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Radio Kitchen #935 - Adam Borden 4-19-11
In keeping with our mission on our show to bring you up to date information on the newest foods out there, we frequently ask our Food Scout, Adam Borden to be on the show. This week Adam is reporting on two trends he has spotted: one tart and one sweet.
Trend #1 is Japanese Citrus (yuzu, sudachi, kabosu), appearing in bottles of juice that cooks find extremely useful. [For more info, go to: Yakami Orchard (http://www.waimports.com/our-brands/yakami-orchard/)]
Adam notes, many Americans who eat Japanese food have come across ponzu sauce, which is typically soy sauce mixed with some other ingredients including Japanese citrus. These fruits, many of which are actually of Chinese origin, have been modified or bred for cultivation in Japan and, until recently, have remained elusive to home cooks in the United States. A number of US orchard growers are starting to bring both fresh and processed fruit to market, especially on the West Coast. Yakami Orchard in Japan exports products from three of these fruits - yuzu, sudachi and kabosu - as juices, marmalades and ponzu. Yuzu is a cross between a type of lemon and mandarin orange. It has a floral nose and can be used in nearly all stages of maturity, from young with a green rind to over-mature, puffy, and with a dark yellow rind. Sudachi is more astringent than yuzu and is usually harvested green for cooking. Kaboso is a cross with a sour orange, so its juice has a slightly orange color to it with a Meyer lemon like taste.
These tart but flavorful and aromatic juices are great for salad dressings and marinades. Also, you can splash a little on cooked vegetables to give an aromatic boost.
Trend #2 are French macaroons. The macaroon, pronounced mah-ca-ROHN, is not to be confused with the American macaroon made with sweetened, dried coconut. French macaroons are made with ground almonds, sugar, egg whites (meringue) and a filling, usually butter cream. Macaroons are named after two Carmelite nuns known as "the macaroon sisters" who sought asylum during the French revolution and were able to support themselves by baking and selling macaroons. These brightly colored cookie sandwiches look like small little pastel "hamburgers". They are a staple in Parisian bakery cases and come in a variety of traditional flavors like raspberry, coffee and pistachio. Modern chefs have recently started introducing more unusual flavors such as maple bacon, coconut curry and lemon basil. Regardless of flavor, these light little cookies have a great advantage: you can eat a handful without filling up.