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#31
Posted January 30th 2007, 4:46pm
nr706 wrote:
hydrolyzed wheat protein and fructose are among the ingredients – both are additives that have not been adequately time-tested for their potential long-term effects on health.


What? Fructose is an "additive" that has "not been adequately time-tested for their potential long-term effects on health.?"!!!

So millenia of humans eating fruit isn't adequate time-testing for the effects of fructose on human health???


Hello NR706 (enjoyed the CD),

Fructose is a misleadingly natural-sounding food element. It does occur in nature, in fruit as you say, but can also be manufactured. "High fructose corn syrup" is a relatively new development and is “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA.

Hammond
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#32
Posted January 30th 2007, 5:15pm
But I believe HFCS has to be labeled as such in the ingredient list ... "fructose" by itself on the label means the natural stuff (loved the 3 CDs).
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#33
Posted January 30th 2007, 10:19pm
tatterdemalion wrote:I'm interested in doing a taste-off of various brands now.


That's probably the most informative.
I'm adding some random comments even though I really should stay away from this thread
Some comments on LTHforum some time ago prompted me to try various sauces. I now favor (I should say stock) Tra Chang and Squid* brands. To be sure Kasma's writing in her books has influenced my choices**.

The sauces taste quite different plain and when added to portions of (the otherwise same) curry and also when added to 'uncooked' dishes like relishes or sauces. Again personal tastes will/should dictate which sauce one uses for which dishes.

Sediment or residue from the fish sauce making process can be used to make more 'fish sauce' by further hydrolysing the protein*** (and additional items). Fructose is added as a low level sweetner (sometimes glucose (dextrose) is added) - for comparison check the ingredients of a bottle of Maggi seasoning (which is based on yeast extract and wheat gluten and soy instead of fish/anchovy residue).

I suspect (read: speculation alert): 1. that Kasma may be confusing HFCS with fructose (but really that's neither here nor there - as fish sauce is being judged on taste) 2. The 'premium' Viet 3 crab may have succumbed to it's own success and gone the 'hydrolyzed fish protein' route - in Kasma's Dancing Shrimp*** the "premium Vietnamese Three Crabs brand" is mentioned as one to try (pg. 36).



** Nice because it also comes in the smaller bottle

*at the very least by suggesting which ones I tried.

***see this abstract

****ISBN:978-0684862729; Simon & Schuster (October 4, 2000)) Amazon Link
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#34
Posted February 11th 2007, 4:30pm
Image
(l-r) Pantai "AAA Grade," "Shrimp," "Squid," Tiparos Brand, "Flying Lion," and "Three Crabs"*

I have recently been conversing with my pal, Antonius, on the subject of fish sauce, and, figuring that it would serve him well to taste test a variety of sauces, I spent part of an afternoon, last week, cobbling together the assortment of sauces pictured above. **

I hope to write an extended piece on fish sauces at some point, but in the meantime I can share a few thoughts which seem particularly germane to the subject(s) at hand:

1) While they are not pictured above, the Tra Chang, or "Weighing Scales," and "Golden Boy" brands of fish sauce are my favourite Thai fish sauces available in the U.S., and they are ocassionally available for sale at some of the Thai grocers in town. Both of these sauces are "premium" export grade, with a nice mellow flavour/aroma profile. Unfortunately, I haven't seen either one for sale in quite some time.

2) "Squid" is also a very good quality "premium" export grade Thai fish sauce, and one which is commonly found in the better Thai restaurant kitchens in the U.S. In comparison with the sauces mentioned immediately above, "Squid" has a more robust and rustic flavour/aroma profile. I've actually heard Thais refer to it as "grandma-style," or "old-fashioned."

3) Tiparos Brand fish sauce is probably the brand most commonly found in Thai restaurant kitchens in the U.S., and likely for the reason that, in addition to being relatively cheap and plentiful, it is the only commercial sauce available in a squeeze-bottle format.***

4) “Flying Lion" Vietnamese fish sauce is the brand that Kritsana Moungkeow at Sticky Rice uses to prepare all of her Northern Thai specialties. Kritsana believes that this particular brand of sauce closely approximates the flavour and aroma of the fish sauces which she grew up with in Lampang Province, Northern Thailand.

5) An experienced palate can greatly differentiate between various brands of fish sauce, but preferences often seem to be highly subjective. For example: I personally prefer the flavour and aroma of "Squid" fish sauce to that of Tiparos Brand, especially after the sauces have been exposed to heat; when heated, I find that Tiparos Brand fish sauce takes on an overly pungent, almost acrid profile, but it hardly seems to present itself the same way to most people that I know.

As I have already shared with Antonius, the best way to get familiar with this oddly compelling substance is to test the waters with both feet, as it were. It is certainly cheap enough, with most bottles in the $2-4 range. And, even after it has been opened, I think you will find that the stuff seems to last forever. ;)

E.M.

* The space between the fourth and fifth bottle from the left separates Thai brands from Vietnamese brands of sauce, with the Thai brands remaining to the left.

** The l-r ordering of the sauces pictured loosely corresponds with my order of preference, but, while I generally prefer the Thai to the Vietnamese brands of sauce, I feel that it is very important to stick with sauces from the respective countries of origin when preparing Thai and Vietnamese foodstuffs in my own home.

*** Thai restaurant kitchens tend to put a premium on efficiency, and the squeeze-bottle format is very handy when tending to a busy wok station.
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#35
Posted February 11th 2007, 4:43pm
Erik M. wrote:Image
(l-r) Pantai "AAA Grade," "Shrimp," "Squid," Tiparos Brand, "Flying Lion," and "Three Crabs"*

I have recently been conversing with my pal, Antonius, on the subject of fish sauce, and, figuring that it would serve him well to taste test a variety of sauces, I spent part of an afternoon, last week, cobbling together the assortment of sauces pictured above. **

I hope to write an extended piece on fish sauces at some point, but in the meantime I can share a few thoughts which seem particularly germane to the subject(s) at hand:

1) While they are not pictured above, the Tra Chang, or "Weighing Scales," and "Golden Boy" brands of fish sauce are my favourite Thai fish sauces available in the U.S., and they are ocassionally available for sale at some of the Thai grocers in town. Both of these sauces are "premium" export grade, with a nice mellow flavour/aroma profile. Unfortunately, I haven't seen either one for sale in quite some time.

2) "Squid" is also a very good quality "premium" export grade Thai fish sauce, and one which is commonly found in the better Thai restaurant kitchens in the U.S. In comparison with the sauces mentioned immediately above, "Squid" has a more robust and rustic flavour/aroma profile. I've actually heard Thais refer to it as "grandma-style," or "old-fashioned."

3) Tiparos Brand fish sauce is probably the brand most commonly found in Thai restaurant kitchens in the U.S., and likely for the reason that, in addition to being relatively cheap and plentiful, it is the only commercial sauce available in a squeeze-bottle format.***

4) “Flying Lion" Vietnamese fish sauce is the brand that Kritsana Moungkeow at Sticky Rice uses to prepare all of her Northern Thai specialties. Kritsana believes that this particular brand of sauce closely approximates the flavour and aroma of the fish sauces which she grew up with in Lampang Province, Northern Thailand.

5) An experienced palate can greatly differentiate between various brands of fish sauce, but preferences often seem to be highly subjective. For example: I personally prefer the flavour and aroma of "Squid" fish sauce to that of Tiparos Brand, especially after the sauces have been exposed to heat; when heated, I find that Tiparos Brand fish sauce takes on an overly pungent, almost acrid profile, but it hardly seems to present itself the same way to most people that I know.

As I have already shared with Antonius, the best way to get familiar with this oddly compelling substance is to test the waters with both feet, as it were. It is certainly cheap enough, with most bottles in the $2-4 range. And, even after it has been opened, I think you will find that the stuff seems to last forever. ;)

E.M.

* The space between the fourth and fifth bottle from the left separates Thai brands from Vietnamese brands of sauce, with the Thai brands remaining to the left.

** The l-r ordering of the sauces pictured loosely corresponds with my order of preference, but, while I generally prefer the Thai to the Vietnamese brands of sauce, I feel that it is very important to stick with sauces from the respective countries of origin when preparing Thai and Vietnamese foodstuffs in my own home.

*** Thai restaurant kitchens tend to put a premium on efficiency, and the squeeze-bottle format is very handy when tending to a busy wok station.




I'm intrigued by the prospect of reading any future fish sauce taste-off results.

I *do* enjoy reversals of assumed knowledge vis a vis that my (until now) beloved three crabs isn't the top of the pops as I'd previously-gleaned from divers sources.

thank you as always for sharing your Thai, etc erudition

I work at it as a home cook little by little, but between Thompson, the Real Thai blogger, not to mention Chez Pim, and yourself, I'm continually turned around, offered glimpses of always further facets within SE Asian cookery.
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