USDA’S FOOD PRICE INDEX HOLDS STEADY BETWEEN APRIL & MAY 2012.

nina | June 29th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Overall food costs were unchanged between April and May, even though the latest USDA figures show that the food Consumer Price Index (CPI) is 2.8 percent higher than in May 2011.

The report notes that beef prices rose 0.6 percent last month from April levels, with steak prices up 5.6 percent and ground beef 5.9 percent higher than year-ago results.

Poultry prices fell 1.4 percent in May, although they are 3.9 percent above the May 2011 index.

May pork prices fell by 0.8 percent from April and were 0.3 percent lower than last year, prompting USDA to revise its forecast for 2012 pork prices downward to an increase of between 2 and 3 percent.

The CPI for food eaten at home in May fell 0.1 percent – still 1.7 percent higher than May 2011 – while the food-away-from-home index was up 0.2 percent from April, and up 2.9 percent from a year ago.

The USDA report noted the year-over-year increase for food eaten at home coming in lower in each month of 2012 indicates that food price inflation has slowed down.

Overall CPI is projected to rise by 2.5 to 3.5 percent this year, continuing an average annual increase in food prices of 2.8 percent between 1990 and 2011. The forecasts assume normal weather conditions and no shocks to the global market for major commodities.

FRESH COOKED CRABS AVAILABLE AT SAVAL FOODSERVICE.

nina | June 29th, 2012 - 9:00 am

How about a Tuesday Night Crab Feast to boost your sales? 
Or a Wednesday Night Happy Hour Feature? 
Now with Saval Foodservice you can do just that.

FRESH COOKED CRABS
3 DOZEN TO A BOX
product #77736

Place your order by 3:00pm with our Customer Service Department
and your three dozen cooked crabs will be delivered to you the next day with your regular delivery.
For pricing and additional information, please contact your Sales Representative or Customer Service.
410.379.5100

THE WORLD FAMOUS BASIL.

nina | June 28th, 2012 - 9:00 am

THE WORLD FAMOUS BASIL.

Also known as: Ocimum basilicum, Saint Joseph’s Wort
Likes: Warm, sunny days, light and fresh pastas, spicy stir fries
Dislikes: Frost, overwatering
Hobbies: Sun bathing with the other herbs, veggies and flowers in the yard
Where to Find: In many an Italian or Thai dish, from dressing up a simple Margherita pizza to complementing the fire of chiles in a curry

She’s tall and leafy with a sweet perfume that leaves food lovers and gardeners alike savoring the air with closed eyes and slow deep inhales.  She’s Basil, the timeless herb found in gardens and spice cabinets around the world.  Basil is a cousin to Mint and is most recognizable when she’s dressed in green leaves with white flowers as her “Sweet” self, but she can also be found in various flavors, such as lemon and cinnamon, and colors, such as purple.  She’s native to India and Asia (don’t ask her about her 5,000 year history there….it would be impolite) but, with an eye on the warm climates she loves, she long ago became a staple in Italian food, as well.

You may think that Basil’s just a pretty herb to brighten up your favorite pasta or the garden walkway, but there’s so much more to her than that!  This verdant leafy green herb packs a punch of vitamin A for healthy skin and eyes and magnesium proper production of digestive enzymes and muscle function.  Click here to get iHerb coupon codes for all your vitamins and health product needs. Some studies have also shown that, like Cilantro and some other garden herbs, her oil may have antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

So order up your some Thai basil chicken next time you go out or start a plant in your window garden for the freshest of pesto with a side of health benefits any time.

Source:  6.19.2012.  healthydining.net

BUILD A BETTER BURGER.

nina | June 26th, 2012 - 9:00 am

CONSUMERS ARE EATING MORE BURGERS.

Are you driving repeat visits?
What’s the right burger for your customers? While research points us toward globally inspired, bolder burgers, it also tells us that many consumers still prefer for the traditional build. And whether they’re going with familiar or adventurous burger builds, consumers are eating more of them. Indeed, Technomic’s 2011 U.S. Burger Consumer Trend Report tells us that burger consumption is up dramatically since 2009: nearly half of today’s consumers (48%), compared to just 38% of those polled two years ago, say they eat a burger once a week or more often. Interestingly, burger consumption at home has increased only slightly since 2009, demonstrating that foodservice is driving the overall increase in burger consumption.

Differentiating your burger menu from the competition is perhaps the greatest challenge. According to Technomic’s report, consumers are willing to pay more for a specialty burger, especially a premium burger, than they are for a standard burger, regardless of restaurant segment. The specialty burger craze has driven growth in a way that is almost defiantly separate from pricing.

THE MEAT.  For the best for the best burgers choose meat from the shoulder, or chuck, area of the animal. For a juicy burger, look for a fat content between 15 and 20%. Adding kosher salt and cracked pepper. Cook from a cold (or even frozen) state over a clean, very hot, well-seasoned grill or broiler.  ENJOY!


Source:  kraftfoodservice.com/6.6.2012

TECH TALK: MARKETING TO TODAY’S DINER.

nina | June 25th, 2012 - 9:00 am

TECH TALK:  MARKETING TO TODAY’S DINER. Below are key takeaways from the first panel of the American Express Trade Program: Tech Talk: Marketing to Today’s Diner. On the importance of newspapers: It’s still important to be mentioned in local newspapers, but what matters more is that people from whom your customers get their news — […]

HEALTHY DINING CHOICES AT AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT.

nina | June 22nd, 2012 - 9:00 am

What are some healthy food choices when eating out at an Italian restaurant?

While many people think of Italian food as heavy and loaded with calories, fat and sodium, it can actually be very healthy. Italian staples are nutrition superstars and include whole foods like tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, whole grains, leafy greens and herbs, such as basil and oregano.

When dining out, look for menu choices that are loaded with vegetables and emphasize lean meats and whole grains.  Steer clear of heavy cream sauces, which can add a lot of extra fat, calories, and sodium to your meal. Instead, opt for tomato based sauces like marinara. Olive oil or pesto can provide a source of healthy fat but can quickly add calories to your meal, so use these in moderation.  Speaking of moderation, many Italian restaurants feature “never ending” pasta or serve it family style.  A good size portion of pasta is one cup, about the size of your fist.

For an appetizer, try bruschetta, minestrone soup or a house salad with oil and vinegar or a low fat Italian dressing.  When available, choose whole grain pasta, which provides extra fiber and B vitamins. Many Italian restaurants are featuring whole grains like faro and whole wheat pastas and breads.

Source:  healthydining.net 6.19.2012

SEAFOOD PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN HEALTHY EATING.

nina | June 21st, 2012 - 9:00 am

ALL THE GOOD STUFF ABOUT SEAFOOD!

Also known as: Shellfish, Bounty of the Sea
Likes: Garden fresh lemon and herbs
Dislikes: Melting ice beds and warm refrigerators
Hobbies: Lounging on the grill or baking with the veggies
Find It: As the star of lunch or dinner or supporting a fresh, crisp salad ensemble.  It’s also not opposed to the occasional breakfast or brunch appearance in an omelet.

Seafood comes in many different varieties, and while it may not be everyone’s favorite food, it is happy to try to win you over with so many flavors, textures and health benefits.   Overall, seafood is a great low-fat protein choice with plenty of omega 3 fatty acids (omega 3s), vitamins like B12 and D, and minerals, such as iron and zinc.  It’s really just up to you how you enjoy spending quality dining time with Seafood.  Here are just a few ways to get to know this tasty food:

Salmon is a great choice for the wood stove or the grill with thick, flavorful steaks that are loaded with brain boosting, heart healthy omega 3s. 

Halibut is a subtly flavored, yet meaty textured white fish that can be dressed up with just a splash of lemon and hint of herbs.  It’s a great way to get your vitamin D for strong bones! 
Shrimp comes in all different sizes and is happy to be a part of almost any menu choice from salads to fajitas to a center stage meal starter as a shrimp cocktail.  These delicious and low fat little shellfish gems also have the selenium your body needs to help prevent cell damage. 

Oysters, whether you like them baked with garlic and breadcrumbs or raw with lemon and chili, are a good way to get your zinc for a strong immune system and beautiful skin and nails. 

Source: 6/13/2012 2 HealthyDiningFinder

10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT COOKING WITH GARLIC.

nina | June 12th, 2012 - 9:00 am

GREAT FACTS ABOUT GARLIC. . .

1.  Garlic loses some of its flavor if it’s refrigerated. Keep it in a cool, dry place, like the bottom of a cupboard or pantry. Garlic keepers are cute but not necessary (though they will ensure that air circulates around your garlic).

2.  Fresh-cut garlic becomes more bitter the longer it’s exposed to air; its flavor can change in just 15–20 minutes. So it’s best to chop it right before you’re going to use it.

3.  Hate peeling garlic? If you’ve just got a clove or two, try pressing them firmly (but still gently) with the flat side of your knife to loosen the skin. If you’ve got a bunch of cloves to peel, it’s worth bringing an inch or two of water to boil and dropping them in for a few seconds. The skins should more or less slip off.

4.  Chopping your garlic with a pinch of salt helps to keep it from sticking to your knife.

5.  Before you chop, dice or mince garlic (whichever your recipes calls for), slice the clove in half lengthwise first. If you notice a bright green sprout in the middle, scrape it out with the tip of your knife and discard it. It can impart an unwelcome bitterness.

6.  Because garlic has about a third less moisture content as its cousin, the onion, it simmers (and burns) more quickly. It’s best when it’s cooked until it’s got just a blush of pale gold, no longer. 

7.  So what’s the deal with garlic breath? There appears to be two distinct components that contribute to garlic-induced halitosis. The first occurs almost immediately after dinner, when compounds in the garlic react in your mouth to produce a chemical related to (get ready for it)…skunk spray. The second occurs as you digest the garlic, peaking 6–18 hours after you’ve eaten, when another set of odiferous chemical compounds are produced that circulate through the body, including the lungs, when they’re exhaled.

8.  As far as the first factor is concerned, you can try eating raw fruits or vegetables after you’ve eaten garlic — the browning enzymes in things like apples, green salad or parsley appear to counteract what’s going on in your mouth. But in terms of the second, there’s no real way to fight the garlic breath that’s essentially pulsing through your veins … except not to eat garlic in the first place.

9.  However, the health benefits of garlic might be worth the stink. Recent studies show that a diet that includes a lot of garlic (the equivalent of two medium-sized cloves per day) helps protect against a variety of cancers and also contributes to a healthier heart.

10.  Whether garlic, in fact, repels vampires is still the subject of much debate. However, in 1994, a group of Norwegian scientists tested the repellant potential of garlic on another group of bloodsuckers — leeches. The result? Leeches were twice as likely to attach themselves to a hand smeared with garlic as they were to a clean hand. “This study indicates that garlic possibly attracts vampires,” the authors concluded, adding (jokingly, we hope). “Therefore … restrictions on the use of garlic should be considered.”

Source:  Recipe.com 63.12.12

SAVAL FOODSERVICE RAISES OVER $12,000 FOR THE CHILDREN’S CANCER FOUNDATION.

nina | June 6th, 2012 - 9:00 am

A beautiful day and event was had by all at Saval’s 9th Annual Golf Tournament at Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamesville, Maryland on Tuesday, June 5th. Saval Foodservice thanks all of you that made this event what it is.

PRODUCE COMMODITY UPDATE – WEEK OF JUNE 3, 2012

nina | June 6th, 2012 - 9:00 am

PRODUCE COMMODITY UPDATE.

APPLES/PEARS
New York is still packing light volumes of Empires, Rome’s, and Red Delicious but will finish early this year. Washington Red is peaking on 88/100’s and the higher grades.
Lower grade fruit remains tight as we approach the end of the storage season. Golden’s are heavy to the higher grades and the 88/100 sizes. Lower grade Golden’s are also limited.  Granny-Smiths are peaking on extra fancy 88/100 sizes and are also limited on the lower grades. Galas are peaking on 88’s and smaller and the higher grades but are very limited. The Gala market will continue to rise as supplies dry up. Washington Fuji’s are peaking on extra fancy 72-88’s but supplies are very short as they are almost finished for the season.

D‘Anjou pears continue to peak on the US#1grade and are evenly spread across the size spectrum but supplies are limited especially on the fancy grade. Washington Bosc pears are essentially finished. There are a few Red Pears still available but they are also almost finished as well. California will have new crop Bartlett Pears at the end of July.

ASPARAGUS
This market is firm. Suppliers continue to have very light availability. Supplies out of Mexico continue to be very light. Production from Peru shows light availability as well. Domestic grass is winding down. Demand exceeds supplies. Suppliers continue to deal with the issue of seeding and feathering with this commodity.

AVOCADO
Mexican supplies are declining weekly, with decent volume through June. California volume is increasing; peaking on 60ct, with 48ct and larger in short supply. California fruit has good maturity, flavor and oil content.

BELL PEPPERS
Western Bells:
Green bell market is steady, continuing light supplies of fancy large sized green bell pepper. Diminishing supplies on choice and small fruit as some growers winding down on production as older fields play out. We suggest loading from Southern California after this week. 

Southern California product starting but will be into mostly big fruit. Colored bell market is unsettled. There is a wide range of quality on red bells as growers begin to wrap up on open field product. Transition will continue to other districts in Baja California and southern California. Nogales will continue to with colored bells (mostly hot house) but, supplies are gradually becoming lighter as some growers wind down. We suggest loading from southern California after this week.
Eastern Bells:
Product also winding down in Florida and with GA crop not as good as expected demand and pricing should remain high. Majority of the pepper in GA remains big in size (JBO/XL) with very little off-grade pepper available at all.

BERRIES
Strawberries: The main growing area currently for strawberries is the Salinas/Watsonville areas. Strawberry counts are running large 9 – 14 count with 95% full color. Quality is good.  Santa Maria growing area has hit their peak a few weeks ago. Strawberry counts out of this growing area are running 18-22 count with 95% full color. Quality is good to fair. The strawberry market is steady to slightly weaker.
Raspberries: Quality is being reported as good. The cool weather has slowing harvest and has tightened up supplies. Market is firm.
Blackberries: The blackberry market is short due to rains down in Mexico. Local supplies out of California have started but are very limited and will not get up to speed for a few more weeks. Quality is being reported as fair to good.
Blueberries: The blueberry market has dipped due to increased volume on both coasts.  Quality is reported as good.

BROCCOLI
This market is active. Suppliers are not offering special pricing on crowns but availability is fine to fill all orders. Bunched product is lighter in supplies. Salinas and Santa Maria are the main growing regions for this commodity. Demand looks to be active throughout the week.

CARROTS
California carrot supplies remain good. Sizing of the carrots are improving with steady warm weather, with availability of jumbo size carrots improving.

CAULIFLOWER
This market continues to gain strength. The main sizing is coming in the twelve counts. Demand has increased, while supplies have lessened. Light brown spotting is being seen upon arrivals, so please be aware. Most shippers continue to deal with this issue.

CELERY
This market is softer. Supplies are good on large sizing, 24s and 30s in particular. There have been reports of browning on the ends of bunches. Oxnard is the main area of production on this commodity. Santa Maria also has light production. Salinas will not begin production for another month.

CITRUS
Lemons: Ventura crop harvest is going at full production. Demand is exceeding supplies on 140 and 165 lemons which are normal this time of year. We will not see much relief until Chilean imports begin sometime around mid July.
Oranges: The Navels production and supplies are light. Size curve is peaking on 56’s, 72’s.  Smaller sizes, 88’s, 113’s, 138’s are demand exceed on supplies. The Valencia orange crop continues to increase in supply but sizing is running heavy to the 88’s and larger.
Limes: Supplies are good on all sizes.

CUCUMBERS
Western Cucumber: Market is settling, fancy product is lighter supplies some growers wrapping up wide range of quality. We are approaching the wrapping up point on this commodity. We suggest loading from Southern California after this week.
Eastern Cucumbers: Cukes are all but finished in Florida and with reduced acreage/production in GA; cucumber demand should remain high with shortages possible over the next week. Cucumbers have drastically tightened up even more so today. Be prepared to pay more for cukes heading into next week.

EGGPLANT
Western Eggplant: Market is steady. Still light production on fancy fruit and most availability is on choice and smaller fruit as most growers are winding down in production. We suggest loading from Southern California after this week.
Eastern Eggplant: Supplies still mostly from Florida but should begin to see a few GA eggs begin to trickle by the end of next week.

GRAPES:
The market on the red grapes is lower in Nogales and should come off more next week in Coachella. Coachella is still demanding a premium price on both red and green. Greens have very limited availability in Nogales on Perlettes and in Coachella Sugarones are demanding a much higher price. The demand remains good with limited supply on green.

GREEN ONIONS
This market is firm. The supplies have lightened up out of Mexico with some suppliers.  The quality continues to have a few issues with decay upon arrival. Pencil sizing will have the best availability. Supplies are expected to be light to moderate throughout the week.

LEAF LETTUCE 
The leaf market is steady. Romaine in particular has begun the week with sharp pricing from most suppliers. Supplies will be good throughout the week. Supplies out of Santa Maria are expected to be stronger, but Salinas will have the best availability of product throughout the week. Green and red leaf will have good availability as well.

LETTUCE
The lettuce market is active. Most suppliers are out or on stand buy for pricing. Many suppliers are harvesting in new fields, but issues of quality continue to pop up. Decay, pink ribbing and brown outer leaves continue to be an issue. Santa Maria has production also available, with weights similar to Salinas’s lettuce. The weights on palletized lettuce will be 44-46 pounds.

MELONS
Cantaloupe: Mexican cantaloupe is very limited with very few crossing. Arizona domestic fruit is also limited as the weather has cooled off and shippers are just starting to scratch. The supplies should be better next week. Demand exceeds supplies.
Honeydew: Mexican fruit continues to cross over into Nogales where both volume and quality are good. The Imperial Valley has good quality and availability of honeydew with mixed melons now available as well. Arizona is just starting to scratch but should have better availability next week.

ONIONS
Yellow are steady in all areas. The California desert is finishing, The San Joaquin valley is just getting started, and New Mexico is just starting as well. Reds are mostly steady in all areas but there are only light supplies this week. Whites are limited as well and only available in the desert and New Mexico. The transition out of the California desert has been smooth as all areas have been packing at the same time we just have limited quantities this week. Next week expect much better availability as more suppliers in both areas will be going full-bore.

POTATOES
The carton market in Idaho is lower again due to light demand. Most packers are pushing on 80-count and smaller Burbanks. Number-two’s are still more limited but they are available. Most shippers will discount for volume orders as well. The Washington market is steady to lower and they are still peaking on 60-80’s. Most Washington shippers will also flex for volume. The Colorado market is steady and they continue to peak on 50-80’s. Colorado shippers aren’t flexing as much now so they don’t run out of product. The russet quality has been excellent in all areas. Bakersfield will start packing new-crop russets the week of June 4th. Bakersfield is still packing new-crop red, gold, and white potatoes and the availability is good for all colors. California is heavy to A-size now but they have plenty of B’s also. Idaho is done packing few storage reds and golds and but they still have a few on the floor. Florida continues packing all colors and the market is steady but limited on as they are almost finished for the season. Most Florida packers are still heavy to A-size in all colors and are limited on B’s and smaller.

SQUASH
Western Squash:  Market is settling as supplies are diminishing on both Italian and yellow straight neck squashes. Lighter supplies on both yellow s/n squash and Italian squash as some older districts run their course and/ or cease production. We suggest loading from Southern California after this week.
Eastern Squash:  Yellow squash has also finished up in Florida. After rains last week both green and yellow squash has really tightened up, especially good squash. This trend should continue through at least the middle of next week as long as the weather continues to improve.

STONE FRUIT
California apricots, peaches and nectarines are starting to get better size and quality is excellent. We will see better sizing and availability over the next few weeks. Plums are just starting with limited sizes available. Cherries are available for loading up north in the Stockton and Lodi area.

TOMATOES
Western: Not a lot of tomato product available presently in the Mexican deal through Nogales, Arizona and McAllen, Texas. 4×4 and 4×5 vine ripes are about the only items that are being traded with any regularity. The mature green harvest in the Imperial Valley of California near Indio is picking up but is traditionally short lived. And the main green deal in the San Joaquin valley should begin harvest around mid-June in Firebaugh up to Merced, with later start times in the northern part of the valley near Tracy & Manteca.
Eastern: The Palmetto/Ruskin tomato deal is all but finished, and supplies have become short in the state of Florida overall, with a corresponding stronger market situation. Harvests are continuing in the Panhandle near Quincy & Tallahassee, but even that area has seen occasional rain from Tropical Storm Beryl. Speaking of, the new district in the Charleston, South Carolina area has also seen its share of heavy rain from Beryl, but it is not known yet if quality or yield will be affected.

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