Seafood of the Week – Conch

November 12, 2013 at 9:15 AM | Posted in seafood, Seafood of the Week | 7 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Apertural view of an adult shell of the queen conch Lobatus gigas

Apertural view of an adult shell of the queen conch Lobatus gigas

Conch (/ˈkɒŋk/ or /ˈkɒntʃ/) is a common name that is applied to a number of different medium to large-sized sea snails or their shells. The term generally applies to large sea snails whose shell has a high spire and a noticeable siphonal canal (in other words, the shell comes to a point at both ends).
True conches are marine gastropod molluscs in the family Strombidae, specifically in the genus Strombus and other closely related genera such as Eustrombus.
Many species also are often called “conch”, but are not in the family Strombidae, including Melongena species (family Melongenidae), and the horse conch Pleuroploca gigantea (family Fasciolariidae). They also include the sacred chank or more correctly shankha shell (Turbinella pyrum) and other Turbinella species in the family Turbinellidae.

 

 

A group of large eastern conches or whelks for sale at a California seafood market

A group of large eastern conches or whelks for sale at a California seafood market

Second in popularity only to the escargot for edible snails, the meat of conches is used as food, either eaten raw, as in salads, or cooked, as in fritters, chowders, gumbos, and burgers. All parts of the conch meat are edible. However, some people find only the white meat appetizing.
In The Bahamas, conch is typically served as fritters and salads. Conch is considered to be the country’s main dish.
In East Asian cuisines, this seafood is often cut into thin slices and then steamed or stir-fried.
In the West Indies (and Turks and Caicos Islands in particular), local people eat conch in soups (commonly callaloo) and salads. Restaurants all over the islands serve this particular meat.
In the The Turks and Caicos Islands, the Annual Conch Festival is held in November each year, located at the Three Queen’s Bar/Restautant in Blue Hills. Local restaurateurs compete for the best and original conch dishes, and are judged by international chefs. Free sampling of the dishes follows, and other competitions, events and music happen well into the evening, making this a very popular event for islanders and tourists.
In the island of Grenada, Dominican Republic & Haiti, conch is commonly eaten in curries or in a spicy soup. It is locally referred to as lambi.
In Puerto Rico, conch is served as a ceviche, often called ensalada de carrucho (conch salad), consisting of raw conch marinated in lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, green peppers, and onions.
In Panama, conch is known as cambombia and is often served as a ceviche known as ceviche de cambombia consisting of raw conch marinated in lime juice, chopped onions, finely chopped habanero peppers and often vinegar. It is particularly popular in Panama’s Colón and Bocas del Toro provinces where many of the locals are descendants of West Indian immigrants.

 

 
Conch shells can be used as wind instruments. They are prepared by cutting a hole in the spire of the shell near the apex, and then blowing into the shell as if it were a trumpet, as in blowing horn. Sometimes a mouthpiece is used, but some shell trumpets are blown without one.
Many different kinds of molluscs can produce pearls. Pearls from the queen conch, S. gigas, are rare and have been collectors’ items since Victorian times. Conch pearls occur in a range of hues, including white, brown and orange, with many intermediate shades, but pink is the color most associated with the conch pearl, such that these pearls are sometimes referred to simply as “pink pearls”.

 

A shell of the Florida crown conch Melongena corona inhabited by a hermit crab

A shell of the Florida crown conch Melongena corona inhabited by a hermit crab

Other uses:

* Conch shells are sometimes used as decoration, as decorative planters, and in cameo making.
* In classic Mayan art, conches are shown being used in many ways, including as paint and ink holders for elite scribes, as bugles or trumpets, and as hand weapons (held by combatants by inserting their hands in the aperture).
* Some American Aboriginals used cylindrical conch columella beads as part of breastplates and other personal adornment.
* In some Afro-Caribbean and African-American cemeteries, conch shells are placed on graves.
* In some Caribbean countries such as Jamaica and the Bahamas, cleaned queen conch shells, or polished fragments, are sold, mainly to tourists, as souvenirs or in jewelry. Responding to a 2003 recommendation from CITES, some countries in the Caribbean have banned the export of queen conch shells. CITES has also asked all countries to ban import of these shells from countries that are not complying with CITES recommendations for managing the fishery. Queen conch fisheries have been closed in several countries. Conch shells or fragments taken home by tourists from noncomplying countries may be confiscated on return to the tourist’s home country while clearing customs. In the UK, conch shells are the ninth most-seized import.
* Conch shells are occasionally used as a building material, either in place of bricks, or as bulk for landfill.
* In Grenada, fishermen use the conch shell as a trumpet to announce to the community that fish is available for sale. Conches are used at Carnival times in the popular Jouvert Jump where Diab Diab (Jab Jab) blow conch shells as part of the festivities. Especially in Guadeloupe, it is not uncommon to hear conch shells being blown near ports at dawn and during Carnival times, too. Many bands are making the conch shell a main instrument.
* In the Bahamas, broken or up-turned conch shells are imbedded into the tops of outdoor walls in an effort to maintain home security; the broken or up-turned shells are sharp enough to cut any intruder who attempts to jump or crawl over the wall.
* They can also be used as a token to determine whose turn it is to make the tea. The tea maker symbolically hands over the conch to the person who will be the next to put the kettle on.

 

 

 

Fall Harvest; Okra

October 9, 2013 at 9:12 AM | Posted in vegetables | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Okra plant, with mature, and developing fruits

Okra plant, with mature, and developing fruits

 

Okra (early fall) needs heat to grow, so a nice long, hot summer in warmer climates brings out its best. Look for firm, plump pods in late summer and early fall.

 

Okra (US /ˈoʊkrə/ or UK /ˈɒkrə/; Abelmoschus esculentus Moench), known in many English-speaking countries as lady’s fingers, bhindi or gumbo, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.

 

 

Okra is a popular health food due to its high fiber, vitamin C, and folate content. Okra is also known for being high in antioxidants. Okra is also a good source of calcium and potassium.
Greenish-yellow edible okra oil is pressed from okra seeds; it has a pleasant taste and odor, and is high in unsaturated fats such as oleic acid and linoleic acid. The oil content of some varieties of the seed can be quite high, about 40%. Oil yields from okra crops are also high. At 794 kg/ha, the yield was exceeded only by that of sunflower oil in one trial. A 1920 study found that a sample contained 15% oil. A 2009 study found okra oil suitable for use as a biofuel.

 

 

Okra sliced

Okra sliced

The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic “goo” or slime when the seed pods are cooked; the mucilage contains a usable form of soluble fiber. Some people cook okra this way, others prefer to minimize sliminess; keeping the pods intact, and brief cooking, for example stir-frying, help to achieve this. Cooking with acidic ingredients such as a few drops of lemon juice, tomatoes, or vinegar may help. Alternatively, the pods can be sliced thinly and cooked for a long time so the mucilage dissolves, as in gumbo. The cooked leaves can also be used as a powerful soup thickener. The immature pods may also be pickled.
In Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Albania, Bosnia, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Yemen, and other parts of the eastern Mediterranean, including Palestine, Cyprus and Israel, okra is widely used in a thick stew made with vegetables and meat. In Bosnia and most of West Asia, okra is known as bamia or bamya. West Asian cuisine usually uses young okra pods, usually cooked whole. In India, the harvesting is done at a later stage, when the pods and seeds are larger.

 

 

Okra (roasted with margarine)

Okra (roasted with margarine)

It is popular in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, where chopped pieces are stir-fried with spices, pickled, salted or added to gravy-based preparations such as bhindi ghosht and sambar. It is also simmered in coconut based curries or tossed with ground mustard seeds. In India, it is also used in curries. In curries, okra is used whole, trimmed only of excess stalk and keeping the hard conical top, which is discarded at the time of eating. In South India, Okra is cut into small circular pieces about 1/4 inch thick and stick fried in oil with salt and hot pepper powder to make delicious curry. However, when used in sambar it is cut into pieces which are 1 inch thick to prevent it from dissolving when the sambar is let to simmer.
In Malaysia okra is commonly a part of yong tau foo cuisine, typically stuffed with processed fish paste (surimi) and boiled with a selection of vegetables and tofu, and served in a soup with noodles.
In Malawi it is preferred cooked and stirred with sodium bicarbonate to make it more slimy. It is then commonly eaten with nsima (pap) made from raw maize flour or maize husks flour.
In the Caribbean islands, okra is eaten in soup. In Curaçao the soup is known as jambo which primarily is made out of the okra’s mucilage. It is often prepared with fish and funchi, a dish made out of cornmeal and boiling water. In Haiti, it is cooked with rice and maize, and also used as a sauce for meat. In Cuba, it is called quimbombó, along with a stew using okra as its primary ingredient.
It became a popular vegetable in Japanese cuisine toward the end of the 19th century, served with soy sauce and katsuobushi, or as tempura.

 

 
In the Philippines, okra can be found among traditional dishes like pinakbet, dinengdeng, and sinigang. Because of its mild taste and ubiquity, okra can also be cooked adobo-style, or served steamed or boiled in a salad with tomatoes, onion and bagoong.
Okra forms part of several regional “signature” dishes. Frango com quiabo (chicken with okra) is a Brazilian dish especially famous in the region of Minas Gerais, and it is the main ingredient of caruru, a bahian food with dende oil. Gumbo, a hearty stew whose key ingredient is okra, is found throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States and in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Deep- or shallow-fried okra coated with cornmeal, flour, etc. is widely eaten in the southern United States. Okra is also an ingredient expected in callaloo, a Caribbean dish and the national dish of Trinidad and Tobago. It is also a part of the national dish of Barbados coucou (turned cornmeal). Okra is also eaten in Nigeria, where draw soup is a popular dish, often eaten with garri or cassava. In Vietnam, okra is the important ingredient in the dish canh chua. Okra slices can also be added to ratatouille.
Okra leaves may be cooked in a similar way to the greens of beets or dandelions. Since the entire plant is edible, the leaves are also eaten raw in salads. Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. When importation of coffee was disrupted by the American Civil War in 1861, the Austin State Gazette said “An acre of okra will produce seed enough to furnish a plantation of fifty negroes with coffee in every way equal to that imported from Rio.”

 

 

 

Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

September 13, 2013 at 8:13 AM | Posted in Crock Pot, diabetes, diabetes friendly, Diabetic Living On Line | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Who doesn’t love slow cooker recipes! From Diabetic Living On Line it’s healthy slow cooker recipes, “Set it and forget it”. The link is at the bottom of the page.

 

 

Healthy Slow Cooker RecipesDiabetic living logo
Take the work out of cooking with easy recipes made healthy for your diabetic diet. Find tastes that span the globe, including Mediterranean, Asian, Mexican, Cajun, Indian, German, Southern, and Caribbean flavors. Just add the ingredients and let your slow cooker do the rest!

 
Spicy Drumsticks
Picante and cayenne pepper sauce up the ante in this low-carb recipe for two. Serve with brown rice for a complete meal…..

 
Mexican-Style Pot Roast Sandwiches
A spicy spin on a traditional sandwich, this casual meal gets a flavor boost from cilantro and cumin. Make them for your next party or potluck…..

 

 
* Get all the healthy Slow Cooker recipes by clicking the link below *

 
http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/diabetic-recipes/main-dishes/healthy-slow-cooker-recipes/?sssdmh=dm17.688960&esrc=nwdlo090313

Fish of the Week – Wahoo

September 10, 2013 at 8:44 AM | Posted in fish, Fish of the Week | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) is a scombrid fish found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas. It is best known to sports fishermen, as its speed and high-quality flesh make it a prize game fish. In Hawaii, the wahoo is known as ono. Many Hispanic areas of the Caribbean

Wahoo catch

Wahoo catch

and Central America refer to this fish as peto.

 

 

The body is elongated and covered with small, scarcely visible scales; the back is an iridescent blue, while the sides are silvery, with a pattern of irregular vertical blue bars and have razor sharp teeth. These colors fade rapidly at death. The mouth is large, and both the upper and lower jaws have a somewhat sharper appearance than those of king or Spanish mackerel. Specimens have been recorded at up to 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) in length, and weighing up to 83 kilograms (180 lb). Growth can be rapid. One specimen tagged at 5 kilograms (11 lb) grew to 15 kg (33 lb) in one year. Wahoo can swim up to 60 mph (97 km/h). They are some of the fastest fish in the sea.
The wahoo may be distinguished from the related Atlantic king mackerel and from the Indo-Pacific Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel by a fold of skin which covers the mandible when its mouth is closed. In contrast, the mandible of the king mackerel is always visible as is also the case for the smaller Spanish mackerel and Cero mackerel. The teeth of the wahoo are similar to those of king mackerel, but shorter and more closely set together.
The barracuda is sometimes confused with mackerel and wahoo, but is easy to distinguish from the latter two species. Barracuda have prominent scales, larger, dagger-like teeth, and lack the caudal keels and blade-like tail characteristic of the scombrid (mackerel).

 

 

Wahoo

Wahoo

Wahoo tend to be solitary or occur in loose-knit groups of two or three fish, but where conditions are suitable can be found in schools as large as 100 or more. Their diet is made up of other fish and squid.
Most wahoo taken have a trematode parasite living in their stomach, the giant stomach worm (Hirudinella ventricosa), which does not appear to harm the fish.

 

 

The flesh of the wahoo is white to grey, delicate to dense, and highly regarded by many gourmets. The taste is similar to mackerel, though arguably less pronounced. This has created some demand for the wahoo as a premium priced commercial food fish. In many areas of its range, such as Hawaii, Bermuda and many parts of the Caribbean, local demand for wahoo is met by artisanal commercial fishermen, who take them primarily by trawling, as well as by recreational sports fishermen who sell their catch.
Although local wahoo populations can be affected by heavy commercial and sports fishing pressure, wahoo as a species are less susceptible to industrial commercial fishing than more tightly schooling and abundant species such as tuna. Wahoo are regularly taken as a by-catch in various commercial fisheries, including longline fisheries for tuna, billfish and dolphinfish (a.k.a. mahi-mahi or dorado) and in tuna purse seine fisheries, especially in sets made around floating objects, which act as a focal point for a great deal of other marine life besides tuna. In 2003, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council issued a Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plan for the Atlantic. However, the species as a whole is not considered overfished. In most parts of its range, the wahoo is a highly prized sport fishing catch. It reaches a good size, is often available not too far from land, and is a very good fighter on light to medium tackle. It is known in sports fishing circles for the speed and strength of its first run. The aggressive habits and razor-sharp teeth of the wahoo can be of considerable annoyance when targeting larger gamefish, however, such as tuna or marlin.

 

 

 

 

Grilled Marinated Wahoo
Ingredients:

1/2 cup Butter, melted (Blue Bonnet Light Stick Butter)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 fresh Garlic Cloves
1/3 cup fresh Cilantro
1 tablespoon Roasted Ground Cumin
2 tablespoons Zatarainn’s Cajun Seafood Seasoning
1 lemon, Juice of
6 Wahoo fillets, about 1/2 inch thick
Lemon wedge (to garnish)

 

Directions:

1 – Spray grill with nonstick spray or brush with vegie oil to prevent sticking. Preheat on high for about 10 minutes
2 – Mix first 7 ingredients in a blender. Purée into a smooth sauce.
3 – When ready to cook, brush both sides of fillets with sauce. Place fillets on grill and cook, turning once or twice. Brush more sauce as needed.
4 – Fish is done when it flakes easily (about 5 minutes). Serve with lemon wedges.

Fruit of the Week – Banana

November 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM | Posted in baking, diabetes friendly, Food, fruits | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red.

Almost all modern edible parthenocarpic bananas come from the two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The

Peeled, whole, and longitudinal section

scientific names of bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana or hybrids Musa acuminata × balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The old scientific names Musa sapientum and Musa paradisiaca are no longer used.

Banana is also used to describe Enset and Fe’i bananas, neither of which belong to the aforementioned species. Enset bananas belong to the genus Ensete while the taxonomy of Fe’i-type cultivars is uncertain.

In popular culture and commerce, “banana” usually refers to soft, sweet “dessert” bananas. By contrast, Musa cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called plantains or “cooking bananas”. The distinction is purely arbitrary and the terms ‘plantain’ and ‘banana’ are sometimes interchangeable depending on their usage.

They are native to tropical South and Southeast Asia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. Today, they are cultivated throughout the tropics. They are grown in at least 107 countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fiber, banana wine and as ornamental plants.

The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant. The plants are normally tall and fairly sturdy and are often mistaken for trees, but their main or upright stem is actually a pseudostem that grows 20 to 24.9 ft tall, growing from a corm. Each pseudostem can produce a single bunch of bananas. After fruiting, the pseudostem dies, but offshoots may develop from the base of the plant. Many varieties of bananas are perennial.

Leaves are spirally arranged and may grow 8.9 ft long and 2.0 ft wide. They are easily torn by the wind, resulting in the familiar frond look.

Each pseudostem normally produces a single inflorescence, also known as the banana heart. (More are sometimes produced; an exceptional plant in the Philippines produced five.) The inflorescence contains many bracts (sometimes incorrectly called petals) between rows of flowers. The female flowers (which can develop into fruit) appear in rows further up the stem from the rows of male flowers. The ovary is inferior, meaning that the tiny petals and other flower parts appear at the tip of the ovary.

The banana fruits develop from the banana heart, in a large hanging cluster, made up of tiers (called hands), with up to 20 fruit to a

A banana tree on Banana Island in Luxor, Egypt.

tier. The hanging cluster is known as a bunch, comprising 3–20 tiers, or commercially as a “banana stem”, and can weigh from 66–110 lb. In common usage, bunch applies to part of a tier containing 3–10 adjacent fruits.

Individual banana fruits (commonly known as a banana or ‘finger’) average 0.28 lb, of which approximately 75% is water and 25% dry matter. There is a protective outer layer (a peel or skin) with numerous long, thin strings (the phloem bundles), which run lengthwise between the skin and the edible inner portion. The inner part of the common yellow dessert variety splits easily lengthwise into three sections that correspond to the inner portions of the three carpels.

The fruit has been described as a “leathery berry”. In cultivated varieties, the seeds are diminished nearly to non-existence; their remnants are tiny black specks in the interior of the fruit. Bananas grow pointing up, not hanging down.

Bananas are naturally slightly radioactive, more so than most other fruits, because of their high potassium content, and the small amounts of the isotope potassium-40 found in naturally occurring potassium. Proponents of nuclear power sometimes refer to the banana equivalent dose of radiation to support their arguments.

In the 15th and 16th century, Portuguese colonists started banana plantations in the Atlantic Islands, Brazil, and western Africa. North Americans began consuming bananas on a small scale at very high prices shortly after the Civil War, though it was only in the 1880s that it became more widespread. As late as the Victorian Era, bananas were not widely known in Europe, although they were available.[30] Jules Verne introduces bananas to his readers with detailed descriptions in Around the World in Eighty Days (1872).

The earliest modern plantations originated in Jamaica and the related Western Caribbean Zone, including most of Central America. It involved the combination of modern transportation networks of steamships and railroads with the development of refrigeration that allowed bananas to have more time between harvesting and ripening. North America shippers like Lorenzo Dow Baker and Andrew Preston, the founders of the Boston Fruit Company started this process in the 1870s, but railroad builders like Minor C Keith also participated, eventually culminating in the multi-national giant corporations like today’s Chiquita Brands International and Dole. These companies were monopolistic, vertically integrated (meaning they controlled growing, processing, shipping and marketing) and usually used political manipulation to build enclave economies (economies that were internally self sufficient, virtually tax exempt, and export oriented that contribute very little to the host economy). Their political maneuvers, which gave rise to the term Banana republic for states like Honduras and Guatemala, included working with local elites and their rivalries to influence politics or playing the international interests of the United States, especially during the Cold War, to keep the political climate favorable to their interests.

The vast majority of the world’s bananas today are cultivated for family consumption or for sale on local markets. India is the world leader in this sort of production, but many other Asian and African countries where climate and soil conditions allow cultivation also host large populations of banana growers who sell at least some of their crop.

There are peasant sector banana growers who produce for the world market in the Caribbean, however. The Windward Islands are notable for the growing, largely of Cavendish bananas, for an international market, generally in Europe but also in North America. In the Caribbean, and especially in Dominica where this sort of cultivation is widespread, holdings are in the 1–2 acre range. In many cases the farmer earns additional money from other crops, from engaging in labor outside the farm, and from a share of the earnings of relatives living overseas. This style of cultivation often was popular in the islands as bananas required little labor input and brought welcome extra income. Vulnerability to hurricanes in the northern hemisphere and cyclones in the south destroy crops. After the signing of the NAFTA agreements in the 1990s, however, the tide turned against peasant producers. Their costs of production were relatively high and the ending of favorable tariff and other supports, especially in the European Economic Community, made it difficult for peasant producers to compete with the bananas grown on large plantations by the well capitalized firms like Chiquita and Dole. Not only did the large companies have access to cheap labor in the areas they worked, but they were better able to afford modern agronomic advances such as fertilization. The “dollar banana” produced by these concerns made the profit margins for peasant bananas unsustainable.

Caribbean countries have sought to redress this problem by providing government supported agronomic services and helping to organize producers’ cooperatives. They have also been supporters of the Fair Trade movement which seeks to balance the inequities in the world trade in commodities.

Export bananas are picked green, and ripen in special rooms upon arrival in the destination country. These rooms are air-tight and filled with ethylene gas to induce ripening. The vivid yellow color normally associated with supermarket bananas is in fact a side effect of the artificial ripening process. Flavor and texture are also affected by ripening temperature. Bananas are refrigerated to between 56 and 59 °F during transport. At lower temperatures, ripening permanently stalls, and turns the bananas gray as cell walls break down. The skin of ripe bananas quickly blackens in the 39 °F environment of a domestic refrigerator, although the fruit inside remains unaffected.

“Tree-ripened” Cavendish bananas have a greenish-yellow appearance which changes to a brownish-yellow as they ripen further. Although both flavor and texture of tree-ripened bananas is generally regarded as superior to any type of green-picked fruit, this reduces shelf life to only 7–10 days.

Bananas can be ordered by the retailer “ungassed”, and may show up at the supermarket fully green. “Guineo Verde”, or green bananas that have not been gassed will never fully ripen before becoming rotten. Instead of fresh eating, these bananas are best suited to cooking, as seen in Mexican culinary dishes.

A 2008 study reported that ripe bananas fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light. This property is attributed to the degradation of chlorophyll leading to the accumulation of a fluorescent product in the skin of the fruit. The chlorophyll breakdown product is stabilized by a propionate ester group. Banana-plant leaves also fluoresce in the same way. Green bananas do not fluoresce. The study suggested that this allows animals which can see light in the ultraviolet spectrum (tetrachromats and pentachromats) to more easily detect ripened bananas.

Bananas are a staple starch for many tropical populations. Depending upon cultivar and ripeness, the flesh can vary in taste from starchy to sweet, and texture from firm to mushy. Both skin and inner part can be eaten raw or cooked. Bananas’ flavor is due, amongst other chemicals, to isoamyl acetate which is one of the main constituents of banana oil.

During the ripening process, bananas produce a plant hormone called ethylene, which indirectly affects the flavor. Among other things, ethylene stimulates the formation of amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starch into sugar, influencing the taste of bananas. The greener, less ripe bananas contain higher levels of starch and, consequently, have a “starchier” taste. On the other hand, yellow bananas taste sweeter due to higher sugar concentrations. Furthermore, ethylene signals the production of pectinase, an enzyme which breaks down the pectin between the cells of the banana, causing the banana to soften as it ripens.

Bananas are eaten deep fried, baked in their skin in a split bamboo, or steamed in glutinous rice wrapped in a banana leaf. Bananas can be made into jam. Banana pancakes are popular amongst backpackers and other travelers in South Asia and Southeast Asia. This has elicited the expression Banana Pancake Trail for those places in Asia that cater to this group of travelers. Banana chips are a

Cavendish bananas are the main commercial banana cultivars sold in the world market.

snack produced from sliced dehydrated or fried banana or plantain, which have a dark brown color and an intense banana taste. Dried bananas are also ground to make banana flour. Extracting juice is difficult, because when a banana is compressed, it simply turns to pulp. Bananas feature prominently in Philippine cuisine, being part of traditional dishes and desserts like maruya, turrón, and halo-halo. Most of these dishes use the Saba or Cardaba banana cultivar. Pisang goreng, bananas fried with batter similar to the Filipino maruya, is a popular dessert in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. A similar dish is known in the United States as banana fritters.

Plantains are used in various stews and curries or cooked, baked or mashed in much the same way as potatoes.

Seeded bananas (Musa balbisiana), one of the forerunners of the common domesticated banana, are sold in markets in Indonesia.

Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and contain moderate amounts of vitamin C, manganese and potassium.

Along with other fruits and vegetables, consumption of bananas may be associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer and in women, breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma.

Banana ingestion may affect dopamine production in people deficient in the amino acid tyrosine, a dopamine precursor present in bananas.

In India, juice is extracted from the corm and used as a home remedy for jaundice, sometimes with the addition of honey, and for kidney stones.

Individuals with a latex allergy may experience a reaction to bananas.

National Dish of the Week – Jamaica

June 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM | Posted in Food | 12 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jamaican cuisine includes a mixture of cooking techniques, flavors, spices and influences from the indigenous people on the island, and the Spanish, British, Africans, Indians, and Chinese who have inhabited the island. It is also influenced by the crops introduced into the island from tropical Southeast Asia. Jamaican cuisine includes various dishes from the different cultures brought to the island with the arrival of people from elsewhere. Other dishes are novel or a fusion of techniques and traditions. In addition to ingredients that are native to Jamaica, many foods have been introduced and are now grown locally. A wide variety of seafood, tropical fruits and meats are available.

Some Jamaican cuisine dishes are variations on the cuisines and cooking styles brought to the island from elsewhere. These are often modified to incorporate local produce. Others are novel and have developed locally. Popular Jamaican dishes include curry goat, fried dumplings, ackee and salt fish (cod) (which is the national dish of Jamaica), fried plantain, “jerk”, steamed cabbage and “rice and peas” (pigeon peas or kidney beans). Jamaican Cuisine has been adapted by African, British, French, Spanish, Chinese and Indian influences. Jamaican patties and various pastries and breads are also popular as well as fruit beverages and Jamaican rum.

Jamaican cuisine has spread with emigrations, especially during the 20th century, from the island to other nations as Jamaicans have sought economic opportunities in other areas.

Christopher Columbus visited Jamaica multiple times towards the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, once even shipwrecked off the north coast for two years (1503–1504). During these visits he described a way the Arawaks (the indigenous inhabitants of Jamaica) preserved meat by adding peppers, allspice and sea salt to make what is now known as Jamaican jerk spice.

The Spanish, the first European arrivals to the island contributed dishes such as the vinegary concoction escovitched fish (Spanish escabeche) contributed by the Spanish Jews. Later, Cantonese/Hakka influences developed the Jamaican patty, an empanada styled turnover filled with spiced meat. African cuisine developed on the island as a result of waves of slavery introduced by the European powers. More Chinese and East Indian influences can also be found in Jamaican cuisine, as a result of indentured labourers who replaced slaves after emancipation brought their own culinary talents (especially curry, which Jamaican chefs sometimes use to season goat meat for special occasions).

African cuisine, Indian cuisine and American cuisine, Chinese cuisine and British cuisine are not new to the island. Through many years of British colonialism the cuisine developed many habits of cooking particular to a trading colony. The natives of Jamaica drink the most tea per capita in the Caribbean to this day as a result.

Delitefuls Swai Caribbean BBQ

June 11, 2011 at 8:53 PM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, fish, Food | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Today’s Menu: Delitefuls Swai Caribbean BBQ

Found this at Wal-Mart just yesterday and couldn’t wait to try it! I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to try the other dinners available. I had the Delitefuls Swai Caribbean BBQ for dinner tonight. Just heat up in the microwave for 6 minutes and it’s ready. The sauce was delicious a little taste of sweet along with the perfect amount of heat. Portions make a better lunch than dinner but at 165 calories and 28 carbs it works! I will definitely be trying it again. I left a review of the dinners on the next post.

 

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

MealTrips

Get your cravings anytime

All Fall Y'all

All Fall. All year round.

Cassie's Kitchen

mostly healthy, always tasty

Memories and Such

Memories of a very ordinary life

Welsh Girl Foodie

Welsh Girl living in Scotland who loves to cook and eat!

Megan's kitchen recipes

Random food recipes I've found online

Mustard With Mutton

DIARY OF A GLUTTON

Lite Cravings

A Healthy Approach to Indulgence

The Southern Search

Finding out where food comes from, one southern staple at a time.

Tikkas To Tapas

Food for the Soul

Planted in the Kitchen

Easy Vegan Recipes

Kitchen Dance Partii

Happy Food Dance Food

Cooking with Nigella

The recipes of Nigella Lawson.

Montana Happy

Montana Happy

Burch Acres

Farm + Flowers + Family

Annika Eats

All Things Food Related

VinceHomeMade

Random musings and Food from my kitchen