Basil used in pesto must be bright green and sweet instead of too minty or spicy, write Leslie Pariseau and Kristy Mucci. In addition, pesto should include mild garlic and Italian pine nuts for the best taste.
Vanilla prices rose sharply earlier this year when a cyclone hit Madagascar, the world's largest producer of the popular flavoring. As a result, ice cream shop and bakery owners have been forced to increase prices, tweak their recipes to use less vanilla or turn to other flavor profiles such as sweet cream or buttermilk.
Data showing demand for fried chicken in one Chicago neighborhood spurred UberEats to encourage pizzeria owner Simon Mikhail to open virtual restaurant Si's Chicken Kitchen. The third-party delivery service is increasingly using data gleaned from customer searches to spur operators to create new delivery-only concepts.
Spanish winemakers have started to turn their attention to light, fresh reds while moving away from customary full-bodied red wines, writes Michael Schachner. Top Spanish red wines from recent years include Terroir Al Limit 2014 Dits Del Terra Carignan and Suertes del Marques 2015 Los Pasitos Babosa Negro, he writes.
Restaurant owners are learning that some specialized wines can fill the gap when a full liquor license doesn't make sense for that business. The most popular option is agave wine, which is unaged tequila and can be an effective substitute in cocktails.
In an effort to cut down on waste, some restaurants are attempting to curb plastic straw use by switching to paper straws or only giving straws upon request. While some diners will always prefer to use a straw, having a discussion or displaying signage about their environmental impact can persuade some customers to change their minds, operators say.
Colorado-based chain Romano's Macaroni Grill filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. The move is part of reorganization efforts surrounding the closure of 37 of its restaurants, according to Nishant Machado, chief executive of the company, which has 93 restaurants in 23 states.
Soaking spicy habanero peppers in alcohol such as tequila or vodka pulls out the compound that makes them hot while helping them retain their sweet, delicate flavor, writes Rick Martinez. He uses this technique in his recipe for maple-habanero glazed pork steaks to create a dish that isn't too spicy even though it uses 10 peppers.
International patisserie chain Laduree has brought its French vision of small pastries enjoyed in a salon with coffee or tea to the US despite an initial culture clash. At first, the concept did not mesh well with American sensibilities but gained popularity after the television show "Sex and the City" ignited the cupcake craze and the company began to link its brand identity with luxury fashion.
In a survey of children age 8 and younger, those from lower-income families spent more than three hours per day watching TV and using electronic devices, while those from higher-income homes spent less than two hours per day on those activities, according to a report from Common Sense Media. The survey looked at the habits of over 1,400 children across the country.