Thursday, February 20, 2014

Specialty and canned foods find way to pantry

Boiled egg trick
I’ll be off this boiled egg kick by the time you read this. I was going hitting them hard to get back in line after holiday parties. One morning I started water boiling before it was time to head off for work, then realized time was short. I got a trusty stainless steel coffee tumbler and gently filled it with the hot water and egg. Sure enough, by lunch I enjoyed that fully cooked egg with both red and black pepper.

Phoenicia Specialty Foods
Block off time and go with people who “get it.” If you get to a Phoenicia Specialty Foods Store in Houston over the holidays be prepared to travel the globe in aisles and fill that cart with everything from tins of fish and penguin-shaped jars filled with honey to hookah pipes and metal squirrels that crack hazel nuts by turning their tails.
I’d been hearing about these stores and I got to the one featuring a conveyor belt of pita type breads that spirals from overhead into the ground-floor bakery. An international treat of shoppers stocking up on teas, chocolates and canned goods from their homelands made this an adventure that could come with a sandwich and coffee break if you plan it right. I can’t get enough of this kind of thing and want to hit every store. As the parking lot sign invites, “Thank you, yum again.”

Got cans in your pantry?
Of course you do. Mine are weird, including squid in its own ink. I roll that way. A survey shows we love our canned foods:
A new survey commissioned by Cans Get You Cooking,” a program of the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), reveals that for a majority of Americans, a home-cooked meal means turning to their pantry – or Cantry™. An overwhelming 98 percent of Americans currently have canned foods in their kitchens, with the average pantry stocked with 24 cans.
Canned corn is king, and vegetables top the list of America’s most popular canned ingredients (present in 79 percent of American homes), followed by beans (74 percent), broths, stocks and condensed cooking soups (71 percent), fruits (67 percent) and meats and seafood (54 percent).
  Here are more findings:
* The average number of canned food items used each week is five. That’s a can each weekday
* Busy parents streamline their meal prep with canned foods, and 86 percent agree they do not go a week without using cans.
* Among those who keep canned fruits in their Cantry, canned peaches (67 percent) and canned pineapple (63 percent) are the most commonly found in America’s Cantry, followed by canned fruit cocktail (56 percent) and pears (52 percent).
* Among all Americans, the top four canned fruit and vegetable classics after corn are: green beans, tomatoes (whole, diced or pureed), peas and peaches.
* On average, Americans throw away spoiled fresh produce twice a month.

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