Written on April 20, 2016
Wireless technology on headphones (or Bluetooth headphones) recently gained reputation for its developments, but it has always been underestimated in comparison with other classic types of traditional headphones. However, you might change your mind after reading this article, and maybe you can have the best studio headphones by following our advices.
Wireless devices are not something too expensive anymore in years recently. They are used widely especially with technology lovers. Furthermore, the value and the quality of those devices are more and more guaranteed and improved so they gain popularity among us – busy people with hustling life.
In offices, you can easily see wireless mouse, wireless keyboard and even wireless printers. At home, it’s not too hard to see smartphones and tablets with wireless charge. But there is always a thing with wireless technology that is not treated well as its cousins. That’s the Bluetooth headphone.
With modernized Bluetooth technology, should we think of a near future when we appreciate more about the wireless headphones and give them a chance? Below are reasons that you might think about this seriously.
- Sound quality
As a matter of fact, Bluetooth headphones or wireless headphones have always been advices that bring large convenience for people around the world, especially high – tech people who appear to be young and active. This is also a reason that America, who is well – known with the characteristic of pragmatic, considers this type of headphone as a part of their busy lives.
Imagine them – the ones who are too busy that need to save time from even smallest actions such as pulling out the phones from the pocket and put it on the ear, feel so happy to own a headphone that can fulfill their wishes.
On the contrary of the USA, in many countries, Bluetooth headphones are not the better choices for people, because the sound quality is not convincing enough, or at least incomparable to models of regular wired headphones. The reasons are known by almost everybody, that’s the complex of sound signals that can’t be transmitted simply through wireless port of Bluetooth.
But that’s the story of couple of years ago. From then till now, the technology of sound on Bluetooth headphones have been completed. Now headphones which don’t use wires are not suffered from signal troubles anymore, and moreover, they are good with transferring the sound from a song or a movie fully.
I know that there still be a gap between high sound quality and Bluetooth headphones, and this type would hardly satisfy experts in sounding devices called Audiophiles, but we can deny the improvement made by manufacturers to bring the wireless headphones to a higher level of sound quality, therefore making it closer to users. In the near future, new technologies will help the sound of wireless headphones even better and surpass any other types or wiring headphones.
One of the most annoying problems for wireless headphone users is the battery. But look at the truth. How many people using smartphones, tablets or laptop really feel comfortable with the duration of the devices? The batteries on portable devices have been a problem that causes headache to utilizers everywhere, yet manufacturers also.
However, recently, there are technologies that come along with the problem so as to optimize the utilize the duration of the headphones, and this is applied to many types of high – end headphone product lines such as Sennheiser Momentum, Sony MDR-ZX770BT. They are the proof for the states above about the future of long – use batteries.
With the quickly development of Bluetooth 4.0 that helps transmission faster with less electricity consumption, portable devices such as smartphones, tablets, and also headphones have hopes to claim their strengths and better battery duration in the future.
Technology should be something invisible, but still have a good impact on our lives in a positive way. With the help of technology in many fields of life, our everyday lives would be more comfortable and convenient. And that’s what wireless headphones succeed in. Now if asked, you might list out many benefits from the wireless headphones. But to me, the best one is that I can listen to music while brushing my teeth, or go to the gym without worrying about the wires messing up together.
Written on March 28, 2016
in Food, Recipes
Cooking is a complicated process. For many of us, they choose to eat in a restaurant because of the convenience. Nevertheless, external foods often have high cholesterol level, so they are not good for the health. Eating a little can accept, but if you usually eat outside, this one will affect your health. You are good at cooking, aren’t you? Do you have the best rice cooker? Or even, you do not get used to cooking. No problem! Let’s begin from easy recipes!
Simple Recipes Bring to Perfect Family Meals
Today, it is easy to understand that people rarely spend much time to cook because they are too busy with work in the office. Generally, they only have enough time to prepare a decent meal, so they often select available something. This one is entirely bad, but the family is meals which are quite important and necessary. Cooking is a key of happiness; especially, with women. Thus, in what way can you combine healthy meals with convenience?
Of course, it will have. You can completely plan to cook a delicious meal that does not have to feel worried so much. Nowadays, you can easily look for a simple recipe through the internet, TV, magazine, and so on. If you have seen cooking programs, you will see the kids who can also cook; even, they still cook well. Therefore, you can also do so! To begin, you need to choose an easy recipe.
Certainly, at that time, you want to know how a simple recipe is the best for family meals, don’t you? Let’s consult several following recipes:
Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas
The necessary ingredients:
- 1 package of pepperoni (it must be sliced)
- 8 – 10 inch flour tortillas
- A cup of salsa (if you have tended to cook a meal for the whole family)
- 2 ½ cups of cheddar cheese
- ½ cup of chopped green olives (they need to be drained)
The first, you need to heat oven to 400ºF.On a cookie sheet, you begin to place 2 tortillas. You do not forget to rub cheddar cheese on the top of each one. Then, on the top of each cheese that is covered tortilla, you continue to place another tortilla after baking for 5 minutes. Next to, you rub the top with both salsa and olives. In addition, you can also add cheese and pepperoni. Now, let’s put them back in the oven until the cheese is melted (it appears the brown edges).
A little meat loaves
The necessary ingredients:
- ¼ teaspoon of Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup of ketchup
- One egg
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- One sliced onion (you ought to utilize bulb onion in order to create taste well)
- One lb ground beef or turkey
- One teaspoon of salt
- One cup of oatmeal
- A little ketchup for delicious taste
The first, you need to heat the oven to 350ºF. Then, you begin to prepare 8 cups to contain muffin with cooking spray. Next to, you use a spoon in order to mix the mixture which includes onion, egg, ground meat, ketchup, oatmeal, pepper and Parmesan cheese in a big bowl. Right now, you start to divide this mixture into 8 parts; then, you place each into a muffin cup. For 30 minutes baking. Let’s always observe so as to ensure the dish which is cooked evenly. You are able to enjoy this dish with mashed potatoes, carrots or green beans.
Both recipes are not too difficult to process. If you make bad at the first, you should not also upset. Let’s practice many times! By this way, you will generally accumulate cooking skills.
In summary, the best rice cooker will not bring a delicious meal if you do not have a good recipe. Right now, you ought to miss a habit which eats outside. After coming back home, you should start to cook the great meal for your relatives. Not only it can help you to save money but also the family meal helps the family to link together. Cooking is the feeling of happiness. Let’s make the most of it!
Written on March 26, 2016
in Kitchen Utensils
If you like to cook and spend quality time in the kitchen, you probably want to know which cooking appliances to incorporate in your cooking inventory. Cooking appliances are absolutely crucial when preparing your favorite meals. If you are planning to remodel the kitchen, or simply make some improvements to it by adding additional smaller cooking appliances you might want to consider the following cooking accessories.
Don’t Limit Yourself Only To Major Appliances
Apart from the conventional cooking appliances, which include a gas or electric cooker and a fridge among others, there are many different smaller cooking appliances available. All of them are designed to make life in the kitchen more exciting and add to your cooking experience.
Take some time to research all the different smaller appliances, whether online or at the local store. If you choose to do it online, look for web sites specializing in reviews for kitchen appliances. You can find appropriate microwave, toaster, food processors, electric kettles, pressure cooker reviews and more.
Only Purchase the Appliances You Need
Depending on your cooking routines and needs, here are the most popular additions you can add to your kitchen:
- Microwave – As the name itself implies, microwaves rely on microwave radiation to prepare food in a very short time. Many cooking recipes require you to defrost some ingredients, and this is where a microwave will come in very handy. Instead of leaving the necessary ingredients thaw for half a day, you could simply put them in the microwave and do it almost instantly. Furthermore, they are very useful when it comes to simply heating some leftovers from the lunch you prepared the day before.
- Blender – They are very useful for people who rely on shakes and smoothies to get through the day. Simply place the desired fruit or vegetable ingredients, add a small amount of water if necessary and it will do the rest itself. They come very handy for people with small babies, since they are perfect for making purees.
- Pressure Cooker – Pressure cookers are extremely essential for people who like to cook but simply can’t afford to invest the time necessary for proper food preparation. They rely on high pressure and steam to prepare a meal in a very short amount of time. Simply follow the recipe, include all the ingredients, seal them in the pressure cooker and in just minutes, your meal will be done.
- Food Processors – Many recipes include chopped, sliced, shredded or minced ingredients. If you want to save some time by not having to do all that on your own, or maybe you are just not capable of handling a knife for chopping and slicing, a good food processor in the kitchen is the perfect solution for you. Some of them can also serve the purpose of the blender, so by getting one you will be killing two birds with one stone.
- Coffee Machine – Most of us can’t imagine the beginning of the day without a proper cup of coffee. If you are also such a person, having a coffee machine by your side is very useful. Just turn it on, while you go through the rest of your morning routine and when you are done, the machine will have prepared your coffee. All that is left for you to do is to enjoy it.
- Slow Cooker – These can be very useful whether you have or don’t have the time to spare for cooking. For example, you can leave your stew to prepare in your slow cooker to perfection, while you prepare the rest of the meal. On the other hand, even if you can’t stay in the kitchen looking over your food being prepared, simply place all ingredients into the slow cooker and you can leave your home to go to work or run some chores. By the time you are back, your food will be waiting for you perfectly prepared.
Without a doubt all of these small kitchen appliances will make it a lot easier for you and your family. However, you are by no means obliged to purchase them all. You should be aware of your cooking needs and only get the ones that meet your requirements. There is no point in crowding your kitchen storage and counter space with appliances you will hardly ever use.
Written on March 15, 2016
in House Design
Among the popular materials, wood is one of the best choices. In modern house designs, wooden furniture such as the best ceiling fans or some nice coffee tables plays a very important part in making the luxurious and friendly style for the apartment. In general, you will face some troubles in using colors if utilizing the natural wood only. Paint colors are not very helpful in this situation; besides, the price of natural wood is quite expensive.
Most of the modern houses use industrial wood. This solution has a weakness is that you can’t create a space with truly style and characteristic. In this article, I will show you how to choose the wood for each purpose.
- Wall and vertical surfaces
With houses that have multi – layer vertical surfaces, wood is a good contribution. It’s like a nice coat for the more convenient wall. Recently, there are many kinds of wood on market that can prevent the noise.
In Asian country, the hot and humid climate is quite a challenge to the wood, especially the wall. Composite or industrial wood would be a spotlight for the wall, but the wood must be processed carefully to minimize the effect of the climate. If you need noise preventing walls, you should use the metal or natural wood frame inside.
Wood inserting to the wall is a good solution to create a firm, safe cover with higher tension in comparison with other decorative materials.
- The floor and the ceiling
If you use natural wood, there are many types that you can choose with the benefit of no stain colors, special scents. However, the price for using natural wood floor and ceiling is not cheap at all. If the area is larger than 70m2, I recommend you using industrial wood.
However, you still have something to worry when using the industrial wood floor. With the places that have crowed traffic, the thickness of the floor must be at least 12mm instead of 8mm and make sure that the color of the floor goes along well with the overall color tone in the house.
- Living room
Sofa or recliner is maybe the object that has the contact with people the most among of all the living room furniture. The material for sofa is wood and cloth but mostly wood because of the enduring and firming factor. The wood that is used to design sofa should be in square shape with dark brown color or pure black to make the sofa stand out. The wooden sofa is the spotlight of the living room.
Recently on markets, the kinds of wood are popular include the exported industrial wood from Malaysia, Germany, or natural wood like maple… If you want the kind of wood for long and better use, natural wood is the best choice.
The living room TV shelf should be made with natural wood. If you are living in an apartment, industrial wood could be fine as well. The ceiling of the living room would be gorgeous if it’s covered with natural wood.
The ceiling fans nowadays are considered one of the most important furniture in living room decoration. Many of you will wonder that how to make the ceiling with the wood. The answer is yes, of course the fan should be made by metal, but for decorative purpose, the ceiling fan with lamps is often made by natural wood. It stands out completely on the ceiling. If you can choose the size and the shape of the ceiling fan blade for proper decoration, the ceiling fan could be the most beautiful spotlight in your living room. In fact, the trend of this year is using the ceiling fan instead of installing an air conditioner for better energy saving and beauty.
In general, the wooden furniture plays a very essential part in our lives. You can’t get rid of stuffs that are made of wood in your house for sure, but you have to think of ways to make them become a part of your decoration style for the house. House improvement is a hard work, and it becomes even harder with combining different materials. So if you have any questions about wooden furniture, you can visit my blog for more information.
Written on March 14, 2016
In 1374 a malady called “dancing mania” swept through Europe on the heels of the plauge. “Entire communities,” says at text on the subject, “joined hands, screamed and shook for hours on end until they dropped from exhaustion. It was thoroughly infectious and no medicine was known at that time that had any effect on the addicts. Music was found to be the only means of checking it. The authorities of many towns ordered soft, slow soothing music to be played in the streets and market places; gradually the dancers became normal and the strange contagion was arrested.”
Yet music was being used for medical purposes long before the Middle Ages. The Bible tells of how King Saul, upon whom the “evil spirit of God” had descended, was refreshed after hearing David plays the harp. (Dr. Jean-Robert Leonidas, an Instructor in Medicine at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, speculates that Saul was relieved by the music because he may have suffered from an asthma-like condition and research has shown that listening to relaxing music decreases the lungs’ resistance to the flow of air.) Following World War II the military included music in its treatment programs for wounded, disabled, and “shell-shocked” veterans, and by the 1950’s the use of music in medicine was sufficiently widespread that a new profession–music therapy–had come into being. According to Janet Cook, a Texas researcher interested in the effects of music on health, music therapy involves the use of music as an “aid in the treatment of psychological, phychological, or social aspects of an illness or disability.” There are more than 2,000 registered music therapists practicing in the United States today, many in large medical centers and hospitals.
Positive Effects on People
Music therapy exists as a profession because researchers have shown that music exerts definite effects on the human body. Depending on the music used, music has been shown to raise or lower blood pressure as well as heart, breathing, and metabolic rates. It can also change the electrical conductivity of the skin and increase the body’s resistance to pain (in one study patients in pain were able to reduce their use of pain medication by an average of 30 percent while listening to music). One explanation proposed for these varied effects is that music may influence the release of endorphins (the body’s “natural painkillers”) and various “stress hormones”–including adrenaline.
Whether a given piece of music is stimulating or calming can depend on its nature. According to Janet Cook, high pitches create tension and low pitches relaxation, volumes too high or too low can be irritating, and tempos similar in pacing to that of the human heartbeat are soothing. Also important is the degree of pleasure a listener derives from the piece and the listener’s “musicality”: the greater a person’s enjoyment of music, the greater its effects will be. Almost anyone will respond in some degree to music, however, and if the music is “right” it can be put to good use. Music is currently being used as an aid in the reduction of pain and anxiety in dental and plastic surgery patients and with women in labor. It is being used to reduce cancer patients’ discomfort after chemotherapy and in the treatment of numerous mental and emotional disorders.
Stronger Evidence for the Great Treatment
An illustration of how music might be used to help in the treatment of depression is provided by Lucanne Magill Bailey, a certified music therapist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Explaining that music which initially matches a person’s mood is most beneficial, she says she would probably first play for the person “music characterized by minor key or solo instruments”–music that expresses the person’s sorrow. She would then progress gradually to music in major keys and with “lightly flowing melodies from groups of instruments and/or voices” in the hopes that the music would serve as a catalyst to help the patient begin to feel part of a community and to better communicate his or her feelings.
In addition to using it to help patients, many health care professionals are beginning to use music for their own benefit: a 1984 article from the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that music is being played in a growing number of hospital operating rooms because it “reduces tension, relieves tedium, and subliminally, can even help timing of intricate (surgical) movements.” But you don’t need to be a patient or a doctor to enjoy and to benefit from music. We have probably all felt soothed, refreshed, enriched, or uplifted by music that we like. As Robert E. McDermit, president of the Health Sciences Center Hospital at the University of British Columbia, has said: Properly chosen music “can help to calm anxiety, stimulate body movement, promote spiritual growth, recall comfort and security, focus attention, feed the imagination, counter irritation and facilitate personal expression.” “It can also,” he adds, “simply provide enjoyment and pleasure.”
Prepared salads have been the most in-demand product in the refrigerated foods category for several years. Sales of these products have reached $2 billion in 1992, according to the Atlanta-based Refrigerated Foods Assn. The major categories which provide good selling opportunities are pasta salads, marinated vegetable combinations, potato salad, coleslaw, protein salads and fruit salads.
The fastest growing food-product category at both food-service and retail is fresh, prepared refrigerated items. These products offer the ultimate in convenience, and, thanks to important advances in technology, are more appealing than ever.
Prepared salads have for years led the refrigerated-foods category. Last year, sales of these products hit $2 billion, according to the Atlanta-based Refrigerated Foods Association.
A traditional staple in delis and casual family-style foodservice operations, prepared salads feature quality that’s never been greater. They look and taste closer to scratch, and–while traditional favorites continue as sales leaders–include many new items developed to tap hot food trends.
- When selling prepared salads, look for opportunities to sell from each of the following major categories:
- PASTA SALADS ranging from traditional home-style macaroni salad made with elbows and mayonnaise, to upscale seafood and pasta blends, to antipasto combinations of spiral pasta, Italian-style meats and cheese, and olives in tangy vinaigrette. According to manufacturers, pasta salad is the fastest-growing segment of the prepared-salads category.
- MARINATED VEGETABLE COMBINATIONS California-style blends of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots; three-bean or kidney-bean salads; elegant marinated artichoke or mushroom salads; and cucumber salads in vinaigrette, sour cream, or mayonnaise dressing.
- POTATO SALAD At least 20 different styles. Customers can choose from among sweet-and-sour German potato salad; creamy French style, American style, skin-on red potato salad; red potato salad with chopped egg; light potato salads; potato salads with mustard, sour cream, or mayonnaise dressings; and/or salads made from sliced, diced, or chopped potatoes.
- COLESLAW Second only to potato salad, coleslaw is available in a number of styles, including different vegetable combinations and dressing alternatives.
- PROTEIN SALADS Including best-selling tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, shrimp salad, crab salad, and imitation seafood salads popular in many delis and casual restaurants. Numerous variations on each of these themes are commonly available (e.g., with celery or without, light/low-fat, etc.).
- FRUIT SALADS Fresh-cut fruits are now widely available in prepared-salad form, making this previously high-labor proposition attractive to many operators for the first time. Blends of pineapple, citrus, melon, grapes, and sweet tropical treats like papaya are available year-round.
Also in the fruit-salad category is a wide selection of gelatin salads which can be blended with a variety of canned fruits. These salads may also include sour cream, whipping cream, nuts, and other ingredients. Gelatin salads are available in trays and molds to suit different foodservice-presentation needs. Family-style and institutional accounts are often good targets for gelatin-salad sales.
Prepared salads can be merchandised on foodservice menus in a number of ways. In addition to highlighting them on salad bars and in deli cases, suggest that customers consider prepared salads as side-dish alternatives with sandwiches or entrees. Potato salad and coleslaw are often offered this way, but new items or even a choice of salads could also be offered.
For operations promoting takeout or special fast-service luncheon menus, suggest protein-based salads as low-labor, high-profit sandwich fillings and/or entree-salad choices. Also, recommend that operators promote a quick daily soup-and-salad special featuring a different prepared salad each day of the week.
Look over customers’ entree-salad menus to spot further sales opportunities. Suggest ideas for incorporating popular tuna, chicken, or egg salad in entree-salad platters with fresh vegetables, stuffed tomatoes, or cottage cheese. Recommend salad-plate combinations featuring at least three varieties of prepared salads–protein, pasta, and vegetable, for instance.
Also, make sure that the entree-salad selection features a fruit option. Prepared fruit salads make this an easy proposition. Pair the salad with cottage cheese or sherbet for a traditional approach or with frozen yogurt or sorbet for a more updated offering. Remind the customer that the fruit salad purchased for entree-salad use can also serve as a breakfast-menu option and as a dessert item for diners seeking a lighter selection.
Overall, sales strategies should focus on the key benefits detailed above.
Also inform customers that prepared salads can serve as the base for signature items. Adding chopped vegetables, cheeses, or herbs, or adding a special seasoning or condiment, can make a convenience product extra special.
For special presentations, recommend serving prepared salads in hollowed-out fresh tomatoes, in lettuce-leaf cups, or in pitted avocado halves.
Fruit salads are lovely presented in citrus cups, melon halves, or pineapple boats. Served in special glassware with a dollop of whipped cream, fruit salads can double as desserts.
KEEP YOUR COOL
While an important benefit of prepared salads is improved food safety (they’re produced under strict sanitation controls and rarely hit human hands), it’s nonetheless important to handle prepared-salad products properly.
The best advice DSRs can pass on to customers?
- Keep refrigerated. All prepared salads, especially those with mayonnaise or sour-cream dressings, must be constantly refrigerated to prevent potentially harmful bacteria growth.
- For use in deli cases, salad bars, or buffets, keep bowls well-iced and replace often with fresh bowls.
- Don’t mix salad that has been sitting out (even if chilled) with fresh product.
- Rotate according to first-in/first-out guidelines, and check expiration dates.
- Cover salad that has been opened to maintain a fresh appearance.
Where to Sell?
With the possible exception of upscale restaurants and some ethnic operations, virtually every commercial foodservice account and institutional feeder is a good target for prepared-salad sales. In particular, go after:
- Freestanding and in-store delis
- Sandwich shops
- Salad-bar and super-bar operations
- Casual theme/family-style restaurants
- Barbecue/chicken/steak houses
- Any noncommercial foodservice
- Takeout operations
Review these customers’ menus for opportunities to sell items from your prepared-salad line as entrees, sandwich fillings, side salads, salad combo plates (a good way to get three or more line items), salad-bar and buffet features, and takeout salads.
8 KEY BENEFITS
In addition to great taste and attractive presentation, prepared salads bring several key benefits to the table. When operators balk, stating that they make their own, discuss the following selling points:
- PRODUCT CONSISTENCY Customers avoid hit-or-miss preparation, depending on who’s working in the kitchen that day.
- IMPROVED FOOD SAFETYprepared salads from reputable manufacturers are produced under strict sanitation controls. Human hands rarely come in contact with finished products, and that’s carried through at the operator’s level as well because there’s no cutting or mixing required.
- REQUIRED INGREDIENT STORAGE SPACE is drastically reduced at the unit level.
- REQUIRED EQUIPMENT AND SMALLWARES are reduced as well because on-site preparation is eliminated.
- LESS EQUIPMENT AND LESS PREPARATION ultimately means fewer accidents and fewer workmen’s-compensation costs.
- SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN FOOD WASTE Staff handles one finished, well-packaged product vs. many ingredients. The more products handled by an employee, the more chances for wasting them, misweighing, dropping, spilling, etc.
- REDUCTION IN LABOR COSTS Operators save on employee time spent checking in more extensive deliveries, cleaning, cooking, cutting, weighing, and mixing ingredients.
- GREATER MENU FLEXIBILITY AND MENU-EXPANSION are possibilities thanks to wide array of prepared salads available.
in Kitchen Utensils
Dinnerware presents an opportunity for the distributor sales representative. It is a product which is reordered because of damage, breakage and wear. It not only fills the role of a serving utensil, it is an element in the design of the foodservice operation. As part of the decor, dinnerware is frequently replaced when the operation is remodeled or renovated. That is every five to seven years for the average commercial operation. The market is big. The majority of operations above the fast-food level use permanent dinnerware of china, plastic, glass, metal or wood.
Although many DSRs shy away from dinnerware because of the confusing number of patterns, shapes, sizes and manufacturers, a bit of study is all that is needed to gain mastery of this line. The manufacturers’ literature and specification sheets provide most of the information needed.
Around a Long Time
The use of some kind of utensil to hold food for eating occurred long before man’s recorded history. Some archaeologists speculate that tree bark was the first food-holding utensil. Then, about 6,000 years ago, some early man found mud at the edge of a fire baked hard, and pottery was discovered, and then came bronze. Egyptians were eating from bronze plates and cups 5,000 years ago. As man’s ability to carve with bronze tools developed, so probably did the use of wood for serving utensils.
Glass came shortly after bronze. The Egyptians used it first for cosmetic jars and later for food containers. The Greeks and Romans both used glassware for serving food.
The discovery of iron, about 1000 B.C., soon resulted in that metal was being used for dinnerware. And royalty in Rome ate from plates of gold and silver.
The Phoenicians, traveling widely from their trading centers in the Mediterranean, carried pottery, glass, bronze and iron dinnerware from Scandinavia all the way to the shores of India.
Vitrified china started in the Far East, in China, naturally, about 900 A.D., during the T’sang Dynasty, as a way to insure sanitary serving of food. Marco Polo brought samples of vitrified china back from his trip to Cathay in the 1200s. Italian craftsmen, although unable to reproduce it, named it after the translucent, glossy mollusk shell called porcellana. In Europe it is still called porcelain. The English gave it the name we use in this country.
Plastic is a recent entry into the dinnerware market. Although early plastics (celluloid) existed in the 19th century, the first plastic dinnerware was developed for the Navy during World War II to cut down on dinnerware breakage during maneuvers and battle. It was made of melamine, the same material used today for most permanent plastic dinnerware.
More recent is the development of high-density china using aluminum oxide to provide thinner pieces with higher breakage resistance than conventional china. Another development–this time from research in the space program–has been caramelized glass, which is stronger than china but is similar in appearance.
Conventional china is manufactured from a mixture of clay (kaolin), flint (quartz), and feldspar fired at extremely high temperatures. It is called “vitrified’ from the Latin word for glass, vitrum, referring to the hard, “glassy’ appearance.
In foodservice china, decoration is then applied to the piece, usually as a decal. Then the piece is covered with a glaze fired at a lower temperature. Firing turns the glaze transparent and bonds it to the surface of the piece, providing high-abrasion resistance, protecting the pattern and making the china impervious to water.
There are more choices in china than in any other foodservice tableware. Some estimates range as high as 4,000 different combinations of shapes, sizes, weights and capacities. In addition, there are hundreds of patterns and decorations produced as standard items. China may also be customized to the operator’s use with special “custom’ patterns and decoration available through the manufacturer.
Foodservice or “restaurant’ china has always been characterized by its heavy weight and thick cross section. Recently, however, a new type of china has been making inroads. This is alumina china, made with aluminum oxide instead of the traditional flint. The resulting high-density product is thinner and lighter than regular foodservice china, and is more resistant to chipping and breaking.
The melamine plastic dinnerware developed during World War II was thick and clumsy looking and it had a lusterless surface. Its major advantages were a resistance to breakage about 30 times that of the existing china, and it was lighter. It was, however, susceptible to abrasion, particularly from the cutting edges of knives. It developed a film from food and drink residues, particularly in cups, and color selection was limited.
Continuing development has resulted in a product available in a wide range of qualities. The best plastic dinnerware has a high, tough gloss, resistance to abrasion and filming, and is offered in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Plastic dinnerware is manufactured by molding and heat curing melamine plastic then a special melamine plastic. Then a special melamine-impregnated paper “foil’ containing the decoration (pattern) is applied and bonded to the body of the piece. The pattern is imbedded in the plastic.
Glass dinnerware comes in two types: conventional, heat-resistant glass and caramelized glass. The caramelized glass, the most like china, is the more expensive of the two.
Heat resistant glass has a glossy, translucent appearance, far more shiny than china. It is molded from molten glass, allowed to cool, and then decorated with glass ceramic enamels or stains. The pieces are then fired at high temperature. This bonds the pattern to the piece and tempers the glass so it is more shatter-resistant. Tempered glass will break into chunks rather than shatter into sharp shards. Tempered glass is also more resistant to heat and less prone to chipping.
Caramelized glass is also molded from molten glass. But the pieces are then cycled through a series of heat-treating temperatures in a kiln to form fine-grained crystals, similar to china. The crystallization gives the dinnerware it’s white, opaque appearance and develops the strength characteristic of this product.
Decoration is applied by decal, similar to china, and the pieces are glazed and fired again to bond the glaze to the surface and to additionally strengthen the material.
Caramelized glass is about three times the strength of china and is highly resistant to chipping or breaking.
- The high density of this material makes it possible to form dinnerware from it that is much thinner and lighter than conventional foodservice china. It also shows a high resistance to heat.
- The traditional use of metal dinnerware has been for platters to serve steak and seafood, or for service plates. Conventional materials have been stainless steel and aluminum.
In recent years, however, a growing use of cast metal alloy dinnerware has developed with the growth of the “theme’ eating place. Alloy metal, a mixture of several different types, produces an appearance and finish similar to pewter, although at much less cost.
Two finishes are generally available, a rough, “cast’ surface, similar in appearance to old lead pewter, and a highly polished surface similar to a high tin pewter. Use of the rough surface is often employed to give an old English “pub’ appearance to the tabletop, while the polished alloy is often used in Early American type operations.
Almost all standard dinnerware places are available, plus many tankards, mugs and goblets. The major uses are still, however, for serving platters that can be heated in the oven, and as service plates.
Wood has been used widely over the years for salad bowls and in some operations for “planked’ steaks or seafood. One of the most common uses, however, has been as a tabletop cutting board for bread and cheese.
In a growing number of health departments the use of porous wood, particularly for use with meat and seafood and salads, has been banned. As a result, most of the wood used today in foodservice is surface impregnated with plastic resins to provide a sealed surface impervious to bacteria and resistant to abrasion and discoloration by moisture and chemicals.
Wooden salad bowls have been particularly popular since the coming of salad bars in all types of operations. Available in many styles and sizes, such bowls are resistant to dishwashing temperatures and chemicals in commercial operations.
The steadily increasing number of informal commercial eating places has caused a resurgence of individual cooking/serving pieces, called ovenware. These may be made of ceramic (pottery) or china, but are thick walled and highly resistant to thermal shock. As their name implies, they are intended to be used in the oven when cooking an item.
A variety of shapes intended for individual or double portions are available. Casseroles, with or without handles, ramekins, Welsh rarebit dishes, pot pie dishes, custard cups, shirred egg dishes, etc., are all intended to give an informal, cooked-to-order appearance to foodservice.
Note though that some manufacturers, although promoting their ovenware for use in heating food in an oven, warn against using it to “cook’ food. So be sure of what the operator intends to do with the pieces before recommending a line which will not stand prolonged cooking temperatures.
Knowing the Product
Know your product. The manufacturers’ literature provides almost all the information you will need to make informed suggestions to your customers and prospects, but there are some comparative data you should have:
In general, china, metal and caramelized glass is at the top end of the cost spectrum, with glass and plastic at the bottom. There are, however, so many grades and price ranges of each type of dinnerware, except possibly for metal and caramelized glass, that the price lines broadly overlap.
If a customer asks about “noise’ levels, the industry experience is that, although the sounds are different, the level of din from handling is the same for all full lines. Wood is quieter than the others but china clatters, plastic clicks, glass clinks and metal clangs.
In terms of weight (important in many operations, such as nursing homes and schools), heat resistant glass is the heaviest, metal alloy next, and then ovenware, conventional china, caramelized glass and high density china. Wood and plastic are the lightest.
When it comes to breakage and chip resistance, metal is the leader, followed by plastic and wood. Trailing these are caramelized glass, high density glass and regular china. Heat resistant glass is at the bottom. Ovenware’s resistance to breakage depends upon the materials from which it is made. China has the greatest resistance, ceramics the least.
Old timers may object to plastic because of “staining,’ which is really filming, since it does not penetrate the surface. All dinnerware is subject to filming, with glass the most resistant and plastic the least, but the difference is slight. In earlier plastic dinnerware with duller surfaces this was a problem. Special detergent solutions are now available which quickly remove such stains from any type of dinnerware.
For use in microwave ovens, both heat resistant glass and plastic are ideal. China, including high density alumina china, works well, unless a metallic band or pattern has been applied. Metal and caramelized glass cannot be used. Incidentally, most of the heating of dinnerware in a microwave comes from heat conducted from the food.
For insulating qualities, metal and heat resistant glasses are the worst, plastic and wood the best. China, caramelized china and ovenware probably fall somewhere in between. If food is desired hot or cold at the table, it is recommended that plates be heated or cooled before serving.
All manufacturers suggest that dinnerware’s not be mixed, since it gives an unmatched, unprofessional appearance to the tabletop. In addition, mixing pieces from different manufacturers may increase breakage and chipping.
Know who your prospects are before making your calls. “Restaurant’ china, of course, is used at every level of foodservice, from the fast-service operation to the finest white tablecloth establishment. It is also used by the broad spectrum of semi-commercial and institutional feeders. There is such a broad choice of china that there is a price range for almost everyone in the industry.
High density china use is clustered in the medium to higher ticket operations. Ceramitized china has been competing with it in all but the “traditional’ white tablecloth setting, and it is gaining penetration even there.
- Plastic is clustered from the low end commercial operation to the middle level. It is used extensively by airlines and in schools and health care institutions where weight is a factor.
- Metal is in use primarily in theme operations, although some high-end white tablecloth establishments are switching to metal service plates.
- Wood is used primarily for bowls at salad bars and for cutting boards where bread and/or cheese are cut by the patron at the table.
- Heat-resistant glass is price competitive with plastic but is used in family restaurantand is moving up the prestige ladder as a greater variety of decoration becomes available.
- Sell dinnerware as a decor factor. After all it presents the food to the patron, and the impression it makes sets the image of the operation.
Use presentation. Don’t simply bring in an illustrated spec sheet or a few pieces of the pattern. Set a table with a full table setting, using not only the new pattern you are trying to sell, but new glassware, new flatware and the “stationary’ items from sugar to ashtray.
Then, right next to it, set another table with all the items now being used in the prospect’s operation. Let the prospect see the difference! Unless the operation is brand new, the comparison will be dramatic.
Remember that dinnerware is reordered as it is broken, lost or damaged in the operation. Keep an eye on the condition of the dinnerware as you visit your customers. Make them aware of chipping, crazing, abrasion, filming. After all, their patrons will!