foodie “vs” Gourmet

Fresh European Hake with volcano rice as part of the Juli TastyBox

Zahie Tellez, food lover, renowned Mexican chef and good friend of foodieSquare, wrote an interesting article (in Spanish)  about the difference between a “foodie” and a “gourmet”. See below the translated post:

“In a world of many available ingredients caused by the overall activity of large companies and the ubiquity of the Internet, people are now looking for unique experiences, nutritional, but also to provide more happiness through the tasting experience.

The growing spread of ingredients and culinary experiences through television has fueled this search. In a very practical and “democratic” way we have moved away from the extensive formal gastronomic sophistication, toward seeking pleasure in the food and ingredients we have at our current disposal for our everyday meals.

And here is where the “foodie” emerged: a clear expression toward a change of the demand on food. The term “foodie” was first mentioned in the eighties by Paul Levi, and it differs from the “gourmet” in that a foodie loves food just for consumption, likes to learn about the food he or she eats,  seeks to revive family recipes, prepares dishes that emerge from their creation using fresh ingredients from markets or those found in the shop around the corner. Foodies read about trends, kitchen tools, attend cooking classes and wine/beer/Whiskey tastings, they read cookbooks, food blogs and about interesting people in the world of gastronomy. In short, the love everything surrounding food! The gourmet, however, is the qualified person with refined taste that seeks only the best cuisine. Among his/her favorite dishes are those whose preparation require unique ingredients from other countries  – a gourmet takes only the best wines and rarely ventures out to try new things on impulse. The term is also used as an adjective to describe refined food, so it is no wonder that we often tend to use the word gourmet.

In a world so vast and with so much to be explored, the foodie emerges as the one to explore and even to propose new trends which even gourmets will learn to value with time and of course, enjoy!”

Zahie completed a Master Gastronomy degree in the Italian Cuisine in Italy where she was apprentice to the Michelin-Starred Chef Ugo Alciati of the restaurant “Guido Ristorante Pollenzo”. His restaurant is part of the Pollanzo campus of the Universtiy of Gastronomic Sciences.

Good, Clean, Fair – The Stuttgart Slow Food Fair

Sammy from foodieSquare @ Slow Food fair in Stuttgart

It´s been a while since we have posted on this blog. We have been working hard during our MBA to move foodieSquare to the next level. Now that we finish our MBA we have finally gone 100% operational. So expect to see many more posts on this blog!

Last week, from 14-17 of April, Sammy and I went to the Slow Food Fair in Stuttgart, where foodieSquare was an exhibitor. As an “Allgäu” based company we shared the stand with our “Allgäuer” producers and of course wore the traditional Lederhosn :)

For those not yet familiar with Slow Food, let us provide you with some facts about this worldwide non-profit organization.

  • Philosophy:  “We envision a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet.”
  • Worlds top artisan food community
  • 100,000 Members worldwide
  • Founded in 1989 in Italy with supporters in 150 countries
  • Strong access to artisan food makers

foodieSquare @ Slow Food 

foodieSquare is an official supporter of Slow Food Germany. Additonally, Manfred Dusch (Managing Director – Slow Food Convivium Allgäu) is working with us to ensure that only top producers and top products that fulfill the Slow Food Philosophy join our site. The process is well documented to provide transparency  towards producers and our customers (foodies).

Our goal from the fair was to meet passionate producers that still make food with love in an authentic and traditional way, just as it used to be! We also wanted to meet as many foodies as possible, talk to them about our idea and figure out how we can meet their needs best.

foodies do acknowledge that it is hard to discover good Slow Food producers and products once the fair is over. Many of them would like to buy from them but it is hard for them to remember the different producers names or web addresses. They are happy to soon have a nice consolidated marketplace for them to discover and buy artisan food products like those found in the Slow Food fair in Stuttgart.

For us, the fair worked out much better than we initially expected! In numbers:

  • over 50 producers are interested to sell their products via foodieSquare. We received samples from many of them and it is time now for our quality and taste judges to decide which products fulfill the high quality standards to join our platform.
  • over 500 email addresses from potential customers were submitted
  • over 100 surveys conducted.
  • radio coverage! (in German language)
  • Other key initial talks with potential partners and bloggers!

Over all, the response was very positive and we will post in the coming days about some of our key findings.

Finally, we communicated to go live in June, which will be tough but we are doing everything possible to keep it as promised!

guerson@foodieSquare.com

Healthy and tasty – the perfect recipe for roast saddle of venison


All pictures are from the last Christmas dinner that I prepared for my family

Zur deutschen Version diese Artikels gehts hier

Industrially fed goose – not on my table!

I love fresh and healthy meat, especially game. Since a few years ago I have been the designated cook for family Christmas dinners. I used to cook goose that I bought from a local farmer, so to say happy goose that had a nice live before landing on my kitchen table. Two years ago I was too late with my order at the local farm and I could not get any other happy goose.

Buying industrial produced goose was never an option. The ones that are bred in usually Eastern Europe and fed every day by “[…] using a funnel fitted with a long tube (20–30 cm long), which forces the feed into the animal’s esophagus […] by a pneumatic pump.”

Venison from local hunter – healthy, tasty and environmental friendly

So instead I switched to venison. I bought two roast saddles of venison from a local hunter. I myself am a hunter and instead of the sometimes spread misperception of hunters being people who love killing, hunters really love nature and animals and are necessary for the ecosystem, at least in most parts of Germany. Roe deer, red deer and boar don’t have natural enemies and if their populations are not kept within a reasonable limit, it has many serious consequences, e.g.:

  1. Animal disease spread and game has to suffer
  2. The forest dies because the too huge populations of deer feed on the saplings
  3. Farmers will suffer serious damage to their crops as deer and boar feed on it

So hunting is necessary and I encourage everyone to buy meat from your local hunter and try it out. The meat is half the price compared to supermarkets, is fresh and definitely from free, happy wild living game.

Preparation of my perfect roast saddle of venison in pictures

I basically followed this recipe (I did not find a proper English version, so used google translate to translate a good German recipe into English)

The meal consisted of:

The roast saddles of venison (raw and done)

 

Home made sauce, made of the bones of the venison and greens

 

Caramelized chestnuts

 

Red cabbage with apple

 

Handmade bread dumplings

And this was the delicious result:

For questions or comments please post on this blog, I will respond quickly!

Sammy

The German food scandal and what consumers should learn from it

German Food Scandal

German Food Scandal

Read this articles also in German.

In Germany a food scandal with dioxin contaminated products (up to now eggs and pig meat) had been uncovered End of 2010 and the public had been informed beginning 2011.

“According to the European Union, the incident began when fatty acids meant to be used for industrial processes – from a biodiesel company – were mixed with vegetable feed fat, used to make food for animals.

The contaminated feed was distributed to several farms in Germany, and consumed by pigs and hens whose meat and eggs now have levels of dioxins higher that those allowed under EU law. Most of the affected farms are pig farms in Germany’s Lower Saxony region.

Some of the eggs were sent to a processing plant in the Netherlands, and a 14-tonne consignment of pasteurised egg has been sent on to the UK, where it may have entered the food chain.

EU authorities say they were first informed about the incident by Germany on 27 December 2010. But the first message only referred to one consignment – 26 tonnes – of contaminated feed. By 3 January 2011, German officials realised that the contamination was much bigger – a total of nine consignments – delivered to 25 feed manufacturers.

However, the state agriculture ministry in Schleswig-Holstein says the dioxin alert began even […] in March 2010 […]. The responsible company is alleged not to have informed the authorities of this. […][Test] results released later by the ministry showed the fat of the feed contained 77 times the approved amount of dioxin.“

It is too easy to blame the industry alone – consumers partly responsible as well


“Environmentalists blame industrialized food production for dioxin scandal”. Partly to blame is surely the industry and especially the companies that violated the law and thus must be prosecuted.

But partly responsible are also the very price sensitive food shopper. These consumers who want to save money on food also put pressure on the industry to lower production costs. One result is that despite the amount of food sold remained stable in 2009, the food revenues dropped 4%.

Support local producers instead of only big supermarket chains


Nothing is for free, that’s what the consumer should keep in mind when shopping. Of course it is  not possible for some people to buy biologically produced products all the time and some may argue that biological is not always better. But one thing is sure, buying from time to time from local small producers that control their supply chain (produce for example the corn that is fed to their chicken) will help maintaining or even increasing the diversity of products. When the next big food scandal comes you have at least the local producer to buy from…

foodieSquare supports food diversity and culture

By enabling small traditional food producers to sell through our market place, we pursue the same goal as the Slow Food movement, namely “save the countless traditional grains, vegetables, fruits, animal breeds and food products that are disappearing due to the prevalence of convenience food and industrial agribusiness.”

Sammy

What Kässpatzn have in common with foodieSquare

See also post in German

One of the things I enjoy most is eating with and cooking for friends. I love to go to the artisan food markets and look for good ingredients I can use for my dishes. Sometimes I even buy something without knowing what to cook with it, like the first time I bought a monkfish at the beginning of this year.

Without artisan food shops the food shopping experience would be really dull. Just imagine having only the supermarket chains to shop, even if they are “bio” supermarkets. The experience is just different and the food is still mainly mass-produced instead of handmade by passionate food producers.

Some people say the best way to have a good business idea is to look for ones pain in everyday life and solve it. Well, my pain is not being able to purchase really good cheese (Emmentaler, mountain cheese, Weißlacker and Limburger) to make Kässpatzn (see picture above of the last time I made Kässpatzn, and the recipe here), my favourite southern Bavarian dish. So I would love to buy these things from my favourite artisan shop in the Allgäu, but I cannot as they do not sell online and do not ship to Spain.

So foodieSquare will really solve my problem as I can then buy from my favourite stores from wherever I am in Europe.  Even better, foodieSquare will connect me to so many special artisan shops that each one of us knows from his home region. On top of that we provide an additional revenue source for these small stores and help preserve the food diversity in Europe.

So please send us the contact details with a short description of the artisan food shop you love to info@foodiesquare.com and we will make sure that you soon can buy from them from wherever you are!!

Sammy

Worldwide e-Commerce on the rise!

See post also in Italian language.

Our start-up experience is getting more and more interesting. Each one of us is fully committed giving his best contribution to succeed, though the several activities of the MBA.

Last Thursday we have been to a conference in Madrid about Magento (Bargento), the e-commerce platform we will adopt for foodieSquare. I have been impressed by the strong growth that e-commerce has been registering in all the world and by the great potential that the southern European countries have. I noticed how many entrepreneurs, students are getting involved in this theme and how tech guys are specializing and getting deeper knowledge about the e-commerce and the development of platforms such as Magento.

As foodieSquare, we want to be part of this community and be a successful driver of the e-commerce development in all Europe.

Vittorio

foodieSquare’s Blog now also in Italian!

 

Italy Food Flag

Basil, Pasta, Tomato

If Italian is your language of choice, you can now follow us at foodieSquare’s blog (.it).

Below, see the first post translated into english:

“Some months ago, between the IE Business School desks, my friend Sammy, a German Tunisian guy from Munich, and I thought about our lives, our future and our strong willingness to do something in order to make us and the people around us happier.

We thought of the many persons that in their houses or little shops make exceptional food. The images of sausages and cheeses that many small producers from Calabria, my land, make with passion and love flew through my mind.

I wondered why only the ones who live in that area can have the opportunity to try such unique artisan food and meanwhile why the producers do not sell at national and European level such delicacies.

So, we came up with the idea of foodieSquare in order to make happy the consumers that can discover and taste artisan food from Western Europe and meantime make happy the producer that can offer their products in an international on-line marketplace and make additional money.

The team now includes also Guerson and Daniel. We are all ready and eager to work for you and your happiness and to support small artisan food makers.

Join our great community!

Vittorio!”


About

We are passionate about food and are working hard to build the best online European marketplace for food lovers to discover and buy authentic high-quality products from farmers and specialized food producers!

E-Mail: info@foodieSquare.com
Website: www.foodieSquare.com

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