*** An update:
I guess Take-san from Tadokoro reads the blog! Yikes.....anyway, here's part of an email he sent me:
Yes, really...... Thanks to Toshiko for bringing this to my attention. According to section 113961 of the California Retail Food Code, starting on January 1st, all persons need to wear gloves when in contact with ready to eat foods....this includes your neighborhood Itamae and bartender. I usually don't get involved with stuff like this....hey, I'll just cross state lines to get my foie gras fix. But for some reason, I think this is overkill..... I've seen those folks working for those national "chains" wearing gloves....I've also seen them cross contaminate like crazy, not changing gloves when going from meat to veg, to your table! I mean, really, I think it can give folks a false sense of security..... What happened to good handwashing? Can you regulate carelessness? And man, all those used gloves have got to go somewhere, right?
I actually use these type of gloves at home, mainly for chicken, but it does not replace washing my hands and keeping a clean work area.
I'm kind of interested in what FOY "Liver" thinks about this. This 2007 study states outright "hand washing was less likely to occur with activities in which gloves were worn." I thought this Washington Post article was interesting as well.
For now, it seems that things are in a holding pattern as the the Assembly Health Committee voted unanimously to reverse and "revisit" the rule, so who knows.
Though it would be interesting to see Urasawa using gloves to make nigiri....or would it?
Last weekend at Catalina, Tommy told me to get some Chocolate Clams. Chocolate Clams? Never heard of them. These clams hail from the Pacific side of Baja. According to this press release, Catalina Offshore is one of the few distributors that can bring them in to the US. I chatted a bit with Tommy and found that these babies were spitting up water like crazy.....they had also been purged and were immaculate. I asked Tommy what the heck was I supposed to do with these.....his response, "figure something out."
And no, these don't taste like chocolate....
They are named because of the chocolate like color of the shells.
Once I opened them, I knew this was going to be easy......
They are quite large, about 5 inches across, and remind me of surf clams....though the flavor is quite amazing. I cleaned one and we tried it. It was quite briney with a good amount of sweetness....a bit too strong solo, but with a touch of soy-wasabi-rice vinegar, combined with some good onion, radish sprouts, and cucumber these were very good.
The Missus wanted to add a nice creamy touch, so we sliced some avocado.
So maybe you should try these out on your next trip down to Catalina Offshore Products.
Actually, the first thought that went thru my head when I read the "Please Do Not Throw Fruits & Vegetables" was FOOD FIGHT!!! What the heck happened that led to a huge sign like this? I realize that some of the folks here are pretty aggressive, I've gotten dirty looks when I've touched "coveted fruit", but come on, really? Have we sunk so low?