of the dish also credits to its acclaimed fame. Given the extra dimension the squid ink linguine gives off, chef Viviani complements it with a grilled lobster tail served on top while a spicy lobster cream sauce is mixed in with it. “As much as I love making traditional pasta dishes, I knew I needed to make Siena Tavern’s Squid Ink Linguine a little different,” said executive chef Fabio Viviani. “Mixing the squid ink’s rich and briny flavor with a lobster’s mild and sweet flavor, there needed to be a spice to make a lasting impression which I made the sauce to be a spicy lobster cream sauce.”

Duck Confit Risotto

Duck Confit Risotto in New York City at ATRIO Wine Bar & Restaurant.

ATRIO Wine Bar & Restaurant

In New York City at ATRIO Wine Bar & Restaurant, a combination of sautéed butternut squash, wild mushrooms, dried cranberries, and wilted kale folded into arborio rice that is immersed in a rich duck broth. White balsamic pearls are dotted on top for a tangy finish. A major trend we’ve noticed that has returned is the use of duck on culinary menus. This is a bold and flavorful meat that can be used in a wide variety of dishes; we have added duck to our risotto and flatbread for fall,” said executive chef Enrico DeOcampo of Conrad New York Downtown.

Chicken Sausage Rigatoni

Chicken Sausage Rigatoni at Thalia in New Orleans.

Thalia

At Thalia in New Orleans, chefs Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus just gave a seasonal update to the chicken sausage rigatoni. The fall version of the beautiful pasta dish is made with housemade sausage and pasta served with pumpkin, shiso, and sage, then finished with shaved parmesan. This dish embodies what we love about fall. The pumpkin and sage add those flavors that we love about fall, while the shiso adds a brightness.

Not Your Nonna’s Bolognese

Not Your Nonna’s Bolognese at Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar in south Miami.

GBHG

At Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar in south Miami, this twist on a classic Bolognese over delivers on the pasta. Featuring two (!) types of pasta, a slow braised veal, pork and beef Bolognese sauce is mixed throughout pappardelle and ricotta gnudi before being topped with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. The hearty sauce pairs well with the light gnudi, and bright pop of basil. “Italy has always astounded me with its culture and beauty. That beautiful sun-filled country is a huge source for culinary inspiration for me, and Mi’talia dishes are my versions of these flavors,” said chef Janine Booth.

Carbonara in a Jar

Carbonara in a Jar at Siena Tavern in Chicago.

Siena Tavern

If there is something Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani is an expert on making, it’s pasta. The Italian chef’s Carbonara in a Jar served at Siena Tavern is not only cooked perfectly al dente and tastes delicious but also an interactive dish as it is prepped and finalized at the table utilizing a mason jar. The ooey and gooey pasta dish initially fills the mason jar with gemelli noodles and then layers of crispy pancetta, parmesan cream, spinach, egg yolk and pecorino are added on top. The mason jar is served to the table in its deconstructed form and ready to be finalized by the chef who shakes it tableside, ultimately breaking the egg yolk and mixing the other ingredients to finalize the Carbonara in a Jar. “One of my favorite things to do as a chef is go out in the restaurant and talk to the guests who are eating my food,” said executive chef Fabio Viviani. “The Carbonara in a Jar not only allows me to talk to my guests, but I also get to serve them their meal.”

Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini Pasta at HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails in New York City.

HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails

At HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails in New York City,  this is zucchini noodles, roasted kale, charred tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, pistachio nuts and Asiago cheese.  If you follow the Whole 30 diet, you can ask the chef to hold the cheese. If you want to add a little protein, you can request the addition of chicken, steak or pulled pork.  “Our Zucchini Pasta is one of our best sellers and I think it’s because it’s so versatile. It’s a vegetarian dish that you can easily make Whole 30 compliant by ordering it without the cheese, or you can add chicken, steak or pulled pork if you’re a meat-lover.  All these options and it’s delicious no matter how you order it,” said Chad Gaudet, co-owner of HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails.

House-Made Campanelle 

House-Made Campanelle at The Hive in Bentonville, Arkansas.

21c Museum Hotels

At The Hive in Bentonville, Arkansas, they showcase the unique culinary identity of Arkansas and the region’s farmers and producers. Chef Matt McClure’s cooking pays homage to the High South, highlighting local ingredients such as wild mushrooms, basil puree and pistachio found in the campanelle.

Siamese Agnolotti

Siamese Agnolotti at Casa Nonna New York.

Casa Nonna New York

At Casa Nonna New York, the filling of this house-made two-sided ravioli pasta consists of veal ragu on one side with spinach and taleggio cheese on the other side. The ravioli rests on top of a truffle pecorino fonduta sauce and is finished with beech mushrooms and a drizzle of marsala glaze. “Siamese Agnolotti is one of our most popular pasta dishes as you can experience a vegetarian and meat option in just one bite! The beech mushrooms add a cashew-like flavor and when combined with a drizzle of the marsala glaze and truffle oil, you get a sherry sweet taste. Plus, it’s a great pasta that pairs really well with most known Italian wines like Chianti, Montepulciano and Sangiovese,” said Atilio Ramos, chef de cuisine.

Spaghettini Freddi Benedetto Cavalieri

Spaghettini Freddi Benedetto Cavalieri at La Cucina at Il Salviatino in Fiesole, Florence.

Il Salviatino

At La Cucina at Il Salviatino in Fiesole, Florence, an upscale twist on a classic, this chilled spaghetti dish features fresh prawns tossed in Tuscan citrus fruit delicately served over al dente spaghetti, garnished with colorful edible wildflowers sourced from Il Salviatino’s orto — organic orchard and herb garden.  “I love how refreshing this dish it. We are really lucky to have a big organic garden right on our property grounds where we source fresh herbs and vegetables daily. Almost 100% of our ingredients are sourced from Tuscany; generally we don’t need to go far to find the best quality, most of the time it is right around the corner,” said executive chef Silvia Grossi.

Fettuccine

Fettuccine at La Ventura in New York City.

Alex Staniloff

At La Ventura in New York City, housemade fettuccine with poblano peppers, littleneck clams, garlic, chili flakes and lemon. “Our fettuccine is the perfect way to celebrate National Pasta Month because it gives a nod to classical old school pasta and white clam sauce. It is super garlicky with chili flake, butter and lemon that keeps it packed with flavor the entire way through,” said executive chef Peter Lipson.

Cacio E Pere

Cacio E Pere on New York City at Felidia.

Felidia

In New York City at Felidia, pear and pecorino ravioli with crushed black pepper. “After all these years, I love to make this; it’s such a simple yet delicious dish and is still a favorite among the guests year-round!” said executive chef Fortunato Nicotra.

Rigatoni with Heritage Pork Ragu 

Rigatoni with Heritage Pork Ragu in New York City at OTTO Enoteca e Pizzeria.

OTTO Enoteca e Pizzeria

In New York City at OTTO Enoteca e Pizzeria, rigatoni with Heritage pork shank braised with onions, Calabrian chilis, and tomato sauce. “This is one of our signature pasta dishes that’s perfect to celebrate with on National Pasta Day! There’s no shortage of flavor here, and as a butcher, I love using high-quality meat from our longtime purveyor Heritage Foods!” said executive chef Gaetano Arnone.

Spaghetti Special

Spaghetti Special at Carmine's.

Carmine’s

At Carmine’s, already known for their massive portions, the legendary Carmine’s is serving up a Spaghetti Special for the entire month of October. The special comes with five pounds of spaghetti served alongside a gallon of sauce – pomodoro, bolognese, marinara or vodka. The dish is designed to feed eight-ten people. “What Carmine’s does best is massive portions of food served family-style so this special is designed for even bigger groups to gather and enjoy heaping platters of pasta with their favorite sauce!”  said director of culinary operations Glenn Rolnick

Mezzelune Pasta 

Mezzelune Pasta At Lupa in New York City.

Lupa

At Lupa in New York City, a seasonal pasta dish made with honeynut squash stuffed lune with sage brown butter and toasted hazelnuts. “Honeynut is my favorite Autumn squash. Specifically bred for their sweetness, they make an incredible filling for ravioli. Mezzelune pasta is a great shape because of the crescent moon shape which resembles the fall months and looks amazing on the plate” said executive chef James Kelly.

Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti 

Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti at Gelso & Grand in New York City.

Gelso & Grand

At Gelso & Grand in New York City, toasted pistachio, fresh basil, Parmigiano Reggiano mixed with spaghetti. “Since our restaurant is located in the heart of Little Italy, we wanted to offer a bright-tasting pasta that would whisk guests away from the hustle bustle of New York for a moment and to let the flavors of the dish sink in. The pasta itself is a delicious twist on an Italian classic, that’s traditionally prepared with pine nuts, and perfectly balanced with the freshness from the basil,” said owner Nima Garos.

California Sea Urchin and Angel Hair Carbonara 

California Sea Urchin and Angel Hair Carbonara at Tocqueville in New York City.

Tocqueville

At Tocqueville in New York City, this signature appetizer at Tocqueville has been on the menu since the restaurant opened in 2000. The dish features California sea urchin and angel hair carbonara with sea lettuces and lime-soy butter. “In my opinion Sea urchin and egg yolk is a perfect match, the velvety texture of the softly scrambled yolk with the sauce is pure decadence, against the al dente pasta, it all really works well together!” said chef and owner Marco Moreira.

Linguine ai Frutti di Mare

Linguine ai Frutti di Mare t Primavera Ristorante.

Primavera Ristorante

At Primavera Ristorante, a family-owned and operated Italian restaurant located in Coronado, Calif., will celebrate National Pasta Day with a featured entrée swimming in flavor: linguine ai frutti di mare, made with fresh tomato, shrimp, mussels, and baby clams atop linguine with light saffron sauce. The restaurant will also have an array of signature pasta dishes available, including: portobella alla bianca, portobello mushroom-filled ravioli with sundried tomato and dill cream sauce; pappardelle alla Bolognese with veal, pork and beef ragu, dried chile oil and mascarpone; and spaghetti alla carbonara with sautéed pancetta and sweet peas in a rich parmigiano cream sauce. Buon appetito!

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer with over a decade of experience covering travel and food.

Source: 21 Incredible Pasta Dishes To Enjoy On National Pasta Day

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