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  • The Original Sriracha

    Don't be fooled by impersonators!

    Hot sauce creator, David Tran, began his chili making mastery in 1975 in Vietnam. During his humble beginnings, Tran produced his first hot sauce called Pepper Sa-te. He filled his Sa-te sauce in recycled glass baby food jars that were delivered by family members via bicycle. In 1979, his astounding voyage began by departing communist Vietnam on a Taiwanese freighter that was registered in Panama, named Huey Fong. Later that name became the inspiration namesake of his beloved company, Huy Fong Foods.

    After the United States accepted Tran as a refugee when no other countries would, he started right away doing what he did best -- making hot sauce. In 1980, he started his hot sauce legacy in a 5,000 square foot building near Chinatown in Los Angeles. His creations included his Pepper Sa-te Sauce, Sambal Oelek, Chili Garlic, Sambal Badjak and Sriracha Hot Sauce. He was quite content just to sell whatever he could produce each day and deliver them to Asian restaurants and markets in his blue Chevy van - often driving as far as San Francisco and even San Diego. At that time, little did Tran realize his delectable sauces, particularly the iconic Sriracha Hot Sauce, made from just fresh jalapeño chili peppers, would spread like wildfire.

    Huy Fong Sriracha is literally the sauce that sells itself, to this day, the company still can boast that it has never advertised its products, nor does it employ one single salesperson - the existence of the sauce has spread worldwide by word of mouth alone. There are hundreds of producers trying to imitate Huy Fong’s success –the rooster on the bottle is the mark of Huy Fong’s original Sriracha.

    Available from all Moore Wilson's Grocery & Fresh Markets.

  • The Mighty Coconut

    Coconut (that humble hairy fruit we’ve always been aware of but have seldom taken seriously) now has a growing band of supporters who claim it is a superfood.

    The claim for superfood status is based on new research and a recently released body of evidence that says coconut is not the fat laden nasty earlier dieticians believed it to be. In fact quite the reverse. Coconut and virgin coconut oil in particular, are now believed by many to have properties that can prevent, or even cure, a wide range of ailments ranging from heart disease to Alzheimer’s. Also coconut health benefits include increased energy, weight loss, natural antibiotic activity, cholesterol reduction and insulin stabilisation.

    At Moore Wilson’s, we have always offered coconuts, primarily imported from Tonga, amongst our fresh fruit. One thing is for certain, however, there has been a remarkable surge of interest in a range of coconut by-products that extends way beyond the widely used Asian cuisine ingredients of coconut milk and coconut cream.

    Virgin Coconut Oil (non-hydrogenated virgin coconut oil) is the closest plant-based oil to butter in that it stays solid when cold, softens slightly when at room temperature and liquefies when heated. When buying coconut oil it is important to look for virgin oil which is obtained by cold pressing rather than through chemical extraction. Coconut oil‘s high smoke point makes it fantastic for cooking. It also has a pleasant sweet mellow taste that adds a slight unassuming flavour to foods without overpowering other tastes. You can use coconut oil for just about anything from spreading it on your morning toast or pancakes to using it in place of butter in sauces and baking. Coconut oil is even used by some as a hair and skin moisturiser.

    Coconut Flour is a soft flour produced from dried coconut meat. Low carbohydrate, high fibre and gluten-free, coconut flour is the darling in the world of wheat-free baking. A word of caution however: baking with coconut flour does require special techniques to produce good results. For instance coconut flour is extraordinarily absorbent so in some cases very little coconut flour is required to produce a recipe.

    Coconut Sugar shouldn't be confused with palm sugar which is made from a different palm tree. Coconut sugar, made from coconut tree sap, is similar to regular sugar although it is claimed by the Philippine Dept of Agriculture to have a much lower glycemic (GI) index. It also contains additional minerals not found in normal sugar like iron, zinc and calcium.

    Desiccated Coconut this traditional baking product has long been available at Moore Wilson’s and these days has been joined by a fine version and a chunky version that features larger coconut flakes.

    Coconut Water is the clear liquid found inside young green coconuts. Much touted for its ability to replace electrolytes, coconut water is now widely used as a natural alternative to chemical laden sports drinks.

    Coconut Sweetened Condensed Milk a vegan alternative to traditional condensed milk. Coconut Sweetened Condensed Milk is free from dairy, lactose, soy and gluten with a rich coconut flavour. Experiment with it in any recipe calling for condensed milk!

    Coconut Milk and Cream Coconut milk has the liquid consistency of cow's milk and is made from simmering one part shredded coconut in one part water. Coconut milk is the basis of most Thai curries. Coconut cream is much thicker and richer. It is made from simmering four parts shredded coconut in one part water. The cream that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk is also considered coconut cream.

    Coconut Ice Cream & Drinking Milk Little Island ‘Nice-cream’ is not only dairy and gluten free, it’s also vegan, nut free and soy free so it’s especially allergy friendly — and best of all, it actually tastes great! Containing less sugar and half the fat of regular ice cream, it’s a healthier dessert option too.

    Little Island also produce a Coconut Drinking Milk - an experience similar to regular milk but without the dairy. It’s perfect for smoothies, muesli, coffee or drinking straight from the bottle. With the addition of the best Fairtrade organic cocoa, the Chocolate Coconut Milk is a rich but not-too-sweet treat.

    Coconut Yoghurt another great alternative to dairy-based yoghurts. Coconut yoghurt has less sugar than most yoghurts and a unique flavour. At Moore Wilson's Fresh you'll find a range of thick and creamy coconut yoghurts including Coyo, The Raglan Coconut Yoghurt Co and Cathedral Cove.

    See our full range of coconut products at Moore Wilson's Fresh Tory Street.

  • Clean Eating Cookbooks

    Superfoods, Paleo and Primal Diets and Clean Eating have certainly been big news in 2015. A number of top chefs have ditched refined sugar and nasty fats in their latest cookbooks. Here’s some of our top picks:

    Brownyn Kan 'Whole'  Featuring recipes from premier wholefood bloggers and entrepreneurs, WHOLE is a book born from the demands for better food. Compiled by Bronwyn Kan, WHOLE explores the personal relationship between each contributor and the food they make. Drawing from their collective experience, the healthy wholefoods recipes within are simple to make and are designed to nourish body and mind.

    Donna Hay ‘Life in Balance’ Australia's most trusted home cook is celebrating a fresher approach to eating. Each chapter, from breakfast to baking, has simple recipes enriched with nature's superfoods. And because we all need the occasional decadence there are a few yummy better-for-you sweets.

    Hemsley Hemsley ‘The Art of Eating Well’ A number 1 bestselling cookbook by London-based sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley. Featuring over 150 mouthwatering and nutrient rich recipes which are free from grain, gluten and refined sugar.

    Jamie Oliver ‘EveryDay Super Food’ These are the recipes that helped Jamie Oliver lose two stone! Jamie's Everyday Super Food makes eating well exciting, delicious, easy and fun.

    Lola Berry ‘The Happy Cookbook’ Lola Berry's cooking is fresh, vibrant and jam-packed full of flavour - a little like Lola herself! Based around nutritionally dense wholefoods, Lola's recipes are gluten- and wheat-free, with very little dairy and no refined sugar.

    Nadia Lim ‘A Fresh Start’ A no-fuss approach to losing weight, getting fit and feeling your best. With over 100 nutrition-packed, calorie-controlled, deliciously satisfying recipes.

    Pete Evans 'Fast Food for Busy Families’ Pete shares more than 100 of his favourite no-fuss Paleo meals for people on the go. This is fast food as you have never seen it before: fresh, delicious, nutrient-dense and ready in minutes.

    Rachael Devcich ‘The NZ Paleo Cookbook: Eating Clean, Living Paleo’ Author Rachael Devcich, aka Cave Girl New Zealand, has been Eating Clean, Living Paleo for four years, and has been sharing her experiences on her popular blog. This book is written with kiwis in mind and is full of clean eating inspiration.

    Sarah Dueweke ‘Primal Kitchen’ Primal eating offers the benefits of a paleo diet with fewer restrictions, with followers putting emphasis on natural ingredients and meals high in protein and healthy fats and carbohydrates. Sarah's innovative recipes show how you can enjoy home baking and treat foods and still find weight maintenance easy.

    Sarah Wilson 'I Quit Sugar: Simplicious’ Sarah Wilson taught the world how to quit sugar in 8 weeks, then how to quit sugar for life. Now she strips things back to the essentials, simply and deliciously.

    Featured Image: Turkish Lamb Kofte and Cauliflower CousCous from Nadia Lim 'A Fresh Start'.

  • Mexican Cuisine

    Mexican food and ingredients are is popular year-round at Moore Wilson's,
    but especially so around the time of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

    Day of the Dead (November 1st) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions (this is where the most colourful parties take place), and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.

    If you're planning your own Day of the Dead celebrations here are some essentials to look out for instore!

    La Boca Loca A range from the popular Miramar restaurant including salsa, tortillas, masa flour and handmade totopos (corn chips). Create your own taste of La Boca Loca at home with their 'Collected Recipes from the Taqueria' cookbook available instore and online.

    Culley's The Auckland based hot sauce producers have recently released a new Taco 'n' Burrito Sauce - perfect to add to any Mexican dish. A great range of hot sauces and grow-your-own chilli seeds also available.

    La Morena A Mexican manufacturer of quality canned chillies, salsas and beans. Over the last 40 years, La Morena has grown to be one of the top three nationally distributed brands in Mexico and a widely known premium brand in the US and further abroad. Our range includes chipotle peppers, refried beans, salsas and jalapenos. 

    The Lucky Taco Chipotle, Habanero and Jalapeno sauces from Auckland's popular Mexican food truck.

    Rancho Gordo Made in Napa, California, Rancho Gordo's 3 original sauces are available from Moore Wilson's Fresh: La Paloma, mild and flavorful, Rio Fuego, full of fire and thickened with toasted pumpkin seeds, and Felicidad, with chipotle chiles and fruity vinegar. Mexican Oregano also instore, similar to European Oregano, but less sweet and with a slight citrus twist. Perfect for use in sauces, salsas and with grilled meat.

    Estrella Tortilla Press Fresh home made tortillas are always the best, and they are made much easier with a quality tortilla press. Our top pick is Estrella - a sturdy cast iron press imported from Mexico. Not in Wellington? Buy one online!

    Mexican Beers A great range of 'Cerveza' is available year-round including Corona, Pacifico Clara, Cave Creek Chilli Beer, Negra Modelo and Cerveza Mexicali. Local brewery Garage Project also release a special limited edition Day of the Dead beer for the occasion.

    Tequila & Mezcal Top and specialty brands available at everyday low prices. Check out our full selection in our Tory Street and Masterton bottle stores or shop some of our top picks  online.

    Image 'Three Quesadillas' from La Boca Loca Cookbook, photography by Nicola Edmonds. 

  • Summer Stonefruit

    It wouldn't be a Kiwi summer without the juicy, sweet flavours of stonefruit!

    Stonefruit, members of the prunus genus group of trees and shrubs, includes apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries.

    While they've become an icon of the NZ summer, none are native to our land. Peaches originated in China, nectarines in Central Asia, apricots probably in China, while cherries are native to the Caspian-Black Sea area. Plums have both Japanese and European origins. These fruits spread across Europe along the trade routes and European colonists bought them to New Zealand.

    There is no exact record of who introduced stonefruit to New Zealand, however groves of wild peaches known as ‘Maori peaches’ found growing alongside several North Island rivers are thought to have been originally planted by explorers or early 19th-century whalers or sealers.

    Available from December to March, peaches and nectarines come as either yellow or white flesh. In the early 2000’s the move to white flesh was quite pronounced and some special New Zealand varieties were developed. More recently there has been a swing back to yellow flesh.

    The difference between white and yellow flesh are the acid levels. White-fleshed peach and nectarine varieties are less acidic and therefore sweeter. Between them, peaches and nectarines represent about 45% of all the stonefruit grown in New Zealand.

    The peaches and nectarines you’ll find at Moore Wilson’s Fresh are from The Yummy Fruit Company. The range of varieties is greater than ever, including:

    Classic Nectarine New Zealand’s traditional yellow flesh nectarine, full flavoured and tasty.
    Hunny Yellow Nectarine A new variety - sweet, firm flesh with very low fruit acidity.
    Pearl Nectarine White flesh, sweet eating and juicy.
    Coconut Ice Peach Crispy white, sweet eating.
    Flatto Peach A unique flat shaped peach. Deliciously sweet and juicy. Eat firm like an apple or ripe like a juicy peach. Rediscovered heirloom, grown in Central Otago and the ultimate lunchbox shaped fruit.
    Flatto Gold Peach A new delicious peach added to the Flatto range. Flatto Gold is a yellow flesh, sweet eating flat peach with very low fruit acidity. It has the same small stone surrounded by juicy flesh as the Flatto White peach, but with a sweet melon-like flavour profile.

    Available from December to February. Apricots are New Zealand’s main stonefruit crop making up 30% of the annual stonefruit total. About 60% of locally grown apricots are exported. Traditionally apricots were mainly grown in Central Otago, these days Hawkes Bay is making an increasing contribution to total production.

    Available from January to March. The European Greengage plum has traditionally been the most popular for canning and making jam. Of the Japanese plums, which are generally earlier flowering and larger, Burbank was the most popular although. Omega is the most widely planted plum in New Zealand with Black Doris a close second.

    Cherries have the shortest season of all the stonefruits and are only available from December to January. Only sweet varieties of cherries are grown in New Zealand and Dawson, a large black fruit, is the most popular variety. The demand for cherries is continuing to grow - and so are exports to Asia. Marlborough used to be NZ’s major cherry producer, but grape plantings have seen the amount of land devoted to cherries substantially decline. When they’re available, you’ll find Marlborough and Hawkes Bay cherries at Moore Wilson’s Fresh.

    Peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums are great for your health and here are some interesting facts:

    Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A (from beta carotene) and a natural source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body form collagen—the main protein of connective tissue in bones, muscles, cartilage etc. While Apricots are delicious raw their carotenoids (the anti-oxidants that give the flesh its orange colour) become more available to the body when cooked. Beta-carotene for one, converts to vitamin A that helps to maintain eyesight.

    If you want potassium there’s no need to rely on bananas, two small peaches have slightly more of this essential mineral than a medium banana. Peaches are also an excellent source of vitamin C.

    Red plums contain a class of compounds called anthocyanins. As well as giving fruit their appealing red colour, they are being investigated for a range of potential health benefits. Plums are an ideal fruit that fit into small hands - kids love them!

    Adults only Summer Treat! Stonefuit Sangria: Chop up a selection of stonefruit into even bite-sized pieces. Put the pieces in a large pitcher. Add a dash of peach brandy or liqueur then top up the pitcher with rosé (and soda water if desired). Place in the fridge for an hour or so to let the fruit marinate. Add ice when ready to serve.

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