February 2017 WebstaurantStore Coupon Code Update Discounts on high chairs, french fry cutters, Ghirardelli cocoa powder and more!Read More
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs With a thin, chocolate coating and a subtle, creamy, peanut butter center, these are the best peanut butter eggs anywhere. Get the recipe here.Read More
The Resurgence of American Whiskey The history of American whiskey is long and complicated. Check out our blog and infographic to learn about the rise, fall, and resurgence of America's native spirit.Read More
Foodservice & Restaurant Industry Trends 2017 Foodservice trends change every year, so staying up-to-date on the latest developments for 2017 is important for your restaurant’s success.Read More
Beer Battered Fish Tacos Recipe Fish tacos are a delicious summer dish that is perfect all year round. Check out our recipe made with Stone Tangerine Express IPA and add it to your bar menu.Read More
How to Host a St. Patrick's Day Bar Crawl As a bar owner, you know how important a good St. Patrick’s Day celebration can be for your business. Learn more about hosting a bar crawl in this post.Read More
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Bread Pudding Recipe Brown sugar cinnamon bread pudding is a delicious dessert, especially when made with Torani flavoring syrup. Check out our recipe to make this tasty treat!Read More
As the winter snow starts to melt away and the flowers start to bloom in spring, it's a great time to make some seasonal candies. Our chocolate peanut butter eggs are the perfect treat to stock your bakery, candy shop, or diner with this Easter season.
Made with smooth peanut butter and coated in rich chocolate, these peanut butter eggs perfectly blend sweet and salty for a delicious, homemade flavor that's sure to be a hit with your customers. We add paraffin wax to this recipe because it makes the chocolate coating shiny and adds a nice snap that contrasts well with the creamy peanut butter. This recipe requires no baking and is very easy to prepare, so it's simple to make these eggs in bulk.
This recipe makes between 12 and 24 eggs depending on the size of your molds. Peanut butter eggs are a delicious homemade treat to have in your candy shop or bakery around Easter, and you can display them near your cash register as an eye-catching impulse buy.
Whiskey is an ancient beverage that's been an integral part of American history and culture since it was brought here by early Irish settlers. From George Washington to Don Draper, many famous real and fictional figures have contributed to the popularity of America’s native spirit. But where did this drink come from, why did it fall out of fashion, and why are we just now seeing it come back? In this post, we’ll discuss the beginnings, decline, and resurgence of American whiskey. Cheers!
Whiskey is truly a part of American culture. It was brought to the New World by Irish settlers in the early 17th Century, and it quickly became a staple beverage. In fact, George Washington owned the largest distillery during his time, with the building measuring a whopping 75-by-30 feet. The implementation of whiskey taxes even caused a rebellion by Pennsylvania distillers in 1794.
Prohibition had a huge impact on the whiskey industry, forcing some distillers underground and causing others to go out of business entirely. However, whiskey was also used for medicine during this time, much like medical marijuana today. In 1933, when Prohibition ended, many Americans grew accustomed to the taste of Canadian whiskey because Canadian distillers didn’t have to go out of business during the long stretch of Prohibition in the U.S.
WWII stopped a lot of whiskey production because distilleries had to use their equipment and resources to make things like explosives and antifreeze for the war effort. After the war, corn, rye, and other grains had to be used for food. This didn’t change the fact that whiskey was a popular drink with G.I.s who had returned home.
The 1950s saw a surge in the popularity of lower proof blended whiskey, which was commonly used in mixed drinks. However, higher quality, straight whiskey was also popular at this time.
Straight American whiskey is made with a fresh mash of grains and aged in charred, new oak barrels. Distillers can mix whiskey from different barrels (as long as they come from the same state as the original product). The only other way distillers can alter straight whiskey is by filtering it or diluting it with water.
Blended American whiskey is a mixture of at least 20% straight whiskey and other higher proof spirits, colorings, or flavorings. Blended whiskey is usually less expensive than straight whiskey, but there are premium, sought-after blended options, as well.
The industry took a turn again in the 1970s, when young people (read: hippies) didn’t want to drink a beverage that they associated with their parents and grandparents. Other spirits like vodka grew in popularity, and whiskey went through a decline. In fact, 1973 saw vodka sales outstrip whiskey sales for the first time in U.S. history.
In the 1980s and 90s, the club scene was booming, and consumers weren’t buying bottles of liquor to enjoy at home as much as they were going out and drinking. Still, drinks like vodka were ahead of whiskey in terms of sales and popularity.
This sales decline led to an inventory increase for many distilleries, including Michters's distillery, where master distiller Dick Stoll was working at the time. "Whiskey inventory in the 80s and 90s didn’t decline for us - we had an overabundance of whiskey," Stoll tells us. Of the decrease in sales, he says, "Keep in mind that hard spirits could not advertise on TV, and there were loads of ads for wine coolers in the early 80s."
Today, whiskey consumption is increasing at a rapid rate. So, how did whiskey come back from this great decline? Erik Wolfe of Stoll & Wolfe distillery in Lititz, Pennsylvania attributes this in part to the explosion of craft beer, food, and wine. He says that a lot of the questions people learned to ask (from getting into craft beer) translate perfectly to the world of craft whiskey. “As knowledge of an art form grows, so does appreciation for it,” Wolfe explains. But, as the art of whiskey grows, what will the future hold for this spirit so ingrained in our history?
As it turns out, the consumers who are bringing whiskey back today don’t fall into the same demographic categories as the people who popularized it before.
Perhaps surprisingly, more and more women are turning to whiskey, and craft whiskey in particular. One source states that women make up a whopping 37% of whiskey drinkers. We asked Laura Johnson, a professionally trained distiller who is currently in the process of opening You & Yours Distilling Co. in San Diego, to comment on this shift.
"I would assume women have always enjoyed drinking whiskey, it's just being written about a lot more these days," she explains. "Having said that, there are without a doubt more and more women dipping their toes into aged spirits. I would imagine this stems from the female knack for identifying and creating flavors." As more and more women become whiskey drinkers, the industry is sure to grow to meet that demographic.
Whiskey is no longer necessarily a drink for older people either. Many young adults (this means over 21, of course) are turning to the spirit that, in the 60s, was viewed as an older man’s drink. Younger whiskey lovers are starting their own distilleries across the country, too. Johnson, who also writes about craft cocktails and liquor on her blog Distillerista, is the perfect example of this change in demographics.
"I think it's safe to say that 10-15 years ago, whiskey was still widely considered an "old man's" drink, and now it's the go-to choice of hipsters and millennials everywhere," she says. The fact that whiskey is being popularized by the next generation can only mean good things for the beverage moving forward.
So, where does whiskey go from here? We talked to Lew Bryson, a whiskey and beer writer and author of Tasting Whiskey, who told us, “American whiskey is doing well, as well as it has for over 50 years, and I don't see that changing soon. As long as producers stay honest and strive to make the best whiskey that they can, we're in for a long stretch of good drinking.”
If you’ve never tried whiskey before or are thinking of adding a selection of craft whiskeys to your restaurant menu, why not give it a shot? As more and more consumers learn how to appreciate whiskey, the industry is only on its way up.
Just like in any art form, trends in the culinary world are constantly shifting to reflect the ever-changing interests and needs of people. Keeping up with these trends is important to restaurant owners, chefs, and really anyone working in the foodservice industry.
Each year, we attend trade shows like NAFEM and NRA to stay up to date on the most recent emerging foodservice trends. These shows offer a great opportunity to exchange ideas with other people in the industry and help us stay abreast of any new information that might inform our decisions as we move forward. This year, we learned about everything from remote-controlled ovens to cooking with fire. After finding out about all the forecasted developments in restaurant equipment, service, food, and even technology, we look forward to a 2017 filled with delicious cuisines and intelligent innovations!
With constantly changing technology and food trends, it makes sense that the equipment used would change, too. We've made a list of what experts think will be in every chef's kitchen in 2017.
With open kitchens and front-of-house prep becoming more popular, you'll see a lot of visually appealing equipment showing up. This includes ovens and fryers in bright colors as well as sleek touchscreens replacing knobs and buttons.
Since restaurant kitchen space is always at a premium, more and more places will be adopting equipment that can perform multiple functions. This includes combi and rapid cook ovens, which combine multiple cooking methods to prepare different types of food.
In 2015, the EPA released a new program dealing with residential and commercial refrigerant standards. This year, we'll see more establishments replacing their old units to comply with these standards.
Front-of-house servingware that reminds us of years gone by is growing in popularity. This includes everything from rustic hand-thrown pottery dishes to enamel-plated servingware that looks like it came from retro kitchens.
Paella pans are everywhere this year. These large, flat pans can be used as oven-to-table cookware for family-sized, sharable portions of appetizers, dips, and even entrees.
While color coding has always been used with knives and cutting boards to avoid cross-contamination, that system is now featured in more prep and front-of-house tasks. Expect to see color-coded tongs, scoops, measuring cups, and other similar items.
From the way food is prepared to the look of the building, there are a lot of ways the foodservice industry can change. So, here are the overall trends in the industry that we'll be seeing in the coming year.
Modern diners want to know what they're getting when they eat out. More restaurants will be breaking down the walls between their front- and back-of-house areas to show off their kitchens. This includes fine dining as well as fast casual restaurants.
This one isn't new, but it is still popular. Using local ingredients helps to stimulate the local economy, get businesses involved with nearby farmers, and ensure freshness in your dishes. Is it really a surprise this trend is still popular?
To get your bar in on the hyper-local trend, consider growing a small herb garden with fresh mint for mojitos or basil, lavender, and rosemary for creative cocktails. You'll see these popping up all over, giving businesses fresher ingredients and customers something to talk about.
Reducing food waste is not only good for the environment, but also for your wallet. Foodservice establishments everywhere will be getting rid of their culinary by-products this year. One example of this is craft breweries offering spent grains as feed to local farms or making it into homemade granola.
Fast casual restaurants have been competing with traditional fast food for several years now, and we should expect more of the same in 2017. Expect fast casual drive-thru windows and more value options cropping up on fast casual menus.
We're taking it back to basics! Restaurants are going to start making new foods in an old way by cooking with open fire. In the coming months, expect to see smoked foods, wood-burning ovens, and open flame cooking in trendy open kitchens.
Every era has quintessential dishes that define the decade. From "Jell-O surprise" in the 30s to fondue in the 70s, food trends seem to reflect the times in which they reign. So, what's in store for us this year?
From house-made dill spears to kimchi and kombucha, 2017 will feature funky flavors and medicinal drinks that are good for the gut. While yogurt has been in vogue for a while now, we expect savory uses of yogurt to really make an appearance this year.
We expect African delicacies like lamb tagine and harissa to make their way to local eateries. This year, we'll see culturally authentic dishes as well as ethnically-influenced fusions take the spotlight. Think harissa BBQ sauce… yum!
Proteins no longer need to be the star of the plate. We'll start to see vegetable-based dishes, like cauliflower prepared as if it were beef—butchered, grilled, then served on a bed of polenta.
You may have heard of spiralized zucchini (or "zoodles") taking the place of traditional noodles. Well, this year, we're taking it one step further to explore pastas made from ingredients like lentil or chickpea flour, which are both gluten free and packed with protein.
Icing will be swirled with color, and cupcakes will be topped with rainbow sprinkles. French macarons in pastel shades will continue to make an appearance, and we also expect to see elaborate mashups of experimental combinations. Waffle cake, anyone?
Just as pickling is an age-old preservation process, creatively cured meats are also coming back into style. We expect to see more restaurants offering charcuterie boards, including small bites of specialty meats paired with jams, cheeses, mustards, and breads.
It's no secret that the smartphone has changed the way we live, even the way we cook, order, and pay for food. It seems like there's an app for everything, and restaurant technology is following suit.
Smart cooking technology is emerging as a way to alleviate some of the stress surrounding time-sensitive recipes. Some of these devices can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet, so chefs can control their equipment on the go.
Apps like Grubhub, Doordash, and UberEats are available in many cities around the globe, but we’ll likely see their reach broaden in 2017. We’ll probably see some similar apps emerge, too, as more customers enjoy the convenience of ordering delivery from their mobile devices.
Online ordering and kiosks can make it easier for customers to see all their options before choosing what they want to eat. We expect these new technologies to increase efficiency by allowing customers to place their order before they arrive or without having to wait in line.
From card readers to processing programs, technology is opening up new ways to pay. Many business owners (especially food truck and farm stand proprietors) will benefit from the ability to accept credit card payments right on their mobile devices.
Ziosk is a popular tabletop device at fast casual restaurants because it allows diners to pay at their leisure. Some devices even allow customers to place orders directly on the device, without having to wait for a server, so don’t be surprised if you see more touch screens in 2017.
While vending machines may not be new, they continue to be relevant, and people are finding new ways of filling them with unusual food items. You may also have seen restaurants with sushi conveyer belts. We expect the trend of automation to expand this.
In all of these trends emerging in 2017, it’s easy to spot some interesting contrasts that seem like contradictions but may actually be complementary.
With the resurgence of locally-sourced ingredients and time-honored techniques (like pickling and curing), it’s clear that more people are embracing the old ways of handling food. The focus is shifting towards quality rather than convenience when it comes to how ingredients are sourced, processed, and stored. Conversely, the modern age has brought with it a slew of technological advances to increase efficiency. Touch screens, apps, and even remote-control kitchen equipment has made foodservice more convenient for cooks and customers alike.
So, while people may want to go back to basics, they’re also expecting that these familiar simplicities keep up with their modern lifestyles. Whether it’s a delivery service, a mobile credit card reader, or an ordering kiosk, many foodservice professionals are finding new ways to serve up fuss-free food.
Another interesting contrast we can point out in this year’s trend forecast is between origins of recipes versus the origins of their ingredients. Global flavors are taking off, as people want their food to tell a story they may not have heard before. Ethnic cuisines are finding their way into familiar kitchens, and many dishes are becoming a celebration of heritage. But, these world recipes are assembled with locally-grown produce, acting almost as a melding of near and far.
It’s not all fast food chains and greasy burgers anymore. Even fast casual establishments are putting a healthy or cultural spin on their dishes as more people are demanding to know where their food came from, what’s in it, and what’s special about it. Diners want to be the first to tell their friends about the next exciting thing in food, whether it’s a shawarma truck or a taco stand.
The best restaurants are the ones that pick up on trends and make them their own. They find ways of giving people something new and exciting with a twist to stand the test of time. Of course, not every restaurant can adopt all of the most recent food trends. The best approach is to identify one or two trends that can easily be translated to suit your brand. It could be as simple as offering a limited-time menu item or as involved as rolling out a whole new concept. The most important thing is to stay true to your vision and cook great food. Here’s to a successful year!
Nothing says summer like refreshing citrus, and our fish taco recipe is bursting with strong tangerine flavor. By seasoning our fish with tangerine zest, the citrus blends with the savory and spicy batter to create a nice depth of flavor. We also added Stone Tangerine Express IPA to our batter because the carbonation makes the batter light, and the tangerine in the beer complements our slaw. Additionally, the jalapeno and cayenne pepper give these fish tacos a spicy kick that cuts through the bitterness of the hoppy IPA. This recipe is quick and simple to make, and the hardest part is not drinking all of the Stone Tangerine Express IPA before you add it to the batter.
While our beer battered fish tacos are inspired by summer, they are great all year round. The sweet flavor from the tangerine and the bitterness of the hops in the Stone Tangerine Express IPA help to set this recipe apart from other fish tacos. This recipe is simple to make and pairs well with any citrus-y IPA, making it a great addition to your bar or restaurant menu.