FROM THE BLOG
The Vanilla Shortage: Our Solutions
May 10, 2017
The Problem: Last year the leading provider of vanilla suffered from a smaller crop than usual. Madagascar produces the largest quantity and best quality of the world's vanilla supply and the changing climate just couldn't produce in 2015.
Choosing the Best Chocolate
January 4, 2016
To create the best recipe every single ingredient must be perfect. Here are some points that should be taken under consideration when making the decision of what kind of chocolate is the best.
Holiday 2016
December 13, 2016
Here in the ifiGOURMET office, north of Chicago, the atmosphere inside was feeling as gray as it was looking outside. With the holidays just around the bend, I felt like we needed some sparkle and spirit brought to our daily grind.
Top Ten Convenience Products
March 17, 2016
ifiGOURMET is a master importer & distributor of basic and specialty ingredients from the world's leading manufacturers of pastry, bakery, and confectionery products. But just because our products are of the finest quality and meet the exacting standards of professional pastry chefs doesn't mean they can't be fast, easy, and convenient, too.
We're in the mood for fall
September 09, 2015
It's that wistful time of year when we're most aware of the passage of time - the evening creeps in a little earlier, there's a cooler hint to the breezes. Frisbees have been traded for footballs, and bathing suits for backpacks.
Smoked Ice Cream
March 18, 2015
With the warmer, Springtime weather, we are dreaming about delicious ice cream concoctions! And whether it's a special 4th of July tradition or a favorite weekend treat, homemade ice cream really does taste better. Perhaps it's the memories that come with having ice cream at grandmas, or churning it yourself, that thick, creamy delight really is next to none.
40 ways to use Dreidoppel Flavor Paste
December 05, 2014
Dreidoppel Flavor Pastes are a work horse in the kitchen. They have reliable color and flavor, are ALWAYS in season and have consistent quality helping to reduce labor and expense.
Chocolate: A Prescription for Life, Part 3 of 3
November 15, 2014
In the last two blogs we talked about the do's and don'ts and the myths and facts of eating chocolate. In part three, we discover the Sacred ingredients Cocoa contains several minerals that act as catalysts that keep your 'battery' going, and compose about 4 percent of the human body.
Chocolate: A Prescription for Life, Part 2 of 3
September 09, 2014
Food Chemist Héctor Hugo Olarte, head of Special Projects Research at CasaLuker Company of Colombia, South America, describes the scientific pros and cons of enjoying the "food of the gods." Part 2: Myths vs facts Myths: Weight gain: Obviously, high ingestion of fudge may cause you weight problems.
Chocolate: A Prescription for Life, Part 1 of 3
July 07, 2014
Food Chemist Héctor Hugo Olarte, head of Special Projects Research at CasaLuker Company of Colombia, South America, describes the scientific pros and cons of enjoying the "food of the gods." Mayans and Aztecs were clever for many reasons, and chocolate is one of them.
Trip to Colombia
June 09, 2014
Back in April, I was invited, along with our Midwest Sales Director and Luker's Fino de Aroma Master Chef, to visit Luker's facilities in Bogota and Granja Luker in Manizalles. Colombia has an enormous wealth of dramatic natural landscapes with two oceans, three mountain ranges, jungles and plains - AND it is geographically located in an ideal place for growing cocoa.
If you're tired of waiting for spring, just make your own!
April 02, 2014
We're based in the Chicago area, and it seems like spring has been cancelled, or, at the very least, postponed. If the daffodils are trying to come up, they will have to force their heads through the crusts of dirty snow that won't go away.
Cupcakes: The perfect single-serving treat!
March 01, 2014
Despite its perfect single-serving size, the cupcake is not a sad or lonely food. (Recipe for Sad Cake: Put a bunch of ingredients in a mug, blast in the microwave for a couple minutes.
Hot New Trend: Food Mashups
January 18, 2014
Happy January! It's time to start wearing zippered pants again, and to get the prognostication helmet out of the attic and see what's in store for 2014. According to the Food Network, a top trend is food mashups, like blending flavors of different ethnic traditions, and pushing the salty-sweet thing to new limits, with sweeter snacks and saltier sweets.
The always festive Bûche de Noël
December 09, 2013
In the pantheon of delicious foods that resemble inedible things, few are as festive as the Yule Log, or Bûche de Noël. Dating back hundreds of years, the term bûche de Noël referred to an actual log (made from a tree), garnished with holly and pinecones, and burned on a fire.
Fall Inspiration
November 26, 2013
Once the sole notion of professionals in industries like interior decorating, fashion design, graphic design, and wedding planning, mood boards are used as an early step in the design process, a sort of visual shorthand to communicate a general direction for the project. They combine imagery of textures, landscapes, patterns, colors, scenery, faces, and objects, occasionally interspersed with inspirational thoughts or quotations.
Falling for Flavor
November 06, 2013
We're deep into the autumn season, and everything's coming up pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin muffins.
Around the world with IFI
October 03, 2013
We hope you've traveled with us on our trip around the world--gazing in pastry shop windows in Paris, roadtripping through Germany, chocolate-touring in Belgium, enjoying the cultural and geographic diversity of Colombia, and lolling about the French countryside. Now we hope you'll join us as we bring the world together at our booth at the IBIE show in Las Vegas! Be sure to download and print out the passport stamps at the bottom of each blog post.
Let Them Eat Cake!
September 01, 2013
Marie-Antoinette, weary of duchesses and earls and jewels and ball gowns, would retreat to Petit Trianon, her little farm house on the grounds of Versailles, where she would dress in muslins, play shepherdess with her flock of bathed sheep, and wander among the gardens, vineyards, and sun-dappled orchards. The peasants were outraged that this aristocrat was seemingly mocking their humble lifestyle, but who wouldn't enjoy the fantasy of living in the French countryside, especially with servants to tend the grounds and perfume the livestock.
South America - An Exotic Adventure
August 05, 2013
Colombia, South America, is the source of many of the world's most seductive, exotic things, like coffee, flowers, gold, emeralds, Sofia Vergara, and chocolate. Located in northwestern South America, Colombia encompasses a wide range of climates, including Amazon rainforest, tropical grasslands, oceanic coastlines, mountain highlands, and metropolitan centers, offering a climate and lifestyle for every taste.
Belgian Chocolate
July 01, 2013
Mention Belgium and almost everyone's mind goes immediately to chocolate. (Some of us would be thinking about chocolate anyway, but that's neither here nor there.
Road Trip Through Germany
June 03, 2013
Autoreise! It almost evokes the same magic as the American equivalent: Road Trip! Germany is the perfect setting for our Autoreise, with its promise of new sights and sounds and flavors and adventures. Roll down your windows and let's go! We'll start in Langenfeld, a resort town situated between Dusseldorf and Cologne in western Germany.
French Tarts
May 02, 2013
Press your nose to the window of a French Patisserie and try not to lick the glass as you survey the creations within, as enticingly displayed as the jewels at Cartier: napoleons, mille-feuille, macarons, croquembouche, eclairs, each more tempting than the last. But there, a gem among the jewels: the classic French tart.
Almond Paste- Such Sweetness In Me!
April 11, 2013
There's a fantastic children's book (that's really for adults) called the Marzipan Pig, by Russell Hoban. The Marzipan Pig lies forgotten behind the couch.
A fruit by any other name...
March 14, 2013
Perhaps you know the tropical physalis fruit by one of its other names--goldenberry, chinese lantern, cape gooseberry, strawberry tomato, groundcherry--or maybe you've never heard of it at all! Physalis is in the nightshade family, and therefore a relative of the tomato and tomatillo. Like the tomatillo, the physalis has a papery husk, which makes the fruit resemble a Chinese lantern--hence the name.
Vanilla - Anything But Ordinary
January 14, 2013
The term vanilla has been unfairly used to describe things that are ordinary or conventional or bland or boring. Truth is, real vanilla is anything but bland and boring! Gloriously fragrant and evocative on its own, vanilla also enhances other flavorings.
Simple, Elegant Holiday Solutions
December 05, 2012
International Foods & Ingredients is a leading importer and master distributor of basic and specialty ingredients from the world's leading manufacturers of pastry, bakery, and confectionery products. But just because our products are of the finest quality and meet the exacting standards of professional pastry chefs doesn't mean they can't be fast, easy, and convenient, too.
About A Plum
October 10, 2012
Once upon a time, a beautiful princess named Mira lived in a magnificent castle in the French countryside. One day, Mira met an old woman and offered her kind hospitality.
50 Years for Granja Luker
August 3, 2012
The sport of boxing is often called the Sweet Science, but there can't be any science sweeter than what's going on at La Granja Luker, one of the world's few cocoa research facilities. La Granja Luker, or Luker Farm, is operated by CasaLuker, a family-owned business founded in 1906 in Manizales, Colombia.
Health Effects of Tea
May 15, 2012
Although Eastern cultures have for millennia considered tea as a key to good health and happiness, researchers here in the West are just now discovering the health-giving properties of different types of tea. Green tea is made with steamed tea leaves and is minimally processed, thereby retaining the most health-boosting qualities of any type of tea.
Sweet & Savory, a Delicious Partnership
March 27, 2012
The sweet & savory trend shows no sign of abating. The bacon craze is still going strong and innovative culinary creators continue to push the envelope in all sorts of interesting directions.
Colorants: Artificial versus All Natural
February 20, 2012
Is that red coloring you're using a red flag? Studies are increasingly showing a link between artificial colorants and behavioral disorders in children.
CasaLuker: One of the World's Largest Producers of Chocolate made from Fine Flavor Cocoa
January 20, 2012
We're thrilled with your overwhelming response to our new partner, CasaLuker, one of the world's largest producers of chocolate made exclusively from fino de aroma, or fine flavor, cacao beans. If you haven't heard of fine flavor beans, it's probably because they account for only six percent of the world's production of cacao.