One of America’s Favorites – Toast

May 4, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A slice of bread, untoasted (left) and toasted (right)

Toast is a form of bread that has been browned by exposure to radiant heat. This browning is the result of a Maillard reaction, altering the flavor of the bread and making it firmer so that it is easier to spread toppings on it. Toasting is a common method of making stale bread more palatable. Bread is often toasted using a toaster, but toaster ovens are also used. Though many types of bread can be toasted the most commonly used is “sliced bread”, referring to bread that is already sliced and bagged upon purchase and may be white, brown, multigrain, etc.

Toast is commonly eaten with butter or margarine, and sweetened toppings, such as jam or jelly. Regionally, savory spreads, such as peanut butter or yeast extracts, may also be popular. When buttered, toast may also be served as an accompaniment to savory dishes, especially soups or stews, or topped with heartier ingredients like eggs or baked beans as a light meal. Toast is a common breakfast food. While slices of bread are most common, bagels and English muffins are also toasted.

Scientific studies in the early 2000s found that toast may contain carcinogens (acrylamide) caused by the browning process.

In a modern home kitchen, the usual method of toasting bread is by the use of a toaster, an electrical appliance made for that purpose. To use a modern toaster, sliced bread is placed into the narrow slots on the top of the toaster, the toaster is tuned to the correct setting (some may have more elaborate settings than others) and a lever on the front or side is pushed down. The toast is ready when the lever pops up along with the toast. If the bread is insufficiently toasted, the lever can be pressed down again.

A classic two-slot toaster

Bread toasted in a conventional toaster can “sweat” when it is served (i.e. water collects on the surface of the cooled toast). This occurs because moisture in the bread becomes steam while being toasted due to heat and when cooled the steam condenses into water droplets on the surface of the bread.

It can also be toasted by a conveyor toaster, which device is often used in hotels, restaurants, and other food service locations. It works by having one heating element on the top and one on the bottom with a metal conveyor belt in the middle which carries the toast between the two heating elements. This allows toast to be made consistently as more slices can be added at any time without waiting for previous ones to pop up.

Bread can also be toasted under a grill (or broiler), in an open oven, or lying on an oven rack. This “oven toast” is usually buttered before toasting. Toaster ovens are special small appliances made for toasting bread or for heating small amounts of other foods.

Bread can also be toasted by holding it near but not directly over an open flame, such as a campfire or fireplace; special toasting utensils (e.g. toasting forks) are made for this purpose. Before the invention of modern cooking appliances such as toasters and grills, bread has been produced in ovens for millennia, toast can be made in the same oven.

Many brands of ready sliced bread are available, some of which specifically market their suitability for toasting.

Left Toast with butter and vegemite. Right With butter and strawberry jam.

In modern days, toast is most commonly eaten with butter or margarine spread over it, and may be served with preserves, spreads, or other toppings in addition to or instead of butter. Toast with jam or marmalade is popular. A few other condiments that can be enjoyed with toast are chocolate spread, cream cheese, and peanut butter. Yeast extracts such as Marmite in the UK, New Zealand and South Africa, and Vegemite in Australia are national traditions. Some sandwiches, such as the BLT, call for toast to be used rather than bread.

Toast is an important component of many breakfasts, and is also important in some traditional bland specialty diets for people with gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea.

In the United Kingdom, toast is part of a traditional breakfast: it’s often incorporated in a full breakfast or eaten with baked beans. A dish popular with children there is a soft-boiled egg eaten with toast soldiers at breakfast. Strips of toast (the soldiers) are dipped into the runny yolk of a boiled egg through a hole made in the top of the eggshell, and eaten.

In southern Sri Lanka, it is common for toast to be paired with a curry soup and mint tea. In Japan, people like to toast thick slices of bread. Toast became a staple dish in Japan after World War 2, especially after it was introduced in school lunches. Street vendors in South Korea serve toast with a variety of toppings, usually fried eggs, vegetables and slices of meat, topped with sauces. Korean toast is to be eaten as a sandwich.

By 2013, “artisanal toast” had become a significant food trend in upscale American cities like San Francisco, where some commentators decried the increasing number of restaurants and bakeries selling freshly made toast at what was perceived to be an unreasonably high price.

Avocado toast is seen as a symbol of millennial culture.

Cheese and marshmallows are also toasted by exposure to dry radiant heat. A toasted cheese sandwich features toasted cheese and toasted bread. Bagels, English muffins, Pop Tart pastries and crumpets are foods that can be toasted, too.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Corn fritter

April 27, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Bowl of corn fritters

Corn fritters are fritters made of corn. Originating in Native American cuisine, they are a traditional sweet and savory snack in the Southern United States, as well as Indonesia where they are known as perkedel jagung or bakwan jagung.

Native Americans had been using ground corn (maize) as food for thousands of years before European explorers arrived in the New World. Corn-based products, such as corn flatbread, arepa and cornbread were staple foods in Pre-Columbian Americas. Native Americans did not use deep frying techniques, however, which require ample supplies of cooking oil as well as equipment in which the oil can be heated to high temperatures.

European settlers learned recipes and processes for corn dishes from Native Americans, and soon devised their own cornmeal-based variations of European breads made from grains available on that continent. The corn fritter probably was invented in the Southern United States, whose traditional cuisine contains a lot of deep fried foods, none more famous perhaps than Southern fried chicken.

Bakwan jagung, Indonesian corn fritters

On the other side of the world, maize seeds from the Americas were introduced into Southeast Asia in the late 16th century through Spanish and Portuguese traders. The plant thrived in the tropical climate of Indonesia, and soon became a staple food plant in drier areas of central and southeastern Indonesia, since it requires much less water than wet rice. Coconut and palm oil have been essential elements of Indonesian cuisine for centuries. The deep fried technique using palm oil was probably borrowed from Portuguese colonists; and Indonesia has its own type of corn fritter, called perkedel jagung or bakwan jagung.

Ingredients

Southern United States
Traditional corn fritters in the American South use corn kernels, egg, flour, milk, and melted butter. They can be deep fried, shallow fried, baked, and may be served with jam, fruit, honey, or cream. They may also be made with creamed corn, baked, and served with maple syrup. Corn fritters can be made to have a similar appearance to, and thus be mistaken for, johnnycake.

Indonesia
Indonesian corn fritters are not sweet but savory. They have a more granulated texture, as the corn kernels are not finely ground and blended into the dough, so they retain their kernel shapes. The fritter is made from fresh corn kernels, wheat flour, rice flour, celery, scallion, eggs, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper, and deep fried in coconut oil. They are a popular snack and are often served as an appetizer.

 

May 31-June 2, 2019 Newark Strawberry Festival – Newark, Ohio

May 29, 2019 at 6:01 AM | Posted in Festivals | Leave a comment
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May 31-June 2, 2019 Newark Strawberry Festival – Newark, Ohio

The annual festival, ‘Strawberries on the Square.’ will include entertainment throughout the weekend, Miss Strawberry Pageant, midway rides, food and craft vendors of all types, and of course our “world famous” Kiwanis Strawberry Shortcake.

https://www.troystrawberryfest.com/

Jungle Jim’s Weekend of Fire October 1 & 2, 2016

September 28, 2016 at 5:08 AM | Posted in Festivals | Leave a comment
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Friday, September 30, 2016 from 6pm – 10pm
Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 11am – 7pm
Sunday, October 2, 2016 from 11am – 4pm

 

 

The Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s International Market
5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, OH 45014, 513-674-6055

 

 

jungle-jims-weekend-of-fire-october-1-2-2016

Here’s one wild weekend with hot food and cool entertainment! Lots of great ‘hot’ people (hot food makers, bloggers and chiliheads) come out for samples, fun, contests, prizes, and great crowds to fill The Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s on October 1st and 2nd.

For this weekend only, you can sample and purchase foods from all over the country at our Fiery Food Show! Hot and fiery or mild and meek; you choose your favorites and can buy enough to last. Hot Sauces, BBQ sauces, salsas, rubs and all sorts of spicy foods will be available – and there’s more! In The Arena of Fire, we’ll have wild and wacky contests beginning on Saturday and running hourly until the show ends on Sunday.

Now a 3-day event – that’s right, we’ve added a special Vendor Appreciation Night! – this year’s Weekend of Fire is going to be exceptionally spicy as we look back over 10 years of flavor, sweat, and smiles. Fiery food favorites from the last 10 years will be set up throughout the festival, as vendors from our already storied past come to set up shop so you can try their wickedly hot wares. From hot sauce to BBQ sauce, to rubs, marinades, and everything in between, we’re packing the Oscar Event Center with as much heat as it can handle (and then some).

Feelin’ brave? The Arena of Fire is going to be smokin’ hot as we introduce new contests, bring back a few favorites, and truly turn the heat up as we challenge those who dare to enter the arena with the spiciest creations we can come up with.

 
http://www.junglejims.com/weekendoffire/
Jungle Jim’s Weekend of Fire
Contact Us • 513.674.6000 • Facebook
http://www.junglejims.comhttp://www.junglefests.com

Condiment of the Week – Fruit Preserves

January 28, 2016 at 6:08 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | Leave a comment
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Strawberry jam, one type of common fruit preserve

Strawberry jam, one type of common fruit preserve

Fruit preserves are preparations of fruits, vegetables and sugar, often canned or sealed for long-term storage.

Many varieties of fruit preserves are made globally, including sweet fruit preserves, such as strawberry or apricot, as well as savory preserves of vegetables, such as tomatoes or squash. The ingredients used and how they are prepared determine the type of preserves; jams, jellies, and marmalades are all examples of different styles of fruit preserves that vary based upon the fruit used. In English the world over the plural form “preserves” is used to describe all types of jams and jellies.

 
The term ‘preserves’ is usually interchangeable with ‘jams’. Some cookbooks define preserves as cooked and gelled whole fruit (or vegetable), which includes a significant portion of the fruit. In the English speaking world, the two terms are more strictly differentiated and, when this is not the case, the more usual generic term is ‘jam’.

Jam apart from being a particular type of preserve (spreadable containing the fruit) is also used as a general term (in British and Commonwealth English) for any type of fruit preserve (e.g. “the jam factory in Tiptree”) while in the US the term jelly is preferred; e.g. a jam donut or a jam sandwich in the UK, Ireland and Canada is a jelly donut and a jelly sandwich in the US.

The singular preserve or conserve is used as a collective noun for high fruit content jam, often for marketing purposes. Additionally, the name of the type of fruit preserves will also vary depending on the regional variant of English being used.

 

 

Five varieties of fruit preserves: apple, quince, plum, squash, orange

Five varieties of fruit preserves: apple, quince, plum, squash, orange

In general, jam is produced by taking mashed or chopped fruit or vegetable pulp and boiling it with sugar and water. The proportion of sugar and fruit varies according to the type of fruit and its ripeness, but a rough starting point is equal weights of each. When the mixture reaches a temperature of 104 °C (219 °F), the acid and the pectin in the fruit react with the sugar, and the jam will set on cooling. However, most cooks work by trial and error, bringing the mixture to a “fast rolling boil”, watching to see if the seething mass changes texture, and dropping small samples on a plate to see if they run or set.

Commercially produced jams are usually produced using one of two methods. The first is the open pan method, which is essentially a larger scale version of the method a home jam maker would use. This gives a traditional flavor, with some caramelization of the sugars. The second commercial process involves the use of a vacuum vessel, where the jam is placed under a vacuum, which has the effect of reducing its boiling temperature to anywhere between 65 and 80 °C depending on the recipe and the end result desired. The lower boiling temperature enables the water to be driven off as it would be when using the traditional open pan method, but with the added benefit of retaining more of the volatile flavor compounds from the fruit, preventing caramelization of the sugars, and of course reducing the overall energy required to make the product. However, once the desired amount of water has been driven off, the jam still needs to be heated briefly to 95 to 100 °C (203 to 212 °F) to kill off any micro-organisms that may be present; the vacuum pan method does not kill them all.

During commercial filling it is common to use a flame to sterilize the rim and lid of jars to destroy any yeasts and molds which may cause spoilage during storage. Steam is commonly injected immediately prior to lidding to create a vacuum, which both helps prevent spoilage and pulls down tamper-evident safety button when used.

 
Glass or plastic jars are an efficient method of storing and preserving jam. Though sugar can keep for exceedingly long times, containing it in a jar is far more useful than older methods. Other methods of packaging jam, especially for industrially produced products, include cans and plastic packets, especially used in the food service industry for individual servings. Fruit preserves typically are of low water activity and can be stored at room temperature after opening, if used within a short period of time.

 

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

April 23, 2014 at 5:32 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | 2 Comments
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Don’t throw out those last drips of jam or jellies in the jar, use it to shake up a fruity vinaigrette instead. Add equal parts oil and vinegar to the jar, give it a good shake, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

November 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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If you’ve been preparing fish and want to remove the smell from your hands, try washing them with water and a bit of toothpaste. Lemon juice and little salt will also work as well.

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