Creating Crave: Understanding the Lure of Beef

US - Food professionals curious about why beef is so popular with consumers should pick up a copy of “Creating Crave: A Professional’s Guide to Understanding Flavor.”
calendar icon 30 January 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

The newly-revised beef checkoff-funded publication helps describe “the beef factor” when it comes to meal preparation, and how different foods can be paired to maximize a consumer’s satisfaction with a dining experience.

"It’s the flavor of beef that makes it the number one choice of many consumers both at home and in restaurants,” according to Jennifer Houston, beef producer from Sweetwater, Tenn., and chair of the beef industry’s Joint New Product and Culinary Initiatives Committee. “This publication helps chefs and other food professionals capitalize on that popularity and create better tasting food products and recipes and more appealing menus."

The booklet, first published in 2002 and updated two times since, helps explain the concept of "umami," which is considered the fifth taste. Umami encompasses everything from meaty to savory, and is often described as the ultimate in flavor; indescribably delicious or perfection in taste.

The science and chemistry of flavor is presented in “Creating Crave,” and different foods rich in umami are described. The 38-page booklet also walks readers through beef flavor factors, such as aging, marbling and marinades, and describes different cooking methods and how they should be used on different cuts. Flavors from countries around the world are presented and show how they affect beef cooking. Food products from different regions are listed as are common beef dishes found there.

"We know that beef is a highly popular meat around the world," says Houston. "Creating Crave helps bring the beef dishes from other countries to ours in a way that U.S. consumers will love."

The beef checkoff-funded culinary center is distributing this booklet directly to food professionals and participating in trade shows conducted by organizations like the Research Chefs Association and the International Association of Culinary Professionals to get it distributed. They are also working with state beef councils across the country to maximize usage of this publication by the appropriate food professionals.

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