Salute to Trinidad & Tobago

Many of you Blueberry Guy fans have heard me rave about my favorite blueberry-loving place on earth–next to Iceland of course. Welcome to Trinidad and Tobago.

T & T, an island nation of more than 1.6 million on the far south reaches of the Caribbean — besides amazing natural resources and the largest tar pit in the world — is famous for two things: Lord Kitchener (above) and Trini Fruit Cakes!

Fruitcakes–you either love ’em or hate em. In the world of Trinidad they are loved! Here is a home example photo from a Washington Post article. It contain seven types of dried fruits and traditionally have used glace cherries, dried prunes, raisins, currents and whatever is available. I calculated 2 times the weight of dried fruit compared to flour weight! Several years ago, the Blueberry guy received a telex from Trinidad for information on dried blueberries. And, my T & T saga began!

 

 

 

Now here is where it gets interesting. Blueberry guy attends the Bakery Expo in Las Vegas in 2012 and our good friends at Food Export Midwest, arranged a meeting for me with a group of bakers and importers from Trinidad! The above chart shows the dollar value imports of USA blueberries to the island nation. Data is from US Customs. You are probably asking what is Not Specified. This could be blueberries, or other fruits. But, the encouraging thing is the continued use of blueberries in Trinidad! The nation has a well-developed food industry and is a hub of intra-Caribbean basin trade.

 

“Big Guys on Small Islands” make things happen– as Blueberry Guy often says. Here is the owner of Kiss Bakery in Trinidad which is the leader for breads, pastries, sweets and the all-important birthday cake. Visit the Kiss Bakery Website: http://kissbaking.com/

 

Check out the different blueberry options. Blueberry Guy is hoping to meet up with the Trinidad delegation at the upcoming International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) in Las Vegas, September 8-12!

 

 


Myanmar Blueberry Bakery Training Seminars

Oh Myanmar! It all started with a chance meeting in New Orleans with a visiting group of Myanmar Bakers led by Pan Myat Phyu, Marketing Specialist for the USDA-FAS Yangon. Since then USA Blueberries and Myanmar have developed a great exchange of friendship and blueberry innovation! Here is our good friend Than Zaw Oo @ Aghee National Master Trainer of the Myanmar International Bakery & Pastry Center.

Here professional bakers learn how to use USA dried and frozen blueberries into delicious high value and unique bakery items. The dried blueberries were kindly supplied by Queen Foods, Vietnam and frozen by TMT Trading, Vietnam who have both been very cooperative getting working samples to Myanmar bakeries. Thank you Winnie at Queen Foods and Ms. Linh at TMT Trading!

Here are the finished products. Note the local flower supplier involved which is an essential link to bakeries as they deliver ingredients day to day. Master Chef A Ghee provided formulas and guidance. Look at the finished product packages prepared to show off the blueberry products!

This is the third wonderful activity we have conducted with the International Bakery and Pastry Institute of Myanmar. We look forward to many more opportunities!


Blueberries to Kerala

Kerala is a state on the Southwest Malabar Coast of India. Population: 33 million, highest literacy rate in all of India at 97%. Besides spicy food — Kerala has a reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship. Famous Lu Lu Supermarket brand started in Kerala and now is all over the Gulf, Southeast Asia and North Africa. Kerala’s 10,000 bakeries are a good example of this spirit of innovation! This month they come together to learn about blueberries at their annual Indian Bakery Federation meeting.

Just in case you are in South India on August 18–here is the detail on the bakery meeting and seminar. About 500 bakery owners are expected. Our India FoodTech Raj Kapoor will present blueberries in bakery products and show bakery innovation with blueberries.

Here is an example of Indian-blueberry innovation. We developed a collection of blueberry bakery formulas with a famous pastry chef in Delhi. Check out this blueberry-bursting brioche!

Now you may ask what happens when these 500 bakers are converted to blueberry-lovers! A few years ago they would talk to their supplier who possibly could deliver a jar of blueberry preserves from Europe. Now–it’s Blueberry time! These ladies and gentlemen are representatives of Indian companies who import, produce and supply U.S. blueberry bakery ingredients! This photo is from our cooperative effort at India Bakery Expo 2019 in Chennai! These same companies are targeting the Kerala bakery industry and ready to supply!  (by the way — that is the ever-popular Raj Kapoor on the far left!)

Thanks to our partners for driving sales of US blueberries to more than $1 million USD in 2018! 2019 looks very good!


Japan Bakery Promotions

For the fifth year, USHBC will participate in the Japan Bakery Expo called Patisserie and Baking Japan.

Here are the type of bakers we are reaching at the P & B! These are serious bakers, many trained in Europe and operating high end bake shops throughout Japan.  Many of the top bakers in Japan will be at the P & B competing in the Japan Bakery Grand Prix!

Here is our brochure years ago. It contains the basic blueberry items. It was well received and now bakers all over Japan!

Stay tuned — Blueberry guy will spend a week in Tokyo and will post some of the latest trendy blueberry products!

Here is a peek of one of my favorites! Cheese and blueberry bun!   おいしい  (yummy)

 

 

 


India Bakery Education

Chef Shorya Kapoor, instructs class on pastry and cakes at the AITBM Baking School in Greater Noida, India. Shorya trained at the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and now integrates blueberries into the regular curricula.

Here is what Shorya demonstrated. Each year hundreds of students train at the AIBTM and they will be ready to use blueberries when they enter the job market at hotels, restaurants and bakeries.