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#foodbeast Culture Food Trends Recipes

8 Things We Learned To Make In Quarantine

2020 has been the year of adjustments, making the best of what the predicament of a pandemic has given us. For many, the pivot to the kitchen has been significant, allowing us to explore our inner chefs and bakers, turning the sudden free time we have into a discovery of dishes we never knew we had the talent to make.

The results of this fervor of kitchen talents have manifested in viral trends, ranging from banana bread to whipped dalgona coffee. Sure, it’s been a tumultuous year for everyone, but at least here’s a reminder of the silver lining that these dishes have been in helping us pass these quarantine times.

1. BREAD

Whether it was mastering the alchemy behind the perfect loaf of sourdough or nailing the ideal moistness in banana bread, folks were in some fervor over their newfound baking prowess.

2. DALGONA COFFEE

The dalgona coffee craze was the hit of early quarantine times, taking the internet by storm in all it’s whipped glory. Sure you’ll get an arm workout out of it, too, but the gym’s have been closed for the most part so there you go.

3. THE PERFECT STEAK

Have you ever reverse seared a steak? It’s definitely something to explore in the kitchen, which many of us did as we spent more time in it this year. Face it, a perfectly crusted, beefy, tender, and juicy medium rare steak goes a long way in curving the quarantine blues.

4. CLOUD BREAD

Sure, bread was already mentioned on this list, but the airy wonder that is cloud bread deserves its own entry. It’s really nothing that many of us have seen before, crediting its viral success to the ultra fluffy texture, as if you were biting straight into a nimbus in the sky.

5. HOT COCOA BOMBS

This treat drew fans from the sweet surprise it revealed once hot milk was poured onto it. As the cocoa bomb melted away, it revealed a cluster of tiny marshmallows while flavoring the milk, creating a concoction of heavenly, wintery bliss.

6. TORNADO EGGS

The supremely satisfying aesthetics of tornado eggs were the selling point here, unveiling a savory yellow rose that was hard to resist. Sat atop a steaming mound of rice and you have yourself a dish that’s sure to awaken your senses each morning.

7. PANCAKE CEREAL

Everybody is a sucker for irresistible little bites, whatever they may be. Pancakes, though? The unexpected yet adorable downsizing of the breakfast staple had us scouring the internet for the best recipe to replicate at home.

8. GROWING YOUR OWN VEGGIES

The trend of growing your own veggies, particularly green onions, grew in popularity for its high utility aspect alone. This definitely was a useful and handy option, especially if it saved you a trip from making a run to the store.

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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

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#foodbeast Alcohol Drinks FOODBEAST Recipes SPONSORED

Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos With Tequila Sunrise Slushies

Alcoholic seltzers have resolutely established themselves as the predominant drink of this summer. If you’re going to have to sit around the house, it may as well be with a drink that’s easy to sip, light, and refreshing.

Less known, however, is that, while delicious on their own, their fruity flavors and light fizz make the seltzers quite the cocktail mixer. And, in the summer of at-home seltzer drinking, a vacation-worthy cocktail is always needed.

In honor of this, we teamed up with Bud Light Seltzer to create a couple of recipes that’ll send you to the beach on the very first sip. 

This drink takes inspiration from the ever-popular Tequila Sunrise, as well as the upcoming Dia De Los Muertos. 

By turning a tequila sunrise into a slushie and adding some bubbly seltzer, this cocktail will liven up any weekend (or hey, maybe weekday!) spent at home. 

The full recipe for the slush is below, and if you’re in California, make sure to take a look at iHeartRadio and Bud Light’s sweepstakes, as it could land you a $500 gift card to a local Hispanic grocery store. Click here to enter.

This recipe collab is featured at participating hispanic grocers.

Mango Tequila Sunrise Slush

Yields: 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 can Bud Light Seltzer Mango
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups ice
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 2 tablespoon grenadine syrup
  • Mini sugar skull candy and orange slices for garnish

METHOD: 

  1. Freeze the orange juice in an ice tray a couple hours beforehand. 
  2. Add the “orange cubes” into a blender along with the ice, tequila, and seltzer. 
  3. Blend!
  4. Add the grandine to the bottom of a glass, then pour in the slushie directly on top.
  5. Garnish with orange peel. 

And that, my friends, is really about it. These things are dangerously easy, taking no more than a couple minutes to whip up. 

And I say that to say this: that twelve pack of seltzers isn’t going to last long.

Created in partnership with Bud Light.

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#foodbeast Alcohol Drinks FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Recipes SPONSORED

Hard Seltzer’s The Trick To A Perfect Floating Margarita

The birth of the margarita is much disputed. There are various origin stories, stretching from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, but lost among these wildly specific theories is the fact that the margarita may simply be a variation of a Prohibition-era drink, The Daisy.

The two drinks are remarkably similar– the only difference is that the margarita swaps out The Daisy’s brandy for tequila. In fact “margarita” is the Spanish word for “daisy.” So oddly enough, regardless of the true genesis of the margarita’s journey to stardom, it’s likely that it may have been a result of someone playing with the recipe of an already popular drink.

The lesson here, my friends, is that good things can always be improved upon. Inspired by this ideal, our latest recipe, in collaboration with Bud Light Seltzer, is our own twist on the margarita.

Keeping the essence of fruit in mind, we swapped out the traditional orange-flavored triple sec for a Bud Light Strawberry seltzer. This creates a smoother drinking experience, mellowing out the tequila enough to give consistent, well-rounded sips.

We also threw in some frozen strawberries, which helps the drink blend into a fluid, almost creamy, consistency, while giving things a refreshing edge that compliments the acidity of the lime.

With a rim of chili lime seasoning, and a fresh strawberry to garnish, this drink will certainly make me head to the fridge for a seltzer and some frozen strawberries the next time I get a craving for a margarita.

Check out the full recipe below, and, if you’re in California, make sure to enter iHeartRadio and Budlight Seltzer’s sweepstakes, which could land you a $500 gift card to one of your local Hispanic grocery stores. Click here to enter.

This recipe collab is featured at participating hispanic grocers.

Iceberg Strawberry Margarita

Yields: 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 can Bud Light Seltzer Strawberry
  • Chili Lime Seasoning for garnish
  • Fresh lime & strawberry for garnish

METHOD:

  1. Prepare 2 glasses with a chili lime rim using lime juice. 
  2. In a blender, combine frozen strawberries, ice, tequila, lime juice and agave and blend until smooth. 
  3. Divide Bud Light Seltzer Strawberry into prepared glasses. Slowly pour blended margarita into the glasses. Garnish with a lime round and strawberry.

Created in partnership with Bud Light.