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 the University
of Hawaii. The following are excerpts paraphrased from KenÕs
letters to this Editor.
......having trained as a Chef in Japan, I read with interest the
story on surimi in the Western Region Newsletter. I have Celiac
disease, an allergy to gluten containing foods. Being diagnosed
a few years ago was, needless to say, a shock and forced a
considerable change in lifestyle.
The surimi story stated that, ŌSurimi is nothing more than
minced wild Alaskan Pollack.Ķ This is not true 99% of the time.
In Japan there is only one maker, in Hiroshima, of surimi that
does not use wheat starch as an additive. Typically, most surimi
uses starch and soy, sugar, egg whites and oil with other
Surimi can make Celiac patients and others with food allergies
violently ill. With gluten free foods often mentioned as the fastest growing
segment of the packaged food sector, it is about time Chefs
catch up with the need for education and awareness of this and
other food allergies.
At our resorts on HawaiÕi Island, most Executive Chefs are
familiar with allergy concerns when it comes to menu planning
and food preparation, but it does not always filter down. 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 a completive
edge for Chefs willing to take the extra steps and go the extra
mile for their guests.
Thanks Ken. This Editor welcomes comments on this and any
other article that appears in this newsletter. By the time you
read this, I will have returned from HawaiÕi Island where I joined
Ken for the better part of a day, learning more about
Chef/Farmers and tropical fruit production.