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SIAL Paris 2014: The Highlights

November 27, 2014 11:30 am

This year marked the 50th anniversary of SIAL Paris: the largest food trade show in the world. From October 19-23, the event played host to no fewer than 155,766 visitors, along with 6,500 exhibitors from 104 countries around the world. The sheer scale of the event was unbelievable. The whole event was put together incredibly efficiently, with plenty to keep both visitors and exhibitors busy for the whole five days. Cafe Asia Managing Director, Amit Bhavsar, was thoroughly impressed by the experience, and here at Cafe Asia we’ll undoubtedly be exhibiting again in the future.

SIAL Paris 2014 was...a big confidence boost.

One key thing that we took away from this year’s SIAL exhibition was confirmation that we’re working along the right lines. Says Amit: “For me, the most useful part of the event was acknowledgment from the industry and key decision-makers that we are doing the right thing:...

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A brief history of the samosa

November 26, 2014 11:30 am

Ubiquitous, delicious and wonderfully simple, the samosa is rightly given a prominent place in Indian cuisine - and here at Cafe Asia we've been making samosas for over 30 years. Its marriage and variety of textures and flavours make for worldwide popularity. Its ingredients - usually a combination of subtle spices and vegetables or meat in a pastry triangle - make for a nutritious and satisfying dish.

A snack with complex roots...

Despite being regarded as a staple of Indian cooking, the samosa’s roots are decidedly more complex. Its origins can be traced in gastronomic literature to 10th century Middle Eastern cuisine. Early medieval Persian texts make reference to the sanbosag, an early relative of the samosa and an etymological cousin of the Persian pyramid, samsa. Throughout Arabic cooking history, sanbosag, sanbusaq and sanbusaj are all present: regional and dialectal varieties of a dish travelling by trade routes from North Africa...

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Spanish food traditions and new approaches

November 14, 2014 11:15 am

While the concept of street food is very much a part of Spanish culture, it is still far more common to eat tapas or, as they are often called in the UK now, ‘small plates’, in a bar with friends. In some Spanish bars tapas have evolved from the simple yet tasty fare that includes mixed olives, tortillas, cheeses, boquitos (deep fried squid), allioli (garlic mayonnaise), patatas bravas and cured meats such as jamon iberico.

This food evolution has resulted in a highly sophisticated approach to the creation of tapas and it is suggested that the tradition was the result of originators such as San Sebastian based chef-patron Aloña Berri creating alta cocina en miniature - or miniature haute cuisine - in the eighties. However, it is still possible to find bars serving superb tapas all over Spain without...

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Interview with the British Retail Consortium

November 6, 2014 12:27 pm

The British Retail Consortium is the trade association for the entire retail industry across the UK. They monitor everything from clothing, footwear and homeware to electricals, jewellery and, our speciality, food.

When it comes to food businesses, they monitor every stage of production, from supply and manufacture to storage and retail, for the purpose of ensuring safety, hygiene and quality standards. Participating companies are BRC-certified, providing a standard that is recognised both in the UK and globally.

David Brackston, Technical Director, is responsible for managing the BRC Global Standards. As we ensure all our suppliers are BRC certified, we had a chat with David to find out just what that means.

Setting the standard

“The BRC as an entity is in two parts,” David tells us. “We have a part of...

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