April 2005

Spring into Spring!
Chef Spot Light
What Food Labels Really Mean
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Spring into Spring!

Spring is here. It’s time to refresh, renew and rejuvenate with lighter recipes featuring fresh vegetables, crisp fruit and seasonal ingredients. The key menu staple for this time of year: salads. Rather than limit yourself to lettuce, tomatoes, spinach and the like – why not stir things up by adding California raisins? Previously reserved for lunchbox snacks and trail mix, tangy and flavorful California raisins are making a statement in creative salad recipes. Whether the featured ingredient in a rice salad, or a garnish to simple antipasto, raisins are a flavorful addition to springtime salad fare.

So, spruce up your diet with some of these springtime salads from California raisins:

Sweet and Sour Coleslaw
Spring will explode in your mouth with this tangy Asian-style salad. Mixing in raisins at the end adds a nice texture and flavor contrast.

Antipasto Salad with California Raisins
This flavor-packed salad with its easy preparation and versatility can serve as part of an Italian-style buffet or as a side dish with meats, fish or poultry.

California Waldorf Salad
The original Waldorf Salad was created by Oscar Tschirky at a preview of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City in 1896. The addition of California raisins and fresh herbs gives the salad a modern twist.

Jicama Orange and Avocado
An abundance of contrasting flavors, textures and colors come together in this festive salad of jicama, sweet orange, creamy avocado and chewy California raisins.

Chef Spot Light

Gerald Hirigoyen, Piperade

Gerald Hirigoyen has known since the early age of eight that he wanted to be a chef. By the age of 16, he moved to Paris to serve a traditional apprenticeship. In 1980, following tales of great surf and great food, he emigrated to San Francisco where he worked for several well-known culinary addresses before opening his own modern French bistro, Fringale in 1991. The restaurant quickly garnered national acclaim and continues to win top marks more than a decade later. In September 2002, Chef Hirigoyen’s dream came true when he and his wife Cameron became co-owners of Piperade, serving what he describes as his West-Coast Basque Cuisine. He has received numerous awards over the years, including Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs in America” in 1994 and San Francisco magazine’s “Chef of the Year” title in 1995 and again in 2003. Most recently, Esquire, Bon Appetit and Food & Wine magazine’s all tapped Piperade as one of the “Best New Restaurants” to open in 2003. Additionally, Hirigoyen has authored two cookbooks, including the award winning “The Basque Kitchen” © 1999.

Try Hirigoyen’s signature salad: Warm Piquillo Peppers with Goat Cheese, California Raisins and Moscatel Vinaigrette.

What Food Labels Really Mean

Ever wonder what the difference is between reduced fat and low fat? Well, here are some of the most common food label claims and what they really mean:

  • Low Calorie – Less than 40 calories per serving.
  • Reduced – 25% less of the specified nutrient or calories than the usual product.
  • Good source of – Provides at least 10% of the daily value (DV) of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving.
  • Fat free/Sugar free – Less than ½ gram of fat or sugar per serving.
  • High in – Provides 20% or more of DV of specified nutrient per serving.
  • High fiber – 5 or more grams of fiber per serving.
  • Light – 1/3 fewer calories or ½ the fat of the usual food.

Information provided by American Dietetic Association