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April 4, 2014

Perfect Puree sample size and pack

Price of limes driving you nuts? So nuts that you know that the price savings to be found in ordering a packer’s case won’t do the trick and you’re just going to re-engineer the menu a little sooner than later or raise your prices?
Well, stop pulling your hair out trying to figure out if you can pull one over on your guests by substituting lemons for limes like that sneaky Thai restaurant did to your Pad Thai on Wednesday and consider some new flavors for your drinks.

Perfect Puree has a lot to choose from, but best of all, you can give them a whirl without a lot of commitment and waste, thanks to the brand’s new sampling size, a sealed 2 oz. cups* that replaces the 3 oz sample cups that were non-sealed, not one time use and couldn’t be left behind by foodservice distributor reps because they needed them for another call.

Michele Lex, Director of Marketing and Sales Operation, explains, “We are excited to ring in 2014 with the launch of our new direct sample program for foodservice professionals! So much of what we learned last year going from city to city and talking to bartenders and chefs helped us to create this program which is really an iteration of what we have done for 25 years, deliver flavor. Now we bring it to their doorstep. We switched it up going all direct sampling and took the sampling away from the food distributor level so now you can order samples directly.”

Those direct samples, which will be shipped out every weekday but Friday, will arrive promptly, up to eight at a time. That many flavors gives chefs and bartenders a nice opportunity to play around and experiment with various recipes. Lex comments, “Now it is something a bartender or chef can play with at their leisure. They can do it with their team and have some fun with it.”

The fun begins when the order is placed, as Lex explains, “When we get a request for samples we pick up the phone and call them back and engage in that dialogue to ask “what are you doing?” so that we can really provide them with the most efficient use of the sampling program. Plus, it is a way for us to have a touch point for their thinking outside the box.”

With myriad flavors to choose from, plus two seasonal flavors to be launched in May and September now is the time to start thinking about ordering directly through and finding your fruit inspiration. Who knows, you and your recipes may end up featured on the Perfect Puree website.

*Zests and ginger and roasted red pepper samples, traditional commercial use flavors, come in full jars to accommodate the needs for manufacturers and bakers who require a larger sample size for test recipes.

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February 14, 2014

Aermate product_red wine bottle distant view.jpg

On this very notable day of love it is not a who, but a what that we’ve fallen head over heels for here at INSIDE F&B. It pleases us to introduce our newest crush, The Aermate.

Much like other unassuming tools you’d toss in the drawer, this doesn’t look very impressive, but boy does it get the job done! Want to save the remainder of that bottle of wine that’s not yet turned yet you have it earmarked for the spaghetti sauce? Could only afford an inexpensive wine last trip to the liquor store but wish it could taste like it is twice the value? Have a hot date coming over in 15 minutes and you forgot to pull out the decanter? Not to worry, Aermate ( to the rescue.

Introduced in November 2013, the Aermate was designed by a mechanical engineer who worked in the fields of liquids and gasses. As things like this often come to life, he and his partner, whom he met at Purdue as an undergrad, created Aermate after a conversation over dinner. Co-founder Mike Roach comments, “We created this tool to do as much work as possible with the least amount of effort, mess, and interruption of the enjoyment of wine and spirits.”

Knowing how much restaurants would love to turn tables and turn profits they might not otherwise see while letting a bottle decant properly Roach and his partner created this full size edition as well as a table top/personal travel size – about 5″ long that can sit on the bar in its caddy or tuck into a server’s apron pocket. Not only is it great for a quick aeration of those top end wines when you or your guest doesn’t want to decant, but also is a boon to less expensive wines sold by the glass, mellowing them out and hopefully inspiring a second glass purchase. Roach notes, ” The way you aerate something is to put as fine as bubbles as you can and you oxygenate it. The Aermate reduces waste and satisfaction in an immature product increases.”

How does the magic happen? Roach explains exactly what is going on with this thin rod and bulb, “This is the kind of unique part about it – what we’ve been able to develop is sintered metal – it’s a molding process they use with the stainless steels. the holes in that piece – it feels like a stone – the holes are each 2 microns across and these holes are thin and strong and give you the maximum amount of air pressure. It bursts so much air into the product (Aermate also works on spirits and coffee); air that is forced into the bottom of the glass or the bottle that then bounces around in the beverage and gives it as much exposure to oxygen as possible. Exposure it couldn’t get from a pouring aerator.”

Pouring profits into wine tastings is something Continue Reading…

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January 27, 2014

Make gravlax the newest addition to your small plates menu
By Francine Cohen

Swedish Culinary Summer by Xante Gravlax filet prep

Stop all the whining about this polar vortex repeat performance and get inspired by the culinary culture of a people who manage just fine in this weather…Swedish people.

Their classic dish, gravlax, has a place on both your Super Bowl buffet if you’re having friends over for the big game or can be an easy to prep and highly profitable bar snack that pairs beautifully with all sorts of cocktails on your menu.

Chef Magnus Lindström of Swedish Taste, Göteborg, presented this dish this past summer in the Hamptons as part of the Swedish Culinary Summer program ( which was sponsored, in part, by Peter F. Heering / Xanté (

Though prepped outside by the pool this is truly a year-round item that works with a variety of spirits and is sure to please guests as well as meet your food costs.

Lindstrom should know about these things; he won the Swedish Chef of the Year Award Continue Reading…

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May 16, 2013

Open Up Your Palate and Mind to the Pleasures of the Aperitif
By Francine Cohen

Jean De Lillet 2009 vintage

Starting a conversation with “I’m sorry…” is usually the domain of errant boyfriends and husbands, naughty children, and dirty politicians at press conferences. Now, add to that list, very fortunate (yet guilty) editors.

You must know, we mean it. We really are feeling a little guilty about spending an entire “Don’t Miss” column telling you about a product you’ll possibly never taste because it was produced in such a limited quantity that only 1,000 bottles total made it to the US.

But we can’t help it. Why? Because, even if you can’t find it at your favorite bar or track down one of the bottles still on liquor store shelves in NYC and CA you need to know about the existence of the deliciousness that is Jean De Lillet 2009; the vintage aperitif made from grapes ripened in what was a very good year in Bordeaux.

The juice, which was aged in French oak, offers up a lot of the wood on the nose, producing a slightly more bitter product than the traditional Lillet blanc. The extra aging process results in additional variances from its blanc cousin, such as a fuller and richer mouthfeel thanks to extra viscosity. The expected bittersweet and floral notes do come through on this golden hued Jean de Lillet 2009 just as they do on the blanc.

Tempting, right? We hope you’ll find it somewhere. If you can’t, at least you may want to understand why…Lillet’s brand ambassador, Amanda Boccato, comments on the limited supply limited and what to do if Continue Reading…

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April 5, 2013

aka – The Platinum Edition
By Francine Cohen

Angostura Legacy decanter

This installment of the “Don’t Miss” column eschews our normal guidelines of presenting you with items you can enjoy and doing so in a way that’s informative for you, and not all about us. This time around though, it is kind of about us. And you too, of course. Assuming you have a spare $25,000 sitting around waiting for the right bottle of rum to come on the market.

Nope, not a typo. That’s $25K for a decanter of delicious rum. To quote what we discovered when opening the elegant packaging in which this precious perfume vial sized sample arrived (our sample size is worth just a mere $200)- this is the world’s most expensive commercial release rum…Legacy by Angostura (

Oh the agony that accompanied its arrival! We knew it had to be good; a company with the reputation of Angostura’s doesn’t just throw any old rum in a bottle. And certainly not this 500ml bottle; not when it’s actually an elegant keepsake decanter made by jewelers to the Prince of Wales, Asprey of London ( And DEFINITELY not when the exclusive run of 20 handcrafted decanters is filled them with rum that the brand describes as “the crowning achievement of almost Continue Reading…

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March 31, 2013

No. 209 makes Kosher for Passover Gin and Vodka
By Francine Cohen

No 209 gin cocktail

Sunday, March 31, 2013. There’s been a LOT of anticipation tied up in this particular Sunday; it’s Easter, it’s the night that the third season of Game of Thrones debuts, and it’s nearing the end of Passover which is a really good thing because all of this matzoh, gefilte fish, leftover brisket stuff is getting painful.

So, here’s a bright seasonal drink that’ll pair with your best Easter bonnet, you can use to toast with anytime you see a dragon, and celebrates the near end of this Jewish holiday in a way that is truly Kosher-for-Passover… The Passover Spice cocktail made with No. 209’s Kosher-for-Passover Gin. (

Unlike the all year round No. 209 gin that has a grain-base (a four times distilled corn neutral grain spirit) the Kosher-for-Passover Gin is made of a sugar-cane base. On all other nights you might enjoy No. 209’s cardamom essence but not during Passover. Though the Kosher-for-Passover also has between eight and 11 botanicals, just like the original recipe, cardamom isn’t one of them since it is considered to be kitnyot (a forbidden ingredient). But still, whether you’re drinking the original or the Passover version, you’ll enjoy the following Continue Reading…

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January 3, 2013

By Francine Cohen

Perrier slim can traditional

When we first heard that people were sneaking Perrier into movie theatres we were both impressed (because we could imagine how delicious and civilized it would be with popcorn) and slightly confused (as to how they got that ubiquitous green bottle past the eagle eyed ticket takers). Then the new day of Perrier dawned on us…Perrier now comes in slim cans. (

Sound like a bunch of marketing hype to cover expensive re-packaging? Actually, it’s not. It’s a new way of looking at a venerable brand. The bubbly zero-calorie water from Vergeze, France that always offered rich, stable bubbles throughout your entire drinking experience.

Now, not only can you take Perrier with you on the go, easily, but the applications for cocktail usage are much more functional now too. No worries that opening a bottle of Perrier is a huge commitment for your guest and your inventory when it goes flat. The new Perrier slim cans are like the wine by the glass for the cocktail (and non-cocktail) set.

In a world where guests are super specific about their liquor brands and water choices, why shouldn’t they be equally demanding about their mixers? It’s a practice that other brands have embraced and speaks to the quality of your establishment. No name calling, but why use another brand and inject somewhere in the realm of 60mg of sodium into a drink when Perrier only brings 2, plus minerals that provide texture and an extra layer of flavor to your bubbly beverage.

And, speaking of flavors, Perrier also comes in Lime and Pink Grapefruit. Now that’s refreshing! But don’t just listen to us, hear what the experts have to say:

Tony Conigliaro
Using Perrier is great fun because Continue Reading…

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January 1, 2013

By Francine Cohen
Photo courtesy of Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm mushroom spread jar

Condiments. One of the best concepts in the food world. An excuse to add an additional flavor and/or texture component to a dish that completes it. Like the perfect garnish on a cocktail. Or your favorite accessory that finishes an outfit when you’re all revved up for a great night out. These little extras are what sets you, and your cooking and drink making apart from all others.

For food producers being set apart from all others courtesy of the recognition that comes with a James Beard nod is nice. So too are recommendations and accolades from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Food Network and Wine Spectator. But what really capitulates a condiment (and its creator) into the stratosphere is umami- that indescribably delicious taste that forces you to crave more, more, more!

That’s the kind of praise we’d like to heap upon Blackberry Farm’s ( mushroom spread. Chef Joseph Lenn, Executive Chef at this award-winning and highly sought after Tennessee destination, does an exquisite job of marrying local mushrooms with just a hint of tang to produce an earthy and hearty spread you’ll want to indulge in at every meal. Fortunately mushrooms, much like pork have a place in a multitude of dishes.

Lenn explains, “This spread was born at The Barn’s dining room as a healthy alternative to butter, and is the result of finding stunning fungi in the hills on-site. It’s delicious on a baguette, or mixed into polenta, risotto or pasta.”

He continues, “Here are simple and easy tips on how to use this new condiment.

• Start your morning off right with simply mixing the mushroom spread into scrambled eggs, the flavors give the eggs a perfect earthiness.
• Mix into a hot risotto or fresh pasta
• Toss with roasted beets and olive oil for a southern summer salad
• Put in a pie shell with your favorite fresh cheese and make a savory pie. For a simple pie with just mushroom spread and cheese, place in the 350 degree oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted.
• Stuff underneath chicken skin and roast in a broiler until skin is nice and crispy. Then finish in an oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 – 20 minutes or until internally the meat is at 160 degrees. Let the breast rest for 10 minutes on a warm platter.”

We’ve also enjoyed this at breakfast with our eggs as Lenn recommends, as a bread spread for turkey sandwiches, and probably our favorite way (way too many times) – just spooned onto some toast points and accompanied by a big glass of red wine.

However you choose to enjoy it we know you will. By the way, we recommend buying more than one jar at a time; you’d hate to run out.