Industry News

Parmesan Provolone

Parmesan and provolone are as different as night and day, but both of these cheeses are as important to Italian cuisine as Sophia Loren is to Naples. Parmesan is a cow’s milk cheese that is made in huge wheels and aged for a specific time. Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano is the esteemed Italian version, which by lawMore »

2012 September: CiCi’s Pizza redesigned Web site wins WebAwards

(AUSTIN, Texas) — Texas-based CiCi’s Pizza has won “Outstanding Website” in this year’s WebAwards for the restaurant’s fully redesigned website that offers visitors a virtual taste of the family-oriented, endless pizza, pasta, salad, soup and dessert buffet experience enjoyed across the country. The revamped site offers a visually stimulating experience that captures the variety ofMore »

Fried Artichoke & Zucchini

The appetizer section of menus has been taking a beating in the many Chicago restaurants I visit every day in my role as chief restaurant critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. I see customers moving away from expensive appetizers (and, believe me, the price of apps have gone through the roof) and moving directly to an entreeMore »

Topping Over or Under

This over-under debate has nothing to do with betting. Rather, it concerns pizza toppings and where to put them. The gist of this over-under scenario is a stew of ingredients that include tradition, appearance and common sense. Common sense and appearance implies that, for example, you are not going to put the slices of pepperoniMore »

Ricotta Pie

On some levels of taste and interest, you could call a ricotta pie the Italian version of American cheesecake. The good news is that a ricotta pie can be just as versatile as cheesecake when it comes to flavors and add-ins. And more good news is that a ricotta pie, to my way of baking,More »

Garlic Knots

Garlic Knots

Garlic knots have been around for quite a while, but lately they have seen an upswing in popularity. There are a few reasons why that seems to be happening. Think of garlic knots as soft breadsticks with an attitude –– a bit twisted, perhaps, but kindly. Think of garlic knots as snack food, bar food,More »

Add Heat To Your Menu

Add Heat To Your Menu

We’ve all seen those menus in restaurants –– Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese — where the heat level of certain dishes is marked by a small chile symbol. Usually, one chile is mild, two chiles means hot and three chiles, well,642-532 have a pitcher of milk handy to douse the fire. What in the devil’s name isMore »

Hot Cheeses

Hot Cheeses

Recently I dropped in on a wine and cheese festival in Wisconsin. Several cheese producers were exhibiting their wares, so (naturally) I did some sampling, and chatted a bit with those manning the booths. I asked about a particular pizza cheese that is becoming quite popular in restaurants that are doing classic pizzas in theMore »

Potato Tart

Some clarification on Pecorino Romano and Romano is in order. A true pecorino Romano is made from Sheep’s milk (pecorino translates as “little sheep”) and comes from an area around Rome (though pecorino is made in many regions of Italy). Romano made in this country is made with cow’s milk. Pecorino Romano, which is indispensableMore »

Cheddar and Colby

American Cheddar is generally made from pasteurized cow’s milk. Cheddar is often referred to as the “big cheese” of American cheeses. Its popularity is quite evident, since the average American consumes about 10 pounds of cheddar cheese each year. The process of milling and piling of the curds (cheddaring) before pressing gives cheddar its name.More »