Wholesaler Bako London recently welcomed over 70 guests to its Wimbledon premises for a seasonal-themed open day.Visitors had the chance to check out ideas for Halloween and Christmas from a variety of ingredients and finished product suppliers at the event.Puratos came along to unveil its new Belcolade easy-temper chocolate. Dave Dunn, artisan and distribution sales manager, explained that the new range gives bakers an easy route to creativity.Meanwhile, Macphie showcased a festive range, with twists on tradition including crumbled topped cinnamon mince pies.Welsh pie company Lewis Pies was also at the show, with national accounts manager Dave Phillips revealing the company had seen 40% growth since taking over the accounts of Celtic Savouries after it went bust earlier this year.DCL Yeast’s sales manager Jeremy Richards educated visitors about its new Kastalia liquid yeast refrigerated dispenser, which works much like an ice- cream dispenser.Bakery supplier Ireks took the opportunity to show off its pumpkin bread mix, which can be used for Halloween biscuits and the National Association of Master Bakers (NA) demonstrated its online food hygiene course, available in Polish or English.IT manager Peter Wilbourn said the course was originally launched in English, with the Polish version added last year. Now 40% of sales are of Polish tutorials. The NA is to launch a Portuguese version, he added, due to demand from bakers in areas of Norfolk and Suffolk.BakeMark UK brought some festive presentational ideas for its cake mixes, including cakes baked in the shape of a star with a marbled top of mincemeat.Unifine, meanwhile, showcased chocolate decorations for premium Christmas cakes and two-dimensional icing sugar shapes.Pie company Peter Hunt’s Jim Watkiss demonstrated new ’snap’ hot sausage rolls. These are made from one long sausage roll tube with grid lines on it, which can be snapped into mini sausage rolls.And supplier Bakels showed off festive ideas including Christmas cakes and cheesecakes, and a dense new brownie mix.Meanwhile, Renshaw displayed brightly iced seasonal products including mini Christmas puddings and festive cupcakes.Bako London plans to hold its next open-day in May. n
ISTANBUL — A bird of prey found in a Turkish village has been cleared of local suspicion it was aiding Israeli spies.The private Dogan news agency reported Friday that villagers in a rural town in central Turkey found the kestrel this week and delivered it to local authorities after discovering a leg band marked “24311 Tel Avivunia Israel.” Such bands are often used to track bird migrations.Authorities confirmed in a statement that they released the bird into the wild Thursday after x-rays performed at a veterinary hospital found that “there was no other device” attached to the bird aside from the leg band.Dogan, which published a copy of the x-ray record, says medical staff labeled it “Israeli Spy.” It was not immediately clear whether the label was tongue-in-cheek.