Looking peachy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It looks like a good season for peaches, according to the N.C. Department of Agriculture.
“North Carolina growers produce 70 varieties, each with its own unique flavor,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Peach season typically runs from late May to August, so consumers have time to sample many different varieties this summer.”
Here are tips for choosing, and eating, a great tasting peach:
• Check the undertone, near the stem, to determine ripeness. A green undertone indicates peaches that are not fully ripe.
• Many peaches have a “blush,” which is a rosy red color that, depending on the variety, may be minor or almost cover the entire peach. The color and extent of the blush is more a characteristic of the variety, and not a determining factor of ripeness.
• The peach should be firm and have a good fragrance.
• For best quality, keep peaches at room temperature. They can be held for a short time in a refrigerator, but refrigeration does not add to the taste or quality of the fruit.
• Before eating a peach, wash and peel it, then remove the pit. A simple way to peel a peach is to dip it in boiling water for 30 seconds and then dip it in cold water. The peel should slide off easily afterwards.
Consumers ate 1.1 billion bacon servings last year
U.S. restaurant customers ate some 1.1 billion servings of bacon in the year ending April 2014, an increase in servings of 6 percent compared to a year ago, reports The NPD Group.
Many only have eyes for pork bacon, which holds the bulk share of units and dollar volume shipped to restaurants and other foodservice outlets, but bacon varieties like beef, chicken, duck and turkey are capturing more attention, finds NPD’s SupplyTrack.
The pork bacon category grew in the year ending April 2014, with a 2.3 percent increase in units shipped in spite of dollar volume increases due to higher pork prices, according to SupplyTrack.
“Among the key drivers of bacon unit growth are more consumers visiting restaurants for breakfast, and new and innovative bacon menu offerings, including new types of bacon,” says Annie Roberts, vice president, NPD SupplyTrack.
— QSR’s A.M. Jolt newsletter
Coffee prices rising
Starbucks is increasing its prices starting today. The price increase will affect coffee, lattes and mocha drinks. Iced coffees, teas and cafe foods are safe, for now. Coffee prices will increase 10-15 cents while mocha and latte drinkers will have to fork over 15-20 cents more. All increases only affect grande and venti sized beverages. Besides drinks, Starbucks will also increase the price of its bagged coffee by $1 starting July 24, regardless if you purchase your beans at their locations or at your local grocer.
— http://www.foodbeast.com