Pilsner Urquell, the high-end Czech beer owned by SABMiller, is expected to post sales volume growth in the U.S. of "medium to high single digits," after a drop in 2009. The pale lager has a strong hoppy taste and is sold in kegs. The company is designing menus of food to complement the beer and teaching bartenders how to draw it to create a traditional thick foam head.
Polish butchers in Chicago make generous use of spices when creating their famed polska kielbasa. One chef makes dozens of kinds of kielbasa, using fresh herbs, spices, garlic and "really good wood" in the smokehouse.
The slow cooking method of braising breaks down fibers and tenderizes the meat, drawing out the rich flavors. Here's one example, in which chicken is braised with pumpkin, white beans and spinach and steeped in white wine with chicken stock.
Restaurants are often planned and budgeted years in advance, so restaurants are opening at the same pace as two years ago, despite the much tougher economic climate now. Owners are forging ahead and adjusting as they go.