Colombian CoffeeWritten by Randy Wilson
Grown at high altitudes and tended with painstaking care in shade of banana and rubber trees, Colombian coffee is among best in world, rich, full-bodied, and perfectly balanced. Coffea Arabica L., more commonly known as Arabica bean, prefers higher altitudes and drier climates than its cousin, lower quality Robusta bean (C. Robusta). Therefore, arid mountains and well-drained, rich volcanic soil of Colombia provide ideal conditions for growing high quality coffee.
Colombian coffee is grown in two main regions, central region around Medellin, Armenia and Manizales, known as MAM to aficionados, and eastern, more mountainous region near Bogotá and Bucaramanga. MAM varietals are known for their heavy body, rich flavor and fine, balanced acidity while mountain grown eastern beans produce an even richer, heavier, less acidic coffee. The finest Colombian coffee comes from this region.
It is not known for sure when coffee first reached Colombia but many historians believe it to be around same time Jesuit priests first began arriving from Europe in mid 16th century. The first exports of Colombian coffee began in 1835 when around 2500 bags were exported to U.S. By 1875 170,000 bags were leaving country bound for U.S. and Europe. The exports grew exponentially over next hundred years or so and peaked in 1992 at around 17 million bags. Today, Colombian coffee exports are around 10 million bags per year.
Belgian waffle irons - waffles are the ultimate comfort foodWritten by Tracye Gano
Waffles have been comfort food in many a kitchen. A waffle is a flat batter cake cooked between two hot plates that are called a waffle iron. Belgian waffle irons provide deep pockets to catch butter and syrup. There is nothing like a warm, buttery waffle swimming in syrup.
The waffle irons of old sat on a gas fired or wood stove. You had to heat both sides of plate before you added batter. It took practice and acquired skill to know when iron was hot enough to pour your batter in. You also needed to know when to turn iron as well as when to remove waffle. Until non-stick surfaces, getting waffles out of waffle iron presented its own of set problems.
Waffle irons have come a long way since days they were first used. Whether you prefer regular pocket or deeper Belgian waffle pocket you will have no shortage of choices of commercial waffle irons to choose from. There are many quality, affordable waffle irons on market today.