Coca-Cola launches new sugar-free Coke with scent of orange #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Coca-Cola launches new sugar-free Coke with scent of orange

Jul 09. 2020

By The Nation

The Coca Cola system in Thailand has said it has introduced a healthier choice of soft drink.

“Coke No Sugar Orange”, with the fizzy taste of ‘Coke’ is complemented with the fresh scent of orange, for the first time in Thailand, based on consumer preference for orange as one of the most preferred flavours after Cola, the company said.

The launch is in line with the trend for more health-conscious lifestyles in Thai society, the company said.

Munthana Lorgrailers, marketing director of Coca-Cola (Thailand) Ltd, said: “… Thai consumers’ more health-conscious lifestyles are reflected through the rapid growth of sugar-free beverages at 52.5 per cent growth rate – or four times higher than that of the overall carbonated drinks segment, with our ‘Coke No Sugar’ as the brand with the highest market share…

“The launch of ‘Coke No Sugar Orange’ represents our resumption of full-range marketing activities after activities were paused at the end of March for Covid-19 community relief and response efforts,” said Munthana.

“Coke No Sugar Orange” is now available across the country. For more information, visit

White House directs Agriculture Department to extend farmer bailout money to lobster industry #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

White House directs Agriculture Department to extend farmer bailout money to lobster industry

Jun 25. 2020

By The Washington Post · Jeff Stein, Rachel Siegel · NATIONAL, BUSINESS, WORLD, POLITICS, FOOD 

WASHINGTON – The White House ordered the Department of Agriculture on Wednesday to extend farm bailout aid to the U.S. lobster industry, which has suffered under strained trade relations with China and tit-for-tat tariffs that significantly reduced exports to one of its biggest foreign markets.

The order, signed by President Donald Trump on Wednesday, comes weeks after a group of lobster fishermen in Maine asked the president for help and as the administration’s trade agenda is increasingly under strain amid heightened tensions with China.

It was a relatively minor action, though, given the mounting levels of concern about the broader economy and the rapid increase in coronavirus cases around the country.

The Trump administration created a $30 billion bailout program to compensate farmers hurt by its trade war with China. The program has proven popular with some farmers, but the extended bailouts have faced criticism for disproportionately helping states in the Midwest that the president depends on politically. Maine could be a swing-state in the 2020 election five months away, and Republican politicians in the state have urged the president to provide financial relief to the lobster industry.

White House officials defended the action as offering critical relief to lobster fishermen in need of help, while critics said the move underscores the arbitrary nature of the administration’s attempts to ease the pain caused by their trade war.

“On his visit to Maine several weeks ago, lobster fisherman asked for the president’s help defending against the retaliatory tariffs of the Chinese government, and the president delivered today with a presidential memo that provides assistance to those who have been harmed,” said Peter Navarro, a senior White House economic official and trade adviser to the president. “This is yet another example of Trump promises made and kept.”

Tony Corbo, senior lobbyist at the watchdog Food & Water Watch, said: “It just seems to be a political game the Trump administration is playing with taxpayer funds to shore up their base of support … This whole thing is a shell game, as far as I am concerned.”

Lobster exports boomed in the past decade as China’s growing middle class developed a taste for the Atlantic product. After Trump imposed tariffs on a wide range of Chinese products in 2018, Beijing responded with a 25 percent levy on $34 billion worth of U.S. goods, including American lobster.

Much of Maine’s lobster business has since been redirected to Canada, where lobster sales to China have soared. Economists and industry officials worry that the longer these supply chains are reoriented at the hands of the trade war, Maine and its long-standing lobster industry risks permanently losing out.

Last year, when the Agriculture Department revealed the details of the $16 billion aid package, the list covered dozens of commodities, including barley, corn, wheat and hogs. But the lobster industry did not make the cut.

The White House had resisted calls from Maine’s representatives to protect the industry. Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an Independent, and Reps. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, and Jared Golden, a Democrat, had all urged the Trump administration to consider financial relief for the industry as of last fall.

At a meeting in Maine in early June, the president listened to complaints from lobster fishermen and Maine’s former Republican governor, Paul LePage. Told about the tariff problems facing lobster fishermen, Trump responded: “I got it. That’s an easy one to handle. That’s, like, easy.”

The new White House order directs the Department of Agriculture to extend assistance to the industry’s fishermen and producers caught in the trade crossfire. The order also instructed the department to update the White House monthly on China’s progress in meeting its purchase requirements, with respect to U.S. seafood, under its “phase one” pact. It also authorizes U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to enact “reciprocal retaliatory tariffs” on seafood exports from China, should China not meet its seafood purchase agreement under the “Phase One” trade deal signed by the two superpowers earlier this year.

In mid-January, Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the “phase one” trade pact, with the expectation that further negotiations were to come. That was before the coronavirus pandemic took root in China and the United States, further straining political ties between the two superpowers and plunging the U.S. economy in the worst recession in decades.

Tai Tong – Bangkok’s tasty secret weapon against wet-season chills #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Tai Tong – Bangkok’s tasty secret weapon against wet-season chills

Jun 23. 2020

By The Nation

Every year, the first monsoon rains awaken Bangkokians’ appetite for hot soup as a belly-warming defence against the cold wind. Many head straight for Tai Tong, opposite Robinson Bangrak department store, a culinary landmark that has been serving prized Chinese specialities for more than half a century in the neighbourhood.

Phaisan “Hei Hui” Asawathanaphong said his family began selling their now-famous Chinese red-stock soup from a cart in the 1960s, during the dictatorship of Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn. As the number of customers swelled, the business grew into a small restaurant, earning his father fame and visits from well-known politicians and historic figures.

“Tai Tong means ‘mainland’. In the past, we mostly served Chinese immigrants who tucked into our food every day on the restaurant’s first floor and second floor,” said Phaisan.

The secret to the red stock’s authentic and addictive flavour lies in high-quality ingredients. Phaisan has sourced sea cucumber from Chile, abalone from Mexico, and noodles from Hong Kong, but refuses to use any MSG or other chemicals. The broth is boiled with the finest quality whole chickens, then simmered to create a clear but rich stock which is used in various dishes, including fish maw soup (with crab meat and shiitake mushrooms) for Bt300 to Bt500, sea cucumber in red gravy priced at Bt1,000-Bt1,500, and mutton in red gravy (Bt600), or abalone with red sauce (Bt1,000-Bt1,500).

However, the restaurant also serves shark fin so may not be to everyone’s taste.

“For soup we use good-quality bird’s nest plucked from caves in Trang and Phuket. In the past, we sold bird’s nest soup for Bt2- Bt3 per cup, or Bt4.50 if egg was added,” said Phaisan.

These days, the same dish costs customers Bt200-Bt500 per cup but there is no shortage of orders. “We order our crab meat from Surat Thani, but we wait for about three months until their claws are very big,” he added, while showing off his cooking skills.

Another speciality at Tai Tong is the Hoi Jo or deep-fried crabmeat rolls, priced at Bt60 per piece. The flavour is rare and prized by customers since the rolls are 100-per-cent crab meat, untainted by the pork, lard or water chestnuts added by other restaurants.

Tai Tong’s owner has been steadfast in refusing to franchise the business, preferring to stay true to his authentic recipes. That authenticity has won him plenty of admirers back in China.

“Some have even tried to hire me to cook in Beijing,” said Phaisan with a grin, before returning to the hot stove to satisfy his small army of loyal Bangkok customers.

From Spam to corned beef, sales of canned meat are booming #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

From Spam to corned beef, sales of canned meat are booming

Jun 21. 2020Cans of CJ CheilJedang Spam ham sit on the production line at the company's factory in Jincheon, South Korea. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by SeongJoon Cho.
Cans of CJ CheilJedang Spam ham sit on the production line at the company’s factory in Jincheon, South Korea. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by SeongJoon Cho.

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Ken Parks, Jackie Davalos, Greg Ritchie, Heesu Lee · BUSINESS, WORLD, RETAIL 
Canned meat is having a moment.

Demand is booming across the globe. In the U.S., sales surged more than 70% in the 15 weeks ended June 13. In the U.K., consumption of canned corned beef has taken off. Even in South Korea, where Spam is an old favorite, sales are expanding at the fastest pace in years.

At first, people were loading up on pantry staples with a long shelf life during lockdown conditions. Then, shortages of some fresh meat supplies, especially in the U.S., also helped to drive sales. Now, the economic downturn is underpinning demand.

CJ CheilJedang employees sort cuts of pork on the production line for Spam ham at the company's factory in Jincheon, South Korea in 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by SeongJoon Cho.

CJ CheilJedang employees sort cuts of pork on the production line for Spam ham at the company’s factory in Jincheon, South Korea in 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by SeongJoon Cho.

There’s the obvious factor of income here. With millions thrown out of work in the last few months, consumers are looking for a way to cut back on grocery bills, and they’re trading in fresh meat for canned varieties. But there’s also something deeper going on — a return to comfort food and nostalgia in troubled times.

Ray Herras, a graduate student at Columbia University, is a Filipino American. Spam gained popularity in the cuisines of Southeast Asia after occupying U.S. forces brought the canned ham with them. For Herras, Spam is a taste of childhood.

“I grew up eating Spam. It is deeply ingrained in Filipino culture, but I wasn’t really eating Spam until quarantine,” said Herras, who started adding it to his grocery purchases at least every other week. He’s not sure how much longer he’ll keep the buying up, but it’s always a staple whenever he’s “feeling homesick,” he said.

Canned meat has been available for more than 80 years. It’s sometimes frowned upon by filet-mignon loving elites, but it’s also got a cult following. Spam musubi — think of it like a porky twist on sushi — is a popular snack in Hawaii. In Korea, it’s eaten with kimchi and steamed rice. In the U.S., a slice of fried Spam with eggs can be a breakfast treat. And in the U.K., tinned corned beef is served up as hash with potatoes and fried onions.

But while the die-hard fans are always there, the recent boom in sales is something even the canned meat makers didn’t see coming.

“Even I thought it could be difficult to increase our sales of canned meat to more than what we expected,” said Kasper Lenbroch, chief executive officer of the unit that houses the Tulip brand at Danish Crown Group, Europe’s top meat processor. “It’s not very often when you’re in food that you can see traditional products like these grow as much as they have done right now.”

Sales of Tulip Pork Luncheon Meat, sold in 120 markets around the world, are expected to go up 25% this year, Lenbroch said. Sales are “growing all over,” including in the U.K., Germany, Greece, Japan and Singapore, among many others.

Marfrig Global Foods SA, the Brazilian beef giant, is seeing a similar jump at its Uruguay business, which supplies corned beef to the U.S. Sales of the product are expected to reach as high as 3,500 metric tons this year, said Marcelo Secco, CEO of the unit. That would be up almost double compared with 2019, when about 1,800 tons were sold, he said.

Secco points to the recent jump in U.S. meat prices as turning consumers on to canned alternatives. Some of America’s biggest livestock slaughter plants were forced to close earlier this year after coronavirus outbreaks saw thousands of workers falling ill. That caused wholesale beef prices to double in about a month. While the market has come back down, corned beef was there to help fill supply gaps — and now that consumers have returned to the old staple, they may be more inclined to stick with it.

“There isn’t a supermarket in the U.S. that doesn’t have corned beef,” Secco said. “It’s a product that everyone knows.”

While U.S. sales of canned meat have slowed since an initial surge when lockdowns started in mid-March, they are still well above 2019 levels. In the week ended June 13, sales were up 17%, according to Nielsen data.

Hormel Food Corp.’s Spam was already seeing sales growth in the past several years, but nothing like the increase taking place now.

“The last time Spam saw a similar pattern in interest was back to when the brand started during the Great Depression. The economic situation wasn’t great — that was carried into World War II,” said Brian Lillis, Hormel’s senior brand manager for Spam. “What we saw over the last few months is really people all over the country purchasing the product.”

Spam has a storied history in South Korea, the No. 2 consumer after the U.S. It’s a popular holiday gift sold in lavish packages, which make up about 60% of annual sales, according to CJ CheilJedang Corp., the Korean producer of the tinned ham.

When coronavirus cases started spreading in the country in February and March, consumers stayed home and cooked more — but many people still had leftover Spam from holiday packages. It wasn’t until April that sales really started taking off.

In the two months of April and May, CJ saw Spam sales soar more than 50% from a year earlier.

“The outbreak of coronavirus has revived the domestic canned food industry, which was on the verge of entering a period of stagnation,” said Lee Seung Hoon, a spokesman at CJ. “Now we are expecting growth in the market.”

Emquartier’s special markets to support Thai airlines crew hit by Covid-19 #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Emquartier’s special markets to support Thai airlines crew hit by Covid-19

Jun 10. 2020
By The Nation

The EmQuartier shopping complex is launching a unique “Em Save Thai Crew Market” to support the crew of airlines operating in Thailand that are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The “new normal” market will offer high-quality food and lifestyle products.

The market will be held Thursday to Sunday from June 11-14; June 18-21; June 25-28 and July 2-5 from 11am to 7pm at Helix Garden, 5th floor, The EmQuartier shopping complex.

A wide range of products will be available, from clothing, bags, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, lifestyle goods, collectables, food, to homemade desserts made by pilots and cabin crew.

Over 200 vendors are rotating each week, such as pancake and sweets shop Brix Dessert Bar, Skinhead Kitchen’s banana flakes by Chef Bank from Master Chef Thailand, strawberry fresh cream by Missfayfaye Bake Studio, the hit health-conscious Salad Factory, a signature Khao Tom Mat Yai Foo from Bangkok Airways lounge, rice noodles spicy salad, southern khao yum, and banh coun from Prive Cuisine, authentic southern chilli paste and snacks from Long Ta, and clean food and healthy desserts by Toeyhom Homemade, and Lifestyle products such as 100 per cent reusable masks from Ladyglam, imported ceramics kitchenware from Kutekitchen, and environmentally friendly 100 per cent Japanese cotton tote bags from Soonowaste.

“Em Save Thai Crew Market” prioritises the health and the hygiene of visitors with the highest safety standard, the company said. All shopping bags are subject to the special UV-C sanitising service. Additionally, there are many activities and charitable opportunities for visitors to participate in, the company added.

For more information, check out the Emporium EmQuartier Facebook page.

Treat yourself to a pancake dinner that’s also (sort of) healthy #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Treat yourself to a pancake dinner that’s also (sort of) healthy

Jun 07. 2020
Use high-protein cooked fonio, shown here with the rest of the ingredients, to make healthier pancakes. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Kate Krader

Use high-protein cooked fonio, shown here with the rest of the ingredients, to make healthier pancakes. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Kate Krader
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Kate Krader · FEATURES, FOOD 

One thing you don’t hear about right now is a trendy new ingredient. They used to be a hallmark of an ambitious restaurant menu, but even as places reopen, the last thing chefs are thinking about is a product no one has heard of.

As home cooks, we’re firmly in the comfort food zone. (Look no further than the rush of love for a good old tuna melt). Sure, you might master a new/old cooking technique such as canning, or bake some bread. (May we suggest a pound cake, instead?) But you’re most certainly not going to fool around with an unfamiliar food, one that you might have to throw away-or worse, face as leftovers for the rest of the week.

Luckily, fonio is not a new ingredient.

The West African grain that looks like fine, granulated brown sugar with a wonderfully toasted, nutty taste dates back more than 5,000 years. It’s not new to people who track U.S. foods news. A couple years ago, fonio made headlines as a climate-resistant “supergrain” that could potentially ease famine worldwide. In the New York Times, Bloomberg Pursuits’ former food editor Tejal Rao called it “the hottest grain you’ve never eaten.”

In addition to trying to save the world, fonio is great because it’s versatile, happily at home as a base for a grain bowl, as a simple side dish with grilled and roasted meats, fried into beignets, or cooked with milk as a comforting breakfast cereal. Plus, it’s good for you: a protein-rich, gluten-free, nutritional powerhouse high in iron and fiber and filled with such micronutrients as vitamin B and antioxidant flavonoids. The quick-cooking grain is available at Walmart and Amazon/Whole Foods. (If you can’t find it, quinoa or couscous are decent, if less interesting, substitutes.)

In the U.S., fonio has a champion in chef Pierre Tham. He’s the co-founder of Yolélé Foods, which imports it from small farmers in such African countries as Mali, Chad, and his native Senegal. Fonio stars at his restaurant Teranga in the Africa Center in New York’s Harlem district. (He’s kept the place open during the pandemic, delivering meals to emergency workers at nearby Mount Sinai Hospital.) “Fonio does everything. It’s light, not dense, and you can take it any direction. It absorbs the salty but also the sweet,” says Tham. To illustrate the point, Tham wrote The Fonio Cookbook: An Ancient Grain Rediscovered (Lake Isle Press; $25). It contains dozens of recipes that feature the grain, from fonio seafood paella to fonio chocolate cake with raspberry coulis.

One of Tham’s favorite recipes in the book is for pancakes, which he hacks by — you guessed it– adding fonio.

The result is less like old-fashioned breakfast pancakes than a delicious fritter, puffy and light, with a tender chew. They’re terrific as the base for a pile of fried chicken, garlicky sautéed shrimp, or spiced-up grilled or roasted vegetables. But don’t discount their appeal as a classic start to your day, topped with melting butter and a stream of maple syrup. (Tham will tell you that the homemade hibiscus syrup he serves them with is even better; more New Yorkers will be able to taste for themselves when his new Teranga outpost opens in Brooklyn’s Dekalb Market later this year.)

The following recipe is adapted from The Fonio Cookbook.

Puffy Fonio Pancakes

Serves 2

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup cooked fonio (see note) or couscous

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1⁄4 tsp. baking soda

1⁄8 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. coconut oil or unsalted butter, for cooking

Maple syrup, for serving (optional)

In a bowl, combine the eggs, cooked fonio, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a whisk or electric mixer until the batter is well-combined.

In a small skillet, melt a little of the oil or butter over medium heat. For each pancake, pour a scant 1/3 cup batter into the hot skillet. Using a metal spatula, push in any sides that ooze out. Cook until the bottoms are golden and bubbles form around the edges, 2-3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, until the pancake is cooked through. Transfer to a warm plate. Continue cooking the remaining pancakes, adding more oil or butter as necessary. Serve with maple syrup (optional).

To Cook Fonio: In a small pot with a lid, coat ½ cup fonio with 1 tbsp. coconut oil or vegetable oil. Toast over high heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1 cup water and bring just to a boil. Stir in a large pinch of salt, then cover and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let steam, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve hot or cold. Makes about 2 cups.

Alternatively: Combine ½ cup fonio with 1 cup water. Cover tightly and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let stand covered for 3 minutes, then season with salt and fluff.

What corks can reveal about the wine in your bottle #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

What corks can reveal about the wine in your bottle

Jun 07. 2020
Some of the wine corks from the bottles our wine critic has consumed. MUST CREDIT: The Washington Post

Some of the wine corks from the bottles our wine critic has consumed. MUST CREDIT: The Washington Post
By Special To The Washington Post · Dave McIntyre · FEATURES, FOOD

Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed the various stages of wine appreciation. From reading the label and selecting wine in the store; to opening it and assessing its color in the glass; to smelling it and coaxing aromas of the vineyard, the vintage or just the grape; and finally sipping and savoring the wine’s texture and structure, we’ve tried to decipher the story each wine has to tell.

Good wines really do have stories to tell. It may be simple, pleasant conversation, and that’s fine most of the time. It may be the polemic of an argumentative teenager, challenging our worldview. Or a friend offering comfort and solace in turbulent times. All can be delicious, and all are valid. We just need to listen and pay attention. Those who say, “Who cares? Open the bottle, down the hatch, the cheaper the better,” aren’t listening. They insist on doing all the talking, because they may not realize they have something to learn.

You may have guessed by now that I’ve been reading the comments on my columns and defending my worldview over dinner. Both could make the wine taste more bitter, but they’ve actually been positive experiences, seasoned with some head shaking. And there has been good conversation, which can be like a fine wine.

When I wrote about wine’s appearance, a reader with the handle “Mrs Bates” noted that I neglected to discuss the cork. “The cork tells some important details about the wine,” Mrs Bates wrote. “It tells if the bottle was sealed and stored properly.”

She has a point. We can get very nerdy about the different types of cork and synthetic closures, their environmental virtues and how they protect against cork taint or allow precisely the right amount of oxygen into the wine to allow it to age properly. Mrs Bates likes her corks spongy, with a bit of a spring when you squeeze on either end, and a ring of color around the base. That ring, either red or a wet stain from a white wine, indicates the bottle was stored on its side or upside down, the wine in contact with the cork. That’s conventional wisdom for proper storage, and explains why wine racks hold bottles horizontally.

“Don’t forget to sniff the wine-end of the cork,” advised another reader, DaveInNY. If the wine is contaminated with cork taint, a chemical called TCA, “the cork will smell like wet dog. Yuck.” Well, maybe. Sniffing the cork is suggestive, but not conclusive, about the quality of the wine. A cork may smell fine even after it has tainted the wine, and a wine may be fine even if the cork smells moldy.

However, DaveInNY makes a good point in urging us to inspect a wine’s ullage – the gap between the cork and the wine in an unopened bottle, which should be about a quarter to half an inch. A greater gap suggests wine has evaporated or seeped through a faulty cork. This is usually a problem for older wines. The wine may have been stored upright and the cork may have deteriorated over time. If you see excessive ullage in a younger wine (10 years or less) in a store, don’t buy it. If you already have the wine in your cellar, open it but have a backup bottle on hand, just in case the first isn’t good.

A reader emailed with a question about disintegrating corks. While stuck at home, he had decided to open some older vintages dating back to 1995 from his collection instead of waiting for those special occasions that never seem to come.

“Unfortunately, a couple of times the corks were totally dried out, and I managed to decimate them while opening.” The bottles had spent most of their lives stored horizontally, but had stood upright for three months during renovation. Could that be the problem, he asked.

Probably not, I replied, as I’ve frequently found dried-out crumbly corks in older bottles. The culprit is more likely low humidity in the storage area. I recommended he splurge on a Durand, the ne plus ultra of wine openers, specially designed with older corks in mind. The Durand is a combination of a traditional spiral corkscrew and the two-pronged ah-so opener. You insert the spiral through the cork, then the prongs between the cork and the bottle. A slow twist-and-pull motion removes the cork without the force of a lever that can break it in half. A Durand costs about $125, but if you drink a lot of old vintages, it’s worth it.

Several commenters chastised me for advocating alcohol consumption during a global public health emergency that has claimed more than 100,000 American lives and driven millions out of work. This is a wine column, after all. I don’t advocate overindulging, of course – I hope everyone will drink better wine and be more mindful about it. And I hope we will continue to support local wineries and wine stores that have been hurt by the economic downturn, especially now that lockdown restrictions are easing for the time being.

Black-owned restaurants are seeing a surge of interest and support. Advocates say it’s a start. #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Black-owned restaurants are seeing a surge of interest and support. Advocates say it’s a start.

Jun 05. 2020
Cane chef and owner Peter Prime in the dining room of his H Street NE restaurant. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post.

Cane chef and owner Peter Prime in the dining room of his H Street NE restaurant. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post.
By The Washington Post · Emily Heil · BUSINESS, FEATURES, FOOD 

Peter Prime’s restaurant, Cane, opened last year in a prominent spot on Washington’s H Street Northeast, near yoga studios, upscale condos and grocery stores. But securing the space for the eatery, where he serves dishes influenced by his native Trinidad and Tobago, wasn’t always a sure thing.

When he and his sister were shopping around for a place to rent, Prime, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and a veteran of some of the finest restaurants in Washington, interviewed with several would-be landlords.

Two of them turned him down, he says, suspicious because of his skin color about his plans to incorporate a rum bar into the concept. “They thought I was going to open an after-hours club,” he says.

Such tales are common among black restaurant owners. The inequalities they face are many and well documented. Particularly when it comes to financing, black-owned small businesses are at a disadvantage. A 2017 report by the Federal Reserve showed that black-owned firms had a harder time getting loans than any other group: 47% of their applications were fully funded, compared with 75% of white-owned businesses’ applications. And the coronavirus has further battered the restaurant industry, shuttering restaurants to diners and leaving customers without income to spend.

Long-simmering efforts to highlight black-owned restaurants have gotten fresh attention in recent days, as protests against police violence and racial injustice fill streets and screens and conversations. Lists of black-owned businesses – and restaurants in particular – have been assembled and circulated by food media and activists. In Instagrammable images and spreadsheets and Google documents, Facebook pages and Twitter threads, they offer people the names and addresses of eateries, city by city.

In Los Angeles, food writer Kat Hong over the weekend shared a Google spreadsheet of black-owned eateries across her city. With contributions from readers, the list now spans 200 establishments, from ice cream shops to barbecue joints. People have shared the searchable map of Chicago black- and brown-owned restaurants open during the coronavirus crisis created by the blog Seasoned and Blessed.

San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho created a database of more than 200 Bay Area eateries.

Their names might be iconic, like Sylvia’s in Harlem, or Prince’s Hot Chicken in Nashville, Tennessee. Others might not be so well known yet: Heard Dat Kitchen in New Orleans, DC Puddin’ in Washington, 18th Street Brewery in Indianapolis, or Salare in Seattle.

Anthony and Janique Edwards, the married co-founders of the app EatOkra, which lets users find black-owned businesses in cities around the country, say they’ve noticed a leap in traffic over the past few days.

They hatched the idea for the app in 2016 when they had just started dating. He was a developer looking for an idea to make into his own project; she was just hungry. She had just moved to Brooklyn and didn’t know the neighborhood. “We were sitting on the sofa and I was like, ‘Let’s get some food, what’s around?’ ” she recalls. “I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if there was an app to tell you about black-owned restaurants? And I said, ‘Maybe you should create something like this.’ ”

The couple is now married with a young daughter, and EatOkra has listings for 2,600 restaurants around the country and 60,000 users. Last week, they released a new version of the app that includes food trucks and delivery options.

Janique Edwards says the protests have made inequalities more visible and have left many people looking for ways big and small to fight them. “People understand the difficulties the black community is facing on a totally different level and from many angles. In these past couple weeks they’ve seen it in economics, health care, police brutality,” she says. “People are desperate to unify and combat these things.”

Anthony Edwards said their app is meant to boost the profile of small black-owned businesses, many of which don’t have the luxury of hiring a social media manager or a marketing director. Real estate costs are high, he notes. “So black businesses might be on the side street, where you can’t depend on walk-in traffic,” he says. “This lets you know that if you take a left instead of a right, you pass three black-owned businesses.”

There’s evidence that the economic impact of the coronavirus has hit black-owned businesses disproportionately. Studies have indicated that they rely more heavily on black customers, and unemployment among African Americans because of the virus is soaring. A May Washington Post-Ipsos poll showed that black Americans reported being furloughed and laid off at higher rates than whites.

The campaign to “buy black” is not new in the black community, notes Rachel Marie Brooks Atkins, an assistant professor and postdoctoral faculty fellow at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She says many people who study black entrepreneurship are skeptical that even more widespread adoption can have a lasting impact, noting that the challenges facing black businesses are more fundamental than cash flow.

But she says that consumers can use this moment to take a deeper look at all their choices. “It’s a chance to evaluate – who do you engage with commercially and why, and are there ways for that to better reflect your values?” she says. For a businessperson, that might mean thinking not just about who you order office lunches from, but also where you get office supplies and how you go about hiring.

“Reevaluating all those things together can make institutional changes,” she says. “Buying black for your next meal? I don’t think it’s nothing, but it’s not enough.”

Anela Malik, a food blogger and activist in Washington who compiled her own list of black-owned food businesses to support during the coronavirus crisis, says most people recognize that they’re not going to solve institutional problems with takeout orders. Still, she says, it’s a way for them to do something, and at least put money into hurting businesses.

“Until we have radical social change, this is a concrete way people can recognize injustice in society and do something about it today,” she says. “There should be space for people to do activism at all levels.”

It’s hard to quantify the effect of the recent push. Prime says his business, which is right now relegated to takeout and delivery because of the coronavirus, is brisk. He’s doing as much business as before the shutdown, he says, though the margins are smaller after you account for the share that delivery services take and the cost of all that to-go packaging. Fellow chefs from other restaurants have been ordering staff meals from him in solidarity, he says.

And he says he’s gotten support both tangible and not: “I have felt a lot of love from the restaurant industry and the community.”

Conrad offers tropical fruit flavour delights #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Conrad offers tropical fruit flavour delights

Jun 01. 2020
By The Nation

Conrad Bangkok is celebrating Thailand’s finest seasonal fruit this month with a series of “exquisite and authentic new menu items” at its restaurants and lounges.

Guests can discover dishes that showcase the best natural ingredients, locally sourced from fruit farms and orchards in the country.

At Café@2, diners can experience the refreshing flavour of Thai pomelo salad with fried shallots, roasted coconut and shrimp (Bt340), “Kuay teow gaeng Nuea”, rice noodle soup with beef curry and coconut milk (Bt540), or “Khao pad saparot”, Phuket pineapple fried rice with chicken (Bt480). For dessert, there’s passion fruit crème brûlée with candied ginger (Bt320).

Local fruits will also be on show at Liu, as a skilled Chinese culinary team presents deep-fried mango seafood roll (Bt320) and deep-fried longan with crab meat and curry spring roll (Bt320),

The hotel’s poolside restaurant City Terrace is also offering special fare, such as rice paper roll with crab meat, green mango, white melon and mint with peanut sauce (Bt340), along with a delectable coconut pudding with lychee and fresh mango salad (Bt290).

For more information and reservations, you can call +66 (0) 2690 9211 or email

Enjoy award-winning delicacies from comfort of your own home #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Enjoy award-winning delicacies from comfort of your own home

May 28. 2020

The Okura Prestige Bangkok hotel’s Michelin Plate restaurant, Yamazato, is now offering takeaways and delivery service, while its bakery, La Pâtisserie, will be ready to serve up delicacies from June 1.

Yamazato’s chef Shigeru Hagiwara has come up with a special takeaway menu, so people can enjoy his creations from the comfort of their home. The selection includes grilled eel with rice, salad, Japanese egg roll, vegetable soup and pickles, deep-fried oyster with breadcrumbs and Ebiten maki roll. Beef lovers can tuck into premier Japanese black cattle sirloin flown in especially from Kagoshima Prefecture.

Call (02) 687 9000 or email between 10am and 10pm to place your order. It takes at least an hour and a half to prepare each order and prices start from Bt300. Deliveries can be made between 11.30am and 2.30pm and 6pm to 8.30pm, though customers can have their orders delivered through third party agents such as Line Man or Grab.

From June 1, La Pâtisserie will be open on weekdays from 7am to 8.30pm, and happy hour starts from 6pm onwards.