It was Friday night so it was sea food night which brought to Me and Loulwa (Pearl’s Powder) to talk about sea food history, types, and provide some nutritional advice.
Sea Food: History, Health Benefits
InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut’s Mosaic Restaurant was transformed into a French highlighting the folklore, traditions, costumes and most importantly the exquisite cuisine that carried the invitees away on a captivating voyage to enchanting
After the revamping of the luxurious Phoenicia Hotel Beirut’s Mosaic restaurant, the restaurant is aiming to take us on a voyage to a new country to visit the folklore, traditions, costumes and mostly taste the exquisite cuisine. The week I and Loulwa visited was the French cuisine promotion with the 60’s Photo exhibition at Mosaic.
And check the COMPLETE ALBUM for more Delicious photos!!!
History of Sea Food: (By Pearl’s Powder)
Is sea food a new human habit? No. Sea food dates back to prehistoric times.
Archaeologists proved that humans have been eating crustaceans (lobsters, crabs, shrimp) from prehistoric times to present by the discoveries in excavating “middens,” deposits of shells and bones left by early civilizations.
Remarkably, this food wasn’t just discovered by coincidence, but rather by observation. Prehistoric humans were hunters and thus they took advantage of every available food resource. Hunters who lived near water (oceans, seas, lakes, rivers) naturally took advantage of the foods offered by these resources.
A book called Food in the Ancient World From A-Z, by Andrew Dalby, states “Lobster, well-armed sea creature. Its most noticeable external traits were its long hands and small feet’ (Archestratus), its bent fingers (Epicharmus) and its dark color (Pliny). It is very good, albeit somewhat complicated, to eat; simpler for the eventual diner if the cook minces the meat and forms it into cakes, as described in Apicius…The lobster (Homarus Gammarus) is Greek askakos…, Latin astacus and elephantus; the latter name is seldom attested in classical texts but was certainly in use, since it survives in modern Italian dialects.”
As for shrimps or “Squilla” in Latin , both ancient Romans and Greeks had ready access to very large specimens and enjoyed their shrimp prepared many different ways. Apicius, an ancient Roman author, collected these recipes in his cookbook.
The Chinese have the famous hot pot plate. The Japanese have the famous sushi and sashimi, which were the major foods consumed by Samurai. Fish and chips were a major part of the famous british dish . The Moroccoan Spanish, Yemeni, cuisines are all full of fish dishes.
One traditional Lebanese recipe is samakeh harra or “Chili Fish” from Taste of Beirut
Health Benefits of Fish (By Strawberry Blu)
Most kinds of fish are highly nutritious, containing large amounts of vitamins, minerals and highly beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids (the good fats), good quality lean proteins and are also low in saturated fats. Some fish are also rich in specific nutrients such as calcium for example in salmon and sardines.
Due to the highly nutritious content, specifically omega-3 fatty acids, fish has been highly correlated with preventing heart diseases (by preventing blood clots), enhancing infant’s neurological development (intellectual ability), reducing mood swings and depression, reducing blood pressure, and preventing Alzheimer.
It’s highly recommended to eat around 2 servings of fish per week (always consider steaming, baking etc. over frying cooking techniques). As for pregnant women, it’s highly recommended to eat fish, because fish provide the infant with a specific type of omega-3 fatty acid named DHA that is, as stated previously, essential for brain development.
( More infor from Mayo Clinic) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/omega-3/HB00087
Fish contains Mercury
Talking about pregnant women and fish, it’s very important to be alert that despite fish is a highly nutritious food, it might contain some unhealthy toxic substances, mainly mercury. Mercury, coming from sea water contamination, can accumulate and sit within the fish meat, specifically that large in size fish such as tuna; thus if eaten can pass through the placenta to the infant causing a disruption in the nervous and brain development.
That’s why as we always say, it is all about moderation, pregnant women ought to consume fish due to its highly beneficial nutrients yet, must avoid the high mercury containing fish especially the shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish; tuna can be eaten yet in restricted amounts, as for sardines, they are safe (due to their small size).
Note: Mercury can accumulate in our bodies, thus it’s highly recommended that women planning to get pregnant also restrict the highly contain mercury fish before the phase of conception.
•Nutritional value for each type of fish: http://www.howmuchfish.com/
•Overfishing and the threat on fish species http://overfishing.org/
•Learn about the seafood you eat from one ocean.
•Crab Sticks that you buy from the supermarket are not really from crabs. It is made from fish and added to it colorants and preservatives.
Yesterday night I received an email from “Eggplant”…
Dear Blue Strawberry…
Hope this email finds you well…
I have two children and they both have eczema…
Do you have any food/nutrition recommendations related to eczema???
I’m a bit worried…
Well… first I need to know if your children have any food allergies… however for now it’s good to know that…
Most children with eczema do not have any reactions to food. Though, in some children, food allergies
may prompt some skin reactions.
The diet for eczema varies depending on the sensitivity of the child towards certain foods.
For example, milk may prompt eczema in some children, while it is safe for other children.
Thus, the diets vary from one child to another.
For me to plan a food related eczema diet, the first important step, is to identify the type
of foods that might affect the eczema.
I’ll give you a list of items that MIGHT trigger some reactions:
Milk and dairy product: Milk, cheeses, yogurt, chocolate that contains cow’s milk…
Wheat based products and cereals: Bread, crackers, donuts, pancakes, barley, oats and rye…
Nuts: Peanuts, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios…
Seafood: Shellfish, salmon, tuna, lobster, mussels, crabs…
Acidic fruits: Orange, lemon, strawberries, plumps, blueberries, prunes and tomatoes…
Eggs and soy products
Food colorings and food additives: Sodium benzoate, glutamate, tartrazine…
I can’t surely detect what is relevant to your children; nevertheless I insist that you get back
to your children doctor… and upon the doctor’s prescriptions, tests etc… we can move forward to the next step…
Lobsters, Crabs and Shrimps… All turn into Red and Orange when Cooked …
Lobsters, crabs, and shrimp have a variety of different colors present in their shells.
The red color is due to a pigment called “Astaxanthina”.
This pigment lies under the caratenoid family. Caratenoids, are pigments that produce
a reddish orange color (in shells and outer skins like in carrots).
Within the shells of lobsters, crabs and shrimps etc… this pigment is entrapped by protein chains.
The outer layers, of such shells, appear naturally dark colored (black, brown, green etc…).
Yet when they are cooked, the protein chains surrounding the pigment get degraded (denatured)
and so the astaxanthina gets released.
This pigment is naturally heat stable; consequently under heating conditions (cooking)
it doesn’t degrade and remains present within the shells.
As a result, after cooking (boiling) the lobsters, crab and shrimps all appear reddish in color….
See for yourself…