In our world of desirable antioxidant-rich berries, some of the most on-trend, well known products are blueberries, açaí and goji berries. They are all good sources for flavonoid antioxidants and offer consumers high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scores.
I recently discovered a lesser known, antioxidant-rich berry called the maqui berry. Maqui berries grow wild in the Patagonia region of Southern Chile. Intensely purple in colour, these uncultivated Patagonian super foods have been traditionally wild harvested and consumed by the native Mapuche people. These tribal people have historically believed that the maqui berry is a sacred food that gives them strength and power. The word for power in their native language is newén.
Newén Maqui is a company that work together in partnership with the Mapuche people to produce freeze dried maqui berry powder as a daily nutritional supplement. They also have a dual mission of helping to preserve the Patagonian native forests.
I spoke to Carlos Abogabir, from Newén Maqui, who told me more about maqui berries and the work that his company does. You can hear the interview by clicking on the play button below.
The culinary practice of preserving fruits with sugar has been carried out all around the world since ancient times. It is unclear exactly where the practice originated, however, there is a common consensus among food historians that it was in the Middle Eastern region. The products created using this style of preservation are known by a variety of names such as jam, jelly, marmalade, preserves, conserves and chutney. These differences in name are accounted for by a combination of 2 key factors: the geographical area where the product is produced and consumed, and the kind of recipe and ingredients used.
I’m a big fan of jams and preserves as I love their rich, intense, fruity flavour. Stirred into yogurt or spread liberally onto hot toast, my favourite kind of preserved fruit preparation is peach jam or conserve. I’m also a fan of the relatively recent wave of onion and garlic based jams and marmalades that have become increasingly popular with jam makers as well as consumers.
Raisins and other dried fruits are truly versatile foods. They are a culinary staple and a kitchen larder must-have ingredient. Eaten raw, they are a healthy snack and an essential muesli component. However, commercially made raisins tend to have extended shelf lives and can sometimes be texturally dry and lack flavour.
On a visit to New Amsterdam Market’s June market , I discovered a New York City-based company called Little Wrinkles that uses high quality, seasonal fruit and small batch production to create succulent, flavourful raisins.
One of the most exciting things about being a food blogger and journalist is the thrill of finding new products and food heroes. I had one such special moment at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show when I discovered some refreshing new fruits called Finger Limes that are grown by Californian specialty produce growing company, Shanley Farms.
Finger limes are a member of the micro citrus genus and are indigenous to Australia, where they grow in the wild. Measuring roughly an inch in length, these small green fruits have a unique taste and texture when compared with larger citrus fruits. Continue reading →