TIP OF THE WEEK

When it comes to snacking, there are dozens of ways to answer your cravings.

Sometimes your snack cravings are tied to flavor; other times it’s a texture that you’re yearning for. When you feel a tinge of hunger, give yourself permission to put down the grab-and-go bar or bag of chips, and instead take a moment to have a mindful snacking experience that allows you to truly savor your food.

Reinvent your approach to snacking with guidance from some of the nation’s most prominent chefs.

Contrast flavors. If you’re hesitant to mix and match flavors, you might be surprised by what you find when you step out of your comfort zone. Chef Paul Osher, with Porkchop & Co. in Seattle, suggests looking for creative blends of sweet and sour. “The Laughing Cow cheese is creamy and just a bit tart, so it pairs well with sweet and sour flavors,” said Osher, who recommends hitting a farmers’ market or orchard for seasonal stone fruit and other produce to match cheese’s delicious taste and rich, creamy texture.

Embrace variety. A snack that creates an explosion of flavor and texture is a winning approach, says Chef Tanya Baker of The Boarding House in Chicago. “When building a menu item, I make sure to have a variety of flavors and textures - salty, sweet, acidic, creamy and crunchy,” she said. But she cautions that all of that flavor need not be complicated.

Go for crunch. There’s something simply satisfying about crunching your way through a delicious dish, says Chef Sarah Simmons of Birds & Bubbles in New York. “I think it’s important to have crunch in a snack,” she said. “People love chips for their crunch as much as their flavor. I try to contrast crunchy and creamy textures to create fun and unique snacking experiences.”

Simplicity rules. Simmons is also a big advocate of flavor over fuss when it comes to small plates such as snacks and appetizers. “When creating a snack, remember to keep it simple - no more than three components,” she said. Remember, limiting the number of ingredients lets the individual flavors shine.


— Brandpoint

EASY RECIPE: Grape salsa

Ingredients
2 cups California seedless grapes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup each chopped green onions and diced fresh or canned Anaheim chilies
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon bottled hot pepper seasoning

Directions
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; mix well. Let stand at least 1 hour before serving. Drain off excess liquid before serving.

—Brandpoint

NUMBER TO KNOW

2,323: Accord to the 2014 Guinness World Records the heaviest pumpkin that year was grown in Switzerland and weighed in at 2,323 pounds.
— More Content Now

FOOD QUIZ

The Scottish food haggis is traditionally encased in what?

A. pig intestines
B. a bull’s heart
C. a sheep’s stomach
D. a chicken’s beak

Answer at bottom of column.

WORD TO THE WISE

ajowan: Or ajwain seeds are a spice related to cumin and caraway that originates from the Middle East and is now mostly found in southern India. The seeds look like purplish-red celery seeds and taste like astringent thyme. Also called carom or bishop’s weed, ajowan is available in seed or ground form.
— Cookthink

THE DISH ON…

‘Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking’ by Michael Solomonov

A 2011 James Beard Award–winner, Chef Solomonov is the co-owner and executive chef of Zahav, Philadelphia’s renowned modern Israeli restaurant. In this cookbook he tells the story of how he came to embrace the food of his birthplace with recipes that are very accessible to novice home cooks.
— Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

FOOD QUIZ ANSWER

C. a sheep’s stomach, although now commercially prepared in an artificial casing.

— More Content Now

Photo credit:
‘Cheese, tomatoes and nuts’ by Quinn Dombrowski available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/4919694624/ under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0.