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.


Aloha David,

......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.