March 2018

Types of Apples Grown in New York

Here in the U.S., we take our apples pretty seriously. We eat them for snacks, pack them in lunches, cook them in dozens of different ways and bake them into everyone’s favorite dessert; the apple pie.  Growing up, we were always hearing things described as being “as American as apple pie”. This is an interesting analogy considering the fact that of the world’s 7,500 varieties of apples, only one is native to this country, and it is definitely not one that immediately springs to mind when baking a pie. Of the 2,500 currently grown in the U.S., do you know which apple variety is the only one that has an American origin? Keep reading and we will let you know if your guess is correct.

Even though the apples that we know and love were actually brought here by the Pilgrims as seed, we have had a love affair with them ever since. Thanks to frontiersman John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, apple trees sprung up all over the country. Nowhere, however, have they flourished in more variety and abundance than the apples of New York State.  

The Empire State may come in second to Washington as the top apple-producing state, but New York’s 10 million apple trees produce more varieties than any other state.  Apple trees will grow in all temperate climate zones, but they do the best in regions where there is a cold winter and moderate summer. This is one of the reasons that New York apples are not only popular locally but are widely exported.

10 Most Popular New York State Apple Varieties

  • McIntosh – the Mac, considered an eating and cooking apple, has tender pinkish-white flesh and is sweet and tarty
  • Empire – known for their crispness and combination of sweet and tart taste
  • Red Delicious – long a favorite, its distinctive yellow flesh is crisp, sweet and juicy
  • Cortland – a somewhat larger relative of the McIntosh, the Cortland is good for eating and very popular in salads and for turning into applesauce
  • Golden Delicious – crisp, with white flesh and said to have a honey-like taste, the Golden Delicious is not related to the Red Delicious but was used in the development of other well-known varieties, such as the Gala, Crispin, Ambrosia, Pink Lady, and Jonagold
  • Rome – bright red and crunchy, a go-to choice for cooking due to it not becoming mushy
  • Idared – sweet, tart and juicy, this cross between the Jonathan and Wagener varieties is good to eat but best for cooking and baking
  • Crispin – developed in Japan and originally named Mutsu, the Crispin is an all-around favorite for eating and cooking
  • Paula Red – the apple of choice for many due to its signature tartness
  • Gala – recognizable by its pinkish-orange stripes, this mildly-sweet cross of Cox’s Orange Pippin and the Golden Delicious is a top pick for eating

This list represents the top sellers but there are many other popular types. With so many varieties available, grocery stores can only stock those most in demand, so many favorites are available only from farmers’ markets, road side stands and growers.

Back to our question about the one variety of apple native to America. If you said “crab apple”, you are correct. Although some people do like to eat them, and they are used in jellies, preserves and cider, this small apple with the unfortunate name is not likely to ever show up on a list of favorites.

Harold’s Famous Deli

Do you ever resist going somewhere mainly because people keep telling you that you “have” to go? That the food is so much better there than anywhere else? Everyone has heard about Harold’s New York Deli in New Jersey, with their, literally, foot-tall sandwiches and matzo balls that are larger than softballs. They compare it to Katz’s! Can you believe it? I don’t care how big the portions are, how can you compare any place to the number one deli in New York City?

Maybe I’m a little biased. Not Manhattan versus Jersey biased. But, on top of Katz having what everyone knows is the best pastrami on the planet, this is where they did the famous faking it scene in When Harry Met Sally: there’s even a plague on the table where Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal sat. Okay, so maybe it’s not just about the food, which is why I decided Harold’s deserved a chance.

I’d read somewhere that when you walk in you feel like you’re in that movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, but I didn’t really get it. Holy cow! Hearing about and seeing pictures of the portions at Harold’s cannot prepare you for walking down the aisle and having patrons’ meals tower over you. It might even be a little frightening if the smells weren’t so tantalizing that all you can really think about is getting your hands on a menu and ordering one of everything!

Of course, the portions aren’t the only thing a bit daunting at Harold’s. Wait until you see the prices. Those huge corned beef and pastrami sandwiches were $60. The triple decker was a whopping $89! They may look and smell incredible, but when was the last time you remember weighing eating lunch or making your mortgage payment? The good news, once the faintness has passed, is that those sandwiches are meant to feed you and as many of your friends that are lucky enough to be with you. Harold makes sure you have loaves of freshly baked bread and a generous (surprise!) portion of slightly sweet and delicious coleslaw, as well as unlimited access to what is billed as “the world’s largest pickle bar”. If you love pickles, this is heaven! What’s more, there are no extra plate fees or upcharges for sharing. By the time you split the bill, not only will you be happily full and satisfied, but you will likely pay less than what you did some place that didn’t come anywhere close to being as good.

I guess on everyone’s first time, the pastrami (always my personal favorite) or corned beef just has to be ordered. How can you have regrets about ordering something that is so tender, so juicy and full of flavor that it simply melts in your mouth? Normally, you couldn’t. But Harold’s isn’t your normal place. The desserts, which are beyond huge, are said to be wonderful, and they certainly look it. The pancakes and homemade cheese blintzes are going to call to me until I find the chance to get there for breakfast. I adore BLTs and cannot wait to try Harold’s, which looks like it must have at least a pound of bacon on it. Even the matzo ball soup looks delicious, and I have never really been a fan.

Listen, to me: I sound like all of those people saying that you “have” to try Harold’s. Guess what? They were right.

Foods Associated with Florida

There are a lot of states that are fun to visit for one reason or another: many have a variety of things to offer which appeal to different types of visitors. Florida, however, is one of those states that seems to have something for everyone. In the early 1500s, when the Spaniard, Ponce de Leon, first set foot somewhere in the vicinity of what is now historic St. Augustine, it was springtime, and, impressed by the variety and beauty of the blooming vegetation, he named the region Florida, which means “full of flowers”. Whether, like the famous explorer, you are drawn to Florida by its tropical beauty, or because of the abundant sunshine, gorgeous beaches, water sports and activities or for a magical vacation at the happiest place on earth, everyone loves going to Florida.

Walt Disney World in Orlando is the most visited attraction on the planet, but there is far more to Florida than the house built by its famous mouse. You can feel this as soon as you drive over the state line and stop for your free glass of liquid sunshine; Florida orange juice! When you think of Florida, more often than not, isn’t orange juice one of the first things that spring to mind? As a matter of fact, you may not plan your visit around certain types of food and drink like you might when vacationing in certain other states, but there are foods associated with Florida that are essential to experiencing the best of the Sunshine State.

Everyone plans to leave with bags of oranges, grapefruit, mangoes and other fruit that is so plentiful and delicious in Florida. The days typically go from really warm to hot, so there is a perfectly good excuse to enjoy the many different and tasty types of ice cream, frozen yogurt, Italian ices and snow cones. But don’t think that Florida is all about fruit and snacks: there is so much more.

Is there anything better than sitting on an open deck beside a sparkling beach and having someone place a steaming plate of fresh seafood in front of you? Maybe a little spot on your plate is taken up by a piece of roasted corn and a couple hush puppies, but the rest is piled high with shrimp, oysters, grouper, snapper, mackerel, stone crab or any of the other locally caught types of seafood. Don’t forget the clams! Clams are still harvested from the wild, but the Florida clam farming industry is rapidly growing. And, because clams require zero pollution levels, the growing number of clam farms are having a positive impact on the environment as well as the economy.

Because if its location, it is not surprising that Caribbean food is a popular choice in Florida. Whether dining in well-known chains or small, independent hideaways, locals and tourists, alike, can readily find the specially seasoned barbecued ribs (make sure you get the guava sauce!), chicken kabobs, coconut shrimp, jerk chicken and, of course, the key lime pie that Caribbean food is known for.

Getting hungry? All of this sounds (and is) delicious, but there was a movie out a few years ago that sent droves of people looking for a special sandwich that calls Florida home. Did you see the movie, Chef, starring Jon Favreau? After spending a couple hours with him traveling around in that food truck, perfecting the ultimate Cubano, was there anyone who could not practically taste it? Slow-roasted pork is combined with ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles and put on Cuban bread. Then it is pressed on a panini-type sandwich press which melds all the flavors and textures into a little sample of heaven. Order it with a mojito, the refreshing Cuban cocktail made with white rum, mint, lime juice, club soda and a little sugar and you will never want to leave Florida! 

When Life Gives You Lemons Make…

When you hear the phrase “When life gives you lemons…”, you automatically complete the sentence with “make lemonade.” Have you ever given any thought to how unfair it is that the character of the poor lemon has been hijacked to stand for having something so unpleasant happen that you need to immediately try and change it into something else? This does not seem fitting treatment for a fruit descended from a species that has been around for more than seven million years and has wide ranging health benefits. Add to that the fact that some of our all-time favorite foods are made with lemons and it might make more sense that calling something “a lemon” should equate with bestowing the highest of praise.  

Health Benefits Derived from Lemons

There are those rare individuals who claim to like just biting into a lemon, but the vast majority of us know that is not how to best enjoy its flavor or reap its benefits. And, you may be more than a little surprised to learn just how many health benefits that lemons have. Besides being a known source of the all-important vitamin C, lemons also contain vitamin B6, potassium, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, pantothenic acid and folate.

That’s a lot! But, we are just getting started. Our grandparents knew the way to take care of us when we had a sore throat or other ailment was to mix up a warm, soothing concoction of lemon and honey (and sometimes a shot of whiskey). They may not have known about the antioxidants that lemons contain which help aid the immune system while fighting free radical damage, the citric acid that helps with digestion and the beta-carotenes, lutein and vitamin A that support healthy skin and vision, but they knew it would make us feel better.

What Should You Make with Those Lemons?

Whether you truly are looking for something to turn a bad situation around or looking for the ideal way to celebrate a special occasion, a lemon treat of some sort is the perfect choice. You may think that your favorite fruit is the strawberry or that your top pick in the citrus family is the orange, which pretty much has an entire state dedicated to it, but you would be sorely challenged going head to head with the list of delicious foods that star our friend the lemon.  

Chances are you have never taken a survey of the pie that sells out the fastest in most restaurants, but you would be safe to bet that it is the lemon meringue. Not only is it tricky to make at home, but the taste and texture of the lemon, much the same as in lemon bars, is unbeatable. There is something about the sourness of the lemon that has a unique effect on the taste buds. Sweet and salty foods activate the tip of the tongue and bitter is tasted on the back.  The citric acid in the lemon is experienced all along the sides and center of the tongue, which is why the flavor is so powerful.

The list of foods that we love so much because of the presence of the lemon is long. Besides pies and bars, desserts include cakes (ever tried lemon cheesecake?), cookies, donuts, sweet rolls, crepes, muffins, tarts, ice cream, gelato and other frozen treats. Lemon is used with cooking all sorts of main and side dishes, especially amazing seafood and chicken entrees, like shrimp scampi and chicken piccata. Paired with garlic, there are hundreds of pasta and other types of recipes that simply would not work without the lemon.

Last, but certainly not least, is there anyone who hasn’t pulled over after spotting a youngster’s lemonade stand on the side of the road? Nothing beats an icy glass of nature’s most refreshing beverage on a hot summer day. When life gives you lemons, rejoice! And then go make that lemonade.

Classic Foods in Indiana

Indiana became known as the Hoosier state over 150 years ago, although the origin of the term is still debated. One popular version comes from it being risky to approach someone’s cabin on the early frontier. There was often a “shoot first, find out who you shot, second” policy. So, the traveler would call out, and the resident of the cabin would respond with “Who’s here?”, which in those days may have sounded like “Who’sh ‘ere?”. From there, it’s not hard to see how it became “Hoosier”.

What are Hoosiers known for? Fierce college basketball programs immediately leap to mind, as well as the exciting Indy 500, which just happens to be the world’s largest and most popular racing event. Competition may be important, but, so is balancing it with the really significant things in life, like home and family. Nothing defines home life in this part of the Midwest better than the simple, classic foods of Indiana.  

Every state and region has their own brand of chili. Texans believe it blasphemous to add beans of any kind and use only chunks of beef, never the ground version, while folks in Cincinnati actually add cocoa powder to their chili. For those of us growing up eating “regular” chili, the kind with ground beef and kidney beans, the Texas and Ohio versions sound different but reasonable. But, what about getting your chili to the point where the ingredients are all well-mixed and it just needs to simmer a bit and then someone starts breaking spaghetti into small pieces and adding it to the pot? Seriously? Yes, in Indiana, they are as serious about adding some sort of pasta to their version of chili as those Texans are about keeping the beans out!   

It is believed that the Latin word for persimmon meant “food of the gods”, although it is debated whether this was because of the purported health benefits or the delicious sweetness of the non-astringent variety. Those unfortunate enough to choose the astringent variety of persimmon for their first taste likely found it bitter to the point of swearing off persimmons forever. If you live in Indiana, though, when you think persimmon, you think pudding. Similar to traditional English puddings, the Indiana version is judged in a special contest at the annual Persimmon Festival every fall.  

Okay, so those annoying persimmons that litter the lawn can be turned into pudding, and pasta really is pretty tasty in chili, but who would ever think of deep-frying sauerkraut balls? You guessed it. Hoosiers. Most local and state fairs have people lined up for fried ice cream and Oreos, but, if you aren’t careful which line you get into at the Indiana State Fair, the deep-fried treats that will end up clogging your arteries will be filled with sauerkraut. The really bad news is that you may just love them!

Maybe spaghetti in your chili or deep-fried sauerkraut isn’t quite your thing. You can be forgiven for that. But, if you leave this part of the country without trying their signature, melt-in-your-mouth tenderloin sandwich, you will never forgive yourself. Similar to Wiener Schnitzel, this pork cutlet is hand battered and fried. If you have never had one before, you will likely be more than a little surprised to see that the bun occupies a spot in the center of the plate and the tenderloin itself often overlaps the entire plate. Not to worry, though, you will happily eat every morsel.

When it comes to dessert, besides pudding, Indiana residents are extremely fond of pie. Not just any pie, though. Their Hoosier pie is simple and decadent all at the same time. As were so many things, this pie was created in the 1800s as an effort to not let ingredients on hand go to waste. Butter, flour, and sugar were combined with vanilla to create a simple, but delicious, custard pie that has been passed from generation to generation.  


Craft Beer and Coffee: What These Drinks of Choice Reveal About American Consumers

Two of the most popular drinks in America are coffee and beer. We’re wild about them (although not usually both at the same time). At the most recent estimate the average American threw back 20.8 gallons of beer and 18.5 gallons of coffee every year, which is kind of insane. Now that doesn’t make America really any different than other countries on its own – unless you count all the tea-drinking countries, which I don’t. But there’s something else that seems to weirdly set the United States apart in its coffee and beer consumption: We aren’t just obsessed with coffee and beer; we’re obsessed with luxury coffee and beer.

Craft beer is the only part of the larger beer market that is actually still seeing growth in the U.S., and it continues to score new and bigger wins against the traditional American beer industry.  Meanwhile, in coffee, cash-cows like Starbucks and the rise of fair trade coffee have long dwarfed some of the cheaper alternatives like Folgers and Maxwell House – and that entirely leaves out instant coffee. In fact, Americans are so fixated on artisan, high-quality coffee, that a few millennial entrepreneurs even tried to create a luxury alternative for instant coffee so they wouldn’t have to cope with the trauma of getting by on cheap instant coffee while living abroad.

The United States Versus Everyone Else

What makes this trend interesting is how it contrasts with much of the rest of the world. For those who drink coffee in many other parts of the world, the usual choice is instant coffee – generally some variety of Nescafe. Instant coffee sales are booming around the world, with products that people are only barely conscious of at all in the U.S. We don’t realize we’re sticklers for luxury coffee – to us it’s just coffee.

The same thing goes for beer. Some countries like Germany also have higher general standards for brewing quality, but most countries, interestingly enough, drink some of our cheaper, mass-produced domestic beers. Bud Light, while the target of so much scorn among young people in the U.S., is a marketing giant here and abroad. It’s up there with Doritos and Coca-Cola in terms of its aggressively large presence on the commercial airwaves. And as a result it’s the third-most consumed beer in the world, while the first two most popular beers are Chinese brands sold primarily in the Chinese market.

“The American market is picky, especially these days,” says Paul Michaels, founder and CEO of National Bartenders. “People want specialization, they want design and detail. It’s less about the buzz and more about the flavor and the experience around it.” There’s a social environment and a certain popular sense of style that seems to have grown up around the rising trends in craft beer and luxury coffee, and it doesn’t exist in the same way for lower grades of coffee and beer.

Why America is Different and What This Means for Marketers

But why are we so stuck on these luxury, artisanal styles of beer and coffee, when beer and coffee used to be so straightforward without frills? Maybe we can blame marketers? Coffee and beer seem to have almost matched wine for the complicated culture that surrounds it. And now more and more beer bottles and bags of coffee come with their countries or cities of origin proudly stamped on the label with in-depth, flowery flavor profile descriptions, strangely reminiscent of wine as well.

Luxury coffee and craft beer have become their own cultures that consumers can find meaning in, although perhaps without as much of the elitism that wine culture seems to suggest. That in itself is probably part of the appeal, but where did these new food cultures come from, and do they offer any sort of guidance or road map for other marketers looking to do the same? One simple explanation could be that these craft food cultures themselves grow out of the longer eating and drinking traditions. We’ve been drinking coffee and beer for a long time, so this developed naturally.

And obviously it would be a dream goal for many marketers to have a product that inspires as much adoration and community devotion as coffee and beer seem to. One take-away is that achieving that level of consumer buy-in isn’t possible unless the manufacturer or supplier takes the product just as seriously. Craft beer depends on brewers that take the quality of their beer seriously, and the same goes for coffee. Many consumers, especially younger ones, just don’t trust the larger, established companies to do that anymore.

Tourist Trap Restaurants That Are Good?

Manhattan residents tend to stay away from known tourist traps. Not only are they busy, but the food isn’t usually all that great either. Some destinations break the mold, though, and so we’ve compiled a list of tourist trap restaurants that are popular with everyone and serve great food to boot. Here are the best restaurants the city has to offer!

  1. Katz’s Delicatessen is known for its pastrami, and for good reason. If you live nearby, chances are you’ve come to expect a lot of hustle and bustle during the day. But come closing time, you know to sneak in as the crowds die.
  2. If you’re looking for some exquisite baked goods, head on over to Veniero’s Pastry. If you can get past the travelers, you’ll find tasty gelato, tiramisu, and sfogliatelle. Once again, your best bet is closing time.
  3. Everyone loves a French-style restaurant, and you’ll find the best at Balthazar. If you want to order food without waiting in line, ask for a seat at the bar. You’re less likely to get stuck behind noisy outsiders.
  4. Eataly is exactly what it sounds like: a place for traditional Italian fare. It’s not far from One World Trade Center, which is part of the reason it’s so popular with tourists. If you’re looking to Italian bread, cheese, pizza, or pasta, then Eataly is the place for you.
  5. Everyone loves a good cronut–except the suckers who have never tried one. It’s a specialized combination of donut and croissant, which is what all the tourists order. Those who have the advantage of living in the area can keep coming back to try the other items on the menu. They’re all amazing.
  6. Gray’s Papaya is popular with everyone. The Recession Special provides two delicious dogs and a refreshing beverage (flavored soda, anyone?). If you’re young and local, then you’ve probably ventured to Gray’s Papaya after a drink or four.
  7. If you’re in the neighborhood, then check out Nathan’s Famous for some exceptionally tasty hot dogs. It’s an experience you need to have.
  8. If you’re a carnivore, then you can’t miss the Peter Luger Steak House. You’ll find everything from the traditional fare such as a mouth-watering burger, to more elaborate offerings like slabs of bacon you won’t find offered the same way anywhere else.
  9. The Levain Bakery offers a simple selection of world-class cookies. They’re expensive, but the chewy gooey taste is well worth the extra cash.

NYC Dessert Bucket List

You’re in love with New York City for an endless number of reasons, but one of the highest on the list is its delectable selection of desserts. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent the night out on the town or you’re just looking for a slice of heaven from the comfort of your home (grab and go), NYC is the place to be if you love tasty treats. Here is a bucket list of our favorites!

  1. Holey Cream’s donut ice cream sandwiches are something you desperately need to try. Not only can you build your own donut, but you can also opt to turn the thing into a tempting ice cream sandwich. This isn’t something you’ll find done the same way anywhere else.
  2. If you’ve never been to the Dominique Ansel Bakery, now’s the time. Their milk and cookie shot is shockingly unique, and it’s a combination everyone already loves. It’s a cookie-shaped shot glass with milk poured inside. Be careful how you eat/drink this dessert experience, otherwise, it might get a little bit messy! Be prepared to wait in a long, long line.
  3. If you can’t decide between cookie or cookie dough, then Schmackary’s is the place for you. You’ll find cookie dough cookies, which are exactly what they sound like: cookies with cookie dough slathered on top.
  4. The milkshakes at Black Tap are probably the best looking dessert you’ve ever seen, and you’ll probably feel the gastrointestinal distress before you take your first bite. The milkshake is topped with every sugary candy you can imagine, from M&Ms to cotton candy to whole cookies.
  5. Take a trip to the Levain Bakery for a wholesome chocolate chip cookie that you’ll dream about for years to come. These gargantuan treats are perfectly gooey on the inside, and crispy on the outside: or as we like to say, perfect.
  6. If you’re in the mood for something a little more on the adventurous side, then check out the banana bread pudding cups at Magnolia Bakery. This establishment is famous for its array of mouth-watering cupcakes, but the pudding is something else that really sets it apart from the common fare you’ll find everywhere else.
  7. It’s hard to find a good macaron in the states, but Laduree knows how to get the recipe just right. Better yet, you can grab a box of cookies for home.
  8. If you can’t choose between a proper taste of French cuisine or aromatic Japanese flavor, then why not combine the two? At Eight Turn Crepe, you can try the traditional French crepe accompanied with exotic Japanese flavors. Then again, you can also just go with the usual topping like chocolate or strawberry.

Best Restaurants in LaGrange, Texas

You might not think to eat in LaGrange, a tiny Texas community of only 4,700 people–but you should. Lagrange is located between Houston and Austin, making it the perfect pitstop for a quick meal if you’re on your way to one of Texas’s most bustling cities. Better yet, it’s known for its great food! Here are some of the best places to eat while you’re with us.

  1. If you’re in the mood for great Mexican food, you could do no better than Taqueria Rio Verde. This is the best place for breakfast tacos, and they’re only a few bucks to start. The only downside? It’ll probably be busy!
  2. The Holman Valley Steakhouse is a community favorite, and for good reason. If you’re not in the mood for steak, you can find traditional seafood sampler platters with shrimp, catfish, spinach au gratin, stuffed crab and mashed taters. The prices are moderate.
  3. If you’re in the mood for something a little bit more novel or don’t have the time to sit down for a meal, then Lukas Bakery is a great stop. Located on Main Street, you’ll find tasty Kolaches, cookies, pigs in a blanket, and more. This establishment has been in business for over 70 years, and you’ll soon find out why.
  4. If you’re more in the mood for a sit-down and some coffee, then try out Latte on the Square. Give their Matcha Tea a try. There are plenty of hot or cold drinks to try, and tasty paninis if you’re hungry.
  5. In a hurry? Go to Hank’s Express, where you’ll find great American food without the wait. This is a good option if you’re vegetarian. The best part about this place is the changing menu. The day’s food choices will be listed on the board outside.
  6. LaGrange, Texas is a surprisingly good place for pizza. Check out Reba’s. If you don’t want a hot slice, then there are sandwich options as well. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, then check out the great salads.
  7. Sometimes you just need a taste of barbecue, especially when you haven’t had the opportunity to fire up your own grill in a while. Prause Market is the answer. There are plenty of meats and sausage options, but try the potato salad before you leave!
  8. Murphy’s Steakhouse is another great option if you’re looking for the best cut of cow. They have great sandwiches for lunch, and the building is a cool place to wander around while you wait for your meal.

How To Have Radiant Skin Even When Spring Brings Snow

“If you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life,” said Frank Lloyd Wright.  In the annals of history, Frank Lloyd Wright is famous for being a pilot; however, he was, in fact, one of the first purveyors of skin care (a little known piece trivia).  He as also one of the first to suggest that, utilizing a proper skin care regimen is, in fact, the first step to putting that “glow” on your face. This is even true when spring surprises you with a late winter blizzard.  Regardless of the season, or what the calendar says, putting one’s best skin forward is always in fashion.

Skin care, since the dawn of advertising, has been a favorite topic of conversation.  As potential customers, we see advertisements everywhere we turn – from television to print to online and beyond, for how our skin should be – and, what it should look like.  The one thing these marketing and advertising campaigns have in common is their commitment to helping people put their best skin forward. What they don’t tell us, however, is what this means when seasons change, locales changes, and most importantly, our body chemistry changes.  For that, we need a product line which changes with us, adjusts to our body chemistry, and understands what our skin needs, from the inside out.

Because the skin is our body’s largest organ, covering the equivalent of 26 square feet in size (about the size of a small porch), it makes up a lot more of our bodies than we may realize.  As a result, it is easy to see why it is so important to pamper our skin, take care of it properly, and keep it clean and refreshed. The majority of people are unaware that our skin can hold up to 1500 different types of bacteria at any given time, and that cleansing it properly, and gently, removes the toxins, setting us up for an even better glow and a healthier inside.

Now that you, the reader, understand why it’s so important to take care of your skin properly, it’s time to gain some knowledge about the types of skin care available today.  Skin care primarily comes in two categories: natural skin care and manufactured. The majority of experts agree that natural skin care is the healthiest way to go. Think of it this way, would you rather eat an organic piece of fruit or vegetables, or those that are chemically altered?  

Abha Saraswat, the Founder and CEO of Sano Naturals ( notes that “when you take care of your skin the way nature intended, you see the benefits for the short-term and the long-term.”  

Saraswat personally created the Sano Naturals skin care line when she realized it was the only way to improve her own skin. Since succeeding with her own skin, she has had one singular goal: to help others with problem skin to the have the best skin possible.  “I used to believe that makeup was the only way I could hide my skin and look better,” said Saraswat, “until I created a protocol which combined real science and nature to repair, nourish, and change my own skin. Once I accomplished this, I realized that it could also help others; thus, Sano was born.”

Natural skin care is in keeping with the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), the preeminent organization studying and promoting healthy skin care.  While ASDS recommends slightly different things for different ages, they do recommend keeping your skin simple, protected, and moisturized for spring, even when winter throws you a big surprise.   This holds true at any age. Protecting against the elements is something that ASDS recommends vigilantly – regardless of the season.

Incorporating products like Sano’s Korean Beauty Mask, into your skin care regimen follows the ASDS protocol.  It cleanses gently and naturally, exfoliating only the top layer of skin. The mask also encourages skin replenishment and repair, while removing the harmful toxins and bacteria in the process.  The mask is used only two to three times per week, and should always be followed with a proper moisturizer. Saraswat explains that, “after the mask, the skin is clean and new, so this is the absolute best time for the moisturizer, so your skin will get the best benefits from it.”

Regardless of the products you select in your skin care regiment, one thing holds true…your skin is your first line of defense when it comes to your health and your proverbial “power suit” when it comes to your glow.  Taking care of it properly and consistently will reduce the aging process and, like a great new outfit, make you feel terrific all day long.