Archive for the 'global' Category

Celebrating National Soup Month

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Throughout many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, January brings with it the chill of winter weather but it also brings with it the warmth of National Soup Month! Although we can’t quite seem to get to the bottom of the origin of national soup month, it’s become a beloved time in America to celebrate and recognize one of winter’s favorite global comfort foods: the one and only spoonable, slurpable, shareable soup.

As one of the oldest forms of food, soup has rightfully earned its respect throughout the thousands of years that we’ve been consuming it. It’s a staple in many cultures worldwide and we just adore its versatility and seemingly infinite varieties. Here’s just a short list of soup’s many admirable qualities:

  • Plays well with others (namely sandwiches and salads)
  • Comforts us when we need it most
  • Time-efficiency via the convenience of leave-alone crock pot recipes or instant and microwaveable versions
  • Frequently opens the door to regional and ethnic ingredients and introductions
  • Resourceful! Makes great use of fridge and cupboard contents that are nearing their life’s end
  • Exhibits strong family values and traditions (that legendary chicken soup recipe that’s been passed down for generations)
  • And of course (whether real or imagined) its indisputable healing powers

Since National Soup Month is about commemorating soups that span the world, here are some of our favorite new soup products that have launched globally this winter:

Green Shoot - Broccoli, Coconut Milk and Green Curry Soup

Broccoli, Coconut Milk and Green Curry Soup (France; Green Shoot)

Morrisons M Christmas Cream of Roast Parsnip and Pancetta Soup

Cream of Roast Parsnip & Pancetta Soup (UK; Morrisons M Christmas – private label)

Bertolli - Ricotta and Lobster Ravioli in a Seafood Bisque

Ricotta & Lobster Ravioli in a Seafood Bisque (USA; Bertolli Meal Soup)


New Covent Garden Soup Co Indian Style Chicken Soup

Indian Style Chicken Soup (Belgium; New Covent Garden Soup Co.)

Whether it’s clear or creamy, hearty or lite, veggie-based or meat-centric, we hope you celebrate National Soup Month with a pot-full of your favorite broth, bisque or bouillabaisse – and at least one helping of a new-to-you soup find. Happy slurping!

Europe is for (Food) Lovers: Part II Paris

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Oddly enough, before flying to Paris the last thing I ate in Prague was a crêpe from a food stand at the pop-up market in Old Town Square. In case you’re wondering, it was a chocolate and banana crêpe, about a foot in length and every bit as delicious as you’re imagining. So with the fitting send-off, I was ready to take on the food scene in Paris.


Fresh Cheese - Rue de Seine










Fresh cheese selections at a Sunday street market on the Rue de Seine.


Salad with Smoked Meat










We noticed that a lot of the salad choices came topped with smoked meats – and this huge portion was deliciously satisfying.


Glaces - Eiffel Tower Ice Cream Stand










An ice cream stand right in front of the long lines of the Eiffel Tower…genius! The pistachio flavor was a huge hit.


Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream - Paris, France








You can’t be in Paris and not indulge in dessert. This is a classic apple tart a la mode.


Chocolate Lava Cake with French Vanilla Ice Cream









My favorite of the sweets I ate in Paris (besides the macarons) was this chocolate lava cake with French vanilla ice cream.


Cave La Torelle - Rue de Deine










This is a typical French market, fresh produce outside with other grocery items inside. There are very few supermarkets in Paris like those we are accustomed to in the states as Parisians prefer to buy very fresh and typically stop by the market at least 3 times a week, if not every day.


Croque Madame










This signature French dish – croque madame – was served on the perfect piece of crisp, thinly sliced bread. The croque madame is a variation of the original croque monsieur that adds a fried egg to the famous hearty snack. A croque monsieur consists of a grilled ham and cheese served open face atop a crisp slice of bread.


Tartine Italienne at Café Reale










This tartine Italienne at Café Reale in the jardin des tuileries in Paris was a great choice for a refreshing lunch on a hot day of sightseeing. Artichokes and mushrooms on a thick slice of cheese-topped dough (sort of like a Sicilian pizza) served cold with a side of pesto greens.


Parisian café scene










I just love this shot – so exemplary of the Parisian café scene. Outdoor seating, people milling about and even a man playing an accordion!


Maison Georges Larnicol in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood Macarons display










The beautiful and mouthwatering macaron display at Maison Georges Larnicol in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood.


Chinese Fortune Message - A part of us remains wherever we have been.










My first day back at the office, this is the fortune cookie I got.  I couldn’t have scripted a more poetic message to welcome me back from a wonderful and memorable trip.


Europe is for (Food) Lovers: Part I Prague

Monday, August 13th, 2012

I was lucky enough this summer to get to spend some vacation time in Europe and as a foodie, I – of course – ate my way through the trip. No, really. There are as many pictures of my meals from the adventure as there are of the beautiful sites.

Prague, Czech Republic is one of the most breathtaking cities I have ever had the privilege of experiencing. Everywhere you turn your head you’re overwhelmed by an architectural feast for your eyes. It is absolutely and unequivocally magical. When we weren’t busy falling in love with Prague’s cathedrals, castles and historical charm, we were having an affair with its food. Czech this out:

Traditional Czech Meal










For my mom’s first Czech meal she wanted an authentic, native dish: pork four ways with three different dumplings and red and white cabbage. She was very happy with her choice and there was plenty to share with the whole crew.

Mushroom Polenta - Prague










My first taste of Prague was this mouthwatering mushroom polenta. The mushrooms had sooo much flavor and were a perfect accompaniment to the mild polenta.

Smoked Salmon, Whipped Potatoes, Grilled Zucchini - Prague










Smoked fish is a very popular menu item throughout Europe and Prague was certainly no exception. This salmon was smoked to perfection and served with whipped potatoes and grilled zucchini.

Czech Food Kiosk










This food kiosk on a busy promenade is exemplary of the prominence of smoked meats on the Czech food scene.

Mushroom Soup - U Tynka Restaurant - Prague










Hands down, the best mushroom soup I have ever tasted. Really and truly. By the way – have I mentioned that I adore mushrooms? If you do too and if ever your travels take you through Prague, do yourself a favor and stop in at U Tynka Restaurant in Old Town Square for an unforgettable taste of this Czech mushroom soup.

Escargot Appetizer - Prague









While there was no shortage of native dishes, Prague also cooks up great meal options spanning all of Europe. As a tourist-heavy city, they do a great job of offering authentic cuisine choices from its many European neighbors, like this escargot appetizer.

Shimp - saffron cream sauce - whipped potatoes - Prague










This shrimp with saffron cream sauce and whipped potatoes was as delicious as it was beautiful.

Traditional Czech Meal - Kielbasa










Traditional kielbasa appetizer served with some fresh veggies, mustard and horseradish.

Pork Knee, Ribs, gherkin pickles, mustard and horseradish








In case you need any more evidence that meat is a staple on every menu. On the left is pork knee and on the right ribs – two pounds of each! Both served on their own wooden cutting boards with a bowl of gherkin pickles, mustard and horseradish.

Food Stand - Old Town Square - Prague










On weekends in Old Town Square you can enjoy strolling through the pop-up market with plenty of food stands, souvenirs and crafts. This merchant is keeping an eye on his ham as it cooks over the rotisserie.

Old Town Square Meat Vender










A close-up of the finished product.

Old Town Square - Trdelnik Pastry










One of Czech Republic’s most well-known pastries, trdelnik, is made from rolled dough that’s wrapped around a stick, then grilled (like in this picture) and topped with sugar and a mix of sweet toppings like walnut, almond and vanilla, among others.

Prague Castle and the Vltava River at Dusk










Night falling over Prague Castle and the Vltava River. This magical city won me over, and it took all of about ten minutes.

Check back next week for the second half of Europe is for (Food) Lovers: Paris edition.


Fall: Nature’s Perfect Culinary Muse

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

The leaves are slowly beginning to turn, the dog days of summer are in the rearview and somewhere ahead awaits winter’s wrath. But in the meantime we are on the precipice of what is arguably one of the most beautiful and enjoyable times of the year, at least here in our little corner of the world where we get to delight in the splendor of all four seasons.

The hum of the air conditioner is replaced with the street noise flowing in through the open windows. The weekends are filled with Farmer’s market harvests and football games. Scarecrows and pumpkins make their way onto lawns and porches while in the October air dangles the unmistakable smell of fall – and with it, promises of frosty mornings and cozy nights.

We get to wrap our chilly necks in scarves and hold a cup of hot chocolate for warmth.  We can carve jack-o-lanterns and give candy to adorably costumed neighborhood kids.  There’s less mowing the lawn and more playing in piles of crunchy leaves.  What could possibly make this time of year any better?  Only one thing, well, make that two: fabulous fall food and lavish libations!

For many, this time of year is synonymous with traditional autumn comfort foods and seasonal drinks.  From hearty chili and freshly baked apple pie to warm cider and orchard sangria, the list of this season’s beloved eats and treats is as lengthy as it is titillating. For those of you who love your traditional autumnal dishes, we’ve decided to take a look at some classic fall favorites with a fresh spin – whether it be through flavor or application. For the more daring palates out there, there are some new products to inspire and refresh your fall feasts.

Take a look at these new domestic product launches that caught our eye.  Hopefully you can snag these seasonal steals at a store near you or use them as inspiration for home-made deliciousness.

Barefoot Contessa Pumpkin Cupcake and Maple Cream Cheese Frosting Mix


What: Barefoot Contessa Pumpkin Cupcake & Maple Cream Cheese Frosting Mix


Why: Because bathing suit season is over and cupcakes can be our friends again.




Kashi Autumn Wheat Breakfast Cereal


What: Kashi Autumn Wheat Breakfast Cereal

Where: Supermarkets and superstores [Walmart]

Why: Because there’s no reason breakfast shouldn’t be festive!



Baker’s Pantry Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix


What: The Baker’s Pantry Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix

Where: Select supermarkets and superstores [Cost Plus World Market]

Why: Because a fall weekend morning is perfect for an indulgent at-home brunch.




Toigo Orchards Pear Butter


What: Toigo Orchards Pear Butter

Where: Natural/Health Food Stores [Whole Foods Market]

Why: Because lightly seasoned tree ripened Bartlett pears are what fall is all about!




Trader Joe’s Sugar, Chocolate and Coffee Bean Grinder


What: Trader Joe’s Sugar, Chocolate & Coffee Bean Grinder

Where: Supermarket [Trader Joe’s]

Why: Because there are very few things in life that cannot be improved by adding sugar and chocolate.




Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Tortilla Chip Rounds


What: Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Tortilla Chip Rounds

Where: Supermarket [Trader Joe’s]

Why: Because even football tailgates can be spiced up with fall flair.




These next picks may be a bit harder to get your hands on, unless you’ll be doing some traveling this season, but there’s no reason these global muses can’t inspire your fall cooking.


AP Gourmet Blueberry Pecan Brie CheeseTopper


What: AP Gourmet Blueberry Pecan Brie Topper

Where: Canada

Why: Because traditional appetizers can get boring. Also consider maple walnut or cranberry almond variations.




Knorr Secrets De Grand-Mère Potiron Pumpkin, Carrot and Rosemary Soup

What: Knorr Secrets De Grand-Mère Potiron Pumpkin, Carrot and Rosemary Soup 

Where: France

Why: Because your crock pot has felt neglected all summer.




Vegetarian Goats' Cheese & Butternut Squash LasagneWhat: Asda Chosen by You Vegetarian Goats’ Cheese & Butternut Squash Lasagne 

Where: UK

Why: Because butternut squash was made for more than just soup.



 Casino Délices Cranberry, Pecan & Pistachio Bars made in France

What: Casino Délices Cranberry, Pecan & Pistachio Bars 

Where: France

Why: Because this will spice up your fall dessert tray while adding a healthier option.




Sampford Courtenay Elderflower Cider made in the UK



What: Sampford Courtenay Sparkling Elderflower Cider 

Where: UK

Why: Because edible flowers are making a huge comeback in food and beverage and because cider is to fall what iced tea is to summer.




Fireball Cinnamon Whisky made in Finland



What: Fireball Cinnamon Whisky 

Where: Finland

Why: Because a cinnamon-infused nightcap will bring sweeter dreams.



Hopefully these picks get your fall flavor wheels turning. We’d love to hear about your favorite autumnal treats or any new products that have caught your eye, so don’t be shy, comment away!

The Best Part About Working for a Global Flavor Company…

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

…is the cool swag. It’s true. Not only do I get to interact on a daily basis with co-workers worldwide, but we like to trade products, to give each other a taste of what’s out there.

Whether it’s trading American Heath Bars for Mexican Pelon Pelo Rico candy (mango, of course), trying exotic vinegar beverages from China, or giving a visiting French co-worker a tour of the local Whole Foods – we take care of educating each other on local flavor (and feeding those global food cravings).

Recently, our Deputy General Manager of David Michael Beijing contributed a bag of goodies from his local supermarket, which included various flavored Oreos (vanilla ice cream, green tea ice cream, blueberry raspberry and orange mango), seaweed flavored Pringles, candied waxberry (aka, yumberry), and both blueberry and cucumber Lay’s potato chips.

Beijing Goodies - Blueberry and Cucumber Lay’s potato chips - Seaweed Pringles

In Philly, our overall favorite was the Orange Mango Oreo – the flavors were so juicy and authentic – we could definitely see this one working here in the U.S.

Another surprise was the use of cooling sensation in both of the ice cream flavored Oreos, as well as the Lay’s chips. It added a fun dimension (especially with the ice cream flavors) and was exotic to our palates.

If you work for a global flavor company or manufacturer, take advantage of it! Set up a trade program between locations – send new products to each other on a quarterly basis. It’s fun and engaging, and will keep your ideas flowing (not to mention your taste buds interested)!

David Michael & Co. • 10801 Decatur Road • Philadelphia, PA 19154 • 1-800-DM-FLAVORS

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