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#foodbeast Fast Food FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Restaurants SPONSORED What's New

Chipotle Adds Quesadillas Nationwide Complete With Dipping Sauce Tray

Every so often, I find myself torn between ordering a burrito or tacos when stopping at Chipotle. While the bowls have their own magic, there’s something special about biting into a layer of warm tortilla paired with fresh meat. It’s euphoric.

Photo courtesy of Chipotle

Imagine how much tougher that decision has become, knowing that Chipotle has now added mouthwatering build-your-own Quesadillas to their plethora of menu options. 

Oh, man.

Customers can choose from any of their favorite proteins. This includes Adobo Chicken, Steak, Barbacoa, Carnitas, and plant-based Sofritas, before filling it with their favorite accoutrements.

You can personalize it with any of their salsas and dips, so your meaty quesadillas will never be without sauce options.

The Quesadillas are available at Chipotle locations nationwide and can only be ordered online or through the Chipotle mobile app.

Created in partnership with Chipotle.

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Brand FOODBEAST SPONSORED Twitch

Kitchen League’s Highly Anticipated Grudge Match Hinges on Messy Meals and Cleaner Kitchens

Foodbeast’s Kitchen League has been stirring things up and causing commotion in Twitch’s food and beverage segment. Through a one-of-a kind a cooking competition, a live audience is able to interact with savvy chefs by triggering sabotages that can land competing cooks in hot predicaments. Not to worry, viewers are also able to grant chefs protections that could save the competitors from such sabotages. Let’s just say, things get messy.

Kitchen League’s latest matchup was sponsored by Bounty, the Quicker Picker Upper. In addition to Bounty being a true necessity in every kitchen, the match was particularly noteworthy because of the reoccurring theme: Messy Meals, Cleaner Kitchens. Intrigued?  Kitchen League judges, Chris Abouabdo and Reach Guinto, kept their discerning eyes on how conversely messy competitors’ dishes were and just how clean they could make their kitchens within the last minute of their designated cooking time. While Bounty can clean just about any mess in the nick of time, competing Kitchen League cooks were only able to earn sheets of Bounty via the protections granted to them by live viewers. 

Competitors, Josh Elkin and Malika of Hyper RPG, fulfilled the highly anticipated match. The two formidable characters had devoted fans cheering them on in the comments, as this wasn’t the first time they went head-to-head. Josh and Malika met in the Hungerdome of Kitchen League about eight months ago. After a fierce competition, Josh Elkin, the highest-ranking Kitchen League chef, caught the L and Malika walked away with the delicious taste of victory on her lips. 

Malika rolled into Bounty’s stream with confidence as she was a force to watch in the kitchen. The battle proved to be as fierce and messy as predicted, with both cooks throwing down useful Bounty hacks. Elkin used a sheet to pull off the back membrane off a rack of ribs, creating a fuss free experience for a chore that usually proves to be a thorn in many grill master’s sides. Beyond that, both Malika and Josh tried to impress judges with ambitious dishes within the 60-minute time limit: baby back ribs versus risotto/arancini balls.

When the dust settled, judges Reach and Chris declared Josh the Quicker Picker Upper Champion!  Both judges took note of Josh’s energy to crank out a hefty barbecue plate, creating his own spin on an iconic fast food rib sandwich. Though Malika earned high marks on her unique Southeast fusion arancini recipe, she suffered in the visuals and theme category, thus sealing her fate as Josh’s runner-up.  To check out all the kitchen antics and ruckus, check out the Bounty sponsored Kitchen League stream’s recap videos and tune into Kitchen League on Foodbeast’s Twitch channel.

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#foodbeast Cravings Features Food Trucks FOODBEAST Video

Visiting America’s Largest Pizzeria on Wheels

Las Vegas is the city of bigger and better. That’s where we go for brighter lights, flashier food, louder music, and harder drinks. But now, thanks to the Custom Pizza Truck, folks can also experience the largest mobile pizzeria.

That’s because Custom Pizza Truck looks more like a hulking moving van that’s been converted into a custom-built kitchen on wheels. Within its cavernous cabin lies a full-sized pizza making station complete with a wood-burning oven imported straight from Europe. This large space allows Custom Pizza Truck’s crew the ability to sling an astonishing 100 pizzas per hour!

Watch the latest Foodbeast News Bites video above to learn about Custom Pizza Truck’s transcontinental journey, as told by chef and owner Bart Waryzszak. It’s a unique story that highlights some tremendous ingenuity and dedication to bring authentic Neapolitan pizzas right to Las Vegas.

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#foodbeast Alcohol FOODBEAST Restaurants Science

How Different Types Of Sake Affect The Umami Taste In Fish

Sake has to be one of the most versatile alcoholic beverages in the world. With all of the different types and flavors available, the options in your grasp when it comes to picking a sake are almost endless. 

One thing they all have in common, however, is their synergy with seafood when it comes to umami. Research has shown that sake is much better at enhancing the sensation of umami in our mouths when compared to other alcoholic beverages like white wine.

This is because sake contains an umami compound called glutamic acid that can interact with the umami compound in seafood, called inosinic acid. The two react on our taste buds to boost the effects of umami, and sake plays a large part in supplying the glutamic acid for that burst of flavor. 

Foodbeast and Instagrammer George LaBoda @atlasandmason got to try this out firsthand while visiting Hermanito, a restaurant in Los Angeles, California. There, he met up with sake sommelier Bryan West to sample three different sakes with Hermanito’s Hamachi and Uni Agua Chili Sunomo. Each of the sakes had different properties that affected LaBoda’s perception of umami. 

jfoodo hyaku moku edited

One of the properties discussed was the ability to blend sakes, which was the case for the bottle of Hyaku Moku Alt. 3 from Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing they started with. This blend of Junmai Daiginjo and Junmai Ginjo has a collection of fruity aromas to it. LaBoda also noted that the sake and seafood together opened up flavors he couldn’t perceive with just the dish on its own.

Another property of sake the pair dove into dealt with the polishing of rice. A higher degree of rice polishing doesn’t necessarily translate to a higher quality of sake. Instead, it refers to the amount of protein left, which means that something less polished has more protein available to create a unique range of umami flavors.

In comparing the final two sakes, a Tokugetsu Junmai Daiginjo from ASAHI-SHUZO SAKE BREWING and a Shirakabegura Tokubetsu Junmai from Shirakabegura Brewery, that difference was made clear. The Asahi-Shuzo sake was a lot more balanced, and even provided a cooling effect, lending itself to the fish. On the other hand, the full, rounded, and savory flavors of the Shirakabegura sake lent to the vegetables, creating unique experiences for both sakes from the same dish. 

None of the above necessarily has to be the “ideal” or “correct” pairing for a dish. If anything, the different qualities of the sakes show that each can provide a unique experience to the meal. However, the one commonality they do have is that synergy when it comes to umami. 

Hermanito’s Hamachi and Uni Agua Chili Sunomo will be available, with the Hyaku Moku Alt. 3 sake to pair with, through the month of December as part of the Unlock Your Palate campaign by JFOODO

You can learn more about the relationship between sake and seafood, as well as other restaurants featuring it, through JFOODO’s website, or by following the hashtags #UnlockYourPalate and #SeafoodAndSake. 

Created in partnership with JFOODO.

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#foodbeast FOODBEAST Twitch

Foodbeast’s Audience-Powered Kitchen League To Debut on Amazon’s CROWN Channel

Foodbeast’s Kitchen League has been making noise and causing quite a ruckus in the live streaming segment of food and beverage by presenting a one-of-a-kind cooking competition that gives tremendous power to the audience.

The live cooking competition turns up the heat to unprecedented levels by giving all the control to the viewers in causing sabotages to the Kitchen League competitors as they race to whip up never before seen dishes in a mad dash that’s all parts of mayhem and all kinds of kitchen hijinks.

So think chefs and home cooks trying to put the finishing touches on their soufflé while blindfolded or being forced to dice all their veggies with the use of just one hand. Yup, that’s the kind of dust Kitchen League has been kicking up while live-streaming regularly on Twitch.

The thirst within the food and drink live streaming community for a communal and fun way to connect with each other has led to Kitchen League, the unruly and much cooler cousin of every televised cooking competition, making its debut on AMAZON’s Crown channel, a destination that features the best in gaming and pop culture through original live shows and programming.

Kicking things off is a three part, special King of the Hill-style battle between Kitchen League veterans Josh Elkin and The Hunger Service, and newcomer to the competition, RedVacktor.

Starting Wednesday, December 9th, RedVacktor will step into the Kitchen League for the first time to try and take it to Elkin and The Hunger Service, who will follow in the coming weeks on December 16th and December 23rd, respectively. The chef with the highest tally score comes out on top and gains all the Kitchen League glory.

To catch all the action in this unique tournament, make sure to tune in to the following:

CROWN Channel
Foodbeast Channel

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#foodbeast Alcohol Culture FOODBEAST Restaurants SPONSORED

Sake Is The Key To A Tastier Lobster Experience

Synergy is a buzzword that’s used to illustrate vividly the beautiful result of two plus parties or substances working together to achieve something more significant than the sum of their separate effects. Applying the concept to food yields scintillating possibilities, like flavor profiles being enhanced to create more dynamic and memorable dining experiences.

In one useful and powerful example, the synergy between the lauded taste of umami and sake produces a boosted dining encounter. “Umami is created by the meeting of glutamic acid — which is found in sake; you also find it in a lot of fermented food — and inosinic acid, which is found in meat and seafood like lobsters and oysters,” explains sake sommelier Bryan Patrick West. He continues, “When you get a meeting of the sake and flavors in the lobster pot pie, the union will boost the umami levels overall in your tasting experience.”

West guides Foodbeast Reach Guinto through this umami event like the wise sake sherpa he is, teaching him how to smartly pair an exquisite Lobster Pot Pie from Raw Bar by Slapfish in Huntington Beach, CA with three different sakes.

The results vary with each type of sake when eaten with the Lobster Pot Pie, yet the common thread through all three is the heightened taste of umami flavor from the synergy between the seafood and sake. Let’s take a look at the specifics:

Tamano Hikari Junmai Ginjo Yamahai Classic

“Fuller in body, nice and rich, earthy” is how West described this sake. He adds that beyond a fitting pairing to the seafood and root vegetables in the chowder, it is also bold enough to stand up to fried foods like the oyster crowning the pot pie.

Nihon Sakari Daiginjo 

“I personally think that the umami synergy between the fried oyster and this sake in particular will go really, really well,” highlighted West. Historically one of the more prominent producers of premium sake in Japan.

Amabuki Junmai Ginjo “Himawari”

The unique thing about this sake is that the brewery uses yeasts that are derived from flowers. Moreover, it’s an unpasteurized sake, literally giving it a blooming flavor profile that enhances the seafood’s flavor.

“The way I like to put it, [sake] isn’t the star of the show. It’s a really, really good supporting actor creating this savory, umami, mouthwatering note that leaves you wanting more,” illustrates West. 

Another argument can be made in support of how the umami flavor in seafood is enhanced when paired with sake via a recent experiment conducted by AISSY, Inc., a company that provides data and consulting related to the sensation of taste. The experiment revealed that sake, which contains an abundance of umami, increased the umami score no matter the food it was combined with, with the pairing of seafood like grilled lobster achieving the highest increase in umami.

With this synergy between sake and seafood making food taste better, it unlocks so many flavor possibilities through the pairing of them – whether it be through boosting some Lobster Pot Pie with Crispy Oysters as part of the Unlock Your Palate Campaign or any other seafood dish worth the extra push to titillate your palate. 

To learn more about the incredible umami synergy, click here

Created in partnership with JFOODO.

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#foodbeast FOODBEAST Packaged Food Products SPONSORED

Sweet & Salty Popcorn Is A Nonstop Party In Your Mouth

Often, truly exciting food comes in the form of an unexpected combo. Think chicken and waffles, cured meat and fresh fruit, or that oft-debated little bit of bacon that elbows its way into the syrup on a breakfast platter. The simplicity is key. Sometimes, delectability comes purely down to throwing together two foods that embody a flavor profile, like sweet and salty in the case of the aforementioned dishes. 

This, I think, is why one of my recent favorites, Cretors Cheese & Caramel Mix Popcorn, is so mind-blowingly addictive.

I’ll be honest, too, usually I’m not one for flavoured popcorn. Butter and salt is all this guy needs. But, a mix of cheese and caramel? That’s interesting enough to intrigue even the most seasoned popcorn veteran.

But beyond the fact cheese/caramel duo in and of itself is quite striking. This stuff is  amazing because Cretors is doing it right. Their tagline is “Handcrafted Small-Batch Popcorn,” a mantra that they fully live up to.

For the crucial details, the small-batch caramel is handcrafted in copper kettles, creating a complex taste, perfectly walking the line between luxurious and subtle. The cheddar, however, is not to be outdone, having been sourced from high-quality sharp cheddar cheese. Every plush kernel is evenly layered with caramel or cheese, the two flavors eventually intermingling into one explosive tasting experience. There’s a reason this is Cretors #1 selling flavor.

You can find bags of this mix, along with the rest of Cretors variety of popcorns, at most grocery stores. Go ahead and cop multiple. It’ll save you the trip once you find yourself polishing off the whole bag before you know what’s happened. 

Created in partnership with Cretors Popcorn.

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#foodbeast Brand FOODBEAST SPONSORED

Couple Hosts Pizza-Themed Reception Complete With Mozzarella Cheese Fountain

The love between two individuals can be so powerful that it becomes timeless. The same can be said about love for pizza. Put the two together, though, and you have a pizza-themed wedding for the history books.

Brooklyn pizza maker, Nino Coniglio, met his life-long love, Shealyn, while working in the pizza industry. They then both became members of the Brooklyn Pizza Crew, where they fell in love. At a Pizza Expo, Nino proposed to Shealyn onstage in front of a massive crowd.

Does everyone see the common theme here?

The couple then celebrated their union with the food that brought them together in the form of a PIZZA-THEMED WEDDING.

Nino and Shealyn kicked off their nuptials decked in custom pizza attire with a birthday party at Nino’s pizzeria, Williamsburg Pizza..

In a beautiful wedding weekend sponsored by Hormel Pepperoni, the couple tied the knot celebrating their love for one another as well as their love for pizza.

At the reception, the guests tucked into a plethora of pizza delights in the form of decked-out buffet-style tables filled with pies. Guests even got their own personal Hormel Cup ‘N Crisp goodie bags for extra toppings.

The momentous occasion took place in a beautiful venue, decorated wall-to-wall with custom pizza-inspired works of art.

Finally — because why not —the couple even had a mozzarella cheese fountain installed for guests to dunk their pepperoni cups. As far as pizza parties go, this is one for the books.

Pizza fans should also check out TheySaidIDough.com to get their hands on some commemorative pizza merch. All the proceeds will go towards the Slice Out Hunger.

We’re wishing the couple many years of happiness ahead of them, and we know it’ll be at least filled with lots of love and pepperoni. Wonder where I can snag a bag of those Cup ‘N Crisps without having to crash a wedding?

Created in partnership with Hormel Pepperoni