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  1. I used Barilla for years, primarily because I used their sauces (which have much less sugar than other mainstream brands, giving them a more complex flavor), until an Italian friend of mine said Barilla pasta doesn't develop a proper al dente texture. It's either undercooked or slightly mushy. I started trying other imported brands, and to my surprise the texture was much, much better. I currently use DaVinci. It's priced the same as Barilla.
  2. I've seen whole prime rib, rib steaks, t-bone, and NY Strip.
  3. "I found the quality of beef in France to be infinitely better than the American tastes and standards of quality." With all due respect, I find the quality of beef in France and Europe in general to be inferior in taste in texture to American corn finished beef. I'm sure there are exceptions, but the best beef I get while traveling in Europe is imported from Argentina or the US.
  4. I have a Dynamic immersion blender. They're as robust as Robot Coupe (both are made in France), and Dynamic has a much wider array of accessories, and costs less than Robot Coupe. These are no-nonsense commercial grade units. I bought the "Dynashake", which is the same as the "Mini-Pro" but includes a special container and longer shaft for making shakes and smoothies. It comes with 3 different blades, emulsifying, chopping, and whipping. I also have the ricer, whisking, and food processor attachments. Katom restaurant supply seems to have the best prices on Dynamic products in the US. For what
  5. True, I forgot to mention that, but to be honest, I've rarely heard of Vitamix units breaking down, so the warranty isn't much of a concern to me. I suspect the shorter warranty is due to the assumption that equipment in a commercial environment would be subject to constant use (and abuse), and not because the consumer models are more robust.
  6. IMHO, the Vita-Prep 3 is the best way to go. I've owned multiple VitaMix blenders,, and despite VitaMix's tellling consumers the extra power of the 3 horsepower motor is only to drive a more robust cooling fan, I suspect they're making this claim to avoid cannibalizing sales of their 2hp models. The Vita-Prep 3 will, for instance, make peanut butter without the slightest sign of bogging down. In fact, I don't think I've ever observed my VP3 straining to do anything. The 2HP models are powerful, but can slow down on extremely thick mixtures with large quantities of frozen fruit and ice. The VP3
  7. The Volcano is probably the only trouble free vaporizer out there. Also, it's manufactured by a German medical device company which has ensured none of the components introduce toxins into the vapor. I'm not sure I would trust one made in China, given the possibilty of inhaling carcinogens. You can buy them used on Ebay, and they can be thouroughly cleaned pretty easily.
  8. Congratulations Mart, give it a good cleaning, dirt sucked into the vacuum pump will reduce its effectiveness. Try to figure out one or two sizes of bags you'll use the most (one should be the largest your unit can handle), and buy them in bulk.
  9. No reason not to use thicker bags other than cost. If they don't seal well, just program the "seal time" on your Boxer for an additional second or two to compensate for the additional thickness (though the default sealing time was too much for my 3mil bags, causing them to shrink and bunch up as they sealed, so it's probably just right for 4mil). Enjoy the Boxer, we use ours much more frequently than I expected we would. It enjoys a prime position in our kitchen on a nice John Boos cart.
  10. I'd think if it works when you test it, deterioration from storage is probobly not a concern.
  11. For those of you lamenting that your pineapples are picked prior to ripening, frozen pineapple chunks, which are packed at the peak of ripeness, are becoming much more widely available. The texture holds up much better than other frozen fruits. I pour a bowlful out and let it thaw for a few hours before eating them neat. I'm trying to keep my sugar intake down and these don't have the excess sugar canned pineapple does. CostCo has them in 5lb bags for $1.75/lb. Today was my monthly trip to Restaurant Depot, and I picked up 20 pounds for $1.05/lb (and beautiful huge frozen blackberries for $1.4
  12. Of course I haven't seen these units, but if they are manufactured by Julabo in Germany, I'd expect them to be absolutely top notch. My FusionChef Diamond circulator is an incredibly well built piece of equiptment.
  13. I've had my Boxer 35 for over a year, and the cut seal is the only way to go, in my opinion. The wide "seal" part has never failed, and the "cut" part actually acts as a second, albeit narrower seal. Being able to just rip off the excess part of the bag keeps your sous vide bath or freezer clean, since any food residue comes off with the bag excess. One thing to note is that some bags have a tendancy to shrink a bit under the high heat of the sealing bar. This can cause the teflon tape to be pulled by the shrinking bag making the teflon tape bunch up in spots. You can fix that by removing the
  14. GlowingGhoul is right, Vacuum-packer.com is one of the major Us Distributors for Henkleman they are made in Holland. a fully loaded Boxer35 will run you just under $3,500, and I think they ship for free. Yes, Henkelman covers FedEx shipping and customs fees. They had mine built and delivered from Holland to my front door in NY in 3 days. They did the same with the accessories and maintainance parts I've ordered as well. Top notch customer experience, imho.
  15. My Electrolux induction range also has an element around the convection fan. In addition to heating when using a convection mode, there's a "rapid preheat" function that uses the convection element and fan to preheat very quickly, which shuts off (if not using convection) after temp is reached.
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