DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - November 20, 2009) - In a recession, time and money are joined at the hip, and there is no time the lack of both is felt more by Americans than at mealtime.

According to a Consumer Reports poll, 71 percent of Americans said they purchased only what they absolutely needed since the economic crisis started last year. In addition, 61 percent said they went out to dinner less often, 53 percent put less on credit cards, 42 percent spent less on groceries, and 58 percent spent less on vacations.

However, one food industry expert claims that using European-style cooking spices, creams and pastes -- instead of traditional American powders and flakes -- can not only save money and time, but they taste better, too.

"The idea that people can make gourmet style meals when they are working two jobs and have less money for groceries may sound far-fetched, but it's true," said Bill Monsour, an executive advisor to Univer Foods USA (, a company that distributes European-style condiments and spices in the U.S. "The Europeans have known it for years, because they style many of their cooking products into pastes or creams, which last a lot longer than powders and extracts. A little bit of garlic cream, for instance, in a sauce or gravy goes a long way -- much further than garlic salt, which also makes for a gritty texture. That's why the Europeans are known for their gourmet dishes, because their cooking products create richer flavor with a creamier, more pleasing texture."

The other benefit of these products is that they can make cooking faster and easier when applied correctly.

"Most dinners from the recipes that we recommend on our Web site ( can be ready to serve in fewer than 30 minutes," Monsour said. "It's also easier to follow recipes, because the creams and pastes are far easier to measure, and they don't make a mess like traditional powders or mixes."

About Bill Monsour

Bill Monsour, executive advisor at Univer Foods USA, has been working in the food industry for over 40 years. He is a graduate from the University of Denver's School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. He has designed, built and managed 3 restaurants.

Contact Information: Contact: Rachel Friedman