Monday, February 21, 2011

Canned Octopus Spectacular

 You all wanted it, so here it is. A review of two of the top selling canned octopi. Initially I was looking forward to reviewing these, as one of my favorite food bloggers, Dave at Dave's Cupboard, described his 99cent canned octopus as tasting almost like lobster. Read the review here. My canned octopus experience was not nearly as good.

First Off
GOYA  Octopus in Garlic Sauce 
    Had high hopes for this octopus being that it was imported from Spain, and was in a garlic sauce. The garlic sauce however was nothing more then soybean oil with a little garlic flavoring.
Nice Chunks
  The octopus was in nice bite size chunks. So lets take a bite. Ohhhhh yuck. Its chewy, and has the taste of very pungent tuna. I spit it into a napkin. However due to encouragement  from one of my companions, I try it again. Yep, I was right, this is just plain disgusting. The combination of the chewiness, and rotten tuna flavor is terrible.

OK, next canned octopus.
Reese Fancy Octopus
  Having enjoyed other Reese products, such as their smoked oysters and clams, my thinking was that this octopus might be better then the Goya brand. The pieces of Octopus were not nearly as uniform as the Goya brand, and were in all sorts of shapes and pieces.
  So I go and take my first bite.
Parts is Parts
 My first impression is that this is slightly less chewy then the Goya brand. Still chewy though. Then the taste hits me. Pungent tuna it is again. Blahhh, spit it out into a napkin.
Captain Nemo would be proud

  Well lets just say that the canned octopus spectacular did not go all that well. My hopes for a cheap, lobster tasting treat were dashed. As a side note, the dog would not even eat the leftovers.

Goya Octopus in Garlic Sauce:  0/10 

Reese Octopus in Olive Oil: 1/10 

So your winner is Reese. Trust me though. Their were no winners in this tasting.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oriental Market

 The first oriental food market in the North Hills opened this month on McKnight Rd. The place is a foodie dream world of oriental food delights.  Here is a picture of some of the cool stuff I bought there.
A Chinese Cornucopia
 Some of the things I bought were real Chinese rice cooking wine, dark soy sauce, wasabi peanuts, kim chee, pork and shrimp dumplings, and some soy drink that I cant pronounce. My first impressions were very favorable, and expect to see a follow up on Pittsburgh Eats, with a more in depth look at what the oriental market provides.

*From Your North Hills

For North Hills residents who are lovers of all things Asian, a new market is preparing to open next month.
The Oriental Market will be located at 4770 McKnight Road, a former art-supply store in the plaza next to the Red Lobster restaurant.
While the market will offer products from many Asian countries, its selections primarily will be Chinese.
Cindy Liu and her husband, Ke Wu Zhao, of McCandless, are working together to bring the best of the Asia to Pittsburghers.
"The Asian population has grown here," Liu said. "There is no store with this size."
And there's plenty of room for products inside the 6,000-square-foot interior, along with convenient parking outside.
The couple plans to offer vegetables, fruits — fresh and canned — and traditional Asian-style meat. There will be frozen fish, live lobsters and blue and Canadian crabs.
They also will feature all kinds of mushrooms, rice, noodles, seasonings and sauces.
The couple did lots of research on starting a grocery and will bring years of restaurant experience to their new store. They had owned Tokyo Buffet, also on McKnight Road.
Liu was born in China and came to the United States 10 years ago. Her husband arrived 25 years ago.
While cooking is not permitted in the store, Liu plans to put her husband's chef's talents to good use. He might prepare some dishes as samples and then provide recipes to make the meals at home.
"Home-cooked is better than restaurant," Liu said. "It's healthy, and there's more variety."

Oriental Market
4770 McKnight Rd
Pittsburgh PA 15237