Alabama Tourism Celebrates The Year of Food in 2012

If you own a business or restaurant in Alabama you may want to contact the Alabama Department of Tourism to see how you can participate in their Year of Food 2012 Celebration Events.  Your local CVB, Chamber of Commerce, and the Alabama Department of Tourism are great partners for you to associate with.

Year of Food Website 2012. foods

The Alabama Tourism Department will kick off its 2012 campaign, The Year of Alabama Food, on January 27, during the FoodBlogSouth event in Birmingham. The event is a conference for food writers, bloggers and photographers. The website, www.yearofalabamfood.com, launched Monday.

The tourism campaign will focus on award-winning chefs, farm-to-table, fresh gulf seafood and popular foods grown or made in Alabama. Some of the local food includes Belle Chevre Cheese from Elkmont, Conecuh sausage, Slocomb tomatoes and Dothan peanuts. This is the second food campaign by the tourism department, the first was in 2005 and received the award for best state tourism marketing campaign by the National Council of State Tourism Directors.

As part of the year of food, the tourism department will hold a statewide “Restaurant Week” August 17-26 during which locally owned and operated restaurants will be able to showcase their dishes by offering meals at a discount.

Tourism will also promote nearly 400 food festivals across the state and will create a new BBQ Trail, in addition to an updated “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” brochure.

“Food is popular with everyone and it has been one of our most successful campaigns. It was time to bring it back, but this time we want to highlight local food and our great chefs,” said tourism director Lee Sentell. “We have several new things planned for 2012 that we feel will showcase the best in food that Alabama has to offer.”

Food Festivals in the Alabama Calendar of Events

Visitors wishing to discover the local flavor of Sweet Home Alabama are invited to enjoy any of the more than 375 annual food festivals and events hosted by cities and towns across the state. Moon pies and mayhem set the stage for Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebration in February. Moulton celebrates the state’s agricultural heritage during the Chicken and Egg Festival in April. A smorgasbord of Southern goodness awaits visitors during the Slocomb Tomato Festival in June and the Russellville Watermelon Festival in August.

In September, Pinson hosts the Butterbean Festival and Tuskegee pays homage to scientist George Washington Carver during the Carver Sweet Potato Festival in October. The Break’N Bread/ Birmingham Food & Wine Festival is at Pepper Place Railroad Park in October. The National Shrimp Festival is held each October on the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, and a barbecue competition highlights the Christmas on the River celebration in Demopolis in December. A complete list of 2012 food festivals and other events can be found online by visiting www.alabama.travel.  They will also be featured in the printed 2012 Alabama Calendar of Events available at the state’s eight welcome centers.

Celebrate Alabama Chefs and Award-Winning Restaurants

Travelers can discover the best in fine dining and country cooking restaurants in the South when they visit Chef Frank Stitt’s Highlands Bar and Grill and Chris and Idie Hastings’ Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Martin’s Restaurant in Montgomery, Arricia Italian Trattoria & Bar in Auburn, and True in Mobile, which is owned and operated by renowned Chef Wesley True. Learn how Lucy Buffett, owner of Lulu’s in Gulf Shores, and other restaurateurs around the state are bringing the farm to the table to enhance your dining experience.

The popular “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die” brochure is being updated to include fresh menu selections and great local culinary destinations not previously featured. “We are excited about spotlighting lesser-known restaurants while continuing to showcase Southern classics, such as The Bright Star in Bessemer, named an American Classic by the James Beard Award Foundation,” said Sentell.

Tourism will also create a new BBQ Trail brochure that will list restaurants, joints and local chains. Some of the featured BBQ will include Big Bob Gibson’s n Decatur, SAW’s in Homewood, Full Moon, Jim N Nick’s and icons like Dreamland in Tuscaloosa and Golden Rule in Birmingham.


Visit Local Farmers Markets and Wineries

In addition to enjoying exciting food festivals and discovering great places to dine, Alabamians and visitors alike are encouraged to get off the interstates and major thoroughfares for a visit to local farms, farmers markets, and wineries. Visit any one of 135 state farmers markets and roadside stands. Sample the goat cheese crafted by Belle Chevre in Elkmont. Enjoy jellies and jams, produced by the folks in Alabama’s Black Belt and sold through places like Black Belt Treasures in Camden.

Discover the Alabama Wine Trail, featuring more than a dozen farm wineries, and explore culinary destinations such as Butlers Mill Restaurant in Graham and Rikard Mill near Monroeville, where you can watch cane syrup being made the old-fashioned way. To learn more about Alabama culinary destinations, visit www.alabama.travel to request free copies of the Alabama Vacation Guide and “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die” brochure.

The logo for the 2012 food-themed campaign, a tasty green tomato on a spoon, will be featured in print and television ads throughout the year and a dedicated website, www.yearofalabamafood.com, will launch in mid-January to showcase the local flavor that is uniquely Alabama.

For more information about the Year of Alabama Food visit www.yearofalabamafood.com.

 

Flu Etiquette 101

Flu Facts and Etiquette

During flu season, when fever, aches, and chills hit, it is easy to forget one’s manners. A recent survey of more than 1,000 Americans found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of those who had influenza in the past three years admit to being “That Guy,” who despite experiencing flu symptoms, continues to go about his/her daily activities.

As part of its “Are You That Guy?” influenza education campaign, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is partnering with the Emily Post Institute to remind Americans to do the responsible thing during flu season and practice behavior that will help limit the spread of influenza, a highly contagious virus. The campaign also reminds Americans to see a doctor quickly if flu strikes. The campaign offers flu etiquette tips for managing common situations where the flu virus might be shared from one person to another, such as shaking hands during a business meeting, over a family dinner, or when faced with a fellow airplane traveler who is showing signs of flu.

“Most of us try our best to be considerate and do the right thing,” said Anna Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-author of the 18th edition of the Emily Post’s Etiquette book. “While people recognize that the flu virus spreads easily, they admit to tossing proper etiquette aside when they have the flu.”

The survey found that while a majority (81%) agree that a person with the flu should cancel social obligations when she or he is sick, two-thirds (64%) of those who had the flu in the past three years admit to being “That Guy,” who despite experiencing flu symptoms, continued to go about his/her daily activities.

“Every year, millions of Americans get the flu. We are all personally responsible for controlling its spread,” says Susan J. Rehm, M.D., NFID medical director. “The CDC recommends flu vaccine as the first and most important step in preventing influenza, as well as good hygiene and seeing a doctor for possible treatment with prescription flu medicines if symptoms arise. It’s important to know the symptoms of the flu so individuals can visit a doctor quickly to get properly treated before they risk spreading it to others.”

Only one-third (36%) of people surveyed would call their doctor if they thought they had the flu. Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza occurs most often in the late fall, winter, and early spring. Flu is a serious infection which is associated, on average, with more than 200,000 hospitalizations, thousands of deaths every year in the U.S. and substantial medical costs.

“No one wants to be ‘That Guy’ who spreads the flu to family, friends, or colleagues,” said Post. “Knowing how to politely cancel an event you’re hosting or how to avoid shaking your client’s hand because you’re sick can be difficult and potentially awkward.  By following appropriate flu etiquette, we can all play a role in preventing the spread of the flu virus.”

The survey found nearly four out of 10 Americans (37%) are uncomfortable telling “That Guy” that he/she is sick and should stay away from others. The Emily Post Institute recommends the following flu etiquette tips to handle common situations with social grace:

  • In the workplace: If you have flu symptoms at work, let your boss know right away that you need to get to the doctor. Just let him or her know, “I don’t feel well—I need to see a doctor. I think I might have the flu.” Better to have others pitch in while you’re gone than risk others on your team becoming sick.
  • In social situations: Normally it would be rude to cancel on a dinner party or big event at the last minute, but if you’re sick, call with your regrets and instead, go see your doctor.
  • Air travel: It’s tough to point out someone’s behavior mid-flight with hours left to go. However, flu is highly contagious. If there’s no other seat available, consider saying, “I can see you’re not feeling well—would you mind covering your mouth when you cough? Thanks.” Most people when prompted are eager to show good manners and do the right thing.

The Are You That Guy? influenza education campaign and survey are supported by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.

You can also track flu outbreaks in their region and receive alerts about flu in their communities by visiting www.FluFACTS.com and using the Flu Tracker or by downloading a free Fight the Flu iPhone app www.FluFACTS.com/iphone-app.jsp.

Survey Background
The survey was conducted through ORC International’s Online CARAVAN survey between October 10 and 12, 2011. The findings are based on a national sample of 1,044 consumers, 18 years of age or older. Responses were weighted by five variables including age, sex, geographic region, race and education to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population 18 years of age or older.

About the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)
NFID is a non-profit, tax-exempt (501c3) organization founded in 1973 and dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases. Visit www.nfid.org for additional information.

Baskin Robbins Announces Winner of Its Online Flavor Creation Contest

Thousands of ice cream enthusiasts throughout the country competed to be named the winner of Baskin-Robbins’Second Annual Online Flavor Creation Contest. After tallying the online votes, Baskin-Robbins today announced that Kelsey Lien of Santa Clarita, California has won the Online Flavor Creation Contest with her innovative ice cream submission, “Nutty Cream Cheese Brownie.”

“Nutty Cream Cheese Brownie,” the November 2012 Flavor of the Month, is a flavorful combination of chocolate fudge ice cream swirled with a cream cheese ribbon, combined with walnuts and fudge brownie pieces. To celebrate her winning flavor, Kelsey visited Baskin-Robbins’ corporate headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts on January 31, where she worked alongside the Baskin-Robbins’ culinary team to create the very first batch of her new flavor.
“On behalf of everyone at Baskin-Robbins, we are happy to congratulate Kelsey Lien on creating such a fun and delicious new ice cream flavor,” said Dan Wheeler, Baskin-Robbins U.S. Vice President of Brand and Field Marketing. “This year, we received an incredible number of inspired Online Flavor Creation Contest submissions and we are thrilled to see so many ice cream fans getting involved in not only entering the contest, but also participating in the voting process.”
“All of the flavors created sounded delicious, which makes being chosen as the contest winner even more of an honor,” said Kelsey Lien, a student at University of California, Irvine, whose area of study is economics and public health. “‘Nutty Cream Cheese Brownie’ was inspired by my love of baking and is meant to bring family, friends and loved ones together to enjoy a modern twist on the traditional brownie. I’m very excited to share my flavor creation with ice cream lovers everywhere when it debuts this November in Baskin-Robbins stores nationwide.”
The Online Flavor Creation Contest began in October 2011 and asked consumers to mix and match their own ingredients to create a signature ice cream flavor from 31 base flavors, a variety of ribbons such as fudge and peanut butter and a copious amount of mix-ins including candy pieces and cookies. Ice cream fans voted for their top 10 favorite flavors and chose the winning flavor, “Nutty Cream Cheese Brownie.” For more information on the contest, please visit http://baskinrobbins.com/flavorcontest/.
About Baskin-Robbins
Named the top ice cream and frozen dessert franchise in the United States by Entrepreneur magazine’s 31st annual Franchise 500® ranking, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops. Baskin-Robbins creates and markets innovative, premium ice cream, specialty frozen desserts and beverages, providing quality and value to consumers at more than 6,600 retail shops in nearly 50 countries. Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 by two ice cream enthusiasts whose passion led to the creation of more than 1,000 ice cream flavors and a wide variety of delicious treats. Headquartered in Canton, Mass., Baskin-Robbins is a subsidiary of Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN). For further information, visit www.baskinrobbins.com.