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Archive for February 6, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: The Other Valentine “Roses”

Actually, we mean “rosés,” as in rosé Champagne.

Many people like to crack open a bottle of bubbly for V-Day. We think the most appropriate bubbly for this special celebration is a rose-hued sparkling wine.

In France, rosé Champagne is made from blending red and white wines. They tend to be more expensive and more full-bodied than their white counterparts.

Don’t confuse rosé Champagne or other rosé sparklers with “pink Champagne,” an inexpensive sparkling wine that is colored pink, rather than allowing a natural color extraction from the grape skins.

You don’t need deep pockets to enjoy a flute of rose-hued bubbly. One of our favorites is [yellowtail] Bubbly Rosé, an inexpensive sparkler (around $10) from Australia.

  • See more Valentine’s Day wine recommendations. (How could you pass up Duboeuf Saint Amour Domaine du Paradis, or Sine Qua Non Just For The Love of It?)
  • Maine’s Cellar Door Winery produces Amorosa, Perfect Stranger, Prince Valiant, Serendipity, Sweetheart and Treasure. How’s that for a Valentine’s Day tasting (or for a wedding, an engagement party or anniversary party)?
  • Learn more about buying Champagne.

[yellowtail] Bubbles Rosé is our favorite inexpensive rosé sparkler.

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VALENTINE’S DAY: Coeur à la Crème Cheese Course


Say “I love you” with sweetened mascarpone
and raspberry purée. Photo courtesy Peabody Rudd.

If you love mascarpone, the extra-rich “Italian cream cheese” that’s the base of tiramisu, then you might want to whip up a Coeur à la Crème for Valentine’s Day.

The luscious mascarpone creation can serve as a cheese course prior to dessert, or instead of dessert.

You need special heart-shaped ceramic molds, but they can be used throughout the year for other purposes. (With a tiny dish underneath, we use them for tea bags, olive pits and garnishes—for example, to hold croutons for soup.)

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ISSUE: Watch Out For Farmed Salmon & Norwegian Salmon


A salmon farm. Photo courtesy Monterey

Farmed fish is controversial for numerous reasons, but one is threatening the wild salmon population. There are concerns that in another generation, there may be no more wild salmon.

Millions of farmed salmon, raised in pens along coastlines, escape each year (due to equipment failure, extreme weather conditions and human error). In the northern Atlantic Ocean alone, an estimated two million farmed salmon escape annually.

These fugitives fish go on to harm the wild salmon population. Farmed salmon carry parasites that can attack the wild salmon population. Farmed salmon are larger and more aggressive than wild salmon; they compete with wild salmon for the food supply. And worse, they interbreed with the wild salmon population, creating hybrids. (Read more about farmed salmon issues.)


Top seafood chef Rick Moonen, a Las Vegas chef, restaurant owner and early champion for sustainable fishing practices, is now an exclusive supporter of wild salmon. Moonen had endorsed Norwegian farmed salmon years ago, but has since learned the harm caused by the open net technology used in Norway and other places. Even a major retail chain can make a commitment to healthier, more sustainable seafood: Target stores has announced that farmed salmon will be eliminated from their more than 1,700 stores. The company will sell only wild salmon.

Still, if you want to do the right thing, you can be misled by false advertising. According to Food & Water Watch, a non-profit organization that works with grassroots organizations around the world to create an economically and environmentally viable future, the Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC) is misleading U.S. consumers with the false impression that Norwegian salmon is wild, not farmed.

Browse through Food & Water Watch’s website for more information on this and other food issues. You’ll be surprised—and chagrined—at the number of issues facing our food supply.


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