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California Gold: Sea Urchin Commission Adopts New Uni Standards.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- While uni, the roe from sea urchin, is enjoyed as one of the most popular sushi dishes, a good number of restaurants with new American menus are featuring it in their dishes, as well. Over the years, industry members labeled uni by the different letter grades A, B and C. The California Sea Urchin Commission, calurchin.org, has now adopted new uni grade standards for clearer identification. According to Executive Director, Vern Goehring, "This is a voluntary action on the part of the Commission. It is important that we educate those who process, sell or eat uni, by stating these new, different grades."

The new names and standards are:

"California Gold" - bright gold, yellow or orange color; firm buttery texture; fresh salty ocean scent; and a sweet, buttery taste. Uni sections are large and complete intact pieces. This is exceptionally high-grade uni for use in top quality sushi. (formerly grade A)

"Premium California" - gold, yellow or orange color, but less brilliant than California Gold; firm buttery texture; salty ocean scent; with a crisp and nutty taste. Uni sections are smaller, but still primarily intact pieces. Premium uni is used for sushi, soups, salads, or combination dishes where uni is the featured item. (formerly grade B)

"Select California" - medium hues of yellow and orange or even tending to brown in color; salty ocean scent; softer creamy texture; with a more neutral nutty taste. Uni may be intact sections but can consist of broken pieces of the other grades. Frequently, Select is packaged and shipped frozen. Uses include soups, sauces and dishes where the uni is mixed with other ingredients, including other seafood. (formerly grade C)
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 6, 2007
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