Czech buyers, representatives of hotels, restaurants and media had a great opportunity to tantalize their taste-buds with U.S. high quality beef, fish and seafood, sweet potatoes, cranberries, nuts and desserts, wine, beer, chips and dips. On Thursday, May 22, the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Embassy and co-sponsors hosted “Taste of America” event in theHotel and Gastronomy School in Prague.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation, U.S. Beef Association, North Carolina Sweet Potatoes Association, USA Cranberry Marketing Committee, Makro, CIPA, Diana, Bad Flash, Kalifornska Vina and Akmis provided excellent U.S. ingredients, snacks, desserts, and beverages. Steven Trumpfheller, American Chef from the Restaurant U Emy Destinnoveconducted a great cooking demonstration focused on preparation of the high quality American beef.
As Felipe Macias, representative of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, remarked, beef in the U.S. comes from animals that have been fed a high-energy cereal diet for a minimum of 100 days before going to the butcher. The high-energy diet is what produces the marbling in the beef, the speckles and streaks of white fat that are inside the muscle, what we call intramuscular fat. It is this fat that gives the beef its tenderness, juiciness and flavor. When heated the fat melts and disseminates its juice and flavor throughout the steak.
Since the opening of the duty free quota, shipments of American beef to the EU have grown from around 1,000 metric tons per year to around 20,000 metric tons. This represents just 0.25% of EU beef consumption and American beef isn’t really competing with any other beef on offer, it is occupying or even creating its own top niche.
Attendees of the event learned how to best extract the unique flavors of the various beef cuts, how to combine Californian wines with traditional American dishes, while beer lovers were able to explore tastes offered by several American microbreweries. The purpose of the event was to enhance awareness of the high quality American products on the Czech market and to facilitate interaction with current and new customers.