Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jersey peaches, mystery EVOO, H Mart specials and more

At the ShopRite in Paramus last week, I found two kinds of peaches in a box under a sign for Jersey grown fruit, above and below. The peach on top was labeled "Jersey Fruit," but the one underneath said, "Yellow Peach," "Sunny Slope" and "USA."


Will the real Jersey Fresh peach please stand up?

New Jersey peaches, labeled "Jersey Fruit," finally arrived at the ShopRite in Paramus last week, but they didn't look that good, and they were mixed with other peaches whose origin was unclear.

I passed.

New Jersey blueberries I bought at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack also carried the "Jersey Fruit" designation on the label, supplementing the traditional phrase, "Jersey Fresh." 

The label on a 3-liter Al Defah bottle doesn't say where the extra-virgin olive oil comes from, at least not in English. I plan to call importer Mediterranean Expo LLC to find out.

Is this a stylized flag of the country where the oil was produced?

Mystery EVOO

Fattal's in Paterson has always been a reliable source for extra-virgin olive oils from Lebanon, Syria and other countries at good prices.

On Friday, I found a 3-liter bottle of Al Defah Extra Virgin Olive Oil for only $13.99 -- or about $4.66 a liter -- compared to $20 or more for 3 liters of EVOO from other sources.

The cashier said the price had recently gone up from $12.99.

The label describes it as "aromatic and extra smooth, first cold pressed."

The store, at 975-77 Main St. in Paterson, is open 7 days, and parking is free in its own lot.

The retail price of a 15-pound bag of California-grown  Kokuho Yellow Label Rice is $16.99, according to the sign I saw on Saturday at the H Mart in Fort Lee.

Retail price of rice is moving target

Depending on which H Mart you shop in, the retail price of Kokuho Yellow Label Rice from California is $14.99 to $16.99.

Why does that matter when this rice is always on sale at most of the Bergen County stores in the Korean supermarket chain?

The sales price has gone up a couple of dollars, attributed to a drought in California, and now the savings claimed is greater or smaller, depending on whether you buy the rice in Englewood, Little Ferry or Fort Lee.

Dinner leftovers for breakfast: Grilled wild sockeye salmon and whole-wheat pappardelle, both with pesto from Costco Wholesale, and Chinese broccoli from H Mart in Little Ferry.

I cooked the wild salmon from Costco Wholesale on a stove-top grill pan for 10 minutes, and it came out medium ($9.99 a pound). It only needs 2 minutes of reheating in a microwave.

Cooking ahead is the way to go

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if you are in a rush, it's great to have plenty of leftovers in the refrigerator that can be plated and reheated quickly.

I cook large quantities for just this reason: 

Six pieces of grilled wild sockeye salmon, a pound of organic whole-wheat spaghetti, and a pound of greens, quickly blanched in boiling water and seasoned.

Another filling breakfast: An egg-white frittata with salted fish, sweet peppers and chopped garlic; whole-wheat spaghetti in a sauce made with garlic, diced tomatoes, salad greens, tomato sauce, red wine and chicken stock; and Chinese broccoli.

A 10-inch frittata made with egg whites, whole eggs, Campari tomatoes, two kinds of reduced-fat cheese and pesto. Most of the ingredients come from Costco Wholesale.

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