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Food lover's guide to the Triangle?


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On the fish front I just got an email from Fowlers claiming to have a load of shashimi grade fish in today: tuna, flounder, salmon, and striped bass. I'll probably swing by and buy some for dinner on the way home.

By the way, I've always thought sashimi-grade in a grocery was synonymous with "previously frozen". Do any of you pros know?

I'd say it's a bit like when a California winemaker says "Reserve". Depending on the producer, it may or may not mean much. My guess is that Fowlers probably means that it was graded as such at the wholesale level. For instance, the tuna was #1 as opposed to #2+ or #2.

Now if Kroger was saying it...

The fishmonger that I've been fortunate enough to find employs a former sushi chef as its main butcher. So when he says sashimi grade, he means it. You want to cry when you see the pristine block of tuna jello that comes safely packed in cryovac. Perhaps I'll do some poking around and see if he sells to any local markets and let you all know where. In the meantime, the company is Coastal Treasure, so you can ask the stores if they carry their product. The lineup that Bryan spoke of sounds like the type of stuff they have. He was pushing striped bass to me this week and they always have organic salmon from Ireland (farm raised but clean).

Edited by detlefchef (log)
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On the fish front I just got an email from Fowlers claiming to have a load of shashimi grade fish in today: tuna, flounder, salmon, and striped bass. I'll probably swing by and buy some for dinner on the way home.

By the way, I've always thought sashimi-grade in a grocery was synonymous with "previously frozen". Do any of you pros know?

I'd say it's a bit like when a California winemaker says "Reserve". Depending on the producer, it may or may not mean much. My guess is that Fowlers probably means that it was graded as such at the wholesale level. For instance, the tuna was #1 as opposed to #2+ or #2.

Now if Kroger was saying it...

What I was wondering was, I think I read somewhere that the USDA (or some other entity) mandated that fish labeled as suitable for raw consumption had to have been previously frozen to some specified degree, presumably to kill any little critters hanging out in the meat.

I imagine that would only apply to retail ops.

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Sorry for the misspelling, but the fish was delicious last night none the less. The main fish guy at Fowlers was saying that he's sourcing as much locally as he can, but that the salmon and the bass were farmed but safe. He also had live scallops, which I never see around here, but alas for another time.

A large number of fish are frozen on the catch boat and are sold for raw consumption, like every tuna caught.

Bryan C. Andregg

"Give us an old, black man singing the blues and some beer. I'll provide the BBQ."

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The main fish guy at Fowlers [...] also had live scallops, which I never see around here, but alas for another time.

a shame... I ate one right out of the shell, as raw as an apple yesterday. Really nice scallop, although I prefer the ones that I pluck from the seagrass in July in Florida. Great excuse to practise your snorkeling and raw-fish-addiction. Still: live diver scallops in Durham? Bring it on!

A large number of fish are frozen on the catch boat and are sold for raw consumption, like every tuna caught.

Most sashimi-grade tuna that you'd find in Japan is previously frozen for up to a year; in fact, the Japanese prefer it that way. It's like a curing process for them, and it has positive effects on flavor and texture. Or so I've read somewhere. Same with salmon, in fact. Mind, this ain't your average garage deep-freeze. We're talking commercial blast freezers that will take a 20# tuna loin from 40F to -10F in 30 minutes. In my mind, as long as you can get fish blast-frozen soon after rigor mortis has dissipated (or, ideally, before it sets in), you've got yourself some killer sashimi. Look for cryovac'd "saku block" tuna in asian groceries in the area if you're planning to make sushi at home. Nice product, if a bit pricey.

Apologies for my fish rant.

How about Fallot dijon mustard? Anyone found any in the Triangle recently?

Edited by Bissey (log)

Will cook for food.

jasonbissey@yahoo.com

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[ edited after checking my source. ]

According to "The Great American Seafood Cookbook" by Loomis you shouldn't ever cook a fish prior to it going through rigor as the cooking process causes rigor to onset at an explosive rate and the fish will explode within itself yeilding dry, crumbly meat. I'm not sure how this would affect fish that are blast frozen before rigor and then allowed to thaw. Perhaps the freezing process terminates rigor or the slow thaw prevents damage to the fish.

Edited by bandregg (log)

Bryan C. Andregg

"Give us an old, black man singing the blues and some beer. I'll provide the BBQ."

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This weekend I found Hogans Grass Fed Beef. A great selection of cuts, incredible prices given the quality of the meat I saw (and bought), and a super nice guy. He's on old 86 near the Maple View diary, so you can grab an ice cream treat after you pick up some beef.

Very convenient to Chapel Hill and Durham. I think this is a real find. I just drove up to his farm house, loaded up on supplies in his cooler, took my daughter back to see some of sheep, and rolled out. Door to door, 20 min from downtown Durham (not counting the side trip for the ice cream).

I saw rib eyes, strips, a sirloin tip roast, sirloin steaks, chuck roast, bones. We had a couple of rib eyes last night, and they were just what you want out of pastured beef -- perfect fat content and a nice earthiness -- not that fake grain fat.

The only caveat -- he also keeps the tarheel mascot... BUT he is a state grad (blasphemy, I know). Crazy.

Edited by umbabaru (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
[ edited after checking my source. ]

According to "The Great American Seafood Cookbook" by Loomis you shouldn't ever cook a fish prior to it going through rigor as the cooking process causes rigor to onset at an explosive rate and the fish will explode within itself yeilding dry, crumbly meat. I'm not sure how this would affect fish that are blast frozen before rigor and then allowed to thaw. Perhaps the freezing process terminates rigor or the slow thaw prevents damage to the fish.

Bandregg,

Lord have mercy, this is some great information...I have to read this book..I have been using Alan Davidson's & AJ McClane's seafood books for years, but this is new for me. I like it and it makes sense.

Thanks.

Bob

Edited by Probono (log)

"Gentlemen: Madame Dodin-Bouffant."

So, when there is the slightest doubt, Marry the Cook!

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I took detlefchef's challenge from an earlier post

>Best mexican grocery is... You know, I can get there but I forget the street. I think it's on Allendale in a shopping center behind an office furniture store. Like that's not cryptic enough.

Not cryptic enough, indeed. My guess is Tienda Mi Pueblo, near what for many years was 'MacThrift Office Furniture' but is now 'Beauty World'. It is on Avondale in Durham, less than a mile south of where 85 crosses over Avondale. Avondale runs parallel to Roxboro Rd. So if anyone gos for tacos at Super Taqueria (sp?), this place is close enough to stop in. Avondale is the rd that merges with Roxboro at the Micky Ds just N of 85.

(I have 2 friends who worked at MacThrift for years, so somewhere deep in my brain, something clicked on 'office furniture'. Or maybe this isn't the place at all...)

Stopped in for the first time on Saturday - I got some Mexican (sour) cream and chiles for some carnitas that I was making. They don't have much produce, but they had just what I needed. They also have boots and candles and money orders, should you find yourself in the market for any of that. Plenty of other sundries. And jamaica concentrate, which made a nice addition to the bbq sauce I made on Sunday (to go with the other 3/4 of a pork shoulder not made into carnitas).

detlefchef - Thanks for the recommendation - I wouldn't have tried them otherwise.

~Nibbs

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