Coke’s new canned coffee tastes like a Coke – until it doesn’t #SootinClaimon.Com

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Coke’s new canned coffee tastes like a Coke – until it doesn’t

Jan 26. 2021Coca-Cola with Coffee Zero Sugar Vanilla. MUST CREDIT: Coca-ColaCoca-Cola with Coffee Zero Sugar Vanilla. MUST CREDIT: Coca-Cola

By The Washington Post · Emily Heil

America has gone can crazy. We’re drinking so much out of the spherical aluminum tubes that there’s a nationwide shortage of them. And it’s not just soda we’re guzzling, but just about anything in liquid form, including (nonalcoholic) craft beer, premixed cocktails, hard seltzers, fizzy juices, sparkling water, kombucha, iced tea and cold coffees.

The latter category has taken off in a big way over the last few years: In 2019, my colleague Maura Judkis declared it was a “golden age” for the product, with everyone from Maxwell House to indie, third-wave coffeehouses churning out cans of brews laced with coconut cream, antioxidants and maple water. And now the trend is official, with Coca-Cola – the undisputed world champion of beverage sales – debuting its own version. The drink comes in three flavors – dark blend, vanilla and caramel, along with sugar-free Coke Zero versions of the dark blend and vanilla – and will appear on grocery shelves this week.

The beverage giant might be fashionably late to the canned-coffee party, and its entrance might feel a bit like when your mom finally bought her first pair of skinny-leg jeans sometime around 2010. But Brandan Strickland, the brand director for Coca-Cola, says the launch timing, after two years of development, is intentional, and that the resulting product will stand out in a crowded field. “We wanted to do it in a way that was true to Coca-Cola,” he says of the drink’s creation. “This is unlike any other option out here in the marketplace.”

As opposed to other canned coffees, the Coke-coffee hybrid is just that. It’s not Coke’s version of canned coffee, it’s actually a mash-up that combines the familiar flavor of the soda you’ve tasted a thousand times and that of your morning coffee. Strickland said that to capture the paired flavors, the company made an advertising tagline from something said by a taster in a focus group: “Sips like a Coke, finishes like a coffee.”

“We found that was a compelling message,” he says. “And it came directly from consumers.”

Upon tasting a sample, I’m inclined to vouch for the slogan. For the first millisecond or so after raising the dark blend can to your lips, you’d think you were drinking a regular soda, with its recognizable caramel notes and almost-stinging effervescence hitting your palate. The taste of coffee kicks in at the back end, offering a dry, powdery jolt that brings to mind a bracing cup of joe at a diner.

“It tastes like a Coke – until it doesn’t,” my husband observed after a few sips.

One quibble is the slight-but-lingering sensation of fake sugar that made my tongue curl after a bit, which I found confusing. This was supposed to be the regular version, right? A close reading of the ingredient list confirmed my suspicions: In addition to the high-fructose corn syrup that sweetens regular Coke, the Coke-and-coffee concoction also contains sucralose. (As a fake-sugar-phobe, I found the no-calorie vanilla version mouth-shrivelingly undrinkable, though I know it might appeal to the legions of diet soda drinkers out there.)

More refreshing than the drink itself might be its straightforward name, “Coca-Cola with Coffee,” a moniker devoid of any cutesy flourishes that smack of a marketing department with too many former English majors on board. (See: Coke’s AHA line.) I like that it lives up to its promise. It’s Coke! With coffee! This is all very easy to understand.

Less clear is exactly when one should drink this. Is it meant to replace my morning cup of coffee? (Fat chance, Mr. Polar Bear.) Or are we supposed to crave it alongside a burger and fries? (Which could be . . . weird.)

Strickland offers the idea that it’s something people will reach for in the dreaded “3 o’clock slump,” that moment in the afternoon, he says, when consumers might debate whether they want a Coke or a coffee. The pick-me-up factor is real; a 12-ounce can contains 69 mg of caffeine, twice that of regular Coke, though still far lower than the 130 mg a similarly size cup of Starbucks offers.

Coca-Cola began working on the new drink well before 2020, but it seems like a beverage tailor-made for our pandemic selves. These days, we’re deprived of barista-poured brews, forever stuck at something-o’clock, badly in need of a jolt and simultaneously craving something both familiar and new. With so many decisions to make – what to binge next on Netflix? Can I wear these sweatpants another day? – at least there’s one less to get stuck on.

Prachinburi hospital serves up marijuana-spiked delicacies #SootinClaimon.Com

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Prachinburi hospital serves up marijuana-spiked delicacies

Jan 12. 2021

By THE NATION

Prachinburi’s Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital has opened “Ganja Ros” (Taste of Ganja) – Thailand’s first eatery that offers dishes spiked with marijuana.

This restaurant was in response to the government’s resolution to remove marijuana from the list of narcotics and promote it commercially.

The restaurant currently serves up four dishes spiked with ganja, namely spicy salad, meat stir-fried with basil, bread and spicy soup with pork rib.

The delicacies are served up daily from 9am to 4pm.

Get your greens and fruit in a glass with this nourishing yogurt smoothie #SootinClaimon.Com

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Get your greens and fruit in a glass with this nourishing yogurt smoothie

Jan 01. 2021Green Smoothie With Yogurt, Pear and Ginger. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Scott Suchman for the Washington Post.
Photo by: Scott Suchman — For The Washington Post
Location: Arlington, United StatesGreen Smoothie With Yogurt, Pear and Ginger. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Scott Suchman for the Washington Post. Photo by: Scott Suchman — For The Washington Post Location: Arlington, United States

By Special To The Washington Post · Ellie Krieger 

This green smoothie is not magical. It will not detoxify you (your liver, lungs and digestive system do that just fine) or cleanse you (food doesn’t make you clean or dirty) or fulfill the overblown promises inevitably made about one food or another right after the New Year’s ball drops.

What this smoothie is, however, is a delicious and healthful breakfast or snack which can serve as a mental reset for a fresh start to the year.

Its beautiful celadon hue immediately signals “healthy,” reinforcing that it’s a step toward your best intentions for wellness in 2021. Sipping it is a reminder of how that goal can be achieved with absolute pleasure.

It’s cool, creamy and gently tangy with a base of plain yogurt (providing calcium, protein and probiotics) softly sweetened with whole fruit – a very ripe pear and few dates (adding fiber, vitamin C and minerals) – and with a refreshing zing of ginger root. A handful of almonds adds a layer of texture (plus more protein, fiber and healthy fat), and spinach leaves provide that gorgeous green color and nutritional benefits without any detectable flavor, making this smoothie an ideal way to stealthily incorporate leafy vegetables.

You can play with variations on its basic formula, using Greek or non-dairy yogurt, a ripe banana or chunks of pineapple instead of the pear, a different type of nut or seed, or baby kale instead of spinach, for example, adjusting the thickness and the level of sweetness by adding a little cold water and/or honey to taste.

Now that I think about it, considering this smoothie’s many assets, and given the idea that even the most ordinary things in the world are actually quite miraculous, it might have some magic to it after all.

– – –

Green Smoothie With Yogurt, Pear and Ginger

10 minutes

2 servings

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup ice

1 cup lightly packed spinach leaves

2/3 cup plain yogurt (low-fat or whole milk, see NOTE)

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 very ripe medium pear (any variety), peeled, cored and cut into chunks

3 pitted dates, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

Honey, to taste (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Place the ice into a blender and process to crush it. Add the spinach, yogurt, almonds, pear, dates and ginger and blend until smooth and frothy, with a little texture remaining from the almonds and dates. Taste, and then blend in a little honey to taste, if desired.

NOTE: This recipe is best with regular yogurt, but 1/2 cup Greek yogurt plus 2 tablespoons cold water may be substituted.

Nutrition | Calories: 280; Total Fat: 13 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 5 mg; Sodium: 60 mg; Carbohydrates: 35 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugar: 23 g; Protein: 10 g.

Recipe from cookbook author and nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Elements to celebrate black truffle season from Jan 19 #SootinClaimon.Com

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Elements to celebrate black truffle season from Jan 19

Dec 25. 2020

By The Nation

The season of black winter truffles has arrived at the Michelin-starred Elements restaurant, with chef de cuisine Hans Zahner and his team getting ready to serve up delicacies featuring the richly flavoured “black diamonds”.

Considered to be among the best in the world, these highly-prized are harvested in the mountainous woods of France’s Perigord region.

Dishes featuring the truffles will be served up at the Elements from January 19 to March 31, every Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm to 10.30pm.

The restaurant is located on the 25th floor of the Okura Prestige Bangkok.

Swensen’s reaches out to young crowd with dessert pop-up store #SootinClaimon.Com

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Swensen’s reaches out to young crowd with dessert pop-up store (nationthailand.com)

Swensen’s reaches out to young crowd with dessert pop-up store

Dec 22. 2020

By The Nation

Swensen’s has carved a niche for itself in the dessert market with the launch of a pop-up store, the first of its kind in Thailand, the company said.

“Sweet Aholic by Swensen’s” offers crafted French butter croissants topped with signature ice cream from Swensen’s. Another highlighted feature of the new pop-up store is its minimalist design that is expected to generate a buzz among café hoppers.

“As we have been serving Thai people for several decades, Swensen’s wants to confirm our leadership in Thailand’s dessert market by targeting an entirely new breed of customers. The launch of Sweet Aholic by Swensen’s truly aligns with this commitment,” said Anupon Nitiyanant, general manager of Swensen’s (Thai) Ltd, a subsidiary of The Minor Food Group Plc.

“This pop-up dessert store is designed especially for younger crowds who are looking for a unique new experience and taste. Its captivating visual appearance and stylish interior also make it an ideal spot for photo capturing and sharing on social media.”

He said the pop-up store looks to satisfy a younger range of consumers with the use of its minimal, yet distinctive and sophisticated brand image.”

Napol Sirimongkolkasem, head of marketing, Swensen’s (Thai) Ltd, said the dessert store concept was driven by a belief that desserts can bring you happiness in all emotional situations.”

A variety of specially designed beverage products are also available.

For a limited time only, the specially crafted French croissants topped with a choice of delicious ice cream are now available at Sweet Aholic by Swensen’s on the G floor of Samyan Mitrtown, and will be served until December 31.

For more information, contact Swensen’s Public Relations Department at 02 365 6934, alternatively visit 

https://www.facebook.com/sweetaholicbyswensens

 or https://www.instagram.com/sweetaholic.cafe/

Meet the new Thai stars in Michelin’s latest restaurant guide #SootinClaimon.Com

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Meet the new Thai stars in Michelin’s latest restaurant guide (nationthailand.com)

Meet the new Thai stars in Michelin’s latest restaurant guide

Dec 16. 2020The 2021 Michelin Guide Thailand winners
The 2021 Michelin Guide Thailand winners 

By The Nation

Michelin granted Thailand another four precious stars on Wednesday, as it unveiled its latest guide to the country’s restaurant scene.

Featured in the “Michelin Guide Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang-Nga 2021” are 299 dining establishments – with a total of 6 two-star, 22 one-star, 106 Bib Gourmand, and 165 Michelin Plate eateries.

Chef’s Table, a French contemporary restaurant in Bangkok, is the only eatery promoted from one-star to two-star status.

Three more Bangkok restaurants have been granted one-star status.

Blue by Alain Ducasse is a French contemporary restaurant that “offers diners a chance to savour world-class dishes using top quality ingredients, well executed with classic French cooking techniques”.

Cadence by Dan Bark is an “innovative restaurant that brings together Western and Asian cuisine, plus features Korean arts through modern and innovative dishes”.

Another addition to the one-star list is promoted from the Michelin Plate: “Sushi Masato, a sushi bar serving omakase menu in an intimate chef’s table setting, where a team of inspired chefs use the finest ingredients sourced from Japan.”

Nineteen other establishments retain their one-star rating, bringing the total one-star count to 22.

The Michelin Plate rating (“good cooking”) sees 32 new entrants – 12 in Bangkok surrounding provinces, nine in Chiang Mai, and 11 in Phuket & Phang-Nga – bringing the total to 165 establishments.

Among the newbies are Banrimbung (Nakhon Pathom), serving family-style Thai cuisine with fresh seafood; Kiti Panit (Chiang Mai), serving authentic Lanna food in a traditional setting; and Beach Grill and Bar (Phang-Nga), where Mediterranean fusion cuisine and fresh local seafood are served from the charcoal grill.

PRU, the one-Michelin-star restaurant in Phuket, is also awarded the Michelin Green Star in recognition of its pioneering sustainable gastronomy practices.

The restaurant uses only seasonal ingredients from Thailand, including line-caught seafood and free-range animals. Its research team have even created a seedbank to preserve local agricultural biodiversity.

Meanwhile the Thailand’s first Michelin Guide Young Chef Award goes to Sujira “Aom” Pongmorn at Saawaan (Bangkok).

Sujira was born into a family of cooks before training under Michelin-starred chefs such as Juan Amador and Thomas Keller.

The Michelin Guide Service Award goes to Guillaume Barray, general manager at Chef’s Table (Bangkok) and hailed for his “efficiency, sincerity and passion for good products and traditions to deliver the best experience possible to all guests”.

From left: A representative receives the Michelin Green Star for the one-star PRU restaurant (Phuket); Sujira “Aom” Pongmorn from Saawaan (Bangkok) is awarded the 2021 Michelin Guide Young Chef Award; and Guillaume Barray, general manager at Chef’s Table (Bangkok), holds his Michelin Guide Service Award.

“The Michelin Guide Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Phang-Nga 2021 is available in a Thai/English digital edition at guide.michelin.com/th/en or in print at large bookshops for Bt650 from December 23.

Sizzler marks festive season with minimalist memorabilia, special menu #SootinClaimon.Com

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Sizzler marks festive season with minimalist memorabilia, special menu (nationthailand.com)

Sizzler marks festive season with minimalist memorabilia, special menu

Dec 16. 2020

By The Nation

Sizzler is collaborating with popular minimalist artist Suntur to launch collectibles in line with its “Festive Season, Joyful Entry to 2021” promotion.

Included in this promotion is a special menu offering delights like grilled grouper steak with salmon salad, prawn cake and salmon sauce, surf and turf with mashed truffle and black pepper sauce, crispy pancetta with mashed truffle etc.

Also on offer is a new festive cookie set, which can make for a perfect gift. The festive goodies will be served until January 24.

Sizzler said that sales in the third quarter had risen by 100 per cent compared to the first half of the year, and expects overall sales in 2021 to grow by 5 to 10 per cent once the economy starts picking up.

The debate between cast-iron haters and loyalists is as enduring as the pan itself #SootinClaimon.Com

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The debate between cast-iron haters and loyalists is as enduring as the pan itself (nationthailand.com)

The debate between cast-iron haters and loyalists is as enduring as the pan itself

Dec 13. 2020The debate between cast-iron haters and loyalists is as enduring as the pan itself. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post.
The debate between cast-iron haters and loyalists is as enduring as the pan itself. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post. 

By The Washington Post · Emily Heil · FEATURES, FOOD 

Cast-iron pans have a storied place in American home cooking. The hefty, glossy black workhorses have plenty of attributes: they hold heat like champs, can put a crusty sear on a steak, and they look gorgeous hanging from a rack. Their fans are legion.

And so, inevitably, when someone expresses anything other than reverence for the durable cookware, the oven mitts come off, and Team Cast Iron (some of whom self-identify as “Skilletheads”) is spoiling for a fight.

This week saw the latest flare-up in the long-simmering debate between those who love the stuff and those who find them too fiddly, too high maintenance, or just too heavy.

Rosie Gray, a reporter for BuzzFeed News this week tweeted what one might have thought was an innocent musing. “I’ve never seen anyone make a convincing argument for why i should have a cast iron pan,” she wrote.

The missive drew nearly 2,000 responses, most in defense of the sacred cookware, including a small number of nasty responses. In an interview, Gray called her ensuing mentions “out of control” – and this is from a female reporter who has covered the Trump administration.

Gray says the heft of the cookware is simply unappealing, and so is the idea of doing a separate cleaning regime than she uses for her other pans. “People were like, it’s easy to just rub it with salt, or oil it, and I’m thinking, ‘or I could cook in a pan that I don’t have to do that to?'” she says. “I just might not be one of the people who has patience to do that.”

She isn’t the first cast-iron heretic to draw public note. This summer, New York chef Frank Prisinzano made headlines for his blistering put-down of cast iron. “We’re way past cast-iron now,” he said on Instagram, blasting the pans for being heavy, and time-consuming to clean and season. “This is really something from history here.”

But when you ask cast-iron partisans about the skeptics, a funny thing happens. Most don’t sling insults. Will Copenhaver, vice president for marketing and sales for the Charleston-based Smithey Ironware Co., strikes a genteel (yet unmistakably shade-filled) note when asked about those on the other side of the aisle.

Perhaps they’re just “contrarians,” suggests Copenhaver, whose company produces swoon-inducing, artisanal pans. Or it’s just a matter of taste, he says, with the unspoken suggestion that the haters . . . well, as Southerners say about people with bad taste, bless their hearts. “Some people don’t like old houses,” he says. “Some people do. People who haven’t been exposed to cast iron might think it’s a pure nostalgia play, which is not fair.”

Copenhaver allows that some people might find it annoying not to be able to put their pans in the dishwasher. But beyond that, he thinks that people who don’t like cast iron probably just think it’s harder to maintain than it really is.

Ashley Jones, author of the cookbook “Modern Cast Iron,” has a similar read on the doubters, and chalks up their negative takes to what she says is information overload – after all, many cast-iron devotees insist that they alone know the best way to care for their pans, whether that’s a salt-scrub method or using chain-mail “sponges” to clean them. “There’s a lot of confusion,” Jones says. “If you look up how to care for cast iron, there’s a lot of conflicting information, you’ll see a million different answers.” “It’s an old debate, and I don’t blame people for either side of it.”

Jones offers a simple technique for everyday cleaning that she hopes could win over the fearful. Go ahead and use soap, she says. (Today’s mild detergents aren’t your grandmom’s harsh lyes, and won’t strip the seasoning.) Dry the pan well on a warm burner, add a bit of oil, and give it a quick wipe with a paper towel.

Plenty of people similarly sought to educate Gray about cast iron in the hopes of converting her, sharing their own tips and techniques for maintaining it. But she’s still not planning to buy a new pan.

“Look, we should all use the kitchen tools that we like, and for me, the benefits don’t outweigh the negatives,” she says. “But I applaud the effort people put into convincing me.”

Don’t expect the faithful to give up trying. One of the biggest selling points for cast-iron pans is that they last forever. The debate over them will, too.

Winter treats at Yamazato in Bangkok #SootinClaimon.Com

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Winter treats at Yamazato in Bangkok (nationthailand.com)

Winter treats at Yamazato in Bangkok

Dec 04. 2020

By The Nation

The Okura Prestige Bangkok’s Michelin Plate signature Japanese restaurant Yamazato is celebrating the cool season with special Gozen lunch platters and a multi-course Kaiseki dinner that include seasonal ingredients such as snow crab, oyster, daikon and monkfish from 4-31 January 2021.

In addition to succulent sashimi and a soup of crabmeat dumpling and shimeji mushroom, the first Gozen lunch platter includes a starter of five-coloured vinegared vegetables, shrimp and smoked duck with egg yolk vinegar. The star of the second platter is a dish of grilled Spanish mackerel with canola white sauce, dried miso and omelet.

The multi-course Kaiseki dinner opens with an amuse bouche of fresh soy milk skin with okra, steamed sea urchin and starchy soy sauce and moves on to a starter of herring fish roe, crabmeat, eggplant and maitake mushroom; a soup of monkfish liver dumpling and mushroom with a hint of yuzu; a sashimi selection of tuna, yellowtail, torched scallop and sweet shrimp; and a grilled dish of sabelfish with yuzu and wagyu with miso. A simmered dish of salmon with sake lees, daikon radish, carrot, shitake mushroom, taro, leek and canola flower is followed by a selection of tempura before hot vermicelli noodles with cod roe and shimeji mushrooms rounds off the meal.

Winter Gozen lunch is available from 11.30am to 2.30pm at Bt1,500++, and Kaiseki dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm at Bt4,700++.

Traditional Japanese teatime blossoms at Okura Prestige Bangkok #SootinClaimon.Com

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Traditional Japanese teatime blossoms at Okura Prestige Bangkok (nationthailand.com)

Traditional Japanese teatime blossoms at Okura Prestige Bangkok

Dec 01. 2020

By The Nation

The Okura Prestige Bangkok is inviting guests to indulge in the seasonal delights of the wonderful Tsubaki Afternoon Tea at Up & Above Bar, from January 1 to March 31.

Celebrating the blossoming of the camellia flower in Japan, sweet delights include cherry mignardise, Tsubaki macaron, Satonishiki black forest cake, almond biscuit with Yuzu clafoutis, traditional scone, Kyoho scone, Kyoho Tsubaki cake, passion fruit sorbet, and much more.

Stars of the savoury selection include prawn celeriac roulade with cucumber, aranchini, togarashi mayonnaise, crostini smoked teriyaki mackerel and beetroot & goat cheese tart.

The Tsubaki Afternoon Tea is available daily from 2pm to 5pm.