Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chicken of the Sea Whole Baby Clams

 Price: $1.59 for a 10 ounce (5 ounces drained) can.

The clams are intact and have a scent of ocean brine. The smell of brine fills my nasal cavity and conjures up thoughts of the ocean as I bite into a clam. The salt is evident but not overpowering and the meat is very tender for a clam, almost as tender as an oyster. There is a nice taste of brine that accompanies the mild flesh of these baby clams.

This is a good product with a fair price. These would be good in a clam chowder or mixed with rice and vegetables. The product is about as aesthetically pleasing as it can get when we consider that they are clams, which are not natures most beautiful creatures outside of the shell. Furthermore, these are much more tender than most canned clams, and they taste better than what you will find in many clam chowders sold at the supermarket.

These tender little clams are well above average and earn 4 baby clams out of 5.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Molinera Squids (pieces) in American Sauce

Price: $1.89 for a 4.06 ounce tin.

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This is another seafood offering from Molinera, a company that cans seafood in Spain. Pulling back the lid reveals medium sized pieces of squid packed nicely into the square tin. The product is a reddish tint due to the “American Sauce” that the product is packed in (Vegetable oil, tomato, onion, spices and salt). A strong smell of seafood is present within this tin and comes bursting forth after removing the lid.
Biting into a chunk of squid reveals a rubbery texture and a very potent taste of seafood that is not unpleasant if you enjoy seafood. The America sauce gives off a faint taste of onions, but it is a bit too salty. Just like with Molinera Octopus in Garlic Sauce, this should be used in a dish that is under salted so that the taste is balanced out.

The size of the pieces of squid and firm texture makes it better than average. The taste of the sea prevalent within this product could add a nice touch to any dish. However, the squid is just too rubbery and the salt is more than what any reasonable person would like.

Due to this I am only able to give Molinera's Squids in America Sauce 3 chunks of squid out of 5. Still above average, but only just a bit.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Molinera Octopus in Garlic Sauce Review

Price: $1.89 for a 4.06 ounce tin.

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Molinera is a company from Spain so my hopes are high for this tin of Octopus due to the quality of Spanish seafood. Pulling back the lid to the oval can that was deceptively packaged in a box reveals a tin of tightly packed bits of octopus. The faint scent of seafood along with the smell of olive oil escapes from the can. 

 The meat is very tender for canned octopus. The taste of the meat is very good and is accompanied by just the right amount of garlic; however, there is a bit too much salt.

Putting this in a dish with little salt should help to balance out the saltiness of this tin. This is definitely above average for canned octopus because of the tenderness and taste. The pieces are large so the visual appeal is good. Keep in mind that this does have a noticeable amount of garlic when you cook so that you do not overdo this pungent ingredient.

A solidly above average offering from Molinera, but the saltiness brings the score down a bit. I rate this 3 ½ chunks of octopus out of 5. A definite would buy again if I need octopus for a dish in the future. If not for the saltiness I would have given it at least a 4.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Roland Fillets of Anchovies Review

Price: $2.79 for a 4.2 ounce jar (about 2.1 ounces of actual anchovies in each jar)

Serving size: 6 pieces (15 g)
Calories: 25
Fat Calories: 10
Total Fat: 1 g (0% saturated fat)
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Sodium: 900 mg
Protein: 4 g

Having been nonplussed by a can of mackerel from Roland in the past, I was more than a bit worried that these anchovies would be bad. I love anchovies and was hoping that these wouldn't be of a poor quality. These anchovies are packed tightly upright in an olive oil filled jar.

No visual surprise as I opened the lid since the anchovies are stored in a clear glass jar. I was expecting a strong fishy smell, yet there was no hint of it. The olive oil must have absorbed all the fish scent in this jar. After fishing an anchovy out of the jar I was surprised at how well they held together. I placed four on a plate and admired the tiny fillets of skinned fish with small, hair-like bones.

The fish smell is evident after the fillets are removed from the oil. These anchovies are a bit less tender than the ones usually served at restaurants. After biting into one I got the extreme saltiness I expected followed by a fishy aftertaste. Decent even if a bit chewy for an anchovy. I was surprised by the strong “umami” flavor that is usually present in fish sauce and seaweed – a taste and mouth feel usually prevalent in Asian cuisine. The aftertaste is really good if you like the taste of fish and the savory umami can really add a good dimension to a dish. The olive oil has a clean taste and in no way diminishes the taste of the fish.

I tossed some of these anchovies into a salad with some olive oil from the jar and lemon juice. The anchovies provided all the salt needed, of course. These were overall good fish, but they were a bit tough and the bones didn't go down as well as some other anchovies I have eaten. This is a good offering for the price by Roland so these get 3 anchovy fillets out of 5. These will suffice for staving off any anchovy craving.

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