CALIFORNIA EATING: Good buys this week included California fruit at ShopRite, above, and Mexican mangoes bursting with sweetness at H Mart.
MISSING QUALITY: At the Paramus ShopRite, Pat LaFrieda sells "restaurant quality" beef, but makes no claim the meat was raised naturally without harmful antibiotics and growth hormones.
LESS IS LESS: There is nothing on the package of Pat LaFrieda Original Blend Chopped Beef that tells you whether it was naturally raised, above.
A REASON TO SMILE: Laura's Lean Beef, on the other hand, boasts that it was raised without harmful hormones or antibiotics, lending credibility to the "all natural" label.
SUNDAY DINNER: Fresh wild-caught whole Black Sea Bass were $5.99 a pound at H Mart, 260 Bergen Turnpike, Little Ferry. Here, I plated the fish with two side dishes, brown bulgur wheat with small beans and sauteed cabbage with sweet peppers.
ASIAN-INSPIRED SAUCE: In a covered pan, I poached four Black Sea Bass in a sauce of boiling organic chicken stock, soybean paste, sake, minced garlic, five-spice powder, ground ginger and ground star aniseed powder.
--VICTOR E. SASSON