THE MODERN AMERICAN DAD
BY Mary Anne Trevey
Fatherhood is changing in America. Today many fathers are taking a much more active role in the nurturing, caring for, and helping with the raising of children. This comes with its own struggles as fathers, who in previous generations were primarily breadwinners and weekend participators, now are taking on some of the primary responsibilities of providing a stable and loving environment for children of all ages. In general, Dads are less positive about their parenting abilities than are moms. For women, the mothering process begins with conception and by the time they give birth they have already spent 270 days with their new child, not including the months of preparation and attention to diet and health that may proceed a pregnancy. For fathers, birth day is day one. Because they lack the biological connection that mothers have, the new father may be intimidated and uncomfortable with his new role. But, this is changing more rapidly than expected as more and more fathers are staying at home with the children while the mother works, a social change that has occurred in the past 20 years.
The 21st century dad has to learn to be a father. Roles that traditionally belonged to women are unfamiliar to most men. But, the modern dad has actually adapted quite well. It is not uncommon to see a man pushing a stroller, sporting a baby sling, in-line for day-care pickup , or even getting up to provide baby’s 3 a.m. feeding. Most stay-at-home fathers find a lot of satisfaction in their new-found role, but there are those who feel they are not doing enough to help support the family. Still, dads are just as likely as moms to see parenting as central to their identity.
Many businesses still feel it is more important for the man to be the breadwinner. On average, a man is given only one week of maternity leave while a woman gets eleven weeks. The perception is that a new mother is more important than a new father in the weeks immediately following birth. But, with so many women now in the workplace, some sort of compromise needs to be worked out. Sharing the child-rearing responsibilities, especially after maternity leave terminates, has given women a chance to keep their jobs and to still have time for the children. Studies have shown that it is equally important for the young child to bond with both of his or her parents. Though each gender may have different approaches to child-rearing, children seem to benefit from the input that both sexes bring. Though the perception lingers that mothers are better equipped than fathers to raise young children, the rearing of young humans has changed dramatically in the past 20 years, more than likely a benefit to children and parents as well.
GIFTS FOR DADS AND GRADS
Our Mariposa gift department continues to evolve into one of the “go-to” places to shop for the special people in your life. We have expanded our lines to include a fairly large collection of kitchen items, glassware and dishware, bags, scarves, and other eclectic items created by local ,as well as, ”around the world” artesans.
Sometimes it is hard to find things for men. So, this year we have tried to bring in an assortment of “man gifts” so that you can find just the perfect little something for dad. Along with the usual items such as socks and cups, we have manly decks of cards, some interesting games, bicycle repair kits, Nebo flashlights and first aid kits. Father’s Day cards round out our gift selections. For the dad who likes to cook outside we are offering barbeque utensils and tools. Of course, we also sell many craft beers for the drinking father who appreciates a truly delicious brew, or a local cider or kombucha.
For the grads in your lives we have the usual flowers and candles, picture frames, and jewelry. But there are a lot of other options for your graduating senior. Beaded birds and octopuses, stained glass, scarves, tie-dye, and beach accoutrements, travel bags for jewelry or makeup, and lots of kitchen items for those grads starting their new lives in their very own dwellings, are all good choices. An African basket can serve as your gift container. A very popular gift is a Mariposa Gift Card so your favorite grad can choose their own present.
So, while you are doing your grocery shopping, make it a one-stop adventure by shopping the perfect, and inexpensive, selection from our gift department.
Your dad or grad will be glad you did!
by Kevin, Grocery Manager
Let’s talk about sugar. At Mariposa we sell many forms of sugar for many different uses. We have powdered, dark brown, light brown, sucanat, demerara, turbinado, raw, and whole cane. I would like to shed some light on these sweeteners so that you can pick the right sugar for your needs.
Sugar is the generalized name for a class of sweet-flavored substances used as food. They are carbohydrates, and as this name implies, are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. There are various types of sugar derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides, and include glucose, fructose, and galactose. The table, or granulated sugar most customarily used as food is sucrose, a disaccharide. Other disaccharides include maltose and lactose.
Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants but are only present in sufficient concentrations for efficient extraction in sugarcane and the sugar beet. Sugarcane is a giant grass and sugar beets are a root crop.
In our baking aisle you will find powdered sugar, a familiar friend. This is simply very finely powdered granulated sugar with a starch, such as corn or tapioca, added to act as a stiffening agent. Also found in the baking aisle, as well as in our bulk section, you may find some not so familiar forms such as turbinado, demerara, and sucanat.
Turbinado sugar is also known as raw or cane sugar. One might mistake it for brown sugar at first glance. However, turbinado sugar is lighter in color, and its crystals are larger than those of traditional brown sugar. Most of the turbinado sugar found in the United States is produced in Hawaii and was given this name, due to the fact that turbines are used in its spinning process. It is created by extracting juice from sugar cane, then heating it layer by layer slowly, to cause the water within it to evaporate and form crystals of the organic sugar. Afterward it is further dried in centrifuges, or turbines, in which the impurities are removed from the product.
Turbinado is a result of the first pressing of sugar cane, so it still contains quite a bit of sugar cane’s natural byproduct, which is molasses. This sugar can also be used in lieu of brown sugar or white sugar in various baking recipes, as it gives the finished product more moisture and lowers the caloric value.
Demerara sugar and turbinado sugar, are both popular in Britain. Both are often referred to as “raw sugar” in the United States, and both are very similar to one another in color and texture. To make them, the molasses-rich crystals are spun in a centrifuge to dry them, as well as to remove excess plant material, leaving a coarse granule that’s lighter brown or tan in color. Both demerara and turbinado are good for sweetening coffee and tea. Demerara sugar is so named because originally it came from sugar cane fields in the colony of Demerara, a former British colony in South America, now known as Guyana.
Sucanat™ is a minimally refined form of cane sugar. The sugar cane juice is simply heated and then allowed to cool, forming granular crystals of what is basically dried sugar cane juice. The Sucanat™ retains the molasses, creating a very distinctive and quite strong flavor, along with other impurities which may be present in the cane. Unlike more refined sugar, Sucanat™ is grainy, rather than blocky, and crystalline. It also contains less sucrose, because it has not been purified; white sugar contains the most sucrose, and is, in fact, almost entirely sucrose.
Sucanat™ is a contraction of “Sugar Cane Natural.” It can be difficult to bake with because it behaves very differently from more processed forms of sugar. The lower sucrose content makes Sucanat™ less sweet, which can be confusing for bakers who wish to replace regular sugar with Sucanat™ on a cup for cup basis. The granular texture can also manifest in finished baked goods, causing a disappointing texture, and the strong flavor can be unpleasant, especially when mixed with other intense flavors like citrus or chocolate.
Sucanat™ is a trademark held by Ragus Holdings, Inc. Other companies certainly manufacture similar products, but they generally do not label them as “Sucanat™” to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit. The fact that Sucanat™ is trademarked can make it easier for consumers to identify the real thing; Rapadura™ is another product made using the same process.
Lastly, we have our old favorite, brown sugar. Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined, or partially refined, soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content, or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar (so-called Molasses Sugar)
Brown sugar contains from 3.5% molasses (light brown sugar) to 6.5% molasses (dark brown sugar) based on total volume. Based on total weight, regular brown sugar contains up to 10% molasses.
So that’s the “scoop” on sugar. Bon Appetit!
Are You A Chocolate Lover?
When the chocolate craving comes a knocking, Mariposa Market has got you covered! We are now featuring Nelly’s Chocolate Bars in the chill department. Nelly’s Organic’s produce chocolate delights that are raw, vegan, and free of preservatives. The entire line is vegan and soy free. My favorite Nelly’s bar is the Peanut Butter Coconut. Packed with raw ingredients and 7 grams of protein, it will surely satisfy any chocolate craving. Keep them refrigerated, or they will stay fresh for one week on the go. We have five flavors to choose from, so restock your chocolate stash now. Let’s face it…there is always room for chocolate!
Nectarines, a skin-less peach or a hybrid?
“An apple is an excellent thing – until you have tried a peach.” George du Maurier.
Contrary to popular belief, the nectarine is not a hybrid of a peach and a plum, but it is indeed a fine fruit. Genetically derived from the same species as the peach, prunus persica, the only difference in a nectarine is a mutation that does not produce fuzz. Technically, you could have a peach and nectarine on the same tree. Every once in a while, we’ll find a smooth peach on a peach tree, although I’ve never seen a fuzzy nectarine on a nectarine tree. The nectarine’s smooth skin, while more palatable, unfortunately makes it more susceptible to brown rot and mildew.
Other than the genetic difference there are differences in flavor and texture as well. Nectarines are generally meatier in texture and tarter in flavor. They have a denser, creamy orange flesh, less yellow than that of a peach. Nutritionally, you get more bang for your buck as they have more Vitamin C, twice the Vitamin A and more potassium than their fuzzy cousin. Both have significant fiber content.
While the peach is soft, mild, plump and juicy, the nectarine is intense, buff, and at times, downright fierce. Even with these differences in temperament they can still be used interchangeably in recipes and would only need a light modification in the amount if sugar or acid used. Nectarines don’t need to be peeled; peaches don’t either really! The level of fuzziness varies from variety to variety, but some don’t like it. (I don’t generally peel peaches, but the Suncrest for instance; I almost always do, or at least give them a healthy wipe down with a damp cloth.)
I have always maintained, and a lot of people don’t like to hear this, that the best piece of fruit we grow is the Ruby Grand Nectarine. As much as I love the Cal Red, the Suncrest, and the Gold Dust peaches, nothing beats a deep gold, thick skinned, and meaty Ruby Grand. And the Fantasia is no slouch either! After all, the Fantasia Nectarine is what brought me to my husband Farmer Al (via Bill Fujimoto of Monterey Market). And the white nectarines? Forget about it! A cold Emeraude, or White Rose nectarine on a hot summer day is pure heaven and beats a white peach anytime, even in a Bellini.
Still the peach is the “peach” of stone fruits, out-selling nectarines by 100% and they have all the glory. Did anyone ever call you a “nectarine” when you’ve done something nice for them? Think about it!
Spinach & Kale Salad with Apples & Cherries