How Long Does American Cheese Last (In The Fridge, Opened and Unopened)?

You either love or hate American Cheese.

From Kraft Singles to Velveeta, the iconic slices of white cheese in a thin plastic casing and the grilled cheese sandwiches made with it, it’s one of the most-divisive cheeses.

Many even scoff that it shouldn’t even be considered a cheese because it’s not made from milk as cheeses have been historically made. Unsurprisingly, American cheese is processed; created from a mixture of other cheeses.

How Long Does American Cheese Last?

The good thing about American cheese being processed is that the shelf life is improved when compared to other cheeses. The shelf life of American cheese depends on several factors:

How long you’ve had it: The longer you have had American cheese in your refrigerator or freezer, the shorter its shelf life will be.

Temperature: If you keep your refrigerator above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius), it will last longer than if it was held at cooler temperatures.

Opened or Unopened: This is key. When the cheese is exposed to oxygen it begins to lose quality until it becomes inedible. American cheese will last longer if you keep it in its original packaging and away from other foods than if you cut off pieces.

Proper Storage: Whether opened or unopened, the cheese should be stored properly to ensure it lasts as long we possible. Typically that means store them separately, placed in different containers or wrapped in foil or paper towels (which absorb moisture).

The average shelf life of American cheese is as follows:

Unopened American Cheese

Unopened American cheese will keep in the refrigerator for up to six months before it begins to spoil. Once opened, you should use it within one week at most. If the package is unopened, store the cheese in the coldest part of the refrigerator (the back of the bottom shelf).

Opened American Cheese

Opened packages of American cheese should be transferred to an airtight container as soon as possible after opening. If you’re not going to use it immediately, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place wax paper on top of it to prevent other foods from getting contaminated by any bacteria present in the opened package. 

The refrigerated version should last about one week if wrapped this way; however, if you notice any signs of spoilage, such as mold growing on the edges or inside the package, throw it out immediately.

How To Tell if American Cheese Is Bad

close up shot of cheese slices

If you want to know how to tell if American cheese is bad, here are some signs to look for:

  • American Cheese Smell

The smell of American cheese can indicate whether it has gone bad. If the cheese smells sour or unpleasant, it has probably gone bad. It may be time to throw away the cheese if the smell is not bad but still different from what it should be. When in doubt, throw it out.

  • American Cheese Color and Texture

It is possible to tell if American cheese has gone bad by looking at its color and texture. The cheese should appear bright white with no discoloration or mold. If your cheese slices have brown or blue spots, they may have been exposed to air for too long after being opened.

The texture may also change slightly when you touch it — becoming softer than usual — which can mean that your slice of American cheese has gone bad.

Conclusion

To answer the question, it doesn’t matter if you buy prepackaged American cheese at the store or how long it says on the label, either three months or up to one year. Prepared American cheese will last for about six months in the fridge—a little longer if you don’t open packages. But remember: refrigeration isn’t needed to keep this cheese preserved. Just eat prepackaged American cheese within those six months (or less), and enjoy.

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How Long Is Chinese Food Good For If I’ve Properly Stored It?

Food waste is a major concern in the United States today. According to the Department of Agriculture, this accounts to around 30% to 40% of the country’s food supply. Most of the food waste can be attributed to grocers and retailers throwing away produce, meat, and dairy products that have surpassed their expiry dates. But food waste affects consumers as well. Many of us have felt guilty about tossing leftover Chinese food into the trash because we weren’t sure if the food was still safe to eat. 

There comes a time when it’s no longer safe to eat your leftover Chinese food and it should be thrown away to avoid illness. 

Below, you’ll find more information about when it’s best to discard your Chinese leftovers to avoid an upset stomach.

How Long Is Chinese Food Good For?

First off, “Chinese food” isn’t just one dish and it’s not definitely not limited to what you see at the steam table buffet at Panda Express; it’s a cuisine. Chinese cuisine is diverse – subtle and spicy, salty and sweet, sour and savory — Chinese cuisine is well-known for its great tastes and flavors.

It includes a wide variety of popular dishes such as fried rice, General Tsao’s, Orange chicken, chow mein, beef and broccoli , dumplings, kung pao chicken, dim sum, ma po tofu, noodles of all types, so take our advice and apply it carefully depending on what kind of Chinese food you’re referring to. 

That said, Chinese foods are like any foods that contain vegetables, meats and seafood – they’re very perishable, so you should put Chinese foods in the fridge as soon as possible.

When stored correctly, Chinese food can remain fresh for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. However, most people store it for up to 3 days only depending on the type of food and the ingredients used.

After that, spoiled Chinese food can cause food poisoning. Food-borne bacteria do not usually affect the look, smell, or taste of the food. Therefore, it is difficult to tell if the Chinese takeaway you ordered last week is currently safe for consumption.

To be on the safe side, avoid keeping your Chinese food in the refrigerator for longer than this period.

Food kept in the fridge does not go bad immediately after four days. The risk increases due to bacteria growth. You can freeze the food only if you want to eat it within the recommended time period.

However, just knowing what time to throw away Chinese food leftovers is just scratching the surface. It’s also important to learn how to store Chinese food properly so you can safely eat it again.  

Why Throw Away Spoiled Chinese Food

You run the risk of foodborne illnesses if you consume Chinese food that is infested with harmful bacteria. These pathogenic manifestations occur with the temperature between 4°C and 60 °C. Therefore, your aim is to protect your food from this danger zone. Make sure to store your food in the fridge within two hours. Otherwise, the bacteria would grow immensely, making the food unsafe for consumption.

How to Store Your Leftover Chinese Food

Let’s face it; most of us simply store Chinese food in the refrigerator just the way we bought it from the restaurant. However, this is not the best way to store the food if you want to extend its shelf life.

This Reheating Method Keeps Leftover Chinese Food Crispy

Store your Chinese food in sealed or airtight containers. Never store your Chinese food in the takeaway container. It is not ideal for long-term storage. Takeaway food containers allow in air that makes the food stale and create a good environment for harmful bacteria to grow. 

Avoid leaving your Chinese food on your kitchen counter. Instead, put it in the fridge once you have finished eating. 

You should put food in the fridge as soon as possible to lower the risk of ingesting food-borne pathogens.

Conclusion

If you have spent top dollar on your Chinese food, you’d hate to throw it out. To store your Chinese food leftovers properly, follow the above tips to enjoy eating it again. That way, you can save time and money. And if you’re not sure about the safety of your Chinese food, throw it away. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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Can You Freeze Gravy? How Long is Frozen Gravy Good For?

Brown, delicious gravy from homemade veal or thanksgiving turkey is every bit tasty and our holiday dinners wouldn’t be complete without them. In fact, the National Consumer Survey (NHCS) revealed that over 130 million Americans used gravy in 2020 alone. 

Not your regular sauce, you might want to keep your gravy for another day or two without having to go through the stress of preparing it. This brings us to the question: is it safe to freeze gravy? And if so, how long is frozen gravy good for?

Can You Safely Freeze Gravy?

Can Gravy Be Frozen or Refrigerated? How to Thaw Properly - Fitibility

You could freeze homemade gravy ahead of your next meal. However, you must do it in the right way to avoid wasting your precious velvety sauce. Gravy begins to separate when not stored rightly, so you might want to freeze it not more than two hours after your last meal.

Also, dairy or cream-based gravies might not freeze as well as other gravy types. They are more likely to separate because of their content, so you might want to use a little quantity of fat or milk if you plan to freeze your gravy. Running gravy through a food processor might reduce the chances of separation. 

Storage Considerations for Gravy

  • Short-term freezing: You can keep gravy in ice-cube trays until they form cube molds. Once formed, put them in airtight or freezer bags and keep in the refrigerator. Do not store for more than three to four days. When you are ready to use it, bring the cubes out of the bag and thaw. If it looks like it is beginning to separate a bit, you could boil it for five minutes, stir, and safely eat. 
  • Long-term freezing: If you do not plan to eat your gravy that week, you could store it in a freezer for up to four months especially if it is flour-based. To prevent significant loss in quality over time, it must be stored in airtight containers. Ready-made gravy in cans should be stored in a cool, dry place and used before the expiry date.

It is not advisable to refreeze gravy once you have thawed it.

Using up your Leftover Gravy

Consume your leftover gravy as you would with a freshly prepared one. However, you must confirm that it is not spoiled. To prevent such a bummer, do not leave it out of the fridge for more than two hours since bacteria can multiply quickly under warmer conditions. Following FDA guidelines, you should throw your gravy away if you:

  • See any signs of mold growth
  • Did not get it into the freezer in time
  • Are not sure how long you have kept it in the freezer
  • Perceive any rancid smell

You do not want to deal with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms of food poisoning. After you are sure that your gravy is as good as new, defrost in a cold-water dish, pour out of the bag, reheat slowly under medium heat in a saucepan, and enjoy. If it is from the freezer, you could thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

Bottom Line

When frozen properly, you can thaw and enjoy gravy with roast turkey, soups, biscuits, mashed potatoes, casserole, or just about any meal combo. If you are still reading this post, the chances are that you would not have to cry over another spoiled gravy.

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Did Trader Joe’s discontinue their Elote Corn Chip Dippers?

If there’s one item that we’ve consistently been addicted to / love from Trader Joe’s; it’s without a doubt their Elote Chips.

A couple weeks ago, we could no longer locate the in the aisle they are usually stocked. We were concerned but not overly concerned as we know sometimes certain items are out-of-stock at Trader Joe’s for a few days. Especially our location in New York City. It’s not uncommon to not be able to find your favorite snack, yogurt or ingredient that day.

Known by their full name Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers – I don’t think I’ve met anyone that dislikes these chips, so anecdotally, it wouldn’t make sense for them to be discontinued.

But Trader Joe’s doesn’t make business decisions based on whether a handful of my friends like their items. They got a business to run.

Did Trader Joe’s discontinue their Elote Corn Chip Dippers?

This happens a lot with Trader Joe’s items so when I don’t see the item for a couple weeks, depending on how much I love the item, I may try to confirm it with more official and unofficial channels.

First move is to check other nearby stores — which I didn’t do.

Instead I went to this Trader Joe’s reddit forum which is filled with comments soaked with tears at the loss of potential TJ favorites. If the Elote corn chips have been discontinued, we’ll definitely shed a tear for them, but that doesn’t seem to be the case as the latest Reddit thread is from nearly 10 months ago in August of 2021.

We also like to cross reference this dedicated Instagram account to forever gone TJ’s items. Thankfully, nothing has been reported on the Elote Corn Chip front.

The good news is as of this post, the Elote Corn Chip Dippers are still alive and well and their disappearance is probably an inventory issue. If TJs is out of stock of them and you want to settle your craving by re-creating them. You can use the same Trader Joe’s corn chips (sans elote seasoning) and then shake in some (alot) of the Everything But The Elote seasoning.

Did Trader Joe’s discontinue their Aloo Chaat Kati Rolls?

We love Trader Joe’s takes on Indian food, and the grocery store’s version of the  aloo chaat kati rolls. Officially called the “Aloo Chaat Kati Pouches” these frozen indian rolls became a staple in our household when we needed a quick lunch or snack that we could prepare quickly. That’s because these “pouches” are “crispy pastry stuffed with potatoes, chick peas, chaat masala, and tamarind chutney.”

A couple weeks ago, we couldn’t find the aloo chaat pouches anywhere. No worries, sometimes you can’t find certain items at Trader Joe’s for a couple days; sometimes you won’t be able to find your favorite chips or chocolate or frozen item for a couple weeks.

After you’ve lost hope, you’re surprised and relieved to see that item on the shelf. This happens a lot with Trader Joe’s items and this Trader Joe’s reddit forum is filled with comments concerned with the potential of discontinuation of items.

Trader Joe’s discontinues Aloo Chaat Kati Pouches

The problem is we haven’t seen the “Aloo Chaat Kati Pouches” in a few weeks, so have them been discontinued? You’re not going to like the answer, according to the instagram account dedicated to discontinued items at TJ’s  /traderjoestobediscontinued the Aloo Chaat Kati Pouches has been confirmed to be discontinued. Check out the post here.

 

Sorry to be the messenger of bad news that these Indian staples have been canceled by the company. The good news? That means Trader Joe’s is making room for something new and TJ’s always coming out with innovative, interesting and tasty food items. R.I.P.  Aloo Chaat Kati Pouches.

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Can I refrigerate and reheat espresso? Yes you can, but follow these steps for the best results

Whether you love the flavor of espresso in the morning or rely on the quick jolt of energy coffee gives you to get work done, we have a strong, solid relationship with coffee and espresso drinks.

However thanks to the lockdown, our relationships with coffee and espresso has forever changed. Many of us that had a daily morning routine that brought us to our local café or Starbucks before work has now been replaced by at-home coffee makers, French Presses, Nespresso and Keurig machines because we don’t leave the house.

It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a latte at a coffee shop or making one at home, the days of tossing away your leftover coffee drink at work are of the past because well, many of us are working from home.

Espresso-based drinks ain’t cheap!

Served in small amounts, espresso is essentially concentrated coffee and has a much-higher amount of caffeine per serving. The shots of espresso are pulled from the machine and most often combined with milk or alternative milks into drinks like lattes, americanos, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and flat whites.

And these espresso drinks ain’t cheap. Whereas a cup of coffee can run you anywhere from less than a dollar to $3, espresso-based drinks often start out at $3 and can be as much as $7.50 depending on where you live, the size, and how much they upcharge for alternative milks.

Paying $3 to $4 to $5 to $6 everyday adds up. That’s not to mention that theer are plenty of days you order/make a second latte in the afternoon. By the end of the workday, you have a not-insignificant amount of that latte left over, so what do you do with that remaining coffee/espresso?

So should I refrigerate espresso and re-heat coffee?

It’s been ingrained in me never to waste anything and my instinct with food is if it can be safely stored for consumption at a later date, that’s what I will do. Same goes with coffee and espresso.

But should I be saving espresso and espresso drink by storing it in the refrigerator and reheating the following day?  The answer is; I can, but whether you should depends on your taste and how long you plan on saving it for. It’s important to note that there’s nothing unhealthy about day-old espresso, coffee or a drink that has milk in it.

Of course if you ask Todd Carmichael, the CEO and co-founder of La Colombe coffee, the answer is: Never reheat coffee. “Coffee is a one-time use kind of deal. You make it, you drink it and if it gets cold, you make some more.”

Now if you’re not an owner of a coffee shop in New York City that’s all but required to discourage it, but if you’re not a snob about it, the answer is not ironclad. Personally, I actually think the taste of reheated espresso isn’t that bad. It’s not nearly the same, but a reheated espresso drink still satisfies more often than not (especially if you take a couple extra steps — more on that in a minute).

That’s to say the flavor is what really changes, so whether you should be saving and storing and refrigerating espresso to be reheated the next morning really comes down to whether you still enjoy reheated espresso drinks the following day.

I say give it a shot and see if you like it. If it still tastes good, go ahead and save yourself a couple bucks. If you don’t like the taste — don’t.

Why does the taste of reheated coffee change?

You may have noticed that if you reheat black coffee or espresso (without milk), it can become very, very bitter. That’s because when coffee cools, its chemical makeup changes so if you toss it in the microwave, the heat will break down the remaining aromatics, and you’ll be left with a bad-tasting drink.

Having milk or an alternative milk in the drink definitely helps to soften the bitterness, so a reheat doesn’t bring out more bitterness in the same way. As long as that milk hasn’t gone bad.

From a purist point of view, espresso and coffee are meant to be drunk hot. Specifically, espresso is meant to be consumed as soon as possible after pouring. Italians tend to drink it immediately after it’s made, as part of the culture around the coffee bar, but also because that’s when you get the best taste. 

The answer you want: Yes, refrigerate and reheat espresso (but follow these steps to make it better)

I’ve reheated espresso drinks hundreds of times using a pot on the stove or microwave, but I’ve learned a couple things now that I’ve started reheating coffee drinks almost daily. Here’s a couple points to keep in mind if you plan on storing and reheating while trying to maintain the original flavor of your coffee-based drinks:

    • Use a double-walled bottle so fresh, hot coffee stays hot.
    • Store your coffee/espresso in airtight glass container.
    • Add fresh coffee or fresh milk to it before reheating.
    • Reheat it with a milk frother.
    • Add your favorite powder or syrup.
    • Don’t keep for more than 36 hours.

The most-important step is what you use to reheat the coffee/espresso. While the microwave is quick and efficient, the goal is to maintain as much of the original flavors as possible. So I suggest you not nuke any remaining tastiness of the espresso drink you enjoyed the day before.

While placing the espresso in the fridge will help to maintain some of that original flavor, reheating it at unregulated temperatures using a stove or microwave isn’t helping it keep that same flavor profile. That’s true for all foods: cooking, heating or reheating any type off food (including both coffee and espresso) alters the chemical makeup of that item and changes the flavor profile.

So to help maintain the flavor that’s leftover, we recommend reheating the espresso-based drink with an electric milk frother that’s designed to not only regulate the temperature to within the range reserved for optimal espresso but froths milk — all with the press of a button.

Think about it, the process of making espresso is forcing pressurized water at a very specific temperature through ground coffee beans tamped into a filter that produces the espresso. A milk frother won’t replace the thick, concentrated espresso and crema, but it will heat it at a temperature that won’t make it more bitter and if it has milk, will create a nice froth.

Using a milk frother may seem like it’s more trouble than it’s worth, but trust someone that’s used a stove, microwave and a milk frother to reheat my lattes. If you’re reheating coffee or espresso often and the difference in flavor is right on the edge, the investment in this little machine makes a world of difference in that regard.

Even better, use old coffee to make new iced coffee!

That’s all to say that reheated espresso, even espresso that has been refrigerated, will never taste exactly as it does when it comes out of the espresso machine or French press.

That said, if you choose to save your espresso for the next day, the better option is to not reheat it all. Place a couple ice cubes into it and have an iced coffee or iced latter instead.

“If you’re absolutely out of coffee and staring at a cold pot from that morning.” said Carmichael, “Don’t reheat it. Drink it over ice. Trust me, it’ll be better.”

You can always start with a reheat attempt and see if your taste buds like it. Or you can go with a method that is tried and true. If you run to a cafe to grab a takeaway espresso and it’s cold by the time you get back to your home office – try it over ice! It may not be the hot coffee you were hoping for, but it definitely won’t be as bitter as if it was straight from the microwave. 

As long as you store and refrigerate it properly you can ignore the coffee snobs because it really comes down to your personal preference. I’ll leave you with this quote from this reddit thread on refrigerated espresso:

Try it and decide for yourself. As long as you enjoy it, hey.

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Phase II: A list of East Village, LES restaurants now offering outdoor and sidewalk seating

With phase two rolling out in New York City on Monday, June 22, the city allowed barbers, salons, playgrounds, retail stores, business offices, churches, restaurants and cafes all to open up for business again. Continue reading “Phase II: A list of East Village, LES restaurants now offering outdoor and sidewalk seating”

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A list of the 15 best foods, fruits, veggies, beans and seeds that are high in soluble fiber

The human body requires an abundance of vitamins and minerals in order to maintain homeostasis and lead a healthy life. One such important nutrient that is a part of that healthy puzzle is soluble fiber. Continue reading “A list of the 15 best foods, fruits, veggies, beans and seeds that are high in soluble fiber”

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Sweetgreen opening six new NYC locations including Penn Station, Grand Central, The Bowery, and Rockefeller Center!

Though sweetgreen started out in Washington D.C. and the surrounding DMV region, the insanely popular, growing and extremely valuable salad chain really expanded when it came to New York City. Continue reading “Sweetgreen opening six new NYC locations including Penn Station, Grand Central, The Bowery, and Rockefeller Center!”

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Hummus & Pita Co. Promo Code & Coupon is good for $3 off your entire order

Like it’s big brother CAVA, The Hummus & Pita Co. is based on a Chipotle ordering style where you can stuff your pita or bowl with a protein and several free and premium sides (or fill its as they call it). Continue reading “Hummus & Pita Co. Promo Code & Coupon is good for $3 off your entire order”

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The Shockingly Delicious Truth about the 7 Best NFL Stadium Foods

The game day offerings at NFL stadium concession stands sure aren’t what they used to be. Sure, you can still find a hot dog and popcorn if you’re old school, but you might be surprised by the artisanal gourmet sausage and craft Gruyere cheese popcorn. Continue reading “The Shockingly Delicious Truth about the 7 Best NFL Stadium Foods”

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Our 3 favorite, healthy and creative Summer dinner recipes for friends, family

Summer is definitely the time to not go out to eat, but to get creative in the kitchen; longer, lighter evenings are just crying out for tasty dinners. Continue reading “Our 3 favorite, healthy and creative Summer dinner recipes for friends, family”

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How long does oat milk last before it’s gone bad or expired?

If you’re reading this post then you’re more than aware that oat milk is a non-dairy, plant-based milk alternative that’s becoming increasingly popular in coffee shops around the country. Continue reading “How long does oat milk last before it’s gone bad or expired?”

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Save $3 off at ‘Fresh & Co.’ with this promo code that doesn’t expire

Founded nearly a decade ago, Fresh&Co serves up breakfast, lunch salads and sandwiches as well as other healthy meals throughout the day or whenever you want. Fresh&co puts both eyes directly on organic and seasonal ingredients that are healthy with options for meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free customers. Continue reading “Save $3 off at ‘Fresh & Co.’ with this promo code that doesn’t expire”

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Save $3 at Luke’s Lobster with this coupon code (2018)

I’ve visited Luke’s Lobster several times and only started to really begin to appreciate the fast-casual restaurant’s seafood offerings in my past few experiences at their self-proclaimed “shacks”. Continue reading “Save $3 at Luke’s Lobster with this coupon code (2018)”

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How many calories are in oat milk? We look at oak milks from Oatly, Pacific and Pureharvest

You may have noticed a new milk alternative that’s being offered up by your local cafe: oat milk. And the new lactose-free option for your lattes and cappuccinos is a real challenger to almond milk, the current steamed milk of choice. Continue reading “How many calories are in oat milk? We look at oak milks from Oatly, Pacific and Pureharvest”

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Select AMC Theatres now serving churros, pork buns and mac & cheese

A large popcorn, M&Ms and a Coke? That’s so Cinemark in the 2000’s. AMC Theatres just announced that they’re stepping up their snack game at select theatres. Continue reading “Select AMC Theatres now serving churros, pork buns and mac & cheese”

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CAVA is the Mediterranean Chipotle, here’s why (and promo code for $3)

From Chipotle to sweetgreen to Shake Shake, it feels like fast casual restaurants are all over the place. These new modern fast food joints fill a much-needed niche for office workers that are looking for quality food that’s not only affordable and healthy, but doesn’t require waiting in line during their hour break. Continue reading “CAVA is the Mediterranean Chipotle, here’s why (and promo code for $3)”

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The Liu Sha Bao (流沙包), a.k.a. the molten lava egg custard bun, is your new favorite dim sum item

Today, we’re writing something we should have written months, if not years, ago; it’s a dedication to the heavenly dim sum item called Liu Sha Bao (流沙包) also known by one of its English names: the molten lava egg custard bun. Continue reading “The Liu Sha Bao (流沙包), a.k.a. the molten lava egg custard bun, is your new favorite dim sum item”

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Grand Opening: Second sweetgreen location in Union Square opens today

As we mentioned in April of this year, sweetgreen was opening another location in the Union Square area.  Continue reading “Grand Opening: Second sweetgreen location in Union Square opens today”

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