Lay’s Newest Flavor: Cappuccino?

American palates have changed considerably over the years, but is the country ready for cappuccino-flavored Lay’s?

Frito-Lay, the snack division of PepsiCo Inc., will announce on Wednesday the coffee-flavored chips as one of the four finalists for its second annual “Do Us a Flavor” contest in the U.S., which gives people a chance to create a new potato chip that is sold nationally and win $1 million. The other three finalists are Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Mango Salsa and Wasabi Ginger.

Frito-Lay says the four flavors are expected to start hitting shelves in late July. People will then be able to vote online for their favorite through Oct. 18.

The promotional stunt is intended to boost customer engagement online and send fans to stores in search of the flavors.

But it also reflects how Frito-Lay is trying to keep up with changing tastes, with its ever-evolving lineup of potato chips now including several Hispanic flavors. Later this month, it also plans to roll out Lay’s Stax chips in a Korean barbecue flavor and Lay’s Stax in Thai Sweet Chili flavor.

That would make them the first Asian flavors of Lay’s chips sold nationally in the U.S., not counting the flavors it has introduced as part of the “Do Us a Flavor” contest. Last year, Cheesy Garlic Bread beat out Chicken & Waffles and Sriracha, a sauce commonly used in Thai cuisine.

“I can’t imagine us 10 years ago doing a wasabi ginger flavor,” said Ram Krishnan, Frito-Lay’s senior vice president of brand marketing.

Despite the growing popularity of ethnic flavors, the top four Lay’s flavors remain the same: Original, Barbecue, Cheddar & Sour Cream and Sour Cream & Onion.

Frito-Lay notes that its cappuccino flavor doesn’t contain any actual coffee or caffeine. The company last year discontinued a variety of Cracker Jack that contained caffeine after the Food and Drug Administration said it was concerned about the proliferation of caffeinated food and drinks. Frito-Lay says it halted production because of weak demand, rather than regulatory concerns. (AP)

Fight Rages Over Definition of Tennessee Whiskey

A battle between two worldwide liquor companies — owners of rival brands Jack Daniel’s and smaller rival George Dickel — is being waged over who has the right to label their whiskey as following authentic Tennessee style.

It’s among the epicurean battles being waged around the world over what food and drink should carry special status as local and unique.

British-based liquor conglomerate Diageo PLC on Tuesday prevailed in getting state regulators to drop an investigation into allegations that Dickel violated state law by aging its whiskey in neighboring Kentucky.

The calm is likely to be short-lived. State lawmakers this summer are expected to once again consider changes to the legal definition of Tennessee whiskey, which is as entwined in the state’s identity as Maine lobsters and Maryland crab cakes. (AP)

For 25th Anniversary, Beard Awards Move to Chicago

Chicago is adding another jewel to its culinary crown. After 24 years in New York City, the James Beard Foundation awards ceremony is moving to Chicago next year.

It’s more proof that Chicago is home to one of the country’s hottest restaurant scenes.

The James Beard Foundation is based in New York and honors the nation’s best chefs and restaurants.

Several cities had sought to host the awards, but the foundation said Chicago’s offer of marketing and sponsorship support was too good to turn down.

The James Beard awards have always been held in New York since the event began in 1990. Beard, considered the dean of American cooking, died in 1985.

The next awards ceremony will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 4, 2015. (AP)

Burger King Offers Burgers for Breakfast

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Burger King has some new additions to its breakfast menu — its flame-broiled burgers.

The Miami-based chain says its “Burgers at Breakfast” includes its Whoppers, Cheeseburgers and Big King sandwiches, as well as its Original Chicken Sandwich, french fries and apple pie, in addition to the normal breakfast menu.

A representative for Burger King Worldwide Inc. said in an email that more than 5,000 locations will participate in the program. The company said the program began rolling out earlier this month.

The rollout comes as more fast-food chains look to tap into the breakfast business.

Taco Bell recently launched its national breakfast menu by poking fun at category leader McDonald’s in TV ads. (AP)

Jim Beam Fills 13th Million Barrel of Bourbon

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Jim Beam has filled its 13th million barrel of bourbon since the repeal of Prohibition.

he company released a statement saying the barrel was personally filled and sealed by Beam’s great-grandson, Fred Noe, at a distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.

The milestone comes less than three years after Beam filled its 12 millionth barrel.

The company says the 13th million barrel is a bourbon industry first. (CNN)

NYC’s Tavern on the Green Reopening April 24

The landmark Tavern on the Green in New York City’s Central Park, shuttered since 2010, is reopening later this month.

The glitzy restaurant has undergone a major rehabilitation and will reopen April 24 for dinner.

Lunch and brunch menus will be launched in May for the Mother’s Day weekend.

New owners Philadelphia restaurateurs Jim Caiola and David Salama had planned to open last November. But construction and other problems delayed the opening.

Reservations can be made on OpenTable or by telephone. (AP)

First Lady, Epicurious Host 3rd Annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge

Does your child like to cook? You can enter them in a nationwide recipe challenge where top winners are selected to attend a kids state dinner at the White House later this summer.

“The Kids’ ‘State Dinner’ is one of my favorite events to host at the White House, and I am thrilled to announce the third annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. This event gives us the opportunity to showcase healthy creations from talented kids from across our country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “I’m looking forward to seeing—and tasting—this year’s selections. So young chefs, get creative and get cooking!”

Obama, along with Epicurious, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are hosting the third annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner.”

The challenge invites parents or guardians and their children, ages 8-12, to create and submit an original lunch recipe that is healthy, affordable, and tasty. In support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, each recipe must adhere to the guidance that supports USDA’s MyPlate (at ChooseMyPlate.gov) to ensure that the criteria of a healthy meal are met. Entries must represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half of the plate or recipe.

Recipes can be submitted through April 5th at recipechallenge.epicurious.com or via mail at “The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge c/o Epicurious.com,” 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036.

Winners will be notified in May. Winning recipes will be chosen by a panel of judges, including Nilou Motamed, Tanya Steel, Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Education representatives, as well as junior chefs.

A selection of the winning healthy recipes will be served at the state dinner.