Surimi Revised & Revisited
Last monthÕs article about Surimi
prompted comments from ACF Kona-
Kohala Chapter member Ken Love. Ken
is a Chef, trained in Japan, and more
importantly has an allergy to gluten. Many of
you that attended the last Regional Conference
in Hawaii may know Ken, as among other things, he is a
well known expert on tropical fruit and lectures at theUniversity
of Hawaii. The following are excerpts paraphrased fromKenÕs
letters to this Editor.
......having trained as a Chef in Japan, I read withinterest the
story on surimi in the Western Region Newsletter. I haveCeliac
disease, an allergy to gluten containing foods. Beingdiagnosed
a few years ago was, needless to say, a shock and forceda
considerable change in lifestyle.
The surimi story stated that, ŌSurimi is nothing morethan
minced wild Alaskan Pollack.Ķ This is not true 99% ofthe time.
In Japan there is only one maker, in Hiroshima, ofsurimi that
does not use wheat starch as an additive. Typically,most surimi
uses starch and soy, sugar, egg whites and oil withother
Surimi can make Celiac patients and others with foodallergies
violently ill. With gluten free foods often mentioned as the fastest growing
segment of the packaged food sector, it is about timeChefs
catch up with the need for education and awareness ofthis and
other food allergies.
At our resorts on HawaiÕi Island, most Executive Chefsare
familiar with allergy concerns when it comes to menuplanning
and food preparation, but it does not always filterdown. We
have established awareness now with most of the culinary
students, so that will change in time.
I suggest a few gluten free offering on menus as acompletive
edge for Chefs willing to take the extra steps and gothe extra
mile for their guests.
Thanks Ken. This Editor welcomes comments on this andany
other article that appears in this newsletter. By thetime you
read this, I will have returned from HawaiÕi Islandwhere I joined
Ken for the better part of a day, learning more about
Chef/Farmers and tropical fruit production.