Once again the holidays are here. In this newsletter, you will find many
exciting, new and delicious items. I hope they make your holiday tastier
if not happier. Best holiday wishes to all our customers.
Yes, I know. The Yarra Valley in Australia is famous for wine not caviar! But, a truly delicious caviar is produced there and now you can have it from Corti Brothers. Yarra Valley Caviar is outstanding and uniquely produced. This is not your normal salmon caviar. It is very fine.
Yarra Valley Caviar is produced from Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), raised in the fast running, prisitine waters of the Rubicon river at the foot of the Victorian Alps, north of Melbourne. Atlantic salmon, like most others, is an anadromous fish, meaning that it is born in fresh water, lives in salt water and returns to fresh water to spawn. The Yarra Valley Salmon firm has developed unique farming techniques to grow these salmon throughout their whole life in fresh water. No chemicals, antibiotics, or preservatives (other than salt) are ever used at any stage of production.
The important part of the production technology is not killing the fish to remove the roe. The female salmon are milked by being gently squeezed, their roe being caught as if the fish were ovulating naturally. The fish are then returned to their fresh water pens to produce more eggs for another milking. Only when the fish become too large to physically milk, do they become table salmon. It takes three years for the Atlantic salmon to mature sexually so that they can be milked.
In milking the salmon, the roe berries come out singly, obviating the necessity of sieving the roe as is done with fish caught in the wild and killed. They are then salted with flossy sea salt at 3.3%. At this level of salt, Yarra Valley Salmon caviar is "malasol," little salted. The berry size is about 6mm, with a shiny, light orange tinge and a darker orange "eye." The texture is firm, but not tough, a common fault in salmon caviar. When gently squeezed, the berry will slowly ooze, not pop. The more delicate, silky egg texture of Yarra Valley caviar is probably due to its fresh water, rather than salt water, habitat.
Yarra Valley Salmon caviar can be used in all the traditional caviar serving methods. It is also delicious on simply cream and butter dressed, thin egg pasta with no cheese. As a garnish to fish mousse, small new potatoes, Falwasser crackers, or as the topping for a caviar pie, Yarra Valley Salmon caviar allows you to have the best of the most modern production.Yarra Valley Salmon caviar is shipped frozen to our customers. It thaws rapidly and 6-8 hours in the refrigerator will give you caviar in its best condition. It will keep at least 14 days in the refrigerator once opened. Salmon caviar is virtually unharmed by freezing, a treatment that ruins sturgeon caviar. Shipment must be via Next Day Air; maximum Two Day Air with gel packs. Shipping charges will vary.
For 108 years, the Graber family has produced a very special olive from their own orchards in the Sierra Foothills and cured them at their plant in Ontario, California, just east of Los Angeles. Unhesitatingly, I can say that these are the quintessential California olives. They have a texture and savor unique to their special curing technique. These are not your ordinary olive.
The special character of Graber olives begins in the orchard. There, Manzanillo and Mission varieties, which have turned color from a greenish one to a blushed red, indicating that the olives are ripening, are picked. The olives are handpicked; each picker not grasping more than 15 olives per handful. This is to avoid damaging the olives by squeezing them, causing a bruise on the skin. The pickers are paid well to pick carefully, each picker's harvest is kept separate for quality control. Once picked, the olives are brought to the plant in Ontario where they are again selected for damage and their curing begins.
If the olives have been damaged, this is seen as a blotch on the skin and the texture of the fruit is also softened. The Graber olive color is unique: it is an "olive" color, not green, not brown, but a yellowish, ruddy tawny color which is indicative of their original ripeness. Normally, California olives are picked very green and hard and then cured and oxidized to a uniform black color. Graber olives are the color Nature intended them to be.
Once selected out of the curing vats, the olives are put into cans and retorted. They now are ready to go out to discriminating palates. Graber olives have a very special flavor and texture. They are very silky textured and their flavor is unlike any other commercial olive, rich and nutty. Of course, they are a canned olive. But they are unique.
At the turn of the 20th century, olives were considered very chic, almost exotic, on American menus. They were always seen as the opening of any menu restaurant, club, civic banquet--together with celery and nuts. All three were expensive, seasonal delicacies which today would be considered rather commonplace. Fortunately for us, we can thank the Graber family for continuing a tradition which forms part of California's, if not America's, gastronomic heritage.
Graber tree ripened olives come in four presentations. These four presentations depend on fruit calibration rather than flavor. Since all the fruit on an olive tree is not exactly the same size, when the fruit is cured, the different sizes are cured separately. All the cans are the same #300 size, packed 24 to a case. The largest size olive, # 16, is the rarest, simply due to its size. A can holds about 25 olives. Consequently, sizes #14 and 12 are slightly smaller. The can of 14s holds approximately 29 olives; the 12, about 40. The Orchard Run is the least uniform in size, still of the identical production style, only of smaller fruit.To make our customers aware of this very high quality product, Corti Brothers offers all four sizes of Graber olives. They are irresistable once opened, a wonderful gift, and the perfect pantry item for unexpected guests during the holidays or any time.
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