Sharing ideas on how to expand demand for U.S. beef in Central America, USMEF recently conducted three cutting and cooking seminars for Panamanian buyers and foodservice company representatives. The seminars, held at the Universidad Interamericana de Panama in Panama City, were funded by the Beef Checkoff Program.
More than 50 people participated in the sessions, which were led by USMEF meat consultant Saul Bueso and USMEF chef Pablo Lou. The two provided information about the attributes and characteristics of U.S. beef, U.S. cattle production and USDA quality grades. They also performed cutting demonstrations and offered detailed cooking suggestions.
“The main objectives were to train importers on U.S. beef cuts that are relatively new to the region and show them foodservice trends that can be successful in this market,” said Gerardo Rodriguez, USMEF marketing director in Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic. “We gave them examples of new methods for cooking beef and serving beef, and presented different beef dishes that can help make a difference for their respective businesses as they try to top their competitors. This kind of information will help them, and will also help sell more U.S. beef in the region.”
Pointing out the advantages U.S. product has over the competition, Bueso and Lou talked about the quality attributes of grain-fed U.S. beef – specifically its juiciness, tenderness and flavor.
“After explaining why U.S. beef is superior to competitors’ beef, we did some cutting for them to show how to obtain different-sized portions,” explained Bueso.
The participants also had an opportunity to cook and taste several U.S. beef cuts, including brisket, center-cut ribeye and lip-on ribeye, as well as ribeye fillets, fajitas and medallions.