Ernest Barbella has spent his career in the food manufacturing and retail industry, highlighted by his time as vice president of New York’s Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. As a professional in the food business, Ernest Barbella appreciates the difference between pure cane sugar and beet sugar.
Many individuals are under the impression that sugar comes in a single form. In reality, sugar can be derived from a number of unique sources, including aboveground sugarcane plants and underground beets. There are a few reasons to believe that pure cane sugar is healthier than beet sugar. Most of these benefits can be attributed to helpful trace minerals found in cane sugar that are absent from beet sugar. Pure cane sugar can also be easily produced without the use of genetically modified plants. Manufacturers of beet sugar, on the other hand, are more likely to seek out genetically altered plants during processing. Brown beet sugar may even be sprayed down with a molasses coating, while the center of the sugar grain remains white.
Cane sugar additionally provides professional advantages. For example, the melting point of cane sugar is lower than that of beet sugar, making for an easily blended substance conducive to cooking a wide variety of dishes. Further, cane sugar does not absorb outside odors and is unlikely to foam during preparation. Whether an individual is baking a cake from scratch or simply looking to sweeten his or her tea, pure cane sugar is a healthy option that allows for versatile use in the kitchen.
Ernest Barbella has over 50 years of experience in the food industry. With an in-depth understanding of the grocery business in particular, Ernest Barbella is highly knowledgably about a multitude of products sold in grocery stores, including those derived from grains.
Both whole grains and refined grains appear in many popular foods, such as breads and cereals, and make up a large portion of many people’s diets. However, there are some key differences between the two types of grains. Examples of foods that contain refined grains are white bread and white rice. The grains used to produce these foods are considered refined because they undergo additional processing to remove the germ and bran found naturally in the grain. This process provides the grains with a better shelf life and softer texture. However, the process also removes from the grain substances like iron and fiber that have health benefits.
While many refined grains are also enriched, meaning that some vitamins and iron have been added to them, they are not the same as whole grains, which are grains whose kernels have stayed in their whole form. Consuming whole grains is very beneficial, and as a result, the United States Department of Agriculture recommends that at least half of the grains people consume be whole grains, such as cracked wheat, oatmeal, and whole-wheat flour.
Ernest Barbella is a longtime professional in the grocery business. Since getting his start as a grocery store manager in the Bronx in the 1960s, the New York native has served as an executive in supermarket chains and started his own spice and pasta companies. Ernest Barbella’s decades of experience in the business have made him knowledgeable about the differences among many similar products. Sugar, for example, is available in both raw and refined form.
The difference between the two varieties of sugar is less about nutritional content and more about production technique. When processing refined sugar, cane syrup is boiled multiple times to remove the molasses and any impurities, creating a white coloration in the remaining crystals. The cane syrup for raw sugar is boiled just once, which allows more traces of molasses to remain, giving the crystals a slightly brown shade. The crystals are also much larger in raw sugar, since it endures less processing. However, while the small amounts of molasses found in raw sugar contain trace nutrients and minerals, there is little evidence to show raw sugar has more health benefits than refined sugar, since the mineral content is so minuscule. Multiple cups of raw sugar would be needed to get an adequate serving of the minerals and nutrients molasses offers.
Between 1975 and 1979, Ernest Barbella served as vice president of the New York region at Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, based out of Garden City, New York. In 1948, Ernest Barbella was invited to view the pre-match training regimen of Rocky Graziano, a relative of his.
Each of Rocky Graziano’s three matches with Tony Zale have gone on to be remembered as classics. The first of these three bouts, however, is regarded as one of the greatest fights of all time and considered by many experts to be the best of the 1940s. The contest, which took place before a raucous crowd of 40,000 New Yorkers packed into Yankee Stadium, was for the middleweight championship of the world. Titleholder Zale, after winning the National Boxing Association and New York middleweight titles in 1940 and 1941, respectively, had enlisted in the US Army following Pearl Harbor and had not boxed for a full five years.
Graziano was the heavy favorite entering the match; however, a first-round knockdown of Graziano proved that Zale still had the firepower necessary to hold onto his belt. The tide turned and by the fifth round the crowd was urging for the fight to be stopped as Zale, appearing to be worn down, was enduring a serious beating from Graziano.
In the very next round, Zale gathered himself and delivered a devastating blow to his opponent’s heart, dropping Graziano, who rose only to take a crushing left hook to his chin, which put him down for the full ten count. Not only does the match rank among the most memorable of the decade, but the International Ratings Panel of the Ring magazine named it the fourth-greatest bout of all time.
Ernest Barbella earned his bachelor’s degree from the Bernard Baruch School of Business at the City College of New York, and then accepted a full scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in food marketing and agricultural economics at Cornell University. In the years since, he has risen through the ranks in the grocery business, ultimately becoming vice president and general manager for the New York region of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P). Ernest Barbella was not the first of his family to climb through the ranks to achieve success, though. Thomas Rocco Barbella also rose to fame and fortune in his chosen field, although he was far better known by his professional name, Rocky Graziano.
Hailed as one of boxing’s greatest knockout artists, Rocky Graziano grew up fighting on the streets of New York City’s Little Italy. Graziano disdained authority, both in school and later in the Army, where he punched a captain and went AWOL. Although he also disdained the discipline of regular training, he found boxing to be a convenient way to make money.
In the 10 years of his professional career, Graziano compiled a record of 67 wins, 52 by knockout, against 10 losses and 6 draws. He won the welterweight championship in his second bout with Tony Zale in 1947, and lost it back to Zale in their third bout, in 1948. After retiring from the ring, he went on to a successful career in entertainment, restaurants, and the art world.
By far one of the most predominant spices around the world, black pepper has been used not only to improve one’s food, but also to enhance one’s health. Varieties of the spice are distinguished by the areas in which they are produced, and discerning chefs choose which type to use based on the desired flavor and composition.
Lampong peppercorns, which are grown in Indonesia, greet the tongue sharply and offer a considerable amount of heat, which makes them an ideal candidate for those looking to add some extra punch to their dishes. Another variety, the Sarawak black pepper, is a product of Malaysia that lends a milder, fruitier addition to meals. Often, the Sarawak boasts notes of chocolate.
Other types of black pepper include the Tellicherry, which enthusiasts recognize as one of the highest-quality spices available. The extremely poignant flavor and smell are marked by a complex combination of flowers, wood, and cherries. Popular types of black pepper also come from Vietnam, Madagascar, Cambodia, and Micronesia.
About Ernest Barbella
The founder of a China-based spice manufacturing firm that sells its products to retailers around the world, Ernest Barbella has also served as the Executive Vice President for Hills Supermarkets and as the Vice President for Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. Barbella holds degrees from the City College of New York and Cornell University.
Considered by many Americans as the ultimate comfort food, macaroni and cheese is thought to have originated with one of the nation’s Founding Fathers: Thomas Jefferson. After a trip to Italy, Jefferson brought back a pasta machine, which he tweaked to produce pasta to his liking. His guests dined on his creation, “a pie called macaroni,” according to documents in the Library of Congress.
However, most accounts trace the popular dish’s roots back further—to 13th-century Italy. There, historians discovered a cookbook with a recipe for “de lasanis,” thought to be the first macaroni and cheese.
Whatever its origins, macaroni and cheese is a staple at family dinner tables. In recent years, the dish has made its way to the menus of some of the finest restaurants.
About Ernest Barbella: A longtime food industry executive and entrepreneur, Ernest Barbella supplies food-manufacturing companies that produce pasta products, including macaroni and cheese.