This is a collaborative post.
Taste is perhaps the most powerful of all senses. So many emotions are triggered by eating food alone, that it’s quickly becoming a psychologically understood tool. It can be used to reward yourself after some hard work, it can be something that picks your morale up when you have had a bad day and food can also be something that triggers memories of good times. Food is also a window into the past as many of the foods we enjoy nowadays have evolved over hundreds of years. It’s common for at least 2 out of 5 people around you at any moment to be on a diet. That number is rising all the time and could perhaps get to over half in the next few years. However diets are not fun and they take away our love for food at times. Eating healthy is seen as a chore when you get used to being on the same diet for a long time. On the other hand, you can get back in love with food by introducing some specialty sorts in your life.
What is specialty food?
Specialty food is not to be confused with artisan food. Artisan is basically a skilled tradesman or craftsman in a particular field of the food industry. Artisan cheese makers are a great example. They are making their own cheeses and are trying to compete in the high end of the market. Specialty foods is when a number of different skilled people work together to make a product that sets itself apart from the rest. Specialty food can give you many different versions of the same product overall. This could be something like speciality bread, whereby there is little to no yeast added, it could also be a heavier triple rye bread. The difference is, specialty foods take something that already exists, and put a slight twist on it for different palettes. Artisan food is totally new, such as a brand new cheese that has been made by skilled hands.
Making your own specialty bread
Specialty products give the consumer what they want more of. For example, if you love Italian cuisine then you may want to buy a thicker, denser and more rustic ciabatta bread than what you can find in the stores. Remember, stores make middle of the road products, something that everyone can enjoy. Specialty however is for the connoisseur who knows what they want and more of it. Try your luck at making your own specialty bread at home by using various sources online that are dedicated to the subject. There’s plenty of information online on how to make bread at home but then you can add a few things during the mixing stage to make your own specialty. For example the triple olive bread, using black, green and purple olives you can create a Medittereanan sourdough bloomer at home. You can also get creative with bread making by added finely grated cheese to the dough during the mixing stage again. Mexican chilli al queso fresco cheese with red jalapenos is a very popular specialty bread.
Coffee from around the world
Coffee is the go to idea for a business that wants to make specialty drinks. It’s inherently very versatile and there’s a good reason for that. For one, the history of coffee is hundreds and hundreds of years old. It’s unfortunately just seen as a drink you get at a standard coffee brand store. Starbucks, Costa and many other coffee shop brands don’t often venture out too far with their coffee drinks. They tend to get their core recipes just right and then stick with them. However coffee has always been a specialty products and lends itself to being easily changed in flavors, textures, tones, viscosity and colors.
And yet the real art of making coffee that has all these things has to happen in the way you cook the beans. Of course we don’t have the access, the knowledge of the ability to create our own coffee beans. However you can order some roasted coffee beans in international flavors. This specialty brand has roasted coffee beans from Columbia which they call Tres Cruces. The tasting notes are honey, tropical fruit and sweet lemon. They also have a product sourced from Rwanda, which they call Bwishaza. It’s tasting notes are blood orange, black tea and caramel. These are just some of the products they sell. They make many other exotic and international specialty coffee beans which you can order online, straight to your house.
Real life biscuiteers
If there’s one eternal thing that people love with their hot drinks, it’s biscuits. It’s not just a British phenomenon although the tradition is strongest there. There are different biscuit cultures around the world but most notably other than Britain, Italy, France and Switzerland are the best. These countries make some of the most delicious specialty biscuits you will ever get your hands on. One of which is the Zurich Tirggel. It’s a national favorite and for good reason. It’s a very hard but very thin biscuit that is made using honey. However some bakeries and brands will add their own unique flavors such as cinnamon and vanilla spice.
Light and tough but also very crumbly, the Italian biscotti is another excellent specialty biscuit to try with your breakfast or brunch. The biscuit gets its toughness by being double baked. The most popular flavour is roasted almonds but specialty biscotti can also infuse some salted herbs such as thyme and rosemary. Rather than almonds, pine nuts can also be used to make this delicious breakfast biscuit. Some recipes for a speciality biscotti also recommend using dry cured meats like prosciutto but even chocolate can be put into this crunchy traditional Italian biscuit.
Speciality foods are not for everyone, but that’s the whole point. They offer a unique taste and product that can be changed and altered to fit your own taste. You should try to make some speciality bread at home and get the kind of flavors you can’t in your average grocery store.