Coffee Break – Round-up of news affecting the food and drink industry

  • Lambrusco outsells Prosecco
  • Food standard warnings rocket
  • IBS-friendly menu launched at Scottish restaurant
  • Hollyoaks star Rob Norbury to open  Oldham restaurant
  • First Bug restaurant comes to Manchester
  • Arla launches organic milk
  • Belfast food tour awarded five stars for quality

Lambrusco outsells Prosecco

Sales sour for the retro sparkling wine after endorsement by celebrity chef Antonio Carluccio

RESTAURANTER Antonio Carluccio is behind the comeback after stocking the tipple at his restaurants.

The drink was a huge hit in Britain in the 1970s, when it was seen as a ‘stylish import’ – and was among the most popular imported wines to the UK.

But its popularity faded in the coming decade and by the mid-to-late 80s, Lambrusco was out of favour.

However, the wine is seeing a resurgence after it began to shed its 70s image and is now being given glowing reviews by food and wine critics.

Lambrusco, produced in northern Italy – Parma and Modena – is made from a red grape and the most highly-rated vintages are the frizzante (slightly sparkling) bottles – although white and rosé wines are also available.

The wine has shed its ‘light and sweet’ image, and bottles are now being produced which are ‘more complex and drier’; with wine writers saying the wine can be ‘pleasantly dark, bitter, and fragrant’.

Moving with the times, Carluccio’s – which has 100 restaurants in the UK – has now added the wine to its menu after head wine buyer; Michael Stocks decided it was back in vogue.

“Lambrusco, the darling of 70’s dining culture, has been specifically chosen for its lighter style, a mix between a dark rosé and a light red traditionally served chilled,” said a Caluccio spokesperson.

“Unlike the more commercial Lambrusco that has earned a bad reputation, this selection has more depth of flavour and a great balance of soft fruit with a crisp acidity and a touch of soft tannin, hence perfect with hams, salami and cheese.”

Food standard warnings rocket

Introduction of stringent laws around the display of allergy information on food labels blamed for surge in warnings

THE number of UK food businesses subject to food standards warnings rocketed last year after new EU legislation came into force.

Enforcement data from the Food Standards Agency shows that 23,056 businesses were subject to varying levels of food standards warnings in 2015-16.

This represents an increase of 59 per cent compared to the 14,539 warnings issued in 2013-14.

The increase follows the introduction of more stringent laws around the display of allergy information on food labels which came into force in December 2014.

Picture of Food allergy labelThese laws are set by the European Food Information Council (EUFIC), a non-profit organisation that seeks to improve food safety across the European Union.

Food labels must now display information on 14 different allergens including celery, soya and cereals containing gluten as well as things like nuts and shellfish.

As many as 22,717 establishments were given written warnings for failing to comply with food standards last year, an increase of 56 per cent. A further 129 were given cautions while 210 were subject to more serious punishment such as prosecution or having food confiscated.

IBS-friendly menu launched at Brasserie

Glaswegian–based French brasserie caters for those with irritable bowel syndrome

ATLANTIC Bar and Brasserie, St Vincent Place, Glasgow, has launched an entire menu suited to those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

IBS is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system and can lead to episodes of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation for those who live with it.

atlantic-signageThe brasserie took the decision to offer IBS friendly food following an approach by Glasgow dietitian Lesley Reid, an IBS sufferer herself.

The menu consists of learnings from the low FODMAP diet, short for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.

This evidence-based diet, created by Monash University in Australia and Kings College in London, involves restricting foods believed to cause IBS flare ups, such as wheat, onion, garlic, milk, certain fruits and lentils.

The menu, created by the chefs from the brasserie include sautéed Barbary duck breast, seared Scottish scallops and banana and vanilla pudding, chocolate mousse, lemon sole, blueberry, lemon and raspberry sorbet with an almond biscuit base.

The only criteria is that diners book in for the IBS menu 24 hours in advance to give the chefs time to prepare it.

IBS is thought to affect up to one in five people at some point in their life, and it usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years-old. Around twice as many women are affected as men.

Hollyoak’s star to open Oldham restaurant

HOLLYOAK’S actor Rob Norbury is to open a 100-cover restaurant 

THE move follows extensive redevelopment of an old building on the High Street in Uppermill, Saddleworth.

Norbury played Riley Costello in the Channel 4 soap. It was his family that initially snapped up the neighbouring Muse cafe as an existing business 18 months ago. Norbury bought the empty building right next door as soon as it went up for sale, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Picture of Hollyoaks star Rob Norbury
Rob Norbury to open Muse restaurant and bar in Saddleworth, Oldham

He has transformed it into restaurant with a stylish warehouse feel, a bright and airy glass canopy room and splashes of quirky neon and retro posters.

First bug restaurant comes to Manchester

Fancy a tarantula burger and cricket taco? Visit Favela Manchester

BRAZILLIAN restaurant and bar Favelas on Hilton Street in the Northern Quarter is to launch a full cocktail and food ‘bug’ menu on Friday (25 November 2016), complete with a carnival themed launch party featuring a Brazilian band and samba dancers.

One example of a dish on the menu is the tarantula gaucho burger, complete with green lettuce and red tomato and egg on top and a tarantula resting on top of this egg.

Other dishes include fish cakes with poached egg and mealworms, cricket tacos and the possibility of deep fried tarantula served with a spicy dip.

Arla launches organic milk

Arla responds to the trendy resurgence of organic in UK

THE farmer-owned dairy company is responding to the resurgence of organic products in the UK with the launch of its first branded organic product, Arla Organic Farm Milk.

The Soil Association that certifies over 70 per cent of all organic products sold in the UK, indicates an increasing consumer push for organic produce in 2016.

A recent Rabobank report also states: “Food producers should increase their focus on organic, through new products and brands, or through the reformulation of existing products to help grow their top lines.

“This transition will also help them to position themselves as ‘responsible businesses.”

Picture of Arla Organic milkArla is the world’s largest producer of organic dairy products, with its farmers providing around 700 million litres of organic milk each year, including the UK, where it already produces own-label organic milk, cheese and butter.

Belfast food tour awarded five stars for quality

Taste & Tour NI’s Belfast Food Tour first to be awarded five-star rating

SO far this year, the company’s four-hour venture through Belfast has already attracted more than 2,000 visitors.

Belfast Food Tour was given the accreditation under the Tourism NI grading scheme designed to provide visitors with information on the quality of the region’s tourist attractions.

To achieve a star rating, experiences are subject to an unannounced mystery assessment and are marked across six categories.

taste-and-tour-belfastTourism Northern Ireland chief executive John McGrillen told the Belfast Telegraph: “Food and drink experiences have become increasingly important to tourism as they offer destinations an opportunity to celebrate indigenous foods.

“Within the four-hour walking Belfast Food Tour, visitors have over 20 opportunities to experience and sample our local produce and are involved in talks and demonstrations from local artisans and producers, encouraging sales and repeat usage.”

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