Fish of the Week – Wahoo

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

December 12, 2011 at 1:40 PM | Posted in baking, Food, fruits | 1 Comment
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The custard-apple, also called bullock’s heart or bull’s heart, is the fruit of the tree Annona reticulata. This tree is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree sometimes reaching 33 ft tall and a native of the tropical New World that prefers low elevations, and a warm,

Cross Section of Custard Apple

humid climate. It also occurs as feral populations in many parts of the world including Southeast Asia, Taiwan, India, Australia, and Africa.

The fruits are variable in shape, oblong, or irregular. The size ranges from 2.8 in to 4.7 in. When ripe, the fruit is brown or yellowish, with red highlights and a varying degree of reticulation, depending on variety. The flavor is sweet and pleasant, akin to the taste of ‘traditional’ custard.

The custard apple is believed to be a native of the West Indies but it was carried in early times through Central America to southern Mexico. It has long been cultivated and naturalized as far south as Peru and Brazil. It is commonly grown in the Bahamas and occasionally in Bermuda and southern Florida.

Apparently it was introduced into tropical Africa early in the 17th century and it is grown in South Africa as a dooryard fruit tree. In India the tree is cultivated, especially around Calcutta, and runs wild in many areas. It has become fairly common on the east coast of Malaya, and more or less throughout southeast Asia and the Philippines though nowhere particularly esteemed. Eighty years ago it was reported as thoroughly naturalized in Guam. In Hawaii it is not well known.

The custard apple tree needs a tropical climate but with cooler winters than those of the west coast of Malaya. It flourishes in the coastal lowlands of Ecuador; is rare above 5,000 ft (1,500 m). In Guatemala, it is nearly always found below 4,000 ft (1,220 m). In India, it does well from the plains up to an elevation of 4,000 ft (1,220 m); in Ceylon, it cannot be grown above 3,000 ft (915 m). Around Luzon in the Philippines, it is common below 2,600 ft (800 m). It is too tender for California and trees introduced into

custard apple

Palestine succumbed to the cold. In southem Florida the leaves are shed at the first onset of cold weather and the tree is dormant all winter. Fully grown, it has survived temperatures of 27º to 28ºF (-2.78º to 2.22ºC) without serious harm. This species is less drought-tolerant than the sugar apple and prefers a more humid atmosphere.

The custard apple has the advantage of cropping in late winter and spring when the preferred members of the genus are not in season. It is picked when it has lost all green color and ripens without splitting so that it is readily sold in local markets. If picked green, it will not color well and will be of inferior quality. The tree is naturally a fairly heavy bearer. With adequate care, a mature tree will produce 75 to 100 lbs (34-45 kg) of fruits per year. The short twigs are shed after they have borne flowers and fruits.

In India, the fruit is eaten only by the lower classes, out-of-hand. In Central America, Mexico and the West Indies, the fruit is appreciated by all. When fully ripe it is soft to the touch and the stem and attached core can be easily pulled out. The flesh may be scooped from the skin and eaten as is or served with light cream and a sprinkling of sugar. Often it is pressed through a sieve and added to milk shakes, custards or ice cream.

The leaves have been employed in tanning and they yield a blue or black dye. A fiber derived from the young twigs is superior to the bark fiber from Annona squamosa. Custard apple wood is yellow, rather soft, fibrous but durable, moderately close-grained, with a specific gravity of 0.650. It has been used to make yokes for oxen.

The leaf decoction is given as a vermifuge. Crushed leaves or a paste of the flesh may be poulticed on boils, abscesses and ulcers. The unripe fruit is rich in tannin; is dried, pulverized and employed against diarrhea and dysentery. The bark is very astringent and the decoction is taken as a tonic and also as a remedy for diarrhea and dysentery. In severe cases, the leaves, bark and green fruits are all boiled together for 5 minutes in a liter of water to make an exceedingly potent decoction. Fragments of the root bark are packed around the gums to relieve toothache. The root decoction is taken as a febrifuge.

Fruit of the Week – Papaya

July 25, 2011 at 9:35 AM | Posted in Food, fruits, low calorie, low carb | 1 Comment
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The papaya (from Carib via Spanish), papaw, or pawpaw is the fruit of the plant Carica papaya, the sole species in the genus Carica of the plant family Caricaceae. It is native to the tropics of the Americas, and was first cultivated in Mexico several centuries before the emergence of the Mesoamerican classic cultures.

The papaya is a large tree-like plant, with a single stem growing from 5 to 10 metres (16 to 33 ft) tall, with spirally arranged leaves confined to the top of the trunk. The lower trunk is conspicuously scarred where leaves and fruit were borne. The leaves are large, 50–70 centimetres (20–28 in) diameter, deeply palmately lobed with 7 lobes. The tree is usually unbranched, unless lopped. The flowers are similar in shape to the flowers of the Plumeria, but are much smaller and wax-like. They appear on the axils of the leaves, maturing into the large 15–45 centimetres (5.9–18 in) long, 10–30 centimetres (3.9–12 in) diameter fruit. The fruit is ripe when it feels soft (like a ripe avocado or a bit softer) and its skin has attained an amber to orange hue. Carica papaya was the first fruit tree to have its genome deciphered.

Originally from southern Mexico (particularly Chiapas and Veracruz), Central America, and northern South America, the papaya is now cultivated in most tropical countries. In cultivation, it grows rapidly, fruiting within 3 years. It is, however, highly frost sensitive, limiting papaya production to tropical lands.

In the 1990s, the papaya ringspot virus threatened to wipe out Hawaii’s papaya industry completely. Cultivars that had been genetically modified to be resistant to the virus (including ‘SunUp‘ and ‘Rainbow’), were then introduced there. There is still no conventional or organic method of controlling the ringspot virus. In 2004, it was found that papayas throughout Hawaii had experienced hybridization with the genetically modified varieties and that many seed stocks were contaminated. By 2010, 80% of Hawaiian papaya plants were genetically modified.

Two kinds of papayas are commonly grown. One has sweet, red (or orangish) flesh, and the other has yellow flesh; in Australia these are called “red papaya” and “yellow papaw”, respectively. Either kind, picked green, is called a “green papaya.”

The large-fruited, red-fleshed ‘Maradol’, ‘Sunrise’, and ‘Caribbean Red’ papayas often sold in U.S. markets are commonly grown in Mexico and Belize.

‘SunUp’ and ‘Rainbow’, grown in Hawaii, are genetically modified to be resistant to the papaya ringspot virus.

The ripe fruit of the papaya is usually eaten raw, without skin or seeds. The unripe green fruit can be eaten cooked, usually in curries, salads, and stews. Green papaya is used in south east Asian cooking, both raw and cooked. Papayas have a relatively high amount of pectin, which can be used to make jellies.

The black seeds of the papaya are edible and have a sharp, spicy taste. They are sometimes ground and used as a substitute for black pepper.

In some parts of Asia, the young leaves of papaya are steamed and eaten like spinach. In some parts of the world, papaya leaves are made into tea as a preventative for malaria, although there is no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment.

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