The spooky season is upon us: pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, scary movies and bats in shop windows. That’s in America and the UK, anyway. In Europe, the celebrations go hand in hand with the more sombre Catholic festivals of All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day on the 1st and 2nd of November. But what about Asia? Is there anything to celebrate? And if there is, how’s it done? As in Catholic Europe, Halloween in Asia is a time to remember loved ones who have passed away - and the specific traditions differ from country to country. China and Hong Kong In China and Hong Kong, it’s called Zhong Yuan Jie or Yu Lan Jie, the Night of the Hungry Ghosts. The celebrations see offerings of water and food left for the dead, and lanterns are lit to guide their spirits across the land of the living. Pilgrims...Read More
For those living in the West, the bright and colourful pictures of neon-clad Japan reflect a wonderful and sometimes strange image. When the subject of Japanese food is mentioned, many westerners would struggle to come up with more than “sushi” and “sake”. There is, of course, much more to Japanese food than that. After the recession in the the 1990’s, the early 2000s began to see a pickup in the food sector in Japan, but perhaps not in the way you might expect. Real restaurant innovations began to show through and it was these that were drawing the biggest crowds.
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There was a time when British supermarket shelves were home to a single type of soy sauce – dark, mysterious, exotic and not terribly authentic. In the years that followed, British shoppers were spoilt for choice between the glamorous delights of ‘Light Soy Sauce’ and ‘Dark Soy Sauce’. Luckily, the growth of Pan-Asian cuisine in the UK has led to the increasing availability of authentic Asian ingredients, including a wide variety of soy sauces, representing the subtle but important differences between varieties of this staple ingredient across Asia.
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We may have hinted, once or twice, that we’re excited about the Anuga 2015 food trade fair in Cologne. For a frozen food producer anywhere in Europe it really is a must-attend, and has been for decades.
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So inspired by this spice, Chef Manju Choudhury named his LA restaurant “Cardamom” in its honour. Asked why, he told LA Magazine: “The green of the cardamom represents freshness. It’s used in our starters, mains, sides, desserts, and drinks. Cardamom gives great flavor and fragrance to any dish, and also has medicinal properties. It’s one of my favorite spices.” Its warm, sweet flavour is instantly recognisable.
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Anuga 2015 is the 33rd Anuga trade fair, hosted in Cologne by Koelnmesse and organised by the Federal Association of the German Retail Grocery Trade, the Federation of the German Food & Drinks Industries, and the Consumer Goods Forum. Access is exclusive to trade visitors and decision-makers within the food industry, and the focus is global: 86 per cent of the exhibitors and 66 per cent of the visitors come from outside Germany.The key concept of Anuga is ‘10 fairs in one’. On the ground, the fair is organised by market sector, with exhibitors in ten categories that include Meat, Dairy, Bakery and one or two less obvious ones like Retail Technology. Conceptually, though, the fair is structured around 10 trends that are currently shaping the future of food. The idea is to encourage cross-pollination of ideas between the sectors, show what’s going on, and... Read More