The Juicy Bits
July 4th is one of my favorite holidays. With hot grills and cool fireworks, it's a pyromaniac's dream! Before you settle into this weekend's festivities, have a look at these top grilling tips from BBQ Hall Of Famer Meathead Goldwyn [full disclosure: Meathead owns AmazingRibs.com, which publishes this newsletter, but he doesn't work on the newsletter.] If you haven't tried reverse searing your burgers, you really should. And lemme guess, you're going to sip a cold beverage with that burger, right? Go ahead. It's been a tough year. In fact, a new report shows that the pandemic drove Americans to drink more alcohol than ever this year. Just don't rely on getting your alcohol to go if you live in the northeast. Pennsylvania and New York ended those policies. But Colorado extended them for another 4 years! Coloradans really know how to party. They must've learned something Californians, who not only revolutionized the American wine industry, but are now remaking the weed industry. Napa Valley winemakers are working with Cali weed growers to establish "cannabis appellations" in a new state sponsored program. I can already hear the connoisseurs claiming, "You can really taste the terroir in this Humboldt County kush, man." "Yeah, dude, my Mendocino indica is bursting with blueberry terpenes." There might be a hint of truth in those statements. Cannabis happens to be loaded with terpenes, a class of aroma compounds common in herbs, spices, and fruits, including blueberries. Interesting fact: blueberries and coriander are both high in linalool, a terpene that gives them their floral, citrusy aromas. Linalool is so prevalent in blueberries and coriander that adding a pinch of ground coriander to blueberry muffins or pancakes can make them taste more blueberry-y. Seriously. Science shows that it works. Try it on whatever blueberry dish you're having this weekend. Because what's more American than blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream on the 4th of July? Want to find out? Take a peek at these amazing visual graphics of the American diet over the past 50 years. It's all there in red, white, and blue: Which foods have fallen out of favor and which we've fallen in love with. Hint: yogurt overtook cottage cheese long ago, and American cheese still reigns supreme above cheddar, mozzarella, and all other cheeses. Happy Birthday, America!
BBQ Hall Of Famer Meathead Goldwyn Shares Top 5 Grilling Tips
Image Source: AmazingRibs.com
Meathead Goldwyn wants to up your grill game. His top tip? Create two heat zones in your grill: Pile the heat to one side for a hot zone and leave the other side unheated for a cool zone. If you get flareups or food burns, you can move the food to the cool zone. This setup also helps with his second tip: Use the reverse sear method for the juiciest results. Cook burgers and steaks in the cool zone until the very end, then move them over high heat to sear and brown the outside for flavor. To ensure food safety, Goldwyn recommends using a digital thermometer. And to prevent sticking, he says to oil the food instead of the grill grate. However, when it comes to grilling seafood, he suggests slathering on some mayo, which drips off during cooking. So that's how you keep fish from sticking to the grate!
Restaurant Revitalization Fund Stalls Due To Discrimination Lawsuits
Image Source: iStock/Getty Images Plus
The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) promised a lifeline for struggling restaurants, especially those owned by women, military veterans, and economically disadvantaged business owners, who were given priority status for three weeks. By mid-June, however, the Small Business Administration (SBA) was forced to deny funding to nearly 3,000 previously approved priority applicants. Why? The SBA lost multiple lawsuits brought by restaurateurs who argued that the priority system was discriminatory. While Congress recently introduced legislation for a $60 billion replenishment of the RRF, that legislation remains to be approved. It's a dog eat dog world out there.
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Pandemic Drinking Gives US Alcohol Consumption Its Biggest Boost In Two Decades
Image Source: Getty Images
A new report from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis shows that US alcohol consumption went up 2% last year, the country's biggest increase since 2002. Online sales became a major force and is predicted to account for 7% of all off-premise alcohol purchases by 2024. Spirits had their best year since 1990, and whiskey was especially popular, so much that it's projected to nudge out vodka in overall sales volume by the end of 2022. Tequila and cognac also saw big gains of nearly 16% and 20% over the previous year. But the most popular category was ready-to-drink beverages, led by hard seltzer, which is poised to become the second-largest alcohol category in the US in terms of sales volume by the end of 2021. Beer remains the lead dog but continued its recent decline, finishing 2020 down about 3% in total sales. It seems Spuds Mackenzie is giving way to White Claw.
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US And EU Reach 5-Year Deal To End Long-Running Food And Beverage Tariffs
Image Source: Mark Ralston/Getty Images
Two decades ago, the US and EU began a trade dispute over subsidies to aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus. As a result, everything from French wine and Italian cheese to American bourbon got slapped with a 25% surcharge as it shipped overseas. Finally, the two world powers have called a truce. A wide array of European wines and food products such as olives and cheese will now be free of the 25% tariff for at least 5 years. Hallelujah! Cognac, brandy, and vodka from both continents will also shed the surcharge, a move praised by restaurateurs and liquor producers as they struggle to recover from the pandemic. But one beverage category has been left conspicuously out of the deal: American whiskey will still be subject to a 25% tariff due to a separate ongoing trade dispute over steel and aluminum. Sorry bourbon. You'll still be pricey in Europe.
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Cargill Promotes Methane Masks To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Image Source: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg
Methane can warm the earth's atmosphere 80 times more than carbon dioxide in the short term, and animal agriculture releases about one-third of methane emissions globally. Most of the gas comes from burping cattle, but Cargill has potential solution: high-tech masks that absorb methane like the catalytic converter on a car. The agricultural giant has begun promoting the wearable devices for cows and expects to offer them to European dairy farmers next year. Made by UK company Zelp, the methane masks reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50%.
ReGrained Flour Named World's First Certified Upcycled Food
Image Source: ReGrained/Upcycled Food Association
Earlier this year, the Upcycled Food Association (UFA) established certification standards to help reduce global food waste. This month, UFA certified its first food product, SuperGrain+ flour made by baked goods company ReGrained. The flour is recycled from spent grain produced by breweries and is high in protein, dietary fiber, and prebiotics. The US beer industry generates more than 20 billion pounds of spent grain per year, and according to ReGrained, every pound of its upcycled flour prevents the carbon dioxide equivalent of burning 1 pound of coal and saves more than 300 gallons of water. Does the flour have an aftertaste of beer? Find out by trying ReGrained's line of crunchy snacks. SuperGrain+ flour is the main ingredient.
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Aroma Science Explains Why Coriander Intensifies The Flavor Of Blueberries
Image Source: Joseph De Leo
Making blueberry pancakes or pie? You can boost the blueberry flavor by adding a pinch of ground coriander. It sounds counterintuitive, but coriander seeds and blueberries contain the same aroma compound, a terpene called linalool. In fact, when laboratories manufacture artificial blueberry flavor, linalool is the key terpene in the mix. Coriander seeds contain up to 85% linalool, which gives both ground coriander and blueberries their floral, citrusy aromas. For your next batch of blueberry muffins or pancakes, try bumping up the blueberry flavor by adding a half teaspoon or so of ground coriander. It works.
Data Designer Illustrates 50 Years Of Eating In America
Image Source: Nathan Yau/Flowing Data
Since 1970, the USDA has tracked what Americans eat, including more than 200 different foods ranging from grapefruit to veal. Infographic whiz Nathan Yau turned all five decades into a colorful series of enlightening timelines. From proteins and produce to dairy and grains, each graphic illustrates how the American diet has changed...or not. The vegetable graphic clearly shows that our vegetable consumption has remained relatively stable for five decades: Potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions are still in the lead. Dairy is another story. That graphic illustrates the slow decline of cottage cheese since the 1970s and the meteoric rise of yogurt. As for meat, our favorite protein is chicken, which edged out beef back in 2004. If you compare the graphics, you can see that Americans eat more meat by weight than any other food category. And we have for decades.
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