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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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News Products What's New

Let Cozy Season Begin With This Pizza Hut Weighted Blanket

With the temps dipping lower by the day serving as the Bat Signal for something warm and toasty, the vibes beg to be served. Because as seasons slip into fall and winter, our need to combat the chill comes around like clockwork.

The need for something warm and toasty part? Pizza Hut and Gravity Blankets know what time it is and have linked up to provide just the antidote: a giant weighted pizza blanket.

This limited edition Original Pan Weighted Blanket clocks in at 15 pounds of the warm and fuzzies and measures at 72-inches in diameter, so trust the coziness will envelope you in full. Availability is now at originalpanblanket.com and goes for $150.

Order an actual Original Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut to really fulfill the warm and toasty situation while wrapped up in the tastiest weighted blanket ever.

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Products

BoxLunch x Marvel Food Merch Collab Launches Just In Time For The Holidays

Photo courtesy of BoxLunch

With the holidays quickly approaching, we’re all struggling to get off our butts and get that gift shopping done at a reasonable pace. 

This season, pop culture retailer BoxLunch brings back their ever-popular Marvel Eat The Universe collaboration with a unique holiday-themed merchandise line. 

The lineup includes some pretty marvelous cookware that includes aprons, oven mitts, slow cookers with minimalistic Marvel Superhero designs, and even Iron Man waffle makers.

Non-kitchen apparel with food-themed Marvel superhero designs are also included in the lineup. 

You can check out the collection at BoxLunch.com/EatTheUniverse or BoxLunch stores nationwide. This collaboration should easily check off a few holiday gift ideas for me this year. 

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Alcohol Drinks Products Science

Climate Change Will Affect The Taste And Price Of Our Favorite Beers

As climate change continues to have profound effects on the weather around us, will what we eat and drink be affected as well?

One researcher from North Carolina State (NC State) University is arguing that in the case of beer, both the taste and the cost may be significantly affected.

Imagery from Dave Weatherall, Josh Olalde, and Jason Blackeye // Unsplash

In a guest post for the NC State News, associate professor of molecular and structural biochemistry Colleen Doherty discussed how the changing climate and extreme weather patterns we’re witnessing will affect the flavor compounds we find in beer.

When it comes to cost, a 2018 report from Nature has already shown that rising temperatures and drought frequency may increase the price of barley and hops, the two key agricultural ingredients in beer production.

Doherty argues that climate change today is also leading to alterations in daily and seasonal weather patterns that can effect various properties of both barley and hops.

One of the major reasons, according to Doherty, is that environmental changes will affect the terroir of hops. Similar to what you would find in wine, long-term temperature changes will alter a hop’s life cycle and influence to produce differing amounts of defensive compounds, including those that produce aromas in beer, that will change its flavor composition when added to the beverage.

Likewise, that effect on terroir can also change the ratio of protein and starch in the barley used to brew beer. This will change the quality of the extracted malt at the core of the brewing process, meaning that sweetness, carbohydrate count, protein content, and more could be affected too.

It is unclear exactly how the taste of different beers will change over time, there’s just scientific evidence that they will change. Doherty is researching that as part of her work at NC State, and as time goes on, we’ll be able to taste the difference too.

Imagery from Josh Olalde // Unsplash

Professor Doherty does note that not all changes in the taste or quality of beer in the future will be due to climate change; in fact, beer itself has been changing as processes and technology around it have changed over thousands of years.

However, climate change can and will cause changes out of our control that alter beer’s flavor and may increase its cost as well.

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Brand Products Recipes

This Easy-to-Make Nashville Hot Tots Recipe Is What You Need In Your Life

hidden valley nashville hot tots

Earlier this week, we premiered the first segment in a series of recipes inspired by Hidden Valley Ranch’s new Secret Sauces. Today we continue on with our mission to help bring effortless, Pub-style meals to your home, this time with a recipe for a HVR Nashville Hot Tots.

Let’s dive in.

Start with heating up the tots, which is as simple as following the directions on the back of whatever bag of golden delicious that lies in your freezer. 

Then it’s time to create the base of the dish’s flavor: the spice mix. While the tots are heating up, mix together one tablespoon of brown sugar, one teaspoon of chili powder, one teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and  3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper (a measurement which can, of course, be seasoned to taste based on your threshold for spice). 

Once the spices have been combined and tots have been crisped, mix the two by coating the tots in the spice mix. 

After that, it’s as simple as topping your spiced potatoes with a cheese sauce of your preference, and a healthy dose of the HVR Smokehouse Secret Sauce, the most BBQ-esque of the HVR’s Secret Sauce trio.

Realistically, though, once the tots have been tossed, the topping choices are pretty flexible. 

Just don’t forget the secret sauce, otherwise you’ll be left with an approximation that’s “missing something.” Which, as far as recreating recipes goes, is a disappointing result. The sauce is the key here, reader. 

Check out the full recipe below, and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for our next HVR Pub to Plate recipe, which will be dropping in the next couple days.

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Products

These Kitchen Knives Are Designed To Look Like Actual Samurai Swords

Would your meals taste better knowing that you made them using a samurai sword? Absolutely.

What started off as a crowd-funded campaign quickly became a success as the collaboration between legendary knife maker Sekikantsugu and Nikken Cutlery is now offering their samurai-inspired kitchen knives to the general public, Sora News reports.

The knives are based off a famous trio of famous Japanese shogun and swordsmen throughout history. This includes Edo period activist Sakamoto Ryoman, vice commander of the Shinsengumi police force Hijikata Toshizo, and Oda Nobunaga one of the greatest samurai warlords in the history of Japan.

Made with stainless steel, the knives are about 9.8 inches in length with the blade itself being about 5.5 inches. Sure they look like novelty kitchenware, but know that these handcrafted knives are extremely sharp and meticulously created for comfort and precision (much like samurai blades).

Should at least do the trick with some stubborn carrots.

You can buy them for about 7,700 yen each ($71.93 USD) here.

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Culture News Products Restaurants Science

With Just Two Ingredients, You Can Make Bread For Life

With everyone at home right now, the possibilities that all this extra time have unlocked have manifested into Tik Tok videos, Tiger King memes, and throwing down in the kitchen. Now it’s been said that man cannot live on Joe Exotic’s drip and hitting the Whoa alone, as sustenance is key to survival. And though it’s universal to all how much good use of our time has been spent on unlocking our inner Gordon Ramsays, the fact remains that groceries are at a constant flux of being fully stocked to bare shelves in such a short amount of time, with essentials like bread becoming scarce.

But what if I told you that you can literally make your own bread for life with just two simple ingredients? A raised eyebrow of skepticism is what I’d expect, sure, but the overall simplicity of what it takes to bake bread really is just that — simple.

I asked Aaron Caddel, CEO and owner of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco and Los Angeles, why bread seems to be the unlikely hero right now and also to help us understand just how easy it is to make bread for you and yours for life.

“It’s just the survival component with people. Folks got really worried for a short amount of time that there was going to be a food shortage and I think that frenzy is still there,” Caddel explains. “Then also, folks just need to stay in the house. Making bread is cheap living and an essential part of a lot of folks’ dinner tables.”

Now just like the countless businesses and restaurants that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse has had to pivot their regular business model to still serve their customers. In light of this, while also recognizing the need for bread right now, Caddel has now shifted priorities to offering Bread Starter Kits, with shipping available nationwide. Inside you’ll find everything you’ll need to bring your bread starter to life, including instructions on how to “maintain this bread starter for 100+ years,” as said on the bakeshop’s website.

But how exactly is it even possible to have a lifelong supply of bread from just two ingredients? Well first, one needs to identify that these two ingredients are literally just flour and water. But how does yeast play into this whole process? Isn’t it essential as well? These are questions I myself had at the beginning of my research for this story. To help answer that, I tapped fellow Foodbeast and resident food scientist, Costa Spyrou, for some of his gems:

While you can purchase dry active yeast from stores, it’s not necessary to make your own bread starter. The most unique custom ones come from letting your dough capture the yeast from the surrounding air. Starters of flour and water left out at room temperature (but safely covered) will capture yeast and bacteria from the area. Many wild yeast strains are species that will ferment the dough: the most common yeast species is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. As vital as these yeasts are to turning dough into bread, you also need some bacteria to help the yeast along. It’s a symbiotic relationship between the yeast and bacteria that help produce the many signature flavors of dough.

Ah science (and Costa), thank you for all the clarity you bring. And also, thank you to establishments like Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, who are still finding ways to service the community even during these challenging times. The phrase ‘let’s get this bread’ resonates now more than ever.

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Brand Products What's New

KIND Promotes Gender Equality for International Women’s Day

Photo provided by Bridgit Kasperski for Kind Healthy Snacks

KIND, known for their healthy snack bars, has announced a new initiative named KIND EQUALITY. The initiative was created to support the passing of The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which guarantees equal rights for all American citizens regardless of gender.

Originally proposed by National Women’s Party founder Alice Paul in 1923, near ratification of ERA was subsequently stopped cold 50 years later, ironically enough, by a woman named Phyllis Schlafly, leader of the Stop-ERA Campaign. That basically means it took 50 years for women to almost convince state legislatures to pass the bill before a woman-led campaign successfully prevented it. This excerpt from USHistory.org details some of the absurd arguments used to shepherd state legislatures away:

“Protective laws like sexual assault and alimony would be swept away. The tendency for the mother to receive child custody in a divorce case would be eliminated. The all-male military draft would become immediately unconstitutional. Those opposed to the ERA even suggested that single-sex restrooms would be banished by future courts.”

Another surprising tidbit is that America is one of the only modern countries that doesn’t constitutionally guarantee equal gender rights. Public polls report a staggering 80% of Americans falsely believing otherwise. Fortunately, an opportunity to successfully pass ERA has presented itself in the form of Virginia’s recent decision to become the 38th state to ratify the amendment. Originally stopped at 35, the past few years have shown a tide change. It takes 38 states for amendment ratification, after which it must traverse the hurdles of Congress and the Republican-controlled Senate. 

To raise awareness for the passing of ERA, KIND has announced the EQUALITY Bot, a quick and easy service for supporters to text elected state officials. A simple text of “Pass the ERA” to 50409 will automatically sign KIND’s petition, which will be sent directly to your state officials. If you’re then so kind as to share proof of signing to Twitter and tag @kindsnacks during March, KIND will donate $1 to the Alice Paul Institute.

Photo provided by Bridgit Kasperski for Kind Healthy Snacks

Additionally, the brand has created a limited-edition caramel almond & sea salt snack called KIND® EQUALITY bar that supports and promotes gender equality. With a minimum donation of $10,000, 100% of the proceeds will go to the Alice Paul Institute (API), a non-profit whose mission is to advance gender equality. The proceeds will assist with educating the public about ERA as well as leadership development for teen girls. Elle Lanning, Chief of Staff at KIND, offers further insight into the new initiative’s purpose:

“KIND has always used our voice to elevate kindness and empathy. In this case, our team, which is comprised mostly of women, is proud to support the ratification of the ERA. Through this program, our hope is to help solidify gender equality as a basic human right in this country, once and for all.”

KIND EQUALITY is part of KIND Snack & Give Back Project, a multi-year program to inspire kindness and empathy. The program features special edition bars, each created to support communities that “haven’t received their fair share of kindness.

If you’re looking to join the push towards making gender equality a constitutional right, you can purchase the KIND® EQUALITY bar exclusively on www.kindsnacks.com during the month of March.