Friday, 27 July 2012

How Funny Do You Think You Are, Ice Cream, Beer & Beat The Heat

I shall start this week by congratulating Yorvale for winning both Best in Class & Best Ice Cream at the Great Yorkshire Show for its Lemon, Honey and Ginger ice cream. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's the ginger! Yorvale produces its ice cream from its own herd of 40 cows.

Asia's biggest food industry event, the Taipei International Food Show, was held at the end of last month with the aim of launching new products in both Taiwan and overseas. One of the participants was the Indonesian Trade Ministry who hosted a pavilion with the theme "Remarkable Indonesia". With Indonesia being one of the ginger world's major players, it won't surprise you to learn that one of the products on show was a ginger juice. Exports of Indonesian ginger root has dropped dramatically in recent years so I am wondering whether the export of value-added products such as ginger juice is the preferred option. In a previous post I mentioned that ginger from four countries including Indonesia will be part of the Sustainable Spices Initiative.

In the last fiscal year, India exported 5.75 lakh tonnes of spices, a near ten per cent increase over the previous year. Of this total, ginger contributed four per cent which equated to two per cent of earnings. Considering that the majority of Indian ginger is produced for domestic consumption, we can see that it is also an important foreign exchange earner. (In case you are wondering, a lakh is a unit in the numbering system used in the Indian subcontinent equal to one hundred thousand).

Denver's Westword blog reports that Crabtree Brewing is moving to larger premises. Why is this of interest? Well, the brewery will now be able to make more of its regular beers including Ginger Bee, a 6.5% abv blonde ale brewed with fresh hand-cut ginger and orange blossom honey.

Americans love to add ginger to blonde beers and wheat beers. This brings me to Calicraft, a three-month-old brewery in California, which brews a 4.6% abv ginger wheat beer called Napa Smith.

August 6th this year is the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence. Celebrations will be held all over the world including a programme of film, music and comedy shows in London called Respect Jamaica 50. And Retail Times informs us that the official soft drinks sponsor of these shows will be Old Jamaica ginger beer from Cott Beverages. I've never tried this drink but Jamaicans are said to be very proud of it as it contains their beloved local root ginger with its internationally renowned fiery taste.

Old Jamaica has also been busy (and, presumably, having a good time) conducting a survey on British humour. According to Digital Spy, the survey found that 55% of men believe that they are funnier than anyone else they know compared to just 22% of women.

If you visit the Old Jamaica website before July 30th, you can enter a joke in the You Can't Beat An Old Jamaican competition.

The Toronto Star carried a timely article on using ginger in drinks to keep cool in summer. I say 'timely' as here in the south of England we are experiencing days of very warm weather (30-32C). I know this is nothing compared to what the USA has been suffering from recently but after months of wind & rain, 30C is welcome. We all know that ginger in winter can be warming but ginger in summer can also be both refreshing and uplifting. Although the article is only concerned with cocktails and beers, it is still an interesting read.

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