Flash Freezing vs Frozen
Flash Freezing food such as cold water fish, for example, is different than using
conventional freezing methods. Placing items such as seafood in a commercial freezer
can take up to 24 hours or longer to freeze at a temperature safe for storage. The
type of fish, fat content, and it's weight among other things, will cause variants
in freezing times. Using conventional freezing methods to transport and store fish
allow large ice crystals to form around the cells inside of the fish that compromise
the cellular structure. This changes the texture of the fish, or even beef and other
food items. It can also change the way food taste. Flash Freezing is a method that
utilizes supercooled, circulating air far below the freezing temperature of water,
to quickly freeze food products. And, the faster the airspeeds, the quicker the
freezing process. The benefits of Flash Freezing are extraordinary. For one, the
cellular breakdown of the fish becomes virtually none existent, because the speed
at which the fish is frozen interrupts the formation of large ice crystals that
negatively impact the cell membranes of the fish. Flash Frozen fish maintains its
texture and should taste no different than a fish caught hours before, never frozen.
Of course, the safety benefits are a consideration too. Flash Frozen fish may even
provide a higher level of safety to consumers killing parasites faster than
conventional freezing methods. And, you do not have to give any thought to the
kinds of preservatives used, because there aren't any. And for people who crave
sushi, there is only one question to ask, has the sushi been flash frozen or was
it rendered frozen using conventional freezing methods, because It is illegal
to serve raw seafood in the US, exception being tuna, unless it has been frozen
first at temperatures at -4 Fahrenheit / -20º Celsius for seven days.
Dry Aged Beef vs Wet Aged Beef
Dry aging beef involves the process of storing large distinct portions of an animal
such as strip loins, rib eye, and sirloin at near freezing temperatures while smaller
cuts of beef can be dry-aged on racks in climate-controlled coolers in a drybag. For
dry-aging to work, you must use high-grade beef with high-fat content. Dry-aging beef
removes moisture from the muscle and allows the animal's enzymes to break down the
connective tissue of the muscle tenderizing the beef. During dry-aging, fungi grow on
the surface of the meat which also aids in tenderization and flavor. It, of course, is
scraped off when prepared for cooking. The whole process can take up to 28 days or
longer at a considerable loss of product weight. The result, however, is a tender,
delicious cut of beef, unlike any other prepared meats. Wet-aging beef attempts to
achieve some of the dry-aged results by vacuum sealing cuts of beef in bags for several
days up to two weeks. This process retains moisture in the meat and therefore has a
higher value when sold by weight, but, will not be as tender nor have the flavor of
dry-aged beef. The process Wet-aging beef is extensively used in the US.
Do People Trust Online Reviews
If you own a restaurant, online restaurant reviews have probably been a
topic of conversation from time to time. Recently, the question of whether
or not the majority of frequent diners read and react to online restaurant
reviews has created a lot of curiosity among staff members here at Palm
If you perform an online search for companies that have conducted surveys
centered around online restaurant reviews, you will not find a great deal of
information. Most of the stats we found on reviews were not product specific
and did not come from polling a group of consumers. In fact, many of the reports
published by a variety of companies and bloggers used various resources
comprised of collected data on people who bought products online and were
vague and misleading.
What do we mean by misleading? Let's look at one example. We found an online
business blog that published a report last year stating that 96% of Americans
shop online. True or False? Back in 2016, Pew, a real research company that
conducts surveys, published a report stating that 13% of Americans do not use
the internet. If 13% of Americans do not use the internet, how can any
company report that 96% of Americans shop online? If you're interested in
reading accurate stats on consumer behavior regarding online reviews,
you'll want to read a report Pew published in December of 2016.
We were really hoping to be able to gather some insightful information to
take back to our restauranteurs without burdening our subscribers with email
surveys. Many Restauranteurs in Palm Beach County want to know how many people
actually read and react to reviews posted on popular review sites. Unfortunately,
this information does not appear to exist. If you ask a representative from a
company that promotes restaurant reviews for stats on consumer participation,
you will be told that almost everyone reads and reacts to reviews. Of course, they do!
On January 2, 2018, We decided to conduct our own survey. We would
send a one question survey via email to many thousands of our subscribers. Below
was the email that was sent out on January 3, 2018.
"Do you trust online reviews for local restaurants or allow online reviews to
dissuade you from dining at a restaurant you might consider visiting? Yes or No.
Before you make your selection, think carefully about the question. If you would be
dissuaded from visiting a restaurant that had a one or two-star rating next to its name,
then you would select YES. If you would put off trying a restaurant until a later date
because you had seen a one or two-star rating for that restaurant, you should answer
YES. If you would try a new restaurant regardless of its ratings, you would select NO.
If you rarely look at reviews and ratings for restaurants you visit, your selection
would be NO."
On January 8, 2018, we totaled the numbers. Precisely 19.6% of the people that
participated in our survey answered NO and 80.4% answered YES. Regardless of how you
view this survey, we found it to be quite alarming, as should any restauranteur.
A word of caution to consumers that use restaurant reviews as a guide to better
dining. During the past year, Palm Beach Cuisine has been monitoring many online
restaurant reviews posted on several of the top sites. We discovered that some of
the reviews were written by disgruntled employees or by individuals that may have
received compensation to write a review. We are also privy to first-hand knowledge
of one such case where a small group of degenerates targeted a local Palm Beach County
restaurant owner for assassination by reviews. The store owner we are referring to
was hurt by this and it took months to have the reviews removed. While we applaud
the efforts of the management teams of some of these review sites for filtering out
the absurd and ridiculous from legitimate reviews, we feel it is extremely difficult
and perhaps even impossible to filter out all of the reviews that are disingenuous.
This is unfortunate because it does not take many one-star reviews to paint a bleak
picture for any given restaurant.
Here is an example of one appalling review we found on one of the top review sites:
"I have never eaten here and probably never will. Heard from someone who went into
the kitchen and was horrified at the dirty conditions". This person who wrote this
review did so having never dined at the restaurant. There are many reviews such as
People should also recognize that everyone's palate is different as is the perception
of individuals regarding good or bad service. Most of us wouldn't consider giving a
restaurant only three stars for a five-star meal served because the water brought to
the table did not have ice, but people do things such as this. Too many of the restaurant
reviews are disingenuous and quite frankly, absurd and spiteful and offer little insight
regarding the quality of the food or service.
The next time you are considering dining out, pick a restaurant and be adventurous.
It's not as if you are purchasing a car or major appliance for your home. It's one meal
and God willing, you'll get to experience many more.
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