When it comes to plastics, the sea of jargon can render anyone lost and confused. Often enough, these terms are biodegradable, degradable, and compostable plastic. Here, we intent to help you do away with the confusion and discuss how they are different, yet alike.
Degradable means to break down. Technically speaking, all plastic materials and products are degradable. There must have been a time when you crushed a water bottle or stomped down on one. You can even burn plastic until there is nothing left or can grind it until it becomes powder. These are all forms of degrading, or breaking down.
In order to speed up the process, additional chemicals are added. Additives can include the photodegradable method, or oxidation. These methods are popular when plastic needs to be disposed off in bulk. They say that plastic can be created, but not destroyed. The particles are broken down to microorganism level.
When we use the term ‘biodegradable’ for a product like plastic, we actually mean that the product is degradable. However, this term also means that the plastic can be broken into several more pieces through metabolism by microorganisms. When the term is used specifically for plastics, it means that the material can be digested.
Digestion in plastic means that the carbon atoms present and the polymer chains are broken apart. When broken, they are able to create other organic molecules. This makes them a part of living things after they have been disposed of. Thus, biodegradable plastic is returned to nature and becomes a very important part of the carbon cycle of the ecology of Earth.
Not all plastic materials are biodegradable, only bioplastic is able to biodegrade within a timescale. Even though petroleum based plastic crumbles down when exposed to sunlight, microorganisms do not digest it. It will take years for those pieces to be small enough to digest. Overall, all plastic is degradable, those which can be digested by microorganisms are known as biodegradable, whereas the rest are called non-biodegradable.
When we say this plastic is compostable, it essentially means the plastic in question is biodegradable. However, it will only biodegrade under certain conditions and a certain amount of time. Though all plastic are able to breakdown, if you do not give them a proper environment, it can take up to 1,000 years and more! If a proper environment is given to a plastic component that helps it break down faster, it is given a label of compostable plastic.
Now that you understand these terms, you can tell that they are related to each other. All plastic materials fall under degradable plastic, they are then divided in to biodegradable and compostable according to their characteristics.
Biodegradable plastic can be digested where as compostable plastic need specific conditions to be digested.
Each set of is actually a subset of one another. The easiest way and simplest way of summing these sets up is by saying all compostable plastics are biodegradable and all biodegradable plastics are degradable.
How well did you know biodegradable, compostable, and degradable plastic before reading this?
When it comes to plastics, the sea of jargon can render anyone lost and confused. Often enough, these terms are biodegradable, degradable, and compostable plastic. Here, we intent to help you do away with the confusion and discuss how they are different, yet alike.
Often, you hear chefs, staff members, and restaurant employees spouting out terms you’ve no clue about. It seems as if they have their very own language that they use to communicate with each other. Just like in other professions, commercial kitchens also have their own vernacular. Kitchen slangs are the more effective and the fastest way to get a message across without having to consume time. Though some of these terms can vary from restaurant to restaurant, here are some of the most common terminologies you will hear, along with what they really mean.
All day is the term used to refer to the dishes cooked in one pick-up. A cook can ask the chef to give them an all day. The chef will then explain what the cook will be cooking in the single pick-up.
Waxing the/a Table
Giving a particular table VIP treatment.
Burn the Ice
Getting rid of the ice in the ice machine, at the bar, etc, by pouring hot water over it.
Sauce on the side.
Getting a Push
When the restaurant starts getting busier, the kitchen is ‘getting a push’.
A trail is an interview that a cook will take my making a dish, or by doing, what the chef says. A Stage is almost the same thing but is longer interview and trial period.
Cropdusting is a term used for passing gas, farting.
Sharpie, mispronounced as charpy is a marker used to label tables and items.
Cooks use these terms so that the employees, staff, chefs know that they are right behind. These terms are mostly used when a kitchen has a lot of hustle and bustle going on.
Hotel (1/3, 1/6, 1/8 Pan)
Size of pans used to stack, carry, and serve meals. The ones that are used to cook braise meat and to roast, are called hotel pans.
A slice/piece of protein that is undercooked (slightly).
Just like how a friend sneezes and you might say gazuntite (meaning good health to you), sancho is used for a similar purpose. When a cook sneezes, a co-worker may use the term.
Missing a component of a dish.
Short for duplicate.
Bukkake is the squiggle or cream, swipe of yogurt, or a splash of crème on a dish.
These terms are printed on tickets to let the cooks and chef know that their meal has to be of top notch. They can be preparing meals for celebs or important families.
A term used to describe that a chef is extremely busy and is frantically trying to keep up with cooking and plating.
Run the Dish
When a plate is ready to be served, the cook will use the term ‘run the dish’.
Kitchen employee who did not show up for work or has not been coming in for some time now.
Which of these kitchen terminologies do you use in your commercial kitchen?
Residential appliances are specifically designed according to kitchens at home. Whereas, commercial appliances are designed to meet the requirements of a commercial kitchen. Both type of appliances vary in terms of design, size, capacity, capability, machinery, and much more. Their differences if narrowed down are three in number, they are:
• Tasks which they are required to carry out
• Structure and capacity
• Aesthetic needs
Tasks Carried Out
Each appliance has a different purpose. Similarly, appliances in both types of kitchens have different purposes they carry out. Although the tasks of an oven, microwave, and refrigerator are similar in both a domestic and commercial kitchen, they have their differences. In a household kitchen, the oven is of a standard size, so are the microwave and other appliances we see when we enter the kitchen.
The first difference is size. The size of commercial appliances is much larger, additionally the appliances have more features which a standard microwave or oven does not have, and the energy consumption is greater too. Unlike a household refrigerator that remains at a constant temperature, ones in a commercial kitchen can be set according to its need.
Structure and Capacity
A household kitchen compared to a commercial kitchen is smaller. This means that the structure and the capacity of the appliances will also differ. Unlike average sized appliances we are used to everyday in our domestic kitchen, commercial kitchen appliances are bigger and heavier duty. They even have a larger storage capacity.
Take the refrigerator for example.
Residential Refrigerator Commercial Refrigerator
Provides less storage capacity Provides maximum storage capacity
Comparatively weaker compressors and insulation Strong compressors with maximum insulation
All products are kept at a certain temperature Temperature can be adjusted as per need
May contain bacteria and germ causing non-NSF material Commercial- grade materials have been used to keep the appliance bacteria and germ free
There are six different kinds of commercial refrigerators whereas there are three domestic kinds.
• Reach-in Refrigerators and Freezers
• Walk-in Refrigerators and Freezers
• Refrigerated Prep Tables
• Under-counter Refrigerators
• Refrigerated Merchandisers
• Bar Refrigeration
• Standard Refrigerator ( with/without freezer)
• Modernized Refrigerator (with water, ice cube, temperature, radio, etc options)
• Mini refrigerators (with/without freezer)
Reach-in Refrigerators and Freezers
Cold storage units kept at the back of the kitchen with multiple sections. Its storage capacity is dependent on its size in cubic feet.
Walk-in Refrigerators and Freezers
Walk in freezers and refrigerators are best to store ingredients in bulks and boxes. The storage has many shelves so that cooks can organize the ingredients according to their accessibility and ease. These can be used to store cheese, juice, alcohol, etc.
Refrigerated Prep Tables
These are designed for cook lines and/or the preparation area. They help keep the items cool such as sandwiches or pizzas while they are being prepared.
These are 33-35 inches at most and are kept under counters or tabletops and store products that are used from time to time but not often in large numbers.
These store merchandise and are as displays. They promote perishable goods and help them sell faster. They include candy bars, cakes, desserts, drinks, etc.
Stainless refrigerators designed for bars to keep drinks cool.
In a restaurant, creating an environment that is highly productive helps realize corporate values and quality standards. One of the best and most effective ways to do this is by using acrylicon colors to bring in dynamic ranges of colors in the architecture.
What other differences can you find? Feel free to share your feedback with us!
Have you ever been handed a menu of wine selection and found yourself dumbfounded by all the choices? You think to yourself, out of all these wines, which would pair best with the meal you have ordered. Selecting the right wine requires a bit of prior knowledge. Before you find yourself in such a predicament again, go through this short guide to help you select a wine that compliments your meal.
Go with a Taste you Trust
Never select a wine that you’re unfamiliar when ordering a bottle at a restaurant. It may not go well with your meal and you may not like the taste of the wine. Stick to a wine which you are more familiar with. If possible, take a wine taste test to see which other flavors suit your taste buds.
Keep in mind that red wine is best accompanied with robust meals by its side. Red wine is mostly found served with lamb, beef, red sauce, pasta, and veal.
The sweetness of blush wines makes them a perfect pair with almost any and every entree. Even having blush wines without any meal accompanying it is enjoyable. Often, those individuals who are not regular wine drinkers, or who do not enjoy drinking on a regular basis find blush wines to be more pleasurable in taste as it is not heavy in taste or texture.
If you are ordering a dish that is of chicken or fish, then white wine should be your selection. Many enjoy the unique taste of white wine with the company of mild and/or strong cheese. White wine goes well with appetizers and the meal too. Select white wine with oysters, crab, shrimp, shellfish, grilled fish, pasta, Asian cuisine, poultry, chocolate, and pork.
Want a delicious glass of wine to accompany that beautiful dessert? Go for fortified wine – it is one of the best choices which truly accompanies dessert. The sweet taste, aroma, and the beautiful texture of the wine makes it the best selection for cakes, pastries, and makes it a perfect match for ice-cream as well.
Experiment with Wines
A great wine can make or ruin a meal for you and your date. So make sure you know your stuff when you order. In order for you to know which wine tastes best to you, you need to experiment. Always experiment with small amounts of wines and meals to see which ones are best suited for you.
Feel free to share which wine you prefer with which meal with us.
Each type of glassware is specifically designed for a particular kind of drink keeping in mind its texture, presentation, alcohol content, and much more. Since there are many different kinds of drinks available, this means that there are many different kinds of glassware as well. Let us look at the different variety.
Beer steins are commonly known as beer mugs. These mugs are thick, tall, and have a handle on the side for better grip. Some mugs come along with a lid to keep the beverage from spilling. However, that option is becoming less available in recent designs.
Brandy Snifter (Cognac)
Snifters are stemware glasses that are short in appearance. They have a narrow top and a wide bottom for convenience. Because the surface area of the glass is large, it helps the liquid evaporate while the narrow top helps keep the aroma of the drink within.
These glasses are stemware, they have tall and narrow bowls. Their body type allows drinkers to hold the glass with ease, without affecting the temperature of the champagne inside the glass. The bowl is specifically designed to be able to hold carbonation.
Similar to a highball glass, but taller and narrower in size and shape, Collins glass is use to serve mixed drinks like cocktails.
Referred to as pony glass, cordial glass is similar to a short wine glass. It is used to serve drinks after dinner.
Decanters are normally used as wine serving vessels. These help keep wine sediment-free and limit air exposure as well. This helps the wine’s taste and texture stay untainted for a longer period.
Double old-fashioned Glass
These glasses are used for serving alcoholic beverages such as whiskey with ice cubes. These glasses are short tumbler like and have a thick, brim base.
Goblets were referred to as drinking bowls without handles. Nowadays, goblets are short stem, wide mouth glass, with a base.
This is also a tumbler (tall) and is used to serve mixed drinks and cocktails. It is shorter than a Collins glass.
Irish coffee Glass
Similar to a goblet, but with a wider mouth and a handle. It is particularly used to serve Irish coffee (typically served with the presence of alcohol).
Also called lowball glass, juice glasses are short, have a wide mouth, and a thick base. It is used to serve a number of alcoholic beverages.
Margarita glasses are like champagne coupes, and are similar to goblet like glasses too. They have a thick and wide base and wide mouth.
Cone shaped bowl, a stemware, used to store alcoholic beverages and serve cocktails.
Mugs are similar to beer akin, they are smaller, and have a short yet wide mouth and a thick base with a handle on the side.
Smaller in size than a pint glass, used for beer and is known as a pale lager.
Pint glasses serve beer in American and British pint sizes. Most common shape of a pint glass is a cone.
Shot glasses are small glasses that can hold one dose of alcohol or such beverages at a time.
Tumblers are flat-bottomed glass similar to Collins glass.
Whiskey glasses have a narrow mouth and a deep belly. Its structure allows it to store the aroma of the drink within the glass.
Wine glasses have an open mouth, large, and a deep bowel. This allows the wine’s aroma to be highlighted.
Which one(s) of those mentioned above do you have in your restaurant?
No matter how much a chef would love to be a Ginsu master, slicing, dicing, chopping, and julienning an entire meal at once with a single blade is next to impossible. Using the right knife in a commercial kitchen helps prepare meals as a knife helps you cut with ease, precision, and without taking up too much time. No matter which kitchen you walk in to, you will definitely see five kinds of knives:
• Chef’s Knife
• Serrated Utility Knife (Bread Knife)
• Filet Knife
• Paring Knife
Cleavers help cut through thick masses of meat or chicken with ease in one to two blows. Meat cleavers are broad with a hatchet like blade. The blades of these knives are made from softer steel, which prevents it from shattering or breaking easily. Though the blade is blunt, the forced applied to it, including the weight of the knife helps the chef to keep their momentum going. The usage is restricted and it will not chop through beef bones, its best for chopping chunks of meat.
Now used as an all-purpose cutlery, the chef’s knife was originally created to dismantle cattle carcasses while keeping the bones intact. The knife has a blade of roughly eight inches, its standard size, while having a curved edge. The knife is mainly used for mincing, dicing, slicing, vegetables and the trimming of turkey meat as well as filets can also be carved with it. The curve is important as it helps give a rocking chair effect to the knife, making it easy for the chef to rock the blade back and forth for cutting. The advantage of such a knife in a commercial kitchen is that although it is a bit smaller, it can get just about anything and everything done.
Serrated Utility Knife (Bread Knife)
Have you ever tried cutting bread with an ordinary knife? It does not lead to the perfection you want, right? Well, that is because you are using the wrong knife. The serrated utility knife or the bread knife is specially designed for bread cutting so that you do not have to worry about the bread falling apart. This knife has a hacksaw like blade, which has sharp teeth. Those teeth help cut the bread without applying any extra force causing the bread to suffer. The knife is used for cutting fatty meat, sandwiches, tomatoes, peaches, or anything with a rough surface and soft-like squishy center.
Have you ever swatted a fly with a sludge hammer? No right, then why are you attempting the de-boning of that trout with a chef’s knife? Fish meat is very delicate. Such meats require the delicacy and precision in order to get the perfect slice. In order to achieve that, chefs use a filet knife in the professional kitchen. The knife is used to help with potato skin, silver skin, and beef tenderloins. The size of the blade varies from usually in between six to 11 inches.
Just like how a filet knife is to delicate meat, a paring knife is to delicate vegetables and fruits. Cutting the perfect shape and size can be hard when you do not have the right knife. The paring knife is the idle choice for peeling, slicing, de-seeding, and even de-veining food like shrimp! It is best for precision work, preparation of veggies, fruits, also seafood.
Even though both have the word ‘kitchen’ in the end, commercial and residential kitchens have many differences. One of the differences is the number of mouths both kitchens feed. While a residential kitchen can feed a number of family members and some more if company is over, commercial kitchens on the other hand can feed thousands of people at a single time depending on the kitchen.
Some commercial kitchens cater to patrons at restaurants, while others feed employees from an office complex. But that is not all, there are three other differences between the two. They are as follows:
1. The Appliances
In both the kitchens, you will find the same type of appliances. There will be one or more blender, grinder, refrigerator, microwave, stove, oven, plenty of pots, and pans. However, commercial vs. residential appliances vary in size and functionality. Unlike in a commercial kitchen, a residential kitchen does not need heavy-duty appliances. It uses normal housing appliances. On the other hand, a normal appliance would not last in a commercial kitchen due to excessive usage. Since these appliances are constantly being used there are more chances of them going out of order since they were not made for such heavy use.
For example, a residential refrigerator provides less storage space, takes up a smaller area too. They have comparatively weaker compressors, temperature fluctuations, minimal insulation, and possible food safety risks too. One the other hand, commercial refrigerators are designed to meet requirements according to the number of consumers being fed. In addition, they have powerful compressors, can handle extreme temperatures, and have custom thermostats settings with two degrees.
2. The Layout and Lighting
The layout of a commercial kitchen differs from a normal household kitchen so does the lighting. Since there are many staff and employees wandering around in a rush in a commercial kitchen, the layout has to be set accordingly. The appliances should be set in such a way that everyone who needs to use them could access them without crashing into each other.
The lighting is different in both kitchens, residential kitchens do not require many bulbs, just one or two is good enough. Commercial kitchens require more as the kitchen is larger, one or two bulbs are not enough. Even if tube lights are placed on the walls, the lights would not emit enough brightness to reach the center of the kitchen. Meaning that there is an excessive need of lighting in commercial kitchens as well as pre-planned layouts.
3. Pantries, Freezers, and Additional Storage Areas
Commercial kitchens require freezers, huge pantries, and additional storage areas whereas residential kitchens do not have freezers or huge walk-in pantries. However, they can be customized and built in, but there is no need for that. Many kitchens come with a small storage room or pantry that is enough according to a household. Commercial kitchens feed hundreds, even thousands of people in a single day, so they require bigger space. Since they also have excessive amounts of poultry, meat, chicken, and other items, they need all three requirements within the kitchen.
Share with us other major differences you can think of!
To have new and improved establishment transitions, it is a must for commercial kitchens to follow guidelines. Adherence is important when the kitchen decides to take the initiative of going green. To ensure that a commercial has gone green, all or most of their products will have seals or certifications. These green seals certify the authentication of a product, service, restaurant, or hotel to be environmentally friendly. These certifications are received after products and services pass guidelines that are based upon health, performance, and sustainability criteria.
Following are some of the certifications and seals found in a green commercial kitchen.
Government Backed Certifications
There are three certifications rewarded to products and services for being eco-friendly by the government. The certifications include Energy Star, EcoLogo, and Consortium for Energy Efficiency.
Energy Star works with the US Environment Protection Agency as well as the US Department of Energy. The design of the program makes sure all products are identified as energy efficient. The program also helps distinguish environmentally friendly products based upon their specifications keeping in mind their water and energy usage.
EcoLogo is another program that provides certification for environmentally friendly products, services, and goods. Though the program was originated outside of the US, it is accepted globally. Assessing and comparing different goods, products and services are a part of the program that was established in Canada.
Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) is non-profit which promotes the manufacturing and usage of energy efficient services and products. The corporation works with different partners like the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy. Their certification is received after all products and services have met with the standard product qualifications and energy efficient specifications.
Non Profit Organizations
Just like the government-backed certifications, non-profit organizations also offer certification of authenticity. The certification once again can be received by meeting the standards given by the organizations in terms of products and services. If the product is eco-friendly, consumes less energy, and is chemical free, it can receive certifications. The organizations that offer these authentic certificates are US Green Building Council-LEED Green Building Rating system, Green Seal, Totally Chlorine Free, and Green Restaurant Association.
The recycling icon is globally recognized and used. This program is an initiative towards environmental conservation. The icon represents the three steps of recycling, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Rather than trash being thrown away, the material disposed is re-used.
Additional Symbols and Certifications
Apart from government and non-profit organization based certifications, there are other symbols and certifications which a kitchen, product, service, of good can receive. The Certified Green Commercial Kitchen certification is awarded to those commercial kitchens that meet the standards of this program. Launched by FoodServiceWarehouse.com, this program is based on five aspects, education, green cleaning, waste reduction, energy, as well as water conservation.
Similarly, Enerlogic is another program offering certification. This authentic certificate is given to those products that save energy such as gas and electricity, and preserve water. Product quality is also another aspect to get the certification.
Without a knife, creating a signature entrée with perfection is next to impossible. A chef would not be able to cut the ingredients precisely, the meals cooked would lack finesse, and in all honesty the lives of chefs all over the world would be a lot more challenging if knives didn’t exist.
Parts of a Knife
A knife consists of 8 different parts. Each plays an important role. Although the shape and size of a knife differs depending on its make and use, the basic anatomy is the same for each one. The parts include:
The tip of a knife is the top point, or the front part of the knife’s blade. It is used for most of the cutting and is used for separating usable ingredients from the remaining waste. Most chefs and cooks use knives with a very sharp tip for cutting meat and poultry.
The edge is the part which extends from the tip of the blade till the bottom of it. The edge is sharp as it is crucial not only for the slicing and chopping of ingredients, but also for the safety of the person behind the knife. This is because if the knife is not sharp, the user will apply pressure and could end up getting hurt as the knife can slip, fall, or even spring upwards.
The spine of the knife is the line formed on top of the blade which is on the opposite of the edge.
Heel is the bottom of the blade, of the rear of the blade. It is used for cutting through tough products which require a lot of strength and force.
A bolster is a portion under the heel and above the handle, which sort of looks like a neck. It is only found as a part of forged knives. The bolster is a band of steel which is thick and plays a huge part in balancing the knife.
The tang extends from the heel of the blade in to the middle of the handle. This part of the blade is kept as a part of the knife as it also plays a vital role in the balancing of the knife in the user’s hand. Majority of knives have a tang which is ½ cm or ¾ cm in size. Knives which have a tang with full length are considered to be superior knives.
Also known as scales, the handle helps the user maintain a better grip over the knife so that it is easier to handle and control. Handles or scales can be made from different material including wood, stainless steel, or plastic.
The butt of the knife is the rear end of the knife.
What kind of knives do you prefer? Do you have a favorite?
Most manufacturers and growers have become environmental friendly because in the end it helps them save money and reusable resources. Unfortunately, despite the practicality, some organizations and individuals falsely claim that they are changing their ways by applying these methods just to get more sales. In fact, there’s so much of if going on that they had to coin a term for the heinous act. False green advertising to mislead customers is referred to as greenwashing.
How Can We Identify Greenwashing?
So how does one identify greenwashing? Once identified, which steps can be implemented?
There have been some signs identified as common forms of greenwashing. If you can spot any one or all, it is likely that the green the provider is claiming is a front. These signs include:
• Fibbing – Business would use a fake certification by involving a third party. These third parties would pretend to be environmentally friendly organizations such as EcoLogo.
• Irrelevance – Meaningless or irrelevant claims made, for example, products are ‘CFC free’. In reality, there are no products manufactured that contain chlorofluorocarbons.
• Vagueness – Assume that there is a product named ‘Eco-Gadget’. The product label should explain why the term ‘eco’ is used its name. If there is no such explanation as to why the product is eco-friendly, then the claim of is vague. This should raise questions regarding the credibility of the product, meaning that there might be something fishy.
• No Proof – A product label should be visible that provides information or evidence that the product is eco-friendly. Lack of proof is a sure-shot way of knowing the provider is greenwashing.
• Hidden Trade-offs- Just because a product is ‘green’ in a particular area, doesn’t mean that it’s green in other areas too. There is a possibility that the product is forest friendly, but, at the same time, it may not be transport friendly. Products which have been labeled as green products are friendly in many different categories to quite an extent. There could be possible hidden trade-offs behind the product if it is not friendly in many or all areas.
Products sold as safe and friendly products include, bio-plastics, bleach-free papers, and green cleaners. To make sure that these products are what they claim to be, there are a couple of signs to lookout for.
Manufacturers use terms like ‘100% compostable’ or ‘completely biodegradable’ when they talk about new bio-plastic products. Yet, just sounding friendly does not prove that the product actually is what it claims to be. To identify authenticity, the product needs to receive BPI Certification. This certification proves that the tested product meets all standards of the Biodegradable Products Institute. You will see their logo on the product if it’s passed BPI standards.