What's in Season in Your Region?

Strawberries in January? Pears in May? With so many fruits and vegetables being grown in greenhouses or imported from other states and countries, it can be difficult to know what's really in season where you live. We've broken down the contiguous United States into regions so you can see what produce is in season all year round in your part of the country. Of course, there are variations to our lists depending on where you live specifically, even within a certain region, so be sure to research your area using information from your local government or food guides for more details.

Posted in: Features | By Melissa Walters

October 2015 WebstaurantStore Coupon Code Update

From Torani Pumpkin Spice coffee syrup to the ever popular Mason jar mugs, we have specials on some of our most popular October items. Whether you are catering a Fall wedding, having a Halloween party, or delivering pizza, you'll love the extra savings! If you'd like even more coupons, be sure to sign up for our email sale flyers!

Use Coupon Code: OCTSALE
By Steven Ziegler

Top 5 Ways to Drink Apple Cider this Fall

Apple season is here! This is the time of year when apple pie, cobbler, cake, and crisp are all popping out of ovens. From caramel apples to apple coffee cake, we can't get enough of this sweet fruit, especially when fall begins. This season also commences apple-cider-drinking time. A warm cup of cider on a crisp fall day is sure to warm your customers from the inside out and provide a treat to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Can you smell the cooking apples, the spices, and the sweetness in the air? If you answered "No," try one of these top apple cider recipes to experience it. You and your taste buds won't regret it.

Classic Apple Cider

To get started on your recipes, you'll want to make classic homemade cider. This is one of many traditional ways to make your hot apple cider. It will warm you up as the days get colder, and the aroma of apples will make your restaurant or cafe smell amazing.



  • Quarter apples and cover with water in a large pot.
  • Wrap spices in cheesecloth. Add spices and the sugar to the pot.
  • Boil on high heat for 1 hour, then simmer for 2 hours.
  • Remove spices, mash apples, and strain into another container.

1. Hard Apple Cider (with Rum)

For those especially chilly days (or any day, really), there's also hard apple cider. This cider is different from the effervescent bottled version. It's not carbonated and is spiked with warm and smooth rum, making it a great option for punch bowls at parties.

Hard Apple Cider with Rum



  • Stud apple with cloves and combine it in a pot with all other ingredients, except the rum.
  • Slowly bring to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, discard the apple, and add the rum.

2. Orange Ginger Apple Cider

Ginger and orange blend together very well and evoke a holiday feeling. Although the holidays aren't quite here yet, you can get started early with this spiced apple cider.

Orange Ginger Apple Cider


  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 an orange, sliced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced


  • Combine all ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Strain and serve.

3. Salted Caramel Apple Cider

Decadent and sweet, salted caramel apple cider has a creamy texture your guests will get lost in! This indulgent recipe can be served as an after-dinner treat or even as a dessert topped with whipped cream.

Salted Caramel


  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup caramel syrup or sauce
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp. caramel syrup or sauce


  • Cook cider and cinnamon until warm. Add 1/4 cup caramel sauce to the mixture.
  • Whip cream and salt together.
  • Add 2 tbsp. caramel sauce to whipped cream and top off cups of cider with it.

4. Cranberry Apple Cider

This refreshing twist on classic apple cider blends tart cranberry juice with sweet apples. This palatable recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and the rich color emulates the changing color of the leaves! You can even add some fresh cranberries on top for extra color.

Cranberry Apple Cider


  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 tsp. whole cloves


  • Combine all ingredients in a pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with orange slices and cranberries, if desired.

5. Spiked Pumpkin Apple Cider

Everyone loves pumpkin in their cakes, scones, coffee, and beer. In fact, you can find pumpkin and pumpkin spice in so many foods and beverages, it's surprising that pumpkin apple cider isn't more popular. Serve this cider at your bar during the holidays or offer it as your specialty drink of the fall season.

Spiked Pumpkin Apple Cider


  • 1 1/2 oz. pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka
  • 2 oz. apple cider
  • 1 1/2 oz. ginger beer


  • In a cocktail shaker, add ice, pumpkin puree, vodka, and apple cider.
  • Shake and strain into glass, then add ginger beer.

With these recipes, you can expand your menu offerings and entice customers to come inside your business on colder days. Whether guests are seated at your dining tables or at your bar, a fresh cup of classic apple cider or a not-so-traditional option will revive them. Happy fall!

Posted in: Drink Recipes | By Melissa Walters

New York City's Ban on Foam Containers

UPDATE: On September 22, 2015, the New York Supreme Court overturned New York City's ban on foam foodservice containers. The court is considering recycling options that would prevent the majority of polystyrene products from entering landfills and would generate revenue for the city. Advocates for the foam ban, including city officials, plan to appeal and fight the court's decision.

On Thursday, Jan. 8, New York City announced that it will ban the use of foam containers within the city limits, according to the Wall Street Journal. The action follows a December 2013 city council decision to ban the containers unless they could be recycled, an idea that was successfully disproved by New York's sanitation department. As a result, restaurants, food carts, and every other business cannot use or sell foam containers as of July 1, 2015.

New York is the next and largest city in a long line of metropolitan areas that have banned foam containers, including San Francisco and Seattle. Businesses in these cities have sourced non-foam or even eco-friendly alternatives that work well for the same job. On the up side, supporters maintain that this trend is better for the environment. On the down side, opponents point out that foam alternatives cost more.

However, the price difference is not as drastic as it may seem. It's possible to pick out eco-friendly disposables, including cups and take out boxes, that can fall within a budget. There are even biodegradable food trays for buffets, cafeterias, and other models. They may cost a little more, but the slight increase in price is nothing compared to the cost of the fines you would receive for non-compliance.

For those concerned about an increase in expenses, New York has already planned for exceptions to the new law. Some non-profits are already exempt, as are small businesses that earn less than $500,000 per year that can prove the switch would cause undue hardship.

Last, it's important to note that this ban only affects foam containers, such as cups and boxes. The does not affect the material known as Styrofoam, which is a trademarked product of the Dow Chemical company and not used to make foam containers.

Posted in: News | By Christopher Zook
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