By Kim O'Brien

Joyeux Noel, Fröhliche Weihnachten, and Feliz Navidad….

No matter how you say it, "Merry Christmas" is synonymous for festivities, and of course, food! You'll find just that at holiday markets scattered across the globe. These quaint Christmas villages are a centuries-old European tradition, generally running from the week of Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. You'll find them right here in the United States as well! Turns out that the WEBstaurant Store's writing team is quite the globe-trotting bunch. Check out the images of Christmas markets we've personally traveled to. Seasons Greetings (and eatings) from the WEBstaurant Store!

Hyde Park in London, England

Every Christmas season, Hyde Park transforms into a Winter Wonderland with rides, games, ice skating rinks, and more. Even the outdoor furniture is festive, made evident by the tree-shaped tables at Santa's Pub shown below. This 350 acre park is home to numerous landmarks.

Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic

This Czech Christmas market is marked by wooden huts selling homemade food (corn on the cob and sausages are their specialties) and warm drinks, especially Medovina, a warm sweet honeyed wine. The stand pictured below is selling a popular Czech dessert called “trdelink,” a sugar-crusted cake. The dough is rolled in cinnamon sugar and chopped almonds or walnuts, spread over a trdlo (wooden tube), then slowly turned on an open fire until it browns.

Strasbourg, France

Lined with hand-crafted goods and timber-style stands selling roasted chestnuts, the Strasbourg market "was like something out of a movie or song," noted our writer Brittanie C. This market is known for selling craft goods such as wood carvings and very popular miniature porcelain houses that hold candles. Spiced wine and hot spiced-orange juice are the seasonal beverages of choice!

Obernai, France

Located on the slope of the Vosges mountains, Obernai is relished for both its surrounding scenery and beautiful display lined with medieval, half-timbered houses. It's common for the crowds to wear costumes from elves and Christmas trees to medieval knights and princesses. Similar to Strousburg, hot spiced wine and orange juice are the seasonal sips of choice.

Christchindli-Märit in Interlaken, Switzerland

With the Swiss Alps looming in the background, it's hard not to be taken aback by the views that surround Interlaken's Christmas market. Lined with wooden houses and market stands, this market features craft goods, candle making, and youth choruses. Crocks of "Glühwein" (a spiced wine seasoned with oranges, cinnamon, and berries) are in abundance, as are artisan cheese and Swiss chocolate samples.

Wiener Chriskindlmarkt in Vienna, Austria

Held directly in front of Schonbrunn Castle, a trip to this Austrian market is like stepping into a quaint Christmas village. The Castle is transformed into a live Advent Calendar, counting down the days until Christmas on its illuminated windows. It's hard to resist leaving without purchasing a hand painted glass ornament, generous helpings of pretzels and gingerbread, or a souvenir mug full of hot Glühwein.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market in New York, New York

Located near the southwest entrance of Central Park, this market is is a melting pot of gifts and food embodying the spirit of New York! The enticing scents of Turkish kebabs, Mexican hot chocolate, and other ethnic cuisine are worth the trip alone. You'll find this market packed with last minute shoppers in search of unique gifts - such as the imported spices and glass mosaic lanterns shown below - in the days leading up to Christmas.

By Kim O'Brien

The WEBstaurant Store transformed their Lititz headquarters into a red carpet worthy space for the Lancaster Young Professionals (LYP) annual holiday mixer, held December 19th. This network of Lancaster County's young workforce provides career enhancement opportunities, community enrichment activities, and a channel for members to become involved and invested.

The gala couldn't have happened at a more exciting time for young professionals in the area. Just two days prior to the mixer, Lancaster was named #4 on Movato's Top 10 Most Exciting Small Cities list. Movato cited the city's population of 20 to 34-year-old residents (27 percent) as a major factor behind this high ranking!

LYP is doing its part to keep the "miniature metro" of Lancaster moving. You'll find them volunteering at area foundations, honing professional development skills at leadership panels, and hosting meet and greet mixers at local restaurants and bars. This growing group of workers is certainly an asset to the restaurant community right here in Lancaster!

Here's a sneak peek of the party:

Comfort food à la carte: Lobster Mac n' Cheese cups
Modern display trays and lighting bring a hint of silver and gold to the party
Chef Matt Schuler demonstrates how to make Shrimp Ceviche
Shrimp Ceviche served WEBstaurant Store style!
Foodservice expert Steve Ziegler puts the final touches on salad served in homemade parmesan bowls
Guests begin to file in for the food

By Steven Ziegler

Whether you need hot cups to serve your coffee, Silver Visions flatware and colored bevnaps for your parties, or sanitizer to ward off Winter colds, the December Coupon Code has everything you need! Just use the code, DECSALE to receive the discounts you see below.

Use Coupon Code: DECSALE

For any or all of the following items for the entire month of December!

By Kim O'Brien

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, but Libbey glassware has a bargain lasting until the New Year! With the purchase of select Libbey wine and beer glasses, you'll receive FREE customization. But act quickly - this offer ends on December 31, 2013.

Customized glasses do more than just add a personal touch to your tabletop. In fact, adding a logo to your glass can even help increase profits! By placing your logo at the desired fill line of your glass, you'll create a discreet, convenient pour line. This makes it easy for servers to pour a consistent amount to help control drink inventory. Learn more about uncorking profits with Libbey's Wine By The Glass guide.

Note that this free offer is limited to one color. A 24 dozen minimum order per design per order is required. To take advantage of this deal, please contact customer service at Be sure to include the following info:

  • Attached logo, submitted as a PDF
  • Your email address
  • Billing name, address, & phone number
  • Shipping name, address, & phone number

Click on each banner to view more details.

Customize this Libbey beer glass with a one color logo for free!
Customize this Libbey wine glass with a one color design for free!

By Steven Ziegler

Congrats to Linda K for winning our last giveaway! Now it's time for another. This one has a very similar, but slightly different set of items. Not only do you have great pans from Chicago Metallic and Focus, but a scale, timer, and thermometers from Taylor, and a coffee airpot from Bunn! Just enter win the box below for your chance to win!

And don't forget, concurrent to this giveaway is our Countdown to Cyber Monday Grand Prize Giveaway! You could win a Waring food processor or Waring mixer! Enter here: Grand Prize Giveaway!

Sweepstakes Rules: Open to residents, 18 and older, in the USA or Canada, residents outside these two countries must provide an address in USA or Canada. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. We hereby release Facebook,Twitter, and Pinterest of any liability.No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited. Prize is Chicago Metallic, Bunn, Focus and Taylor baking and kitchen supplies worth $436 retail. Items are brand new, but many are out of the box. The pizza pans may have some scratches, since they were used to demonstrate in a training. We are not liable damage during shipping. Enter by 12/2/2013 11pm EST. Winner will be drawn, announced, and contacted on 12/3/13. Please see additional rules in Punchtab Widget.

By Emily Gertenbach

Pennsylvania-based employees at The WEBstaurant Store stepped up their monthly community service efforts by taking part in three events in November. They kicked off the month by taking part in the Lancaster Sierra Club’s 100 tree planting event. Everyone gathered in the Lancaster County Central Park and planted a riparian buffer of 100 trees along the riverbank in less than three hours. This project will help keep the bank from eroding, improving the quality of the riverbed and surrounding areas.

Later in the month, The WEBstaurant Store held a cookie contest as the first fundraiser for The WEBstaurant Warriors, the company’s Pennsylvania Relay for Life team. There were piles of delicious cookies for tasting, and each vote was a 25 cent donation. In just one day, these great bakers raised $74.00!

To cap off the month, the company participated in The Extraordinary Give, a 24-hour countywide donation drive that raises money for a wide array of Lancaster area charitable organizations. Over 60 organizations were supported by our employees, for a WEBstaurant Store grand total of $2,242 in donations! Our donations were stretched even further by a generous matching gift from the Clark Foundation.

By Steven Ziegler

Time for the next Countdown to Cyber Monday Giveaway! In this giveaway, we're allowing you to enter in multiple ways in order to win $444 worth of baking plans and kitchen supplies from Chicago Metallic and Taylor! We're talking muffin pans, mini cheesecake pans, brownie bite pans, pizza and pie pans, bread pans, digital scales, timers and more! Ever wanted to be in the baking business? This kit will give you a great start! And stay tuned, while this giveaway ends at 11pm on Thanksgiving, we'll have another bakeware set to giveaway over the Cyber Monday Weekend!

Sweepstakes Rules: Open to residents, 18 and older, in the USA or Canada, residents outside these two countries must provide an address in USA or Canada. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. We hereby release Facebook,Twitter, and Pinterest of any liability.No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited. Prize is Chicago Metallic and Taylor baking and kitchen supplies worth $444 retail. Items are brand new, but many are out of the box. The pizza pans may have some scratches, since they were used to demonstrate in a training. We are not liable damage during shipping. Winner will be drawn, announced, and contacted on 11/29/13. Please see additional rules in Punchtab Widget.

By Steven Ziegler

As you'll see in the video below, our vendors give us all sorts of stuff! They come in and do trainings for our staff and leave us the demo items, they send us items for photos and videos, and send us items to use in our kitchen. We appreciate all of those things, but it leaves us with one problem: too much stuff.

What to do with it? Well, we thought we'd give it to the people responsible for making us so popular with our vendors: our customers! We've had a great year thanks to you, so why not let you have the things we don't need? To that end, we'll be giving away over $2000 worth of items in the next few weeks from vendors like Chicago Metallic (bakeware), Taylor (scales/thermometers), Bunn (airpot), Whip it (soda siphon), and Waring. The two grand prizes will be the Waring 929WFP16SCD food processor and the Waring Commercial 929WSM7Q 7qt mixer. These demo units alone are worth over $1000.

There will be multiple ways to win items in the next few weeks. Make sure you bookmark this blog post, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for your chances to win!

But most importantly, we're calling it the Countdown to Cyber Monday Giveaway, because on our Black Friday and Cyber Monday email flyers, you'll have the enter our two first prize machines! Sign up for our emails HERE: Cyber Monday and Black Friday Specials!

First Giveaway (ends 11/20): Like our Facebook page, and then comment on this Facebook Post with an item that you see in the video that you think may be marked. We'll choose among the correct answers on Wednesday, 11/20/2013 and pick winners for each mystery item. Also, LIKE that post, because we'll pick 10 folks who liked the post to receive pocket thermometers. Entries must conform to the rules below and be received by 11:59am on 11/20/2013. Winners were selected, you can find them in the comments on the Facebook post mentioned above.

Second Giveaway (ends 11pm 11/28/13) Win $444 worth of Baking supplies! See our post for multiple ways to win! Click here: $444 Bakeware Giveaway! Countdown to Cyber Monday Part two!

Grand Prize Rules: Open to residents, 18 and older, in the USA or Canada only excluding Rhode Island. Void where prohibited. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability.No Purchase Necessary. Grand Prize Entries must be received by 11:59pm 12/5/2013. Winners will be drawn, announced, and contacted via email on 12/6/13. One contestant will win a demo unit Waring WFP16SCD food processor with a continuous feed and batch bowl. Another contestant will win a demo unit Waring WSM7Q 7qt mixer. Please note: all of these items are sample and demo units. Some are new in package, some are out of package, and some have been used in a demo once or twice. All are in new or "like-new" condition.  

By Kim O'Brien

Unsure of what drinks to serve with Thanksgiving dinner? Holiday cocktails are always a hit, but nothing beats a traditional glass of wine shared with family and friends. There's even mention of wine on New England food supply accounts from the 1600's - and it doesn't get more traditional than the pilgrims themselves! (On the other hand, it was probably a safer bet to drink alcohol than contaminated colony water.)

While the settlers of Plymouth Colony probably weren't raising glasses of Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir, modern day America offers plenty of vino varieties to bring to the dinner table. Today there's a wine to pair with any Thanksgiving recipe, from turkey to pumpkin pie. Just stick to a few rules of thumb. A semi-dry, semi-sweet white wine best complements turkey. Keep in mind that the sweeter your white wine, the bolder your entree seasonings should be. Red wine, on the other hand, is best served lighter and brighter as to not overpower food flavors.

For more wine serving resources, view the following:

Thanksgiving Wine Notes
Tableside Wine Serving Tips
Current Wine Trends

By Kim O'Brien

If there's one commonality that brings the world together, it's food. The manner in which food is consumed and dispersed, however, reveals vast differences between nations. The WEBstaurant Store took a closer look at global calorie consumption figures and their relation to income, rate of underweight and overweight children, and life expectancy. Click on the interactive World of Food graph below to view each country's data. The results may surprise you!

To view each country's results, click the image below:

Data Sources:

Calories Consumed refers to the average amount of calories available for human consumption per day. Note that the number of calories consumed may be lower than reported due to the amount of food waste that is not taken into account (particularly in countries with higher incomes per capita). Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAOSTAT)

Percent of Income Spent on Food is based off of each country's self-reported figures. Figures are obtained from random household expenditure surveys. Note that because these numbers are self-reported, accuracy of data is susceptible to bias. Sources: African Development Bank,U.S. Department of Agriculture

Rate of Childhood Obesity and Rate of Underweight Children figures are based off of independent country reports obtained by the World Health Organization. This data defines "overweight" as being 2 standard deviations above the national average and "underweight" as being 2 standard deviations below the national average for all children age 5 and under. Note that because these numbers are self-reported, accuracy of data is susceptible to bias. Sources: World Health Organization (Childhood Obesity), World Health Organization (Underweight Children)

Notes on Atypical Results:

Egypt: Figures reported for Egypt are atypical compared to other developed counties. This includes high rates of overweight children, underweight children, and percent of income spent of food. These atypical results demonstrate the disparity between developed regions of the country vs. impoverished regions in light of Egypt's economic crisis. As revealed in Calories Consumed figures, Egypt does have food available; however, economic instability has led to significant poverty increases that leave a large portion of the country unable to purchase food. Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Mauritania: Figures reported for Percent of Income Spent on Food in Mauritania are also atypical. A possible explanation is the still widespread practice of force-feeding girls as part of a cultural bias towards obesity in women. Source: CNN Cable News Network

Map does not show results for countries with insufficient data.

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