Wyoming schools have been operating under waiver extensions from the USDA that have allowed all students to receive free meals through the National School Lunch Program since pandemic-related school closures began last spring. USDA guidance for the next school year is expected this month and will influence planning for the future of the program, said Linda Finnerty, communications director for the Wyoming Department of Education.
Freezing temperatures in Burgundy vineyards from April 6 to 8 have raised fears that the 2021 vintage could be hurt by damage to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir buds. "It is still too early to know precisely the extent of the damage, but 80% of regions have been affected," reported Jean-Marie Barillère, president of CNIV, France's council for appellation wines.
At its most basic, the Paloma is just tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda, but some mixologists have upgraded the recipe with fresh juice, spiced up with chili or frothed up with blended ice. Other bartenders have even created versions that incorporate spirits such as Campari or vermouth.
Some restaurants around the country, including Chicago's Signature Room at the 95th, decided to close completely at the start of the pandemic and are now facing new challenges as they get ready to reopen, including labor shortages and the prospect of having to close again in the future. "One of the things that's really been the most challenging part is understanding what we can control and understand and what we can't control," Signature Room co-owner Richard Roman said.
The National Restaurant Association has issued guidance for restaurants looking to access aid from the American Rescue Plan's Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The Small Business Administration is expected to set $1,000 as the minimum grant amount and could extend the period eligible for coverage until March 11, 2023.
The popularity of pizza and ice cream during the pandemic has fueled sales growth at Papa Murphy's and Cold Stone Creamery, shoring up revenue for parent MTY Global. The Montreal-based company has 7,000 restaurants under more than 80 banners, many of which are in malls and office buildings that were hit hard in 2020.
Steakhouse operators adjusted to pandemic-related dining room closures by offering take-out and delivery, and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar is seeing continued demand for off-premises options even as dining rooms reopen, according to Pat English of parent Bloomin' Brands. Fleming's also tweaked the format of its wine dinners by switching them from group events to smaller tableside offerings or a to-go option, paired with videos featuring the corporate chef and national wine director.
Fried chicken sandwiches are proliferating on menus around the world, according to Technomic, including Argentina's Deniro Hambergueseria, which tops its SoS Pollo with cabbage, queso fresco and honey glaze. At KFC in Japan, customers will find a chicken sandwich topped with a shrimp croquette; and the Nashville Hot Chicken Burger served at Dunkin' in South Korea is served with coleslaw on top.
Students in a greenhouse production class at New Diana High School in Texas' New Diana Independent School District are growing vegetables that they then donate to the district's nutrition program for school meals. The students donate between five and 10 pounds of lettuce each week, said the district's child nutrition director, Toni Druschke, as well as cherry tomatoes.
The first meal after Ramadan fasting, called iftar, varies from country to country, but a dish called tharid made with a thin, crispy bread soaked in broth is a mainstay on many menus, Anissa Helou writes. Tharid is most common in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and variations exist across the Middle East, including a Levantine dish called fatteh that is made with pita bread.
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