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.
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.
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.)
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
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.
Avenida 1 Calle 33, 100 Norte del Antiguo Bagelmens
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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!
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%!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com T: @mickimaynard I: @michelinemaynard Sorry, I don’t honor embargoes.
Fall is peak foodie season—and packed with great culinary events, from coast to coast. If you’re hungry for a culinary adventure this autumn, try these standout food festivals. They’re as fun as they are delicious.
The South Beach Seafood Festival is much like the Miami neighborhood that gives it its name: chic, glossy and very VIP.
This weeklong event includes ticketed dinners where cutting-edge chefs do their stuff in exclusive locations.
Star chefs doing innovative things with expensive ingredients is a big part of the event. But there are still plenty of affordable, family-friendly activities to enjoy.
Pop-up cafes will serve great inexpensive food in the balmy air. DJs will spin music. And the Milam’s Markets Culinary Showcase Kitchen will feature live cooking demos, so attendees can sharpen their kitchen skills.
People in Arkansas take their cornbread seriously.
That’s all to the culinary benefit of visitors to this late-October event in Little Rock’s fashionable SoMa district.
But great cornbread isn’t all there is here. There’s also live music and artisan booths, heaps of Southern cooking besides cornpone and lots of debate about those eternal cornbread questions: White flower or yellow? Sugar or no sugar? Baking pan or cast-iron skillet?
The festival peaks with a cornbread baking competition that Southern foodies take very seriously. Festival attendees get to vote for the winner, so get ready to sample lots of the big-flavored golden stuff that gives this event its reason for being.
Just shy of Wisconsin’s northern border, the small town of Eagle River celebrates one of autumn’s quintessential foods. More than 40,000 visitors buy 10,000-plus pounds of fresh and dried cranberries there each October. Impressive for a town with a population of 1,500.
The event is both culinary and educational. Sure, visitors will get their fill of cranberry pancakes, cranberry sausages, hot cranapple cider and shredded cranberry pork sandwiches. But they can also tour the local cranberry marsh to learn about the role that this tiny red fruit has played in Eagle River’s economy and culture over the centuries.
And to round out a long weekend of fun, there’s an art show, an antiques market and live entertainment.
A big festival in a small town is great. But a small festival in a big city can be just as delicious.
Each October, New York City’s Lower East Side celebrates its immigrant history with Pickle Day. In a nod to the neighborhood’s long-ago pushcart market, vendors line three city blocks with pickled everything, courtesy of local restaurants and other picklers.
There’s also live music, face painting, carnival games and a giant talking pickle.
If you don’t actually make it to lower Manhattan to give pickled watermelon, kimchi or good ol’ pickle-on-a-stick a whirl, you can still get in on the fun. The festival sells whimsical Pickle Day merchandise online. It’s perfect for pickle enthusiasts everywhere.
Don’t worry. There’s no actual roadkill at this festival. But if it was called the “West Virginia Wild Game Cook-off,” it just wouldn’t be as fun.
And fun is at the heart of this quirky event in the tiny town of Marlinton, West Virginia. At the end of each September, inventive chefs assemble here from all over the country.
They join locals in taking a gourmet approach to ingredients ranging from the humble—like squirrel, deer and rabbit—to the exotic—think iguana, snapping turtle and wild boar.
In addition to the chance to try once-in-a-lifetime dishes like squirrel gravy over biscuits and teriyaki-marinated bear, visitors get to enjoy a bit of true Americana. Come for the rabbit Alfredo, stay for the square dancing and Miss Roadkill contest.
Ready to taste your way through fall? With these mouthwatering food festivals on your calendar, this could be your most appetizing autumn yet.
A former downtown development professional, Natalie Burg is a freelancer who writes about growth, entrepreneurialism and innovation.
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