Sunday, 15 November 2009

Food and Drink

Food and drink have become a major part of most people’s lives, in particular their social lives. In fact the phrase ‘food and drink’ produces over 89 million hits on the Google website. Excessiveness in either is of course unhealthy, but perhaps this is one of the reasons why people see good food or good wine as something special, something to treat themselves with.

Guides to good food, wine and restaurants have become big business. Egon Ronay's ‘Guide to the Best Restaurants and Gastropubs in the UK’ which provides detailed reviews of over 500 restaurants and gastropubs has sold over 2 million copies. Its simple to compare style of awarding up to three stars to each restaurant is clearly a hit with readers.

‘The Good Food Guide’ edited by Elizabeth Carter sells itself as Britain’s leading restaurant guide and is currently in it 56th edition, detailing over 1,500 eateries from gastropubs to high end dining.

Fine wine guides are also a big seller, with books such as Clarke’s 'Fine Wine Guide: A Connoisseur's Bible' and Johnson-Bell's 'Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match' both readily available on the internet it is clear that there is a high demand for such guides.

This is not surprising as the United Kingdom is the second largest importer of wine in the world. Wine sales in the UK increased 25% between 2001 and 2005. In 2004 the estimated wine consumption was 1.2 billion litres. In particular there has been an increase in the consumption of so-called New World wines, for example those from Australia or the USA instead of traditional producers such as France. California now produces 2 billion litres of wine every year, making it the fourth biggest producer behind Italy, France and Spain. In 2004, New World wines accounted for over 55% of total consumption in the UK.

Exports of Australian wines have more than quadrupled in the last decade to reach nearly 800 million litres in 2006, 22% of which went onto the UK market, approximately 176 million litres.

Exports of New Zealand wines to the UK alone have increased from 8.1 million litres in 1997 to 21.9 million litres in 2006.

One factor in the explanation of this is an increase in the availability of fine wine in many supermarkets. Some figures place two-thirds of UK wines sales in supermarkets. Increased demand and competition between large chain supermarkets have increased the variety of wines and producers and made them more accessible to the general public.

A recent report by Vinexpo has predicted that the UK will become Europe's biggest market for wine by 2010. The report which examined the worlds wine producers and consumers also predicted that by 2010 the UK wine sales would be worth £5.5 billion, despite the fact that the UK paid the highest average price per bottle (£3.11), which is equivalent to 28.5 litres per capita compared to an average of 27 litres between 2001 and 2005.

The report also showed that between 2001 and 2005 Australia had overtaken France as the UK's biggest supplier with imports rising 51%. Imports from countries such as the USA and South Africa have also risen during this period which highlights the trend toward New World wines.

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Serving Caviar With Food And Drink

Caviar, marketed all over the globe as a delicacy, is chiefly consumed as a garnish or as a spread. Since historical times, caviar has been playing the role of a premier delicacy of kings, emperors and such other heads of state. This is not easily obtainable and comes for a high price. It is also not very easy to ready it for serving as a treat.

Usage of fresh caviar

There is a limited time within which the caviar obtained is to be made use of (till its freshness is retained). Fresh caviar obtained remains fit for usage/consumption for up to four weeks. There are also pasteurized varieties of the product available that can stay suitable enough for longer time. Upon opening up of the caviar container the product is to be used up soon (in a few days’ time).

Proceeding with serving of caviar

Caviar is indeed a very special food as far as its taste is concerned. It tickles the taste buds of all the various areas of the tongue that are sensitive to different kinds of taste. Thus, it promises a unique and exceptional experience in taste.

It is best to serve caviar by leaving it in the tin (container) in which it comes and surround it with ice. In an effort to take it out of the container and serve it in a more decorative manner there stands the risk of breaking the grain and losing the special flavors prior to consumption. Besides, caviar is a tricky item that can combine with a variety of food items to produce either a delectable or a disapproving taste. So, it is better to serve it separately so as to obviate the risk of the flavors getting offset.

Serving caviar with food items and drinks

A best way of serving caviar is to serve it on lightly toasted bread or crackers together with butter as a hors d’oeuvre. This can be quite a treat provided the bread or cracker has not been made too hard by toasting.

Contrary to the prevalent misconception it is certainly not suitable to serve caviar with eggs and other items having a strong taste like sour cream or yogurt. The special taste of caviar gets downed as a result.

Caviar can be served alongside beverages in a suitable manner. Champagne with caviar is a classical combination though some may find this to be tilted towards excess of sweetness. Caviar served with vodka is also a traditionally acclaimed treat combination.

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Tania Penwell provides information on caviar and other gourmet food and drinks for A1 Gourmet - your guide to the best gourmet food around the world.

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Low Calorie Food and Drink Dishes You Can Make at Home

Is it time that you set yourself on a diet? Not just any diet but a whole new lifestyle change? If so, then perhaps you want to forget the Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers type pre-packaged foods and set yourself on a course for perpetual low calorie living? Is that what you want to do now?

One thing that you need to know is that if you are worried about calories you need to switch to eating whole wheat breads, low fat milks and power down the fruits and vegetables. In fact you can eat unlimited vegetables and not get fat. May I suggest that you have for a snack a vegetable dip plate with perhaps;

Cherry Tomatoes
And for the dip do not use salad dressing, but rather use Virgin Olive Oil, a couple of tablespoons and sprinkle on top some spices like basil and garlic and Italian Seasoning instead. It is quite tasty and actually better than a Thousand Islands or Blue Cheese dressing. It is better for you and tastes better too.

When considering a snack, blend up a fruit drink smoothie at home. Blenders are really inexpensive and you can get a killer blender for under $20.00 at Wal-Mart. There really is no excuse for you not to try these simple techniques and recipes to stay healthy, thin, happy and fit eating the low-calorie way.

I certainly hope this article is of interest and that is has propelled thought. The goal is simple; to help you in your quest to be the best in 2007. I thank you for reading my many articles on diverse subjects, which interest you.

"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; Lance is an online writer in retirement.

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