Whether adding pizzazz to the party with colorful, shatter-resistant margarita glasses, readying the wine with a plastic aerator, or packing the picnic basket with resealable plastic storage containers, innovations in plastics can help you to enjoy eating and entertaining outside – all summer long.
Aside from those great outdoor parties, summer is also the unofficial season for national and local food festivals across the United States. These gatherings of culinary professionals, wine connoisseurs and “foodies” are often the launching points for trends in cooking and entertaining.
Plastics Make it Possible SM and I were at this year’s FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen where we got a glimpse of the latest and greatest plastic innovations that top chefs and wine experts are talking about. Here are some of our favorites:
- Sous-vide (pronounced /su vid): This gourmet cooking technique – embraced by world-renowned chefs, including Alain Ducasse, Thomas Keller and Paul Bocuse – involves placing food in vacuum-sealed plastic pouches and heating them to precise temperatures to seal in moisture and tons of flavor. Make sure you’re using a bag designed by the manufacturer to take the heat.
- Super Silicone: From basting brushes and spatulas, to oven mitts and bakeware, silicone is part of today’s innovative cooking and baking. It’s a flexible, durable, and easy-to-clean plastic product, and it can withstand high temperatures – some up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Best of all, silicone bakeware’s non-stick surface helps cut down on the need for added fts.
- Wine Packaging Innovations: Some of this season’s most exciting wines now feature plastic corks to keep them fresh. And some wines are now being bottled in handy, shatter-resistant plastic bottles that are lighter and easier to tote to outdoor events. As an added plus, the lighter weight means less energy needed to ship bottles.
What I love about the summer season is that entertaining can be more relaxed and informal. My top tip: plan ahead to ensure your food and party supplies are prepared and (most importantly) portable so they’re easy to grab and go.