What I Learned about Food from my Clients

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Like most bloggers, I have a day job. And if you’ve followed my posts, you know what it is: what has sustained me through decades is being a public relations representative for food clients.

In my time, I’ve worked on most of the commodity boards – mushrooms, California raisins, dried plums walnuts, almonds and iceberg lettuce, Florida avocados and limes, Hawaiian papaya and fresh ginger, garlic, turkey, duckling, beef…. And I’ve worked on brands like Fleishmann’s Yeast, Spice Islands, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Glad Press ‘n Seal Wrap, Ghirardelli, Progresso, and of course, Kerrygold butter and cheeses.

My news is that I’m closing down that part of the business to go into PR consulting. It has been a career of many decades and many clients.

Bloggers are cautioned to disclose when there is a financial connection with the people and products they write about. And I can see the importance, but I don’t think they’ve taken into consideration the relationship of PR folks to their clients.

Most people I know in PR do the work because they believe in the products they represent. They are trying to educate consumers about these products and in the course of it, learn more.

I have worked for decades in this endeavor, for scores of products. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

  • California strawberries – do not rinse them until you are ready to use and strawberries do not ripen after being picked, so look for the reddest, juiciest ones.
  • Hawaiian papaya – to speed up the ripening, add a banana or apples; they will give off natural ethylene gas.
  • Iceberg lettuce – to crisp them, whack the head on the counter, core-side down, to dislodge the core. Remove core, rinse thoroughly, drain thoroughly and refrigerate.
  • Mushrooms – store mushrooms in paper, not plastic bag. Even when the gills open on button mushrooms (on the underside of the mushroom cap), mushrooms are still good to eat, and in fact, taste meatier.
  • Kikkoman Soy Sauce – there is a huge difference between soy sauce that’s naturally brewed versus the ones produced chemically. A little naturally brewed soy sauce can add a subtle rounding out of flavor in everything from tomato sauce dishes to meatloaf.
  • California Almonds and Walnuts – they really add great flavor and texture

These are recipes I have personally been involved with in concepting, testing and/or tasting in the test kitchen.

Photo courtesy of Kerrygold

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Posted: Apr 13th by Sandy_Hu