Cafe Asia food industry news: July 2015

July 31, 2015 9:17 am

Welcome to this month’s Cafe Asia newsletter. While the balmy summer weather continues, we’re busy gearing up for Anuga: the world’s leading food fair for the retail trade and the food service and catering market, taking place in October. We’re still working hard, though - including putting together our monthly newsletter. So here are the top headlines from the catering, manufacturing, cash and carry and food service sectors, giving you an insight into some of the major developments, news stories and movings and shakings… Food and nutrition security to be boosted in at least 35 countries... A new partnership agreement has been launched by the EU and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation: an agreement which has the aim of boosting sustainable agriculture, resilience and food and nutrition security in a minimum of 35 countries. Announced on July 16th, the initiative incorporates two five-year programmes, both of...

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Garam masala – what, exactly, is it?

July 30, 2015 8:12 am

Garam masala seems to crop up in every Indian recipe under the sun, and in more than a few from elsewhere in southern Asia. Tandooris, biryanis and tikkas all use it, in Pakistan it’s added to pilau rice, and in Nepal it’s a final seasoning for soups and marinades. It’s one of the first things you’ll need in your Indian store cupboard and you can either buy it by the jar from almost any supermarket or make your own: but what on earth is it? What it’s not Denise D'silva Sankhe gets it right: it’s definitely not curry powder, which is a convenience product for the Western market, and it’s not really the generic stuff out of a jar either. The traditional Indian cook will have whole and ground spices to hand, and will bring layers of spice together, dish by dish. Somewhere between...

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Six Far East food trends popular in Asia

July 27, 2015 7:32 am

When it comes to trends, food moves as fast as fashion these days: from cereal cafés to kimchi, superfoods to street food, barely a week goes by where we don’t learn about some new, exotic dining experience. We’ve explored in some detail the Asian food trends in the UK but what’s happening further afield? What trends are causing waves in the home of spice; the Far East? India You might think that Indian culture is still all for authentic, home-cooked curries, but as a fast-developing country with plenty of youngsters living busy lives, it seems that a young generation of Indians are following in the West’s footsteps.

Meals on wheels are popping up at train stations and on trains and buses as there is demand for food on the go. Snacks...

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Four classic Indian herbs and spices to grow at home

July 24, 2015 2:16 pm

Whether it’s austerity cutting into your wallet or concerns about the mileage of your food, now is a great time to join the grow-at-home craze. The Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) reported that the number of UK home growers are beginning to sprout upwards: 2.7% of all food eaten at home was homegrown in 2012. A year later, that figure grew to 3.5%. Growing your own food is nourishment for the soul as well as the stomach. The satisfaction of using your own coriander seeds in a homemade curry powder will not only give you a sense of achievement, but you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ve avoided nasty pesticides, too. Coriander Ubiquitous across the curry spectrum, coriander makes a versatile companion and great-looking garnish for Indian and other Asian dishes. Coriander seeds and leaves are both useful ingredients – growing...

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Supermarket sweep – how Aldi and Lidl are changing British shopping

July 21, 2015 9:47 am

Aldi and Lidl aren’t exactly newcomers to the UK food scene - Aldi opened its first UK branch in 1990 and Lidl joined them in 1994 - but their slow growth has, year by year, changed the way in which consumers shop and altered their expectations of the supermarket industry itself. In 2012 they were viewed as each others’ main competitor, offering a cheap alternative to the so-called Big Four (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons), but in the last few years the competition has shifted. The Big Four are struggling and the discounters are picking up their market share. What’s changed? Both Aldi and Lidl enjoyed an approximate 5% share of the market in 2014: this might, on the surface, not seem like much when Morrisons alone hold 11% and Tesco, the largest of the Big Four, are sitting pretty on 29%. The truth...

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How to host the perfect curry night at home

July 1, 2015 1:07 pm

Indian food is famously a favourite takeaway and restaurant cuisine over here in the UK. But with so many options out there and all of those Indian cookbooks available, why not try a curry night at home? Here are some tips for hosting a great curry night. Variety is the spice of life The best thing about throwing an Indian banquet is that you can present various options and guests can pick and choose their own dishes. This is as true for your curries as your side dishes. The first thing to remember is that not everyone likes spicy food - but that doesn't mean they can't enjoy curry. Everyone has a different tolerance for these things, so be sure to provide a range of options from mild to spicy, and super hot if you're feeling brave! A sauce determines how hot a curry is. Vindaloo dishes lie at the...

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