Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What the Hell Is It?

Well, first of all, it was invented in the 1970's, which tells us a lot right there.  Secondly, it is described as a "blend of various texturing ingredients, flavorings and colorants."  Mmm!  

The primary ingredient is surimi... which in itself may need an explanation.
Cutesy of Wikipedia -

Surimi (Japanese. lit "ground meat")... a Japanese word referring to a food product  intended to mimick the meat of lobster, crab, and other shellfish.  It is typically made from white-fleshed fish (such as pollock or hake) that has been pulverized to a paste and attains a rubbery texture when cooked.

Meat from lean fish or land animals is separated and then minced numerous times to eliminate undesirable odors.  The result is beaten and pulverized to form a gelatinous paste.  

Right.  So we gots the seafood paste.  Now what do we do with it?  Make it into a crab leg maybe???

... The most common surimi product in the Western market is imitation or artificial crab legs... sold as krab in America...

[It was developed to] process the increased catch of fish, revitalize Japan's fish industry, and to make use of what was preciously considered "fodder fish".

A typical ingredient list looks like this:
Pollock, water, egg-whites, cornstarch, wheat starch, natural and artificial flavor (natural flavors include but aren't limited to amino acids and proteins obtained through aqueous extraction, and there are artificial flavoring compounds like esters, ketones, nucleotides, and monosodium glutamate, etc.), less then 2% snow crabmeat, soybean oil, mirin, potato starch, salt, sugar, soy protein isolate, monosodium glutamate, sorbitol, sodium tripolyphosphate.

"Prior to freezing cryoprotectant materials such as sugar and sorbitol are added to prevent degradation of the gel-forming properties of surimi.  Starch & egg whites are added to improve the texture, color and to stabilize the gel matrix".  

Oh, and the color.  That typically comes from water insoluble compounds like carmine, caramel, paprika and annato extracts which are mixed and then applied to the crab meat bundles... in order words, big weird bundles of the shit are painted with chemicals to be red... or pink... or orange... or whatever it is. 

Sigh.  Another great example of modern food production in action.  Wow.

I have a friend who buys it cold and enjoys right out of the bag.  I have expressed my lack of support for this practice and she has told me to shove it up my ass and that she doesn't want to hear any more of my holier-then-tho preachy bullshit. We agree to disagree.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Prepare To Be Horrified

For the bride that wants a truly unique wedding...

Babette's Feast

This is an incredible food movie... we watch it each year on Thanksgiving.