Dead Sea Salt originates from the Dead Sea, between Jordan and Israel. The Dead Sea, also known as The Salt Sea, is the deepest hypersaline lake, and is at the lowest elevation on Earth. It has been recognized since before the days of Cleopatra as a source for wellness and health. The water that comprises the Dead Sea is unique on earth because it contains 33% salt, 10 times the amount found in other bodies of water. Dead Sea Salt has elevated level of minerals, including zinc, iodine, potassium, calcium, bromides, and magnesium. The salts are used worldwide with a range of health benefits, including skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, scabies, eczema, and dry scalp. In addition, soaking in a bath with Dead Sea Salts can help improve circulation, reduce rheumatoid pain, reduce stress, as well as promote relaxation and restful sleep.
The holiday season has passed, and I for one am looking forward to some down time soaking in a warm therapeutic bath!
THE SKINNY ON EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Mariposa Market carries many fine bottles of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), both domestic (California) and imported(Mediterranean, South America). “Olive oil” is how we refer to the oil obtained from the fruit of olive trees. People have been eating olive oil for thousands of years and it is now more popular than ever, thanks to its many proven health benefits and its culinary usefulness. Olives can only grow in certain regions, yet millions of people are involved in olive oil production throughout the world and the culture of olive oil is rich and vital. Of course, from that simple beginning it gets a bit more complicated. Here are the basics you should know.
How Olive Oil is Made: After olives are picked and washed, they’re crushed – sometimes between two big stones, but now more commonly by steel blades. The resulting paste is stirred to release the oil droplets in a process called maceration, before being spun in a centrifuge to pull out the oil and water. After the water is removed, what is left is olive oil.
Only about 30 percent of all olive oil production ends at extracting the oil from the olives. Refining using solvents and high heat to neutralize the tastes of the oil is used in the remaining 70 percent. This allows producers to use olives that are not in the best condition, and blend from oils from a wide variety of sources (even countries) because the bad tastes resulting from oxidized olives and the mass production process are chemically removed. When you see “Pure Olive Oil” at the store, or a bottle that says simply “Olive Oil,” these are refined.
Unrefined olive oils do not undergo chemical refining. In unrefined olive oils, such as “extra virgin” and “virgin” olive oils, the process goes no further than extraction and bottling. Producers of unrefined olive oils need to use fruit that is in good condition and carefully manage various factors, because the oil will not be treated to chemically hide bad tastes that would result from oxidized olives or some other contamination.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: An unrefined olive oil that exhibits nice fruity flavors, has no taste “defects” and meets certain benchmarks in its chemical composition can be called “extra virgin.” In extra virgin olive oils, the tastes of the fruit is intact, and its quality reflects the great care along the entire production process. Extra virgin olive oils have higher amounts of nutrients and therefore provide greater health benefits.
Why Should I Use Olive Oil? Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and the cornerstone of the famous Mediterranean diet. Most people choose olive oil because of its many proven benefits to human health. Extra virgin olive oils offer even more: a world of fruity-bitter tastes that chefs are capturing to elevates dishes to a level they never thought possible.
Olive Oil Health Benefits: Studies of the health benefits of olive oil consumption fill the pages of medical journals around the world. Heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and cancers are among the long list ailments that can be avoided and conditions that can be improved by a diet that includes olive oil. Replace other fats with at least two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil every day, eat lots of veggies and go for a walk.
Quality and Tasting: Those famous health benefits and the flavor of olive oil depend on many factors, and there is a lot to learn if you’re interested in olive oil quality. Unfortunately, you can’t always trust what the bottle says, and the best way to learn good olive oil from bad, is to know what to look for and learn how to taste it. Tasting olive oil straight is the best way to judge its quality. Pour a little in a small glass and warm the glass in one hand, while covering it with the other. Now put your nose into the glass to sense the aromas. Hopefully, it reminds you of things like fresh olives, grass, bananas and apples. Aromas of hay, cardboard, vinegar, mud and mustiness are some of the aromas that indicate an olive oil has gone bad. The very best extra virgin olive oils in the world compete in competitions judged by panels of expert tasters. The largest and most prestigious is the New York International Olive Oil Competition, which takes place each April. The winners are listed on the official results website, bestoliveoils.com.
Bitter is Better: If you pluck a perfect olive off a tree, it will be too bitter to eat, but the less that comes between your cupboard and that perfect, bitter olive, the better. Just as they did with chocolate and craft beer, those who want to enjoy all of the health benefits and flavors of the best extra virgin olive oils should start to love bitterness. In fact, the opposite of bitterness is the taste of rancidity. Unfortunately, studies have shown most people actually will choose a rancid olive oil over a fresh, high-quality one, thanks to years of knowing little else.
Cooking with Olive Oil: Olive oil makes an excellent choice for nearly every kind of cooking. Just remember that if you choose to heat an extra virgin olive oil, you will lose its flavors. That’s why some chefs choose lower grades for cooking, because some (but not all) of the value that you pay more for in an extra virgin olive oil “evaporates” once it has been heated. Still, olive oil is versatile and far healthier than other cooking oil choices for baking, sautéing and just about everything in your kitchen.
Storing Olive Oil: You can keep unopened olive oil in a cool, dark place for up to two years (high quality olive oil will last longer than one that wasn't great to begin with). Once you open the container, the oil begins to degrade much faster. A good rule of thumb is to use it within a few months after opening. Keep the bottle tightly capped and away from heat and direct light. The best strategy is to use olive oil often, and go through it quickly.
How to Buy Olive Oil: There are producers of outstanding olive oil in every country olives are grown, and it’s fun finding characteristics unique to the various regions oils are made. Look for olive oils that indicate a “harvest date” within the last year, or with at least a year to go before its “best by” date. Tasting before you buy and finding a merchant you trust will enhance your chance of getting your money’s worth.
Why Does Good Olive Oil Cost More? There are two 500 ML bottles on the store shelf: one is priced $12.99, and the other is $29.99. How can that be? Like wine, there are a lot of factors that go into the price of a bottle of olive oil. Often it is tied to the production cost: one is from a highly automated, large-scale and efficient producer, while the other might be harvested by hand from trees scattered among steep hills, for example. Prices multiply by the intervention of middlemen along the supply route. That beautiful packaging adds cost, and if you’re buying olive oil at a souvenir shop in a tourist town, you’re not just buying olive oil, you’re paying someone’s rent. At Mariposa we have 14 different bottles of EVOO in various sizes ranging in price from $11 to $24. Six bottles are from Northern California, three bottles Italian, and 5 bottles from various Mediterranean countries and South America, Some are organic, some not. All are good oils and like wine, everyone will have a favorite. There are good olive oil buys for $12.99, just like your favorite everyday wine. However, if you have been holding back on trying one of the pricier oils go ahead and splurge. You only live once.
Everyday Health Maintenance
By Todd Hill
If you dined this week on a pair of chili dogs with cheese and washed them down with 4 Coors Lights, you can stop reading. This article is not for you (or, if you purchased your valentine a 16 oz. flask from the local quick mart). If you are Biblically versed, you may believe that God promises eternal life to those who believe. If you are a consumer of the previously mentioned meal, featuring Farmer John’s beef franks, Hormel chili, and Darigold shredded cheddar cheese on white Wonder buns, you may meet your God sooner, rather than later. Mariposa Market customers are an educated lot, and not likely to consume such foods. Nonetheless, most of us continue to educate ourselves on the ‘science’ of proper nutrition. Please allow me to pass on some things which have been greatly beneficial for myself over the course of my two and one half decades in this business. I realize that much of this will be common knowledge, but perhaps there are a few things you may not be aware of.
A Balanced Diet
The key word here is ‘balanced’. If you are a picky eater like myself (just ask Alecia), this could prove to be challenging. I like to start with basic principles. Plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, organic grains, nuts and seeds, cereals, beans, and legumes, organically fed and/or sustainably raised meat and dairy products, and raw foods. I also find some fish to be beneficial (check sources and labels!). I try to eat a lot of green salads. The nutritional benefits of spinach and kale cannot be overstated. I include various vegetable combinations, such as carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, and celery. To top it off, I add various nuts and seeds, such as raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cashews and almonds. Some dried seaweeds are also very tasty. Those of you not as picky might enjoy peppers, garlic, olives, fresh basil, or other fresh herbs. I prefer olive oil based dressings. Studies have shown that many vegetable oils are toxic to the body. Olive oils are a healthy fat. Olive oils are loaded with phytonutrients, many of which are antioxidants. The anti-inflammatory properties in olive oil reduce the chance of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Monounsaturated fats in olive oils will have positive effects on cholesterol and help lower blood pressure. I am a proponent of obtaining the vast majority of my nutritional needs through food sources, and alternating a wide variety of foods is the best way I’ve found to remain nutritionally balanced. I’m a hard sell on magic bullet supplementation. Like so many other things, the principle to selling is catering to our fears. I do however use a handful of supplements which have proven to be beneficial for me.
Cod Liver Oil
Green Pastures Blue Ice fermented cod liver oil is more expensive, but for good reason. This is a completely unprocessed product. Fermentation is an age old traditional method of extracting oil from cod livers. This method of extraction is exclusive to Green Pastures (no, I’m not a shareholder). Other companies use heat or chemical solvents for extraction. This process strips the oil of almost all its nutrients. Green Pastures cod liver oil is among the richest sources of vitamins A and K. It’s also packed with valuable omega oils, quinines, Vitamins K and E, and CoQ enzymes.
I choose to take silica because irrigation systems used in today’s farming hinders silica absorption in crops. Super Silica by Positive Nutrition Co. is an excellent product to fill this ‘agricultural void’. This is a mineral based product, which is ionized to allow our bodies to take it in. This ionization allows approximately 90% absorption. Silica is so versatile, healing can literally occur from ‘head to toe’. The body reserves silica for vital organs. When deficiencies are present, silica is drawn from less crucial body functions to support these organs. Silica supplementation will help provide needed silica for all of these functions. A partial list of benefits include, autoimmune response, arteries, intestinal function, joints and connective tissue, bones and teeth, heart, brain and nervous system, and skin, hair and nails.
Since I am still a picky eater and dislike turmeric for culinary use, I take it in supplement form. Turmeric has been proven to provide numerous benefits. To classify turmeric as a spice would be selling it short. Externally, turmeric is a natural antiseptic, effective in treating minor cuts and wounds. Studies have shown that turmeric can prevent prostate cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma. It is also a natural liver detoxifier. Turmeric can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, as it removes amyloid plaque buildup in the brain. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, and is effective in the treatment of arthritis.
Although not taken daily, I will often use a multivitamin supplement to fill some nutritional holes in my sometimes limited menu. To a large extent, I believe the multivitamin industry to be a scam. Through some research however, I have come to cultivate a significant amount of trust for MegaFood. They use fruits, vegetables, and grains for source nutrients, and they use what they call a Slo-Food process to preserve authentic nourishment. As needed, I will also take Oxylent drinks for a vitamin, supplement, and electrolyte boost. This product is by Vitalah, and is superior in quality than our previously carried Emergen-C’s. This product uses chelation to bind amino acids with minerals. The end result is a fast and efficiently absorbed supplement for a boost of energy and immune system support.
Good nutrition needs to be balanced and best utilized with regular exercise. Many have told me that they are too tired to exercise. My response is you are tired because you don’t exercise. I realize that commitment to responsibilities often leave us with little time or inspiration to engage in exercise. Simply put, find an exercise or physical activity you enjoy and carve out some time to consistently do this. I know, spoken like someone who’s never raised children. Time restraints notwithstanding, facts are facts. People who eat well, coupled with regular exercise, are simply better equipped to deal with whatever life presents, both physically and mentally.
Some General Trends Concerning Nutrition
It should come as no surprise that foods in their natural state offer the highest nutritional value. We live in an industrial age. The resulting effects on our food industry have been predictable. The more that foods are altered from their original state, as a result of processing, the more nature’s pure nutritional benefits are compromised. Today’s food industry is largely motivated by profit, rather than quality. Mariposa customers and consumers of natural foods worldwide are aware of this, and this awareness is growing. This is one reason that we choose pure foods beyond the reach of this corporate system of food production, and support organic and sustainable practices.
Beyond good nutrition and exercise exist some other basic and obvious practices we can observe to live healthier, more balanced lives. That is plenty of fresh air, sun, and water. It has been rumored that I sometimes carry a *flask on the job. I must confess that this is true. However, my flask contains only pure, reverse osmosis filtered water. (courtesy of Mariposa’s state of the art water filtration system) This system removes chlorine, fluoride, and other contaminants from water, and tastes great. I find this a much better, and more ecologically sound alternative to bottled water. Unless you live on property sourced from an underground spring, filtered water is the best available option. I hope some of you find this information helpful. I look forward to learning and sharing more from our customers and staff.
*A final note concerning my flask. Since there is often some religious artwork affixed, I am sometimes asked if the flask contains holy water. Although this water is often blessed immediately after filling, I have been unable to correlate any scientific data which suggests any spiritual benefits as a result of drinking it.
From our Customer Suggestion box:
Amy’s Cheese Pizza “Bites”: We have the Bean & Cheese Bites… when space becomes available, we’ll look into carrying this.
Daiya Vegan, Gluten-Free Pizza: We will look into this. J
Vegenaise Low-Fat, 32oz: We do carry this in 16oz. Right now we do not have the space for the 32oz.
Claravale Farm Raw Goat Milk: Unfortunately, there are no distributors in this area that carry this.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting Organic Chicken Sausage: You’re welcome!!
Indian type flat bread that was tortilla like, (whole wheat chapattis): We will see if we can find this. The closest thing we have right now is Naan bread.
Fra’ Mani Pancetta, it’s the real thing! Please bring it back! Unfortunately this was discontinued by out distributor. We are looking for another distributor that carries it.
Brown Cow Yogurt, Non-Fat, small size: For some reason, the non-fat yogurt just doesn’t sell and we were throwing out too many that had expired. L
Synergy Raw Kombucha Third Eye Chai: We are looking forward to carrying that product again!
Bhakti Chair Original, Boulder, Co.: We will check it out.
Please stock a plain/regular corn chip in a smaller bag: Sounds like a good idea, we’ll look into it!
Bulk Dulse, whole, not flaked: We will look into adding it to our bulk herb & spice section.
WEDO Banana Flour, gluten free and Fairtrade, great for baking: We will definitely look into this!
Pickled Okra, not sure about the brand: We are unable to get a “clean” brand (organic or non-gmo).
Black Lemonade, brand unknown: We have no plans to carry this item, but you can place a special order for a case and receive a nice discounted price.
Yellow split peas, supposedly more nutritious: The nutritional value of green and yellow are very similar. We may consider adding the yellow.
Bulk Green Tea: We currently carry 1 pound bags of Sencha in the tea aisle and Green Yerba Mate in the bulk herb section.
Diva Cup: We normally stock both sizes in the paper product aisle. Occasionally the manufacturer’s out of stock.
Meyer’s All Purpose Cleaner, Geranium: Unfortunatley, this was not a good seller for us. It can be special ordered.
Newman’s Popcorn, unsalted: We have organic popping corn in our bulk aisle. It’s very good!
Organic masa farina for making tortillas: We carry Bob’s Red Mill Masa Farina. Our distributor does not currently have an organic option, however we will continue to search for organic.
Free trade spicy hot chocolate: This is currently not offered by our distributors, but we will keep an eye out for it!
One pot of veggie soup and one pot of meat soup, please: We try to have at least 2 pots of soup, whether veggie, vegan or with meat on a daily basis. If you look on Facebook you’ll find that the veggie and meat soups are equally divided during a 2 week period. Unfortunately, our kitchen is such that we cannot make 2 kinds of soup on a daily basis given the other tasks to be done as well as the stovetop situation, which does not allow for multiple tasks.
Organic Valley or Columbia Gorge for the smoothies in the deli: We are now carrying Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice, however if does cost nearly twice as much so prices will have to go up a little.
Breakfast burritos and sandwiches need to be out by 9:00AM: The kitchen day starts at 6:30 and breakfast items are the first things made, and go out by 9:00AM. Sandwiches are dependent on when the fresh bread arrives. Sandwiches and salads are out by 11:00AM as well as the soup. Our crew works hard to keep to these time lines.
Kemmy’s Pies, sweet and savory, please bring back! We have a wonderful, local, organic, and gluten free baker who make fabulous pastries. We had trouble selling the Kemmy’s pies when we carried them in the past.
Beer & Wine Notes
By Debbie Mac
As the season for Dungeness crab begins we all may be wondering what delicious dishes to prepare. Here is one of our favorites and the perfect wine to pair it with. Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile wine that pairs well with many foods because of its high acidity. Whenever you want to bring out the best flavors in a dish without masking any of the flavors, Sauvignon Blanc is your wine. The fresh crisp taste goes well with salads, goat cheese, pork, chicken and especially shellfish. The subtle sweetness and light ocean flavors play nicely against the fruit and herbal tones of the wine. Crab cakes are the perfect food to make for a casual evening in or for entertaining a group of friends. Mariposa is currently featuring three of our local favorites. Husch Sauvignon Blanc, which has a full impact and presents freshness and clean fruit purity. Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc which has tropical aromas and bright minerality that balance on the finish. And lastly, Brutocao Sauvignon Blanc with a crisp, fresh mouth feel bursting with ruby red grapefruit and clean long finish perfect for seafood appetizers.
The Very Best Louisiana Crab Cakes Ever
Recipe from Dana
4 Tbsp salt
1½ tsp pepper
1½ tsp garlic powder
1½ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp oregano
Seasoned Bread Crumbs
3 cups French bread-pulse in processor until fine crumbs (reserve
½ cup of plain crumbs for the crab cake mixture)
1/3 cup parmesan
1 tbsp basil
1½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne
Creole Sauce – doubling the sauce assures extra for topping rice
Sautee in ½ cup of butter until soft:
1 cup green bell peppers-rough chop
1 large onion-rough chop
32oz veggie broth
15oz can diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
½ tsp thyme
1 Tbsp paprika
Bring to boil and simmer 45 minute, stirring occasionally
Remove from heat and add:
½ tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp Creole seasoning
1 dash of cayenne
Remove the bay leaves and carefully process the hot
sauce until smooth
1½ lb fresh crab meat
¼ c green bell pepper (dice very small)
½ c green onion-minced
½ c fresh bread crumbs
Healthy Peanut Butter Cups
(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy Free, No Refined Sugar)
For The Peanut Butter Bottoms
For the Chocolate Topping
For The Peanut Butter Bottoms
Combine the peanut butter, maple
syrup and coconut oil (melted/liquid) in a medium size bowl and stir until well
For the Chocolate Topping
Recipe inspired by and adapted from: http:/www.freecoconutrecipes.com/index.cfm/2013/1/9/buttercup-bars
A FEW WORDS FROM THE DELI
Some new items are appearing in our cold case for the New Year. In an effort to create healthier choices, Mariposa has developed some lunch bowls in three flavor styles: curry, teriyaki, and Cajun. These will be available in chicken, seafood, or vegetarian choices.
Valentine’s Day will soon be here and the Deli is preparing to indulge you and your sweetheart. There will be a nice selection of cakes and cookies in the shape of a heart, some even gluten-free for the wheat intolerant among you. There will also be assorted candy bags from Mariposa’s own assortment of bulk sweets. Be sure to let Lori in the Deli know if you need something special ordered for this popular holiday.
There is going to be a price increase of
5% for most items in the deli. This unfortunate event is due to the
increasingly high prices of produce, and the rising costs of paper products.
Soup prices will stay the same.
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Willits, CA 95490
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