THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods


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Recipe: Barack Obama’s Tuna Salad

What to eat while you’re watching the inauguration? Presidential tuna salad!

When President-elect Barack Obama made tuna salad with his family on “60 Minutes” earlier this year, he used this recipe, specifying troll-caught albacore (more about that below):

Presidential Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Ingredients

– Two 6-ounce cans of U.S. troll-caught albacore
– 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
– 1 lemon, juiced
– 1 tablespoon of sweet pickle relish
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 8 slices of bread
– Lettuce and tomato slices to serve
– Use local, organic ingredients where possible


Our favorite canned tuna, from G’day Gourmet, a
NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.
Preparation

1. Mix all but the last two ingredients together to make tuna salad.
2. Assemble sandwiches with lettuce and tomato. Makes 4 sandwiches.
3. More serving ideas: Albacore tuna goes particularly well with lemon, red peppers, tomatoes, beans, capers, olives, anchovies, onion, eggs, avocado and cheese.

A Lesson In Sustainability

U.S. Troll-Caught: Using U.S.-caught tuna supports fishing communities in the Washington, Oregon and California area. Eighty percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, some from countries that have lower environmental and sustainability standards. U.S. fisheries are some of the most regulated in the world; fishers must adhere to strict environmental regulations and quotas that ensure the ongoing health of the marine environment.

Fewer food miles: Caught in the Pacific Northwest and canned at local canneries in Oregon, Washington and California, the distance U.S. albacore travels from ocean to plate is significantly lower.

Sustainably And Ethically Caught: Trolling is a low-impact method where small, barbless hooks are used to catch albacore one at a time. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program gives US troll-caught albacore a “green” rating, the highest obtainable. Trolling is one of the most environmentally-sound fishing methods; for a full explanation visit Monterey Bay Aquarium’s website: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org. (Read our article on Sustainable Seafood.)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Get up to six-times the heart–healthy omega-3s from your tuna sandwich. Cooked just once in the can, custom-canned U.S. albacore retains all its good fats (omega-3s). Health experts recommend eating omega-3 rich fish, including albacore, at least twice a week. According to the American Heart Association, research on omega-3s suggests they may reduce the risk of diabetes, reduce insulin resistance in people with diabetes, enhance bone density, inhibit proliferation of cancer cells in the breast, prostate and colon, and improve skin condition by curbing psoriasis. Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease seem to improve with more omega-3s. In infants, it improves cognition and visual acuity.

Less Trace Metals: With tuna, the larger the fish, the higher the amounts of accumulated metals, including mercury. Trolling catches younger and smaller albacore weighing between 5 and 15 pounds. These juvenile albacore have significantly lower levels of mercury. The Oregon State University conducted a study in 2004 to determine mercury levels of North Pacific troll-caught albacore. These tuna were found to have low total mercury concentrations (average 0.14 ppm), very low compared to the 1.0 ppm methylmercury action level set by the FDA and comparable to “light tuna” or Skipjack. Read the full report at http://wfoa-tuna.org/health/mercurystatement0206.pdf.

Custom-canned albacore is available across the U.S., labeled as “U.S. troll-caught”, “Product of the U.S.” or “U.S.-caught”. Some quality brands are:

High Seas Gourmet Albacore Tuna: highseastuna.com
Wild Planet Inc.: 1wildplanet.com
Henry & Lisa’s American Tuna Company: pacificfleettuna.com
Island Trollers: islandtrollers.com
Arrowac Fisheries Inc.: arrowac-merco.com
Mary Lu Seafoods: maryluseafoods.com
Kimmel’s New Day Fisheries: newdayfisheries.com
Papa George Tuna: papageorgetuna.com
Shamrock Albacore: albatuna.com/Shamrock.htm
Two Fishers Gourmet Albacore: twofishersgourmetseafood.com
Wild Pacific Seafood: wildpacificseafood.com

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Healthy Harvest Freshness Extender

How often do you waste food, throwing out wilted and moldy produce…and how often are you angry that you don’t have usable food in the produce bin when you go to eat that romaine, those mushrooms, those berries? According a USDA study, American households throw out 25% of the produce they purchase because it has gone bad, an average of $600 of food per year per family.

Many fruits and vegetables give off ethylene gas as they ripen. That’s why one of the tricks to ripen fruit quickly is to put it in a closed paper bag overnight with a banana or an apple. That same ethylene gas in your produce bin—or even low levels of ethylene compounds wafting through the main body of your refrigerator—hastens the ripening, and wilting, of your produce.

The Healthy Harvest Freshness Extender keeps ethylene gas at a very low level, and will double or triple the shelf life of your produce. Just place one “egg” into each bin, and the contents are protected from ethylene gas. The contents of the Freshness Extender last for three months, and then must be replaced. Note well: It only works if you refill the egg every three months with a fresh packet of (non-toxic) crystals. But boy, does it work!

Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

Shop igourmet.com

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VIEWPOINT: Should You Buy Bottled Water?

Bottled water is a hotly-contested topic these days. After several years of impressive growth, sales have recently declined. Much of the the decline is attributed to environmental issues, specifically, the amount of plastic bottles going into landfill. Bottled water expert Michael Mascha explains the difference between commodity bottled water and naturally bottled water, and why you should consider buying one and not the other.

Much of the bottled water sold in the United States is really bottled municipal tap water. Government and industry estimates are that filtered municipal water comprises up to 40% of the bottled water sold. It makes no sense to buy this processed tap water. If you are not happy with the way your own tap water tastes, you would be much better off buying a water filter. You’d save money, gas, your own energy hauling, storage…not to mention the environmental benefit of reducing the amount of PET plastic bottles produced and disposed of by more than 40%.

Most consumers confuse two distinctly different types of bottled water: commodity bottled water and naturally bottled water. Read about the difference between each one, and make an informed decision, in the full article on TheNibble.com.

Soda Club USA

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PRODUCT REVIEW: New Zealand Natural Ice Cream


Dense yet restrained ice creams—plus a sorbet
and a frozen yogurt—in the basic, popular flavors.
New Zealand Natural Ice Cream is actually imported from New Zealand. It’s a different style of ice cream than Americans are used to; and if you like it, it’s better for you than your favorite superpremium (less sugar, less cream). The brand isn’t yet widely available in the U.S. and normally we don’t write about products that aren’t accessible to most readers, at least by mail order. But a number of people have asked about it, so here’s the scoop (pun intended).

New Zealand natural is natural, of course. The milk and cream come from rBGH-free cows, and there are no artificial ingredients or preservatives. It’s made with an egg custard. Thus far, it sounds like a lot of premium ice cream brands. Yet there is something very different about New Zealand Natural Ice Cream.

The product line uses less sugar and a lower percentage of cream (more milk) than a typical American premium recipe, making up the difference in the low overrun (air whipped into the ice cream). So you have a dense ice cream without the tongue-coating butterfat or the cloying sweetness.

Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Uli Mana Raw Cacao

For everyone wondering about the healthy food picks of the last few weeks, January is “health month” at THE NIBBLE. That’s the brief hiatus between the six weeks of holiday eating that end the old year and the Valentine’s Day delights of the new year. During “health month,” we try not to tempt people away from their New Year’s resolutions. Both our Top Picks Of The Week and the regular reviews and articles on TheNibble.com are bursting with the most delicious “good-for-you” foods we can find.

Before you get tired of healthy foods, the indulgences begin again on January 26, with three weeks of Valentine gift recommendations. Or maybe they begin right now, as we show how chocolate can be wholesome, vegan, organic, raw, primitive…and delectable. We polished off every last morsel.

When we first set eyes on Uli Mana, its packaging did not look like manna from chocolate heaven. But then we tasted the organic chocolate truffles, brownies, chocolate spread and more. Raw cacao was never more divine. And with nary a drop of refined sugar: It’s all sweetened with lower-glycemic agave syrup. There’s no cream, no butter, and more antioxidants than in regular chocolate. How could our New Year’s diet disapprove?


Truffles made from raw cacao, covered with raw
cacao nibs, have intense, bittersweet chocolate
flavor. You are mano a mano with the cacao.
Wow!
In Uli Mana’s hands, raw cacao is a wow. This is food for serious foodies—though they may wish to share it with their raw foodist and vegan friends. Read the full review, including more about raw cacao, on TheNibble.com.

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