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Chewing gum has an unique place in American culture.

Gum 101: Some Facts To Chew On

Gum 101: Some Facts To Chew OnChewing gum has an unique place in American culture. It's been used for a variety of purposes-from keeping astronauts healthy to freshening breath to helping people avoid eating fatty snacks-and one gum maker says if you stacked all the pieces of gum that it's sold, the stack would stretch halfway to the moon.The most popular type of gum-sugarless gum-has been around since 1960. It was an instant hit when first introduced. Today, people can find sugarless gum in a rainbow of flavors and, sugarless gum that helps whiten your teeth. So where do all these gummy ideas come from? The answer may surprise you.Lots of the gum that's chewed today is developed at the Cadbury Schweppes Americas Confectionery New Jersey-based Science & Technology Center. Cadbury Schweppes Americas Confectionery is part of Cadbury Schweppes (NYSE: CSG), the world's largest confectionery company and beverage industry leader. The Science & Technology Center employees develop such favorite gums as Dentyne and Bubblicious. One of the company's latest creations, Trident Splash™, is the first sugar free gum with a liquid center. It comes in peppermint with vanilla and strawberry with lime flavors-and according to its makers, it helps clean people's teeth if chewed after eating.As popular as the gum may be, it was far from simple to create. Dr. Barbara Raphael, head of the Cadbury Schweppes Americas Confectionery Science & Technology Center, says gum formulas are actually very complex and that it takes up to 70 ingredients to create a great tasting gum (a far cry from some early varieties of gum made from tree resin and powdered sugar)."High quality, long lasting gum requires a complex flavor system. We start with a characteristic flavor-a taste that we are all familiar with-and then go from there," Dr. Raphael explains. Often, she says, her team works with what are known as "top notes" when creating a new gum. The process of adding top notes has to do with adding specific flavors not usually associated with the base flavor. This is done through a high tech process (as well as some trial and error). For instance, the company's cinnamon gum (called Dentyne Fire) blends warm notes to a base cinnamon flavor. Its powerful peppermint and spearmint gum (called Dentyne Ice) blends cool notes with mint or spearmint base flavors.Of course, texture is an important part of the chewing gum experience as well. Dr. Raphael says that's why her company uses a variety of ingredients to find just the right feel for its gum. "Ingredients exhibit a wide range of physical characteristics from liquid, soft paste and free flowing granulars, to different types of solids," she explains.All ingredients must be combined in the proper ratios and correct temperatures and pressures must be met to produce a gum that will meet what Dr. Raphael describes as "consumers' chewing expectations." Not to worry, though, it seems the technology center has that process down to a science. The company manufactures about 65 billion pieces of gum every year for consumers in Canada, the US, and Latin and South America.

Why Fruit Baskets Make A Good Gift

Why Fruit Baskets Make A Good Gift

If you are at a loss when it comes to the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend, family member, or neighbor, or are trying to find a suitable gift for a colleague or client, consider a fruit basket. Fruit baskets make excellent gifts, especially for those individuals who have everything. Instead of giving a monetary gift or gift card that lacks personality, consider choosing a fruit basket that includes the recipients favorite fruits and healthy snacks. Since the contents are generally healthier fare than the typical junk foods that tempt the taste buds and expand the waist line, a fruit basket can be enjoyed guilt free!Fruit baskets make great gifts for: College students: College students are notoriously poor eaters. Especially during stressful times surrounding midterms and final exams, college kids do not receive the proper nutritionand proper nutrition will allow them to excel in their studies. Gift your college student with a fruit basket filled with fresh fruit and other healthy, nutritious snacks to show your love and support. Furthermore, since fruit baskets can be consumed, they will not take up precious space in dormitory rooms like other superfluous gifts. Campers: For those with younger children, consider sending a fruit basket to your favorite camper to ease homesickness while providing a healthy approach to snacks. Campers enjoy the thought of gifts while away from home, and "fruit baskets" are perfect for sharing the contents with bunk mates and newly made friends. Dieters: What better way to show your support of a dieter who has either just begun a newer, healthier lifestyle or is currently working his or her way to the goal line. Fruit baskets will relieve some of the sweet temptations that cause most dieters to stray while showing the individual that you support their decision to eat and live healthier. Business Associates: When it comes time to purchase gifts for those in the business world, the task can be quite daunting. Unwritten rules in the business world provide razor-thin guidelines for what giftsand price rangesare appropriate, so instead of trying to figure out who receives what, send a fruit basket instead. Perfect for new clients or old business relations, fruit baskets allow you to express a sentiment without having to worry about what to buy and how much to spend. Also, fruit baskets can be shared within the company easily, so everyone can enjoy the gift. Elderly friends, neighbors, or family members: Many elderly individuals find themselves faced with too much stuff in their lives. Especially if they are downsizing to a more comfortable home, these extras can quickly overwhelm their homes. Instead of purchasing gifts that will only add to the space problem or sit unused, consider sending a gift basket instead. Gift baskets are perfect ways to provide elderly friends, neighbors, or family members with healthy fare while giving a lovely gift. New Homeowners: If you have been recently invited to a housewarming party or know of a couple or family who has just moved into a new home, then consider giving a fruit basket. Especially when faced with meeting new neighbors, a fruit basket is an excellent gift that everyone will enjoy. Furthermore, a fruit basket will provide the family with a bit of healthy food while the cupboards are still being stocked. Anyone: Regardless who you gift, a fruit basket is the perfect idea. Allowing you to provide a gift that requires thought without knowing a great deal about the recipient, a fruit basket will save you a great deal of time, hassle, and worry about finding that perfect gift.

Wedding Cakes

Wedding Cakes

When planning a wedding reception, be sure to give special attention to the wedding cake. There is, of course, a certain chain of events and best practices that are good to follow.When you are ready to select a wedding cake, you should arrange to meet with three bakers and taste their products. If you have attended or are planning on attending a bridal show, you can easily and quickly take care of this task at the show.If you have a certain look you are going for with your wedding cake, be sure to bring a picture of what you would like when meeting with bakers. It is also a good idea to bring along your cake topper if you already have it as well as fabric swatches of the bridesmaids dresses. Also, be prepared to give the baker an estimated number of guests that you are expecting.When you meet with the baker, be sure to ask to see a portfolio of pictures that have been taken of the bakers previous work. In addition, always check references before making a final decision.When you are interviewing the bakers, ask each one the same questions so that you do not forget anything and so that you can make an accurate comparison. Some things to inquire about are the set-up and take-down of the table where the cake will be, who will put the cake topper on the cake, who will place napkins, plates, flowers, etc. on the table, and who will direct the cutting of the cake.Also, find out where the cake will be stored (it must be out of direct sunlight), who will be in charge of boxing up the cake top and giving to a previously designated person, what arrangements will be made for the left-over cake, and who will cut the cake and distribute it. Cutting a wedding cake is much trickier than it looks and must be done by someone who is familiar with the process.When you are reviewing a bakers contract, be sure to note several things. For instance, you should immediately see the name, contact person, location, and phone numbers for the bakery. The cake size, shape, and number of tiers must be on the contract. Be sure that the cake flavor(s), fillings, and icing are noted and that returnable items are clearly stated.Be sure that the number of guests the cake is to serve is on the contract as we;; as when the cake was ordered, when the cake will be delivered and assembled, what the set-up fee is if applicable, and the due dates for deposits and balances. For more information on wedding cakes and other wedding ideas, be sure to go to www.bridalblog.info.In closing, choosing a cake can really be a lot of fun. You have the chance to sample some goodies and make some light-hearted decisions about fillings, flavors, and decorations. However, in the process, make sure you are noting all of the details that need to be covered so that you are confident in your bakers ability to deliver the product that you are expecting.

What's A Barbecue Party Without Some Condiments?

What

Condiments are substances applied to food to improve or enhance flavor. They usually come in the form of powders, spreads and sauces. A condiment is typically squirted, sprinkled or smeared, with commercially prepared condiment products often packaged in plastic or glass containers. Some are served as single-serving packets too as what is common in cafeterias and airlines. Of course, BBQ parties and cookouts are never complete without a steady supply of condiments.Some of the more common condiments include ketchup, mayo, pickles, mustard, wasabi, vinegars, salad dressings and salt. Barbecue and hot sauces are other popular condiment choices used to complement or add flavor to dishes. Since people have different preferences when it comes to seasoning their meats, having an assortment of condiment products on hand when hosting a barbecue is always best.Condiments and Smashing BBQ PartiesNothing spoils a barbecue quicker than a shortage of condiments. Whether it's ketchup, hot sauce, mustard, relish or BBQ sauce, finding yourself running low on any of these items can spell disaster for a party. You see, a condiment gives food that added kick to keep people coming back for more. Further, half the fun of eating is being able to adjust the taste of the food to suit each individual's particular taste buds so without condiments, people will have a tough time managing this.Holding a hit barbecue event isn't easy. But if you keep your shelves well-stocked in the condiment department, you're halfway there. Here are other tips to ensure your next BBQ is a smashing success. Get out that old BBQ grill that's been collecting dust in the garage. Fix the patio and wash all the utensils you'll be using before you start grilling. Prepare the outdoor cooking recipes in advance. Visit the market and buy the freshest meats needed. When it comes to cooking a whole chicken on the grill, stuff it with a half-filled beer can. The beer aroma will stick to the chicken and give it a great beer-y taste. If others don't appreciate it, have them slather up some condiments on the chicken. When cooking burgers, put holes in the center so they'll cook thoroughly. The holes will close up once they're grilled so don't worry about it! Shop around for great condiment and sauce products. Make sure to check out InsaneChicken.com. It's got an online catalog of the best condiments, hot sauces, salsas, rubs and marinades in town.Condiments play a huge role in the success of a BBQ party. For the best barbecue condiment selections, there's only one place to go really InsaneChicken. It's got the Ass Kickin' Mustard, the Ingleby Farms Jalapeno Ketchup, the Smuggler's Run Jolly Rouge Chipotle Creme and a bunch of other mouth-watering condiment delights. Add life to your future barbecue parties get your condiments and sauces from the best in the business InsaneChicken. Ah, will someone please pass the 20 Pepper Hot Garlic Pickles please?

Food Glorious Food

The most enjoyable events are often those in which the food is divine. Oliver Twist said, Please Sir, can I have some more? And although it is doubtful that you will be serving gruel at your next catered event, youll want your guests feeling pleased.If Woody Allen is on your guest list, be certain to alert your catering service when you sit to menu plan. Allen has made it very clear, I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded, dead." Perhaps Woody Allen would prefer to eat your mothers fruitcake; some caterers will prepare family favorites upon request. According to Harper's Index, 1991, the ratio of the density of the average fruitcake to the density of mahogany is 1:1.Henry miller wrote, "Americans will eat garbage provided you sprinkle it liberally with ketchup." Well, maybe not exactly garbage but Richard Nixon liked ketchup on his cottage cheese.President Franklin D. Roosevelts catering service knew that the English adored their sausages when hot dogs were served to King George VI of England during his 1939 visit to the United States.Jimmy Carter is pleased that It takes about 550 peanuts to make a 12 ounce jar of creamy peanut butter. People who become hysterical when peanut butter sticks to the roof of their mouth have 'arachibutyrophobia'. If someone attending your catered event has a tendency to suffer from this condition, be certain to alert your caterer about this dietary restriction.If you are planning to request that your catering service provide ice cream at your event, remind your guests not to eat too quickly because they may get a very painful headache. This is caused by blood vessel spasms which are triggered by the intense cold from the ice cream. The resulting headache is much the same as a migraine - the spasms interrupt the blood flow and cause the vessels to swell.Quiche is a popular item to serve at events. Depending on how many guests will be attending your event, it is good to know how large a quiche can be: The largest being a quiche made in Paris, November 22, 1997. Chef Alain Marcotullio used 125 quarts of milk, 1,928 eggs, 156 pounds of bacon, 134 pounds of butter, and more than 140 pounds of flour to make the world's largest quiche. It baked for over 18 hours and fed more than 125 people.Since you cannot book the late Chef Boyardee (born in Italy, worked at the Plaza and the Ritz-Carlton in New York) to cater your event, browse the The Catering Services Directory for a caterer near you.

5 Ways to Save Money On Organic Food

Grow your ownThe cheapest method has got to be to grow your own. The great thing is that it doesn't require you to have much garden space, or even a garden at all!We grow tomatoes, and strawberries in containers and the extra benefit is that you get total control over the growing conditions. The best combination is to have organic soil together with organically produced seeds or plants, that way you ensure you get the full flavour and benefit.Containers can be placed anywhere that receives a reasonable amount of daylight, which means that you can use them on balconies or other hard surfaces.Look for your local suppliersOne of the most satisfying things to do is to buy organic food locally. That way you get the freshest ingredients for your kitchen and also get to support local businesses. With no transportation costs for the supplier too you should get very competitive prices.Don't forget that these same businesses will be employing local staff so you are also helping the local economy, everybody wins in this scenario.Local marketsWe visit a big monthly market held on a disused airstrip. Organic food is just one of the variety of items sold there but the prices are very, very good indeed. Of course they are all local suppliers and with several of them in one place we benefit from healthy competition and get to sample a lot of fruit!Local box schemesIf you are unable to get out of your house or are too busy working to select your groceries by hand then why not subscribe to an organic box scheme? You will receive, delivered to your door, a weekly selection of fruit and vegetables in season.Farm shopsFinally, investigate whether any farms near you are operating an organic farm shop. Our local one is operated on an open farm so that you can go and see where the animals are being kept and take a look at the crops being grown. They actually have a well-designed walking route around the farm which makes a nice day out for the kids too.If you investigate the options above you should be able to make considerable savings whilst you and your family sample the delights and advantages of "organic food"

Summary

Chewing gum has an unique place in American culture.