Rouses Magazine - The Beach Issue

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JULY AUGUST 2020

The Beach Issue FEATURING OUR FAVORITE

BEACH EATS & DRINKS

ICE CUBES IN WINE:

YES OR NO?

HAWAIIAN HIGHLIGHTS


Because We’re As Passionate About Coffee As You Are We use only the top 1% of specialty arabica beans, which are small batch roasted under the direction of Felton Jones, who has 25 years of experience with PJ’s Coffee.

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From left: Donald Rouse, grandson Everett and son Donny Rouse

We feel like family, because we are. It's been 60 years since my grandfather opened our first grocery store, and family is still at the heart of everything we do. - Donny Rouse, CEO, 3rd Generation

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Family Owned Since 1960

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100% American Beef, Pork & Poultry

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Southern Living At Its Best

Table of Contents Cover photo by Romney Caruso / Cover recipe on page 41

IN EVERY ISSUE

FOOD & RECIPES

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Note from Donny Rouse

Steamed Royal Reds

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Letter from the Editor

Grilled Royal Reds

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How Far I'll Go by Ali Rouse Royster

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In Our Stores

Chef Gerard Viverito’s Dungeness Crab and Sweet Corn Chowder Boiled Crabs

STORIES

“These neighboring old-school beaches are all about family fun.”

— Gulf Shores/ Orange Beach, Alabama “The South’s Best Beach Towns 2020,” Southern Living

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Gulf Royalty by David W. Brown

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Clawsome! by Jillian Kramer

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Wham, Bam, Mahalo Spam! by David W. Brown

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Aloha by David W. Brown

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Hey Poke A-Way by David W. Brown

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You’re the Wine That I Want by Sarah Baird

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Cocktail Sauce Drawn Butter for Steamed Shrimp, Crab or Lobster Homemade Tartar Sauce Mustard Sauce Garlic Butter Sauce Spam & Egg Sandwich Spamburger Hawaiian Sliders “The Island” Iced Tea Coconut Shrimp Charred Corn on the Cob

Toes in The Sand, Bushwacker in My Hand by Sarah Baird

Grilled Peaches

Legendary Berries by Jillian Kramer

Grilled Fish Fillets

Grilled Pineapples

Orange Beach Blossom Strawberry Frose

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KIDS’ CORNER

Cherry Granita

Orange Beach Coloring Sheet

Mint Julep Granita Sangria Slushie Bushwacker Orange Jell-O “Cups” Watermelon Rind Jell-O Smiles

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Letter From the Editor By Marcy Nathan, Creative Director When I was a child, my family rented the same house in Pensacola for one week every summer. The house sits right on the Santa Rosa Sound, surrounded by dunes covered in sea oats and switchgrass. You know how some people see a face in the façade of a house? It’s a phenomenon called pareidolia; it’s why you think the faucet in the tub is staring at you when you take a bath. We thought our beach house looked like a giant crab, with a covered porch for the mouth, windows for eyes, and a staircase and stilts for claws and legs. There is a round Futuro “UFO House” on Panferio Drive near the crab house. It actually looks like a spaceship. My grandfather set a crab trap 10 feet from the shore first thing every morning. He used chicken necks and turkey butts for bait, and secured it with a rope to a buoy. At breakfast he’d start a pool. Each of us got to pick a number out of a hat predicting how many crabs he’d trap that day. We couldn’t wait to see who won when he pulled the trap each afternoon. He made it a game. Instead of dumping the crabs into a bushel basket like most people did, he’d pour them out on the concrete under the house. The crabs would go scuttling, and we kids had to quickly collect them — and count them, of course, to determine which of us had won the pool. He’d taught us to 4

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step on them, then lift them from under their back legs to keep from getting pinched. Most days, my sisters and I and all our cousins swam in the sound while the adults sunbathed a shell’s throw away. Pensacola sand is sugar-fine, and we built elaborate sandcastles for the conchs that washed up on shore at low tide, complete with underwater tunnels and moats. At least once a day we’d walk the stretch of beach around to the cove, filling baskets with shells of all shapes and sizes — including the occasional whole empty conch shell — or we’d walk the other way, down to the point by the tall condominiums. Some days my grandfather would take us to the gulf, where we’d spend hours dodging undertows and jellyfish and, once, a stingray. We rarely wore anything other than bathing suits, even when we went to the Pak-a-Sak within walking distance of the crab house, where we bought SweeTarts and candy necklaces and giant gemstone sucker rings. We occasionally went to the water park or a souvenir shop for tacky T-shirts. One year we even rented a motorcycle! We finished a steady stream of puzzles, and spent our evenings playing cards. Gin rummy, mostly. Gin was also the adult’s

drink of choice; my mother mixed hers with Fresca. On the weekend we had a card tournament, with matches spread out across days of play and a grand prize of $5 — plus a silver medal, which was back up for grabs the next summer. As I got older we stopped going to Pensacola. I guess everyone just got too busy, or had other commitments, but my sisters and I have never forgotten those lazy summer days at the beach. They say you can’t go home again but that doesn’t keep us from trying. Last year, my sister Courtney and I went back to Pensacola. She and her family vacation there often, but nowadays I’m more likely to go to Destin or Orange Beach. As we walked the strip of beach from our hotel to the crab house we’d once thought of as our own, we talked about our mom and dad, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, gin rummy and gin and Fresca. The house had been partially rebuilt after Hurricane Ivan, which hit Pensacola as a category 3 storm. I was relieved to see the owners had kept the same design, but disappointed to see that the house looked like, well, a house — just a house. But one still filled with memories.


Southern Living At Its Best

Contributors Marketing & Advertising Director Tim Acosta

Creative Director & Editor Marcy Nathan

Art Director, Layout & Design Eliza Schulze

Illustrator Kacie Galtier

Production Manager McNally Sislo

Sarah Baird Sarah Baird is the author of multiple books including New Orleans Cocktails and Flask, which was released this summer. A 2019 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Saveur, Eater, Food & Wine and The Guardian, among others. Previously, she served as restaurant critic for the New Orleans alt-weekly, Gambit Weekly, where she won Critic of the Year in 2015 for her dining reviews.

Contributing Writer David w. brown

Corporate Chef Marc Ardoin

Photo Director Romney Caruso

Copy Editor Patti Stallard

Advertising

“Renowned for its fishing as well as its bird habitat, Grand Isle is a littleknown gem on the Gulf of Mexico.” - Grand Isle, Louisiana, “The Prettiest Beach Town in Every State 2020,” Southern Living

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Marketing Stephanie Hopkins Robert Barrilleaux Nancy Besson Taryn Clement

David W. Brown David is a regular contributor to The Atlantic, The Week and Mental Floss. His work also appears in Vox, The New York Times, Writer’s Digest and Foreign Policy magazine. He is a regular commentator for television and radio. Romney Caruso Romney is a Mandeville resident and has been a professional photographer for over 25 years. He has styled and photographed food for hundreds of local and national publications, and for several cookbooks. His portrait series of chefs and bartenders, titled “Shakers, Knives & Irons,” was displayed in New Orleans and Los Angeles. Jillian Kramer Jillian Kramer is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure and many other publications. She’s written about everything from New Orleans’ oldest continuously operating bar, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, to the South’s most romantic restaurants and the do’s and don’ts of your first crawfish boil.

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SAME DAY DELIVERY & PICKUP

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Southern Living At Its Best

PHOTO BY NIKI NORTON PHOTOGRAPHY

How Far I’ll Go

By Ali Rouse Royster, 3rd Generation

“Wishin’ I was Knee deep in the water somewhere Got the blue sky, breeze and it don’t seem fair The only worry in the world Is the tide gonna reach my chair.” – Zac Brown Band ROUSES

I’ve always loved a theme. Even back in college, I was always throwing theme parties. So nowadays, we’ve been trying to inject different little activities into our routine during stay-at-home and saferat-home and I’m-not-sure-what-phasewe’re -in-but-I’m-still-mostly-stayinghome. Now my family has theme nights, mostly food related — say, for instance, it’s Italian night: Let’s cook spaghetti and watch Lady and the Tramp. We recently made sushi on our own for the first time, and while it looked like a disaster — our rolling skills need some help — it tasted great, and my oldest child loved it. My next theme is going to be bigger in scale: I’m going to do a full-on luau. Well, maybe not burying-a-pig-in-the-backyard fullon, but more than just themed food! In an effort to add some variety to the shows my kids were watching on repeat (I mean, I love both Frozen and Trolls, and their soundtracks, but it was time for a change!), I introduced my little girl to Moana, and she and my youngest both took to it. Unsurprisingly, Moana’s is now the soundtrack on repeat in my house. I don’t hate it! But check back with me in a few weeks…. And now that the heat has descended and it really feels like boiling hot summer, voila! Our backyard luau is in the works. My plan — subject to change at any time, of course — is to decorate very minimally with tiki torches, if we can find them, and I’ll break out some leis I found

in a box of costumes, let the kids dress however they want (I have a feeling the Moana costume we borrowed from my sister’s girls will make an appearance), play a Polynesian playlist of tunes I found on Spotify and, of course, eat. At the ‘Ohana restaurant at Disney, they do coconut races, using brooms to sweep coconuts across the floor, and hula dancing. (Thank you, YouTube, for helping a mama out — though I may resort to just bringing out some hula hoops as a luau activity.) For food, I’ll probably keep it to things my kids might actually eat, but if they don’t, I’ll have peanut butter sandwiches on standby as always. I found a great-looking recipe for pineapple shrimp fried rice (you can even serve it in the hollowed-out pineapple!), and we’ve done a couple of versions of yakisoba noodles lately, so that could work too. These honeycoriander chicken wings look delicious, or we can always do a delicious pulled pork outside on our Big Green Egg, which would surely taste as good as anything we’d bury in the yard. In early 2020, before we knew what this year had in store for us, I told some of my friends that this was my year to embrace being as blatantly “extra” as I wanted to be. I made this proclamation at a Valentine’s Day pizza party I hosted for about 15 adults and 25 kids, where I set up kids’ tables with pizza parlor style red gingham tablecloths and faux candles, and popped prosecco for the adults. (See? Extra.) I probably would have tried to make this a backyard luau blowout if this were any other year — but here we are, waist-deep into 2020, wondering what curveball is coming next! And so instead of sitting home and wallowing about what I should be doing, I’ve decided to sit home and still have as much fun as we can, even if it’s on a smaller scale. If you see tiki torches burning in my backyard and hear the strumming of a ukulele, don’t worry! We haven’t gone mad, we’re just having a luau — and being a little extra — at home.

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r u o g n i d e e f community

Dear Rouses Team Members,

Many of you have gone out of your way to say thank you to our team members who are taking care of you during these difficult times. Thank you for taking time to recognize how remarkable they truly are. Over and over and over again, they have shown tremendous dedication to our company, our customers and each other.

We’re working with local food banks to help children, seniors and low-income families impacted by coronavirus.

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The purchase of any one (1) COLUMBUS® packaged product CONSUMER: Limit one coupon per purchase of specified product(s). Void if copied, sold, exchanged or transferred. NOT VALID FOR ONLINE PURCHASES. Consumer is responsible for any sales tax. RETAILER: Columbus Manufacturing Inc., will reimburse you the face value of the coupon plus 8¢ handling if submitted in compliance with our Coupon Redemption Policy (available at www.hormelfoods. com). Coupons not properly redeemed will be voided. Void where prohibited. Cash value 1/40¢. Send Coupon to: Columbus #1446, NCH Marketing, P.O. Box 880001, El Paso, TX, 88588-0001. ©2020 Columbus Manufacturing, Inc.

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Gulf Royalty By David W. Brown

When Jeremy Zirlott takes a boat out to fish royal red shrimp, it’s 30 days at sea, working 24/7.

From the pier to deep water — about 90 miles from the Alabama coastline — it takes 10 hours or more. Once the boat reaches a potential fishing spot, it takes another hour to deploy the full mile of cable necessary to reach the depths where red shrimp swim. The crew of Zirlott’s 95-foot boat consists of a captain and maybe four deckhands. A single trawl might take three or four hours and, the whole time, nobody knows if they’re catching shrimp or water. “With that much cable stretched out, you pick the depth you want to fish and hope there’s some shrimp there,” he says. “If not, you have to change depths. Sometimes we might go 24, 30 hours just trying to find the temperature-sensitive depth.” You can

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have some decent hauls, he says, but sometimes you’re wasting half the day — or all day — just looking.

eat them boiled or steamed, so that the shrimp retains its sweetness, with a little butter sauce on the side.

Royal red shrimp are an Alabama specialty, and are growing increasingly popular in Mississippi and Louisiana. They are a deep-water shrimp found as shallow as 180 fathoms, and as deep as 280. Like the cold-water creatures of the North Atlantic, royal red shrimp like the low temperatures of the inky blue.

“They're almost like a lobster, in my opinion. In terms of texture and flavor, they are kind of between a lobster and crabmeat — just a really delicate, sweet-tasting shrimp.”

They are a delicate shrimp to prepare, supple and characterized by a fresh sweetness, unlike white or brown shrimp. “A lot of people overcook red shrimp,” says Zirlott. “They cook extremely quickly because they are so tender and delicate.” His family likes to

When one of his boats is out on the water, a good day’s haul could yield as much as 1,200 pounds of red shrimp. “If you could do that steady, that would be really good,” he says, but laughs as he adds that the average haul is a lot less: “I’ve made drags when I didn’t have a single shrimp — not one!” An average of 300-400 pounds on a haul is pretty good, but anything less means pulling up cable and moving on.


PHOTO BY ROMNEY CARUS0

“It takes anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 a day for these boats to operate,” he explains. “You need to get that pretty well every day while they’re out. You’ll have bad days and better days, but that’s the average that you strive for.” Those 30 days on the water are exhausting, and can be relentless. “Day is no different than night on a shrimp boat,” he says. “It’s just work. You catch a nap whenever you can.” While the boat is trawling, the crew is getting everything prepared for what they hope is a big haul. This involves building the packing boxes and organizing everything. Once the nets are pulled from the depths and dumped into the boat, it’s a nonstop frenzy to sort the shrimp. Everything is

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packed and frozen right there on the boat. Afterward, the crew gets rested up for the next haul. The boats have charting computers that map good areas to fish. Everything is stored for future reference. “It’s still an educated guess every time we go out,” says Zirlott. “If you make a mistake you try to correct and be better for the next day. Hopefully at the end of 30 days, you’ve got enough to cover expenses and make some extra money for the crew, too.” One month of this, and the boat returns home, though the work still doesn’t stop. The boat has to be repaired and refueled and prepped for the next run. One week later, it’s back out to sea. The same crews go

back out, too. It’s a hard skill to learn, but the crews are dedicated. “I’ve been shrimping since I was knee-high,” says Zirlott. His family has been in the fishing business in one aspect or another since the early 1800s, at least. “I don’t know how many generations that goes [back]. My father was a fisherman. My grandfather, my great-grandfather — it goes way back, and on both sides: my mother’s side and my father’s side.” These days, he has captains and crews to run his three boats on the water. “I went out for 20-something years,” he says. “When I was 40, I had been in the gulf for 6,000 days of my life. It was a year-in, year-out standard thing, 270 days a year of fishing.”

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This kind of work takes an experienced crew. “You can’t just pull people off the street and expect them to do this. Most of the guys doing this, they were born into it, been around it all their lives, their grandfathers and fathers did it, and it is just in their blood.” He says that it takes years for a crew member to build the experience necessary to go out on the deep water and have a successful trawl — and for that reason, the fishing industry is forever in a perilous state. “There are very few new people coming into this business, and one thing I fear for the future of the industry is the lack of knowledgeable people able to fish this sort of shrimp and do it well.” He says, “It’s not just taking a boat out and fishing. It’s doing it trip in and trip out and making a profit.” The solution, he says, is simple: Buy local. “This could all go away one day, and I’m afraid it will if we don’t get renewed interest in our local product.” The red shrimp are there to catch, he explains, but the sort of foreign imports carried by big chains have taken their toll on the industry. “Our prices are good, but the price of shrimp hasn’t kept up with inflation.” He explains that while shrimp prices are still low, shrimping prices are higher than ever. A fishing net that 20 years ago cost $700 might cost $3,500 today. A complete shipyard boat repair, from glass to paint, would have cost $20,000 back then. Today? More like $100,000. “The profitability has drastically decreased, but I still see an opportunity there, if you can get the right market for

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your product. That’s why we started packaging on the boat and making a more ‘user friendly’ product — a better-quality product.” Overall, he says, the quality of the average Gulf shrimp has increased over the years, but imported products have interfered with the market. Zirlott Trawlers, his company, reinvests in the industry. “It’s been good to me because someone invested before I came along. I want to do the same thing.” He explains, “I want to keep it going because there might be some young kid somewhere that wants to be a fisherman, and I would hate for him to come along to do that and not be able to do it. I want to do everything in my power to make it last.” Zirlott and his wife, Kim, have run their Bayou La Batrebased family business since 1997. (His daughters help with the business, too.) He first started red shrimping about 12 years ago. It has always been a relatively small industry because of the special, pricey tools necessary to do the job, from hydraulic winches to miles of cable. Each boat requires about a quarter-million dollars’ worth of gear above the cost of a standard shrimp boat. “It’s an expensive endeavor to try to tackle,” says Zirlott. Zirlott Trawlers supplies Royal Lagoon Seafood, a local Alabama seafood vendor, which in turn supplies Rouses Markets.


Rouses first began offering royal red shrimp when it opened stores in Alabama. “When we grew our stores into the state, royal red shrimp were one of the things that kind of bubbled to the top,” says Denise Englade, the director of seafood for Rouses Markets.

“It’s a real partnership,” says Englade. “I feel like they are really looking out for Rouses, and I know that we look out for them. We're always looking for ‘what’s new, what’s next,’ and they are always doing the same, always looking forward.”

“I was born and raised in Louisiana, so I knew the local brands — white and brown shrimp — and it was important to make sure that we were honoring items that were close to the heart of the people in Alabama as well.” Royal red shrimp, she says, are a beautiful product — a different product. “They’re a little bit more tender, a little bit sweeter. They’re the sort of shrimp that you steam — you’re not going to throw them in Cajun crab boil!”

Today Royal Lagoon delivers to each of Rouses Markets’ 64 stores, bringing to communities in Louisiana and Mississippi the things that are local to Alabama.

The way Rouses approached royal red shrimp was the way it approaches any local product. “We treat every new neighborhood the same way, with the same attitude: that they are part of our family. We’re going to be part of an area, so let’s make sure we’re taking care of them and carrying what’s important to them,” Englade says. This involves visiting the area, seeing what local restaurants are serving, going to local fish markets, investigating what people are buying and, after intensive research, finding the best local products that shoppers in the area love.

Such partnerships with local vendors are nothing new. Rouses has always meant “local.” “It goes all the way back to Anthony Rouse, the founder of Rouses Markets,” Englade says. “You know, when he had his produce business, he was always on the lookout for the local farmer and the local shopper. He would find out what the neighborhood wanted, and he would find someone local to help provide it.” That ideal has been handed down from generation to generation of the Rouse family. “I think it’s a unique way you can do business, when you are a family-owned company that really cares about the places that you do business in. That’s who we are.”

In the case of royal red shrimp, Rouses reached out to Royal Lagoon, a local Alabama vendor, and partnered with them to provide shrimp to stores in Alabama, and some stores in Mississippi.

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Royal Red Shrimp Steamed Royal Reds » Makes 4 servings WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 2 pounds royal red shrimp, shell and head on Old Bay Seasoning HOW TO PREP: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the shrimp shells with Old Bay. Place the shrimp in a steamer basket and place atop the boiling water in the pot. Steam until the shrimp turn bright red and are firm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with drawn butter.

Grilled Royal Reds Makes 4 servings WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened 1½ tablespoons minced garlic 2½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 2 pounds royal red shrimp 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil HOW TO PREP: Preheat grill to 350°F. Stir together butter, garlic, lemon juice and zest, thyme, pepper and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl until well combined; set aside. Toss shrimp, olive oil and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Grill shrimp, covered, just until shrimp are bright red and charred, about 1 minute to 90 seconds on each side. Toss with the lemon-garlic butter, and serve immediately.

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PHOTO BY ROMNEY CARUS0 ROUSES

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INGREDIENTS: 1 package (16 ounce) JOHNSONVILLEÂŽ Italian All Natural Ground Sausage 1 small red pepper, cut into thin slices 1 small green pepper, cut into thin slices 1 small yellow pepper, cut into thin slices 1 small onion, cut into thin strips 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 cup White Zinfandel wine 1 loaf focaccia bread 4 slices smoked provolone cheese In a skillet, saute the peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add wine; cook and stir until vegetables are tender and wine is reduced by half. Keep warm. Shape sausage into four hamburger shaped patties. Grill burgers over direct heat for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 180ËšF. Cut focaccia in half horizontally. Cut into quarters. Layer the sausage burger, peppers and cheese on bread bottoms; replace bread tops.


WE GREW UP BOILING ON THE BAYOU Our Rouses recipe has been perfected over three generations, so our seafood always comes out seasoned to perfection. Get it hot from the pot in our seafood department.

Family Owned Since 1960


Clawsome! By Jillian Kramer Southerners’ love of seafood — and crabs, especially — runs deep. Take Mike Moore, captain and owner of the Biloxi Shrimping Trip, who began his career checking crab traps as a child. “My brothers and I would sell our catch for $2 a dozen and thought we were making a killing,” Moore laughs. Though Moore cruises the water mostly for all fish now, crabs are still close to his heart. He jokes that — should he ever be captured and tortured for confidential information — it would only take a dozen blue crabs (a true delicacy across the Gulf Coast) and a knife to make him spill the beans. “I will never get security clearance because of my weakness for blue crab,” Moore says. Perhaps it’s crabs’ abundance that appeals to us. Between the most popular varieties, you’ll never have to go a single month without access to in-season crab. Perhaps it’s crabs’ ability to taste decadent with only a bit of melted butter — or nothing at all. As Moore says, “Crab done right is best served simply.” Perhaps it’s the communal aspect of eating crabs. In the South, “eating crab is a social thing,” Moore says, and Gerard Viverito, chef and director of culinary education for the nonprofit Passionfish, agrees. “The social aspect of sitting around, picking and eating crabs with friends and family, creates lasting memories,” he explains. Or perhaps it’s crabs’ versatility: It can be added to a green salad, boiled in a spicy pot, cooked into a cake or used to top a po-boy.

But loving crab is different than knowing all about it. Where it comes from, what makes it ideal and how to prepare it are questions that can be common among home cooks who love crab but aren’t sure what kind to buy or how to eat it. Ryan Gaudet, chef of Spahr’s in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, encourages you to not be intimidated by cooking crab at home. Instead, start small: Purchase picked, ready-to-eat meat to test out different tastes and textures. Once you know what you love outside of a restaurant setting, “you can experiment with different recipes,” he explains. No matter the crab you choose, there are some general rules to know as well. While it may seem obvious, it’s important enough to say: The larger the crab, the more meat there will be — and the easier it will be to get that meat off the body of the crab. If you’re new to cooking crabs at home, Viverito recommends starting with larger varieties. “The number 1 complaint that I hear from people is that the meat is not worth the work,” Viverito says. Start with larger varieties, then try others. You will “get better with practice,” he says, “and enjoy the journey like anything else in life.” You will also have to make sure you have enough crabmeat to feed yourself and any guests. For all varieties of crab, Viverito recommends preparing about one pound of live crab per person. Then, leave enough time to cook what you’ve bought: As a general rule, a pound of crab needs 15 minutes to cook; two pounds needs 20 minutes; three pounds need 25 minutes; and four or more pounds needs 30 minutes or more, Viverito explains.

Now, let’s dive in — pun intended — to learn everything you need to know about the four types of crab that are carried at Rouses Markets: blue crab, Dungeness crab, king crab and snow crab.

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owner of White Pillars in Biloxi, Mississippi, while the claw meat is a little firmer. “It makes the crab so versatile,” which allows you to “get many options from the same crab,” Sumrall explains.

Blue Crabs Blue crabs live in tropical waters — think: the Caribbean — as well as subtropical waters, like the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic Ocean, says Jeffrey D. Shields, a professor of marine science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at William & Mary. They grow to about eight inches wide, maturing in a year, and boast a unique feature: a fifth pair of legs, like paddles, that help them swim especially well. “That’s why they’re called swimming crabs,” Shields explains. You’ve heard of soft-shell crabs. Those are blue crabs that have molted their shells. As Viverito explains, “In order to grow larger, crabs have to shed their old shell and form a new one. During this process, the crabs are without their hard covering for only a few days.” If caught during this time, they are considered “soft-shell” crabs, and are eaten whole after minimal cleaning, he says. Depending on what part of a blue crab you’re eating, the texture can change. “If you are enjoying jumbo lump, the texture is delicate and soft without being mushy,” says Austin Sumrall, the chef and

For example, at White Pillars, Sumrall uses blue crab in everything from a crab avocado toast to a baked eggplant dish complete with mozzarella and marinara. Its flavor — sweet and even a little nutty, with a buttery and briny bite that can come from Gulf waters — also aids in its versatility. At home, you’ll likely boil or steam blue crabs whole, says Bruce Mattel, senior associate dean of culinary arts at The Culinary Institute of America. “Some of the best parties start with steaming a bushel of live blue crabs, spreading out newspaper on picnic tables, and dumping the crabs onto newspaper,” he says. “Give everyone mallets and small forks, and let the fun begin.” Gaudet recommends boiling blue crabs in salty, spicy water with lemons, garlic and potatoes, then dipping their meat in a homemade sauce with Southern spices, or in mayonnaise or ketchup. Or, if you want to work with soft-shell crabs, Gaudet says that you can use a pair of scissors to remove the parts you won’t want to eat — the eyes, mouth and lungs. Then, season and batter the crabs with your choice of breading and spices, and fry them until they’re just golden brown.

Dungeness Crabs Dungeness crabs are cold-water crabs that live in the northwest Pacific Ocean, says Romuald N. Lipcius, a professor of marine science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at William & Mary. Their moniker comes from a Washington town of the same name that was made famous for its capture of this kind of crab, says Shields, but you can find them in Canada and Alaska too. Dungeness crabs take as many as 10 years to mature — their coldwater habitats prohibit them from growing faster — but the males can grow to the size of a dinner plate, says Shields. To grow, Dungeness crabs shed their cuticles. They may shed 20 times over their lives, Shields says. Female Dungeness crabs are not allowed to be harvested to ensure the longevity of this species. Mattel describes their flavor as sweet, succulent and high in natural umami flavor. Dungeness crabs have both light and dark meat; sweet, white meat is found in their bodies, while their legs and claws are made of mainly richer, darker meat, says Viverito, who adds that most recipes will call for the crabs’ white meat.


To cook Dungeness crabs, Mattel recommends steaming or boiling them whole, then digging out the meat. Truthfully, it’s easiest to watch a video for how to open them up, but Viverito describes the process this way: Flip the crab’s body upside down, and use a knife to pry off the flap of the shell, called its “apron.” Then, turn the crab right-side up, and lift off its top shell. (You can keep the shells to use later in stock, Viverito says.) Take out the membrane covering the crabmeat, as well as the lungs, stomach and gills. Then you can remove the white meat from the body and crack open legs and claws for the dark meat. You can use the dark meat in soups, Viverito says, or add white meat to a stir fry. Mattel says the white meat also makes a wonderful crab cocktail — cooked white crabmeat is delicious cold. If the recipe you choose calls for dark meat, look for a crab with fatter legs and meatier claws.

spiny,” he describes, with pointy, thorn-like protrusions covering their big bodies and long legs.

King Crabs There’s a reason they’re called king crabs. Like Dungeness crabs, their bodies can grow to be the size of a dinner plate, but king crabs’ legs can grow to be as long as two feet, Shields says. Also like Dungeness crabs, king crabs take as many as 10 years to mature and live in the cold waters of the northwest Pacific Ocean. (The biggest population of king crabs lives in the Bering Sea, along the coast of Alaska.) But they live deep in those waters — as deep as 150 feet, Lipcius says. Another thing that separates king crabs from Dungeness crabs, as well as blue and snow crabs, is that they’re not true crabs, Lipcius says. They’re actually descended from a hermit crab, he says. And when you handle king crabs, you may want to wear gloves, Shields warns: “They’re really

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There are three kinds of king crab: red, blue and golden, each with its own flavor profile. Red king crab is sweet, succulent, and rich, says Viverito, and has white meat with a tint of red. It’s the most “prized” of the three types of king crab, Viverito says, because it is “the largest and has the most potent flavor.” Blue king crab is also sweet, but milder than red king crab. And golden, or brown, king crab is milder still, Viverito says, and less sweet than either red or blue king crab. The meat in king crabs’ claws and legs — the part you’ll eat — is firm, but flakes apart easily when chewed, says Viverito. Because of this, most markets will only sell you king crab legs rather than the whole crab. Mattel says king crab legs are almost always processed, cooked and frozen at sea, which means cooking them is as easy as heating them and serving them with melted butter. To heat king crab, Viverito suggests steaming them for six to 10 minutes. To get to the meat, you can crack open the claws with a seafood cracker or carefully with the handle of a knife, Viverito says.


unfamiliar with cooking crabmeat. To eat them, Viverito recommends steaming the meat for just a few minutes, then serving them with melted butter.

Snow Crabs Also known as “queen” crabs, snow crabs are cold-water crabs that live in the northern parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Bering Sea. They can take as many as 10 years to grow to maturity, and live as many as 20 years, says Lipcius. While they resemble king crabs — snow crabs have long legs, too — they’re typically more slender and weigh less: King crabs can weigh more than 20 pounds, he says, while snow crabs usually weigh no more than five pounds. Snow crabs get their name not from the cold waters in which they live, explains Viverito, but from the snow-white color of their meat. The two species of snow crabs — chionoecetes bairdi and chionoecetes opilio — are both prized for their sweet, mild and subtle flavor. Regardless of the species, snow crabs’ meat is more fibrous than that of king crab, says Viverito, but still very tender. Like king crab, snow crab at Rouses is sold already cleaned and cooked, making this crab another safe choice for home cooks

While snow crab can be used in other dishes, “their subtle flavor is usually lost through use of spices and is enhanced with just a little sweet fat from the butter,” Viverito warns, and Mattel agrees. However, Mattel says you can also use snow crabs to garnish dishes, such as salads, risotto, pasta, or soup. “It is less expensive than king crab yet has a similar look,” Mattel says.

Stone Crabs From time to time, depending on availability, you might spot another crab in Rouses Markets: the stone crab. Like blue crabs, stone crabs live in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and western Atlantic Ocean, in mostly shallow waters, says Lipcius. But unlike the blue crab, which is a swimming crab, stone crabs are walking crabs — closer, in that respect, to king and Dungeness crabs. “A unique feature of the stone crab is that only the claws are taken, and the crab is released back into

the water, where it will regrow the lost claws,” says Lipcius. How, you ask? All crabs are capable of selfautotomy, which means that when a predator grabs a claw, “the crab will autotomize the claw along a plane at the base of the claw without bleeding,” he says. To be taken, the claws must be at least 2.75 inches long, Viverito says. And because they’re very perishable, these claws are often steamed and chilled on fishermen’s boats — which means that by the time they’ve reached the grocery store or seafood market, they’re already “cooked” for you. Inside, a stone crab has very flaky meat, which Viverito describes as a “cross between a shrimp and a lobster.” Its flavor is sweet, Mattel says, but decidedly less briny than that of blue crabs. Because only their claws are harvested, only their claws are sold. So, when it comes to cleaning and eating these crabs, you’ll only have to worry about the claws. “While most types of crabs are served whole, stone crab claws are prepped like shrimp cocktail — cooked, cracked and served as a meaty finger food — often with a side of creamy mustard-based sauce,” Viverito explains. You can whip up such a sauce by whisking one cup mayonnaise with two tablespoons of half-and-half, four teaspoons of dry mustard, two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and one teaspoon of steak sauce until smooth, Viverito says. Season with salt and pepper, then chill and serve later.

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PHOTO BY ROMNEY CARUS0

CHEF GERARD VIVERITO’S

Dungeness Crab and Sweet Corn Chowder

Makes 4 servings There is something about a pot of soup simmering on the stove that brings people together. I have always enjoyed this on the coast of Oregon around dusk when off the balcony you could see the sea mist starting to roll in. As the aromas of the vegetables start to fill the air, conversations start, and there’s reminiscing about the crabs discovered earlier in the day, the fresh corn bought from the proud farmer at his roadside stand and the beautiful heirloom tomatoes picked right before the drive down. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 2 Dungeness crabs 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 carrot, diced 1 stalk celery, diced 2 cobs of corn, kernels removed

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6 red bliss potatoes, finely diced 3 cloves garlic, chopped 3 shallots, chopped 2 tablespoons cognac 1 cup dry white wine 2 tomatoes, chopped 1 tablespoon tomato paste 5 cups fish stock or water Salt Freshly ground pepper Cayenne pepper Pinch dried thyme 1 bay leaf 1 cup heavy cream 1 lemon, juiced 1 tablespoon minced chives or parsley leaves 2 sprigs fresh tarragon leaves, chopped HOW TO PREP: Remove the claws from the crabs and quarter the bodies. Heat a 6-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the crab pieces until they turn red. Remove the pieces as they are cooked.

Add the carrot, celery, corn, potatoes, garlic and shallots, and continue to sauté for 10 more minutes. Pour in the cognac and carefully light it with a match or lighter. When the flame has subsided, deglaze the pot with white wine, and add the tomato paste, tomatoes and the cooked crab, and enough fish stock or water to cover. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme and bay leaf, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. The soup will be done when the potatoes can be easily pierced with a toothpick. In a small saucepan, reduce the cream by half. Add the reduced cream and tarragon to the soup and keep warm. If a slightly thicker consistency is desired, puree ½ of of the soup in a blender, then return to the pot. The starch from the corn will act as a thickener. Remove the meat from the claws and cut it into bite-size pieces; add to the soup. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve in heated soup bowls and garnish with minced chives or parsley.


Boiled Crabs

Serves 12-16

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 3-4 dozen fresh Gulf blue crabs 1 (4.5-pound) container Rouses Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil, Sack Size 1 (8-ounce) bottle Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp & Crab Boil 1 (16-ounce) bottle hot sauce 1 bag small red potatoes, about 3 pounds 3 pounds yellow onions, halved 6 lemons, halved 8 ears frozen mini corn on the cob or 3 fresh ears corn, cut into thirds 1½ pounds Rouses Smoked Sausage, cut in chunks 1-2 large bags ice 80-quart boiling pot HOW TO PREP: Fill boiling pot halfway with water. Add the crab boil and hot sauce. Place lid on the pot and set propane burner on high. Bring water to a rolling boil. Continue boiling 8 minutes. Remove lid and add the crabs, potatoes, onions and lemon. Replace the lid and bring water back to a rolling boil. Remove the lid and add the corn and smoked sausage. Replace the lid and continue cooking for 5 minutes more, then remove the lid and shut off the flame. Add ice to the pot to stop the crabs from cooking and to help them absorb the seasoning. Let the crabs soak for 10 minutes. Pull the basket out of the water and let it drain, then pour crabs onto newspaper-covered table to serve.

Cocktail Sauce

Makes 1 cup

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: ½ cup chili sauce ½ cup ketchup 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

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HOW TO PREP: Combine the chili sauce, ketchup and horseradish, then mix in the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco until well blended. Chill before serving.

chopped and all the ingredients are mixed but not puréed. Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Drawn Butter for Steamed Shrimp, Crab or Lobster

Makes 1 cup This is the mustard sauce recipe from Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant in Miami Beach. Serve with cold, cracked crabs.

Makes ¾ cup A good trick is to allow the fat to cool on drawn butter, then pour it over cheesecloth; the cheesecloth will “grab” the fat. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter HOW TO PREP: Slowly melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter foams and milk solids sink to bottom, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool. Skim foam from top, and discard the foam. Carefully pour clear butter into a bowl, leaving solids behind in the pan; discard solids. Serve warm.

Homemade Tartar Sauce

Makes ¾ cup Homemade tartar sauce will keep, tightly covered, for up to a week when stored in the refrigerator. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: ½ cup mayonnaise 1 gherkin pickle 1 tablespoon capers 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard Pinch kosher salt Pinch freshly ground black pepper HOW TO PREP: Put all the ingredients in a food processor or mini chopper fitted with a steel blade, and pulse until the pickles are finely

Mustard Sauce

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 tablespoon Colman’s Dry Mustard Powder, or more to taste 1 cup mayonnaise 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon A.1. Sauce 2 tablespoons light cream Pinch salt HOW TO PREP: Place the mustard in a mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the mayonnaise and beat for 1 minute. Add the Worcestershire, A.1., cream and salt, and beat until the mixture is well blended and creamy. If you’d like a little more mustardy bite, whisk in ½ teaspoon more of the dry mustard until well blended. Chill the sauce, covered, until ready to serve.

Garlic Butter Sauce

Makes ¾ cup This is great with lobster.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice Teaspoon salt, or to taste HOW TO PREP: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Whisk in lemon juice and salt.

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Wham, Bam, Mahalo Spam! By David W. Brown

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As far as meat in a can goes, you would be hard-pressed to find something more famous and instantly recognizable than Spam.

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Here on the mainland, the mysteriously named meat is sometimes considered either a guilty pleasure or an emergency ration. But in Hawaii? You might not believe this, but Spam is a beloved staple there, treated with respect and often given the full gourmet treatment. The stuff is practically better than steak on the islands — more versatile and more fun. How that happened is a quirk of history: the result of the Second World War and the happy, unexpected marriage of two quite different cuisines.

Hormel was already a wildly successful company (they also had Hormel Chili on the shelves by in the Sushi Department at then). It was natural that they would your local Rouses Markets help in the war effort, and 65% of the company’s sales were to Uncle throughout August! Sam, including Spam. How much Spam, you might be wondering? One hundred fifty million pounds of the stuff. The problem, which Spam solved, was how to get fresh meat to the hard-charging soldiers on the front lines. You couldn’t keep ground or chopped meat refrigerated across the entire European and Pacific theaters, after all, Spam wasn’t made for war. It was and the alternative was even less created by Hormel Foods Corpolikely: Pigs won’t wear parachutes, ration to find a better use for pork and cows took one look at Iwo shoulders. Bacon, ham, loin — one Jima and said nooo to swimming. animal produces all those things. But Hormel knew what to do, though: the shoulder? People just weren’t buying them, and a sort Use a can — no fridge necessary. of culinary Manhattan Project was convened. Hormel knew canned meats. Their first stab at it was in the mid-1920s, with Where soldiers, sailors and Marines went, Spam went. — and this was its actual name — Hormel Flavor-Sealed Ham. And that included the islands of the Pacific. Hawaiians, in This time, though, they would create the alpha and omega of particular, thought Spam was just the cat’s pajamas. A aluminum-encased pig. The result? Spam. Spam? Spam. lot of moving parts had to align, but the upshot is that the Yeah, you’re probably wondering about that name. I mean, U.S. territory (it wasn’t a state yet) was filled to the brim with service members; those service members had enough it’s better than “Flavor-Sealed Ham.” The guy who named Spam to build an island of their own; and that Spam filtered Spam, Ken Daigneau, did so in a contest, and won $100 for his Shakespearean style etymology. Hormel always capital- into the civilian populace. Moreover, and more grimly, the Hawaiian fishing industry suffered severely during the war, izes the word in its entirety, and hints coyly that SPAM is an as Japanese residents on the island (who made up much of acronym. the trade), were prohibited from working. This shortfall in “Pshh, everybody knows that!” you shout. “Spiced ham!” protein needed to be supplemented somehow. Enter Spam. By the time the war was over, the Hormel sensation had Hormel isn’t saying. On the official Spam website, Hormel become deeply entrenched in Hawaiian cuisine. states: “One popular belief says it’s derived from the words

Try fresh Spam Musubi

‘spiced ham.’ The real answer is known by only a small circle of former Hormel Foods executives.” Note the word “former”; there’s a chance not even the men and women who work today at Spam HQ know what it stands for. The famed blue and yellow label might one day be as impenetrable and unknowable as the Voynich manuscript, a 15th-century composition in an unrecognized writing system. So about World War II: By the time our boys were jumping from planes into Bastogne and taking the fight to Germany, 3 2 J U LY A U G U ST 20 20

Today, Hawaii is by far the biggest consumer of Spam in the United States, and its second-largest consumer overall (behind Guam). Every year, they eat six million cans of the stuff. In part, it’s practicality. Spam is shelf-stable; it’s happy to live for a very long time in the pantry. It is also a very costeffective meat on an island chain that imports 90% of its food. Not that Spam is seen there as an “inferior” product — just the opposite! Prince and pauper alike in Hawaii enjoy Spam because the locals have mastered how to best prepare it.


Consider the Spam specialty musubi. It is rice topped with grilled Spam and wrapped in nori. (In other words, Spam sushi.) It is an enormously popular grab-and-go meal, and there are innumerable variations on it, including a version that uses fried rice, and one that takes teriyaki-flavored Spam and breads it lightly. There is also the Hawaiian Spam sandwich: browned Spam topped with American cheese and pineapple, served on a hamburger bun. And Spam gau gee, which is mashed Spam mixed with chopped parsley and chestnuts, folded into wonton wrappers, and deep fried. The McDonald’s breakfast menu in Hawaii even features Spam. So passionate is the Hawaiian treatment of Spam that it is beginning to change perceptions even in the continental United States. Already, sales tend to surge during hard times (Spam is like that reliable friend you can always turn to). During the 2008 recession, Hormel reached maximum capacity in its plants in order to meet demand and, today, Spam has reached record sales during the shelter-in-place order due to COVID-19. But in good times, too, Spam is proving to be on fire with shoppers. Rouses supermarkets now sell musubi during their August Hawaiian days, and the Internet abounds with Spam recipes that border on the transcendent. Breaded Spam steaks? Spam quesadillas? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you: Spamaroni and cheese!

Add the ground beef patties to the same pan and cook on each side, until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F. Remove from heat and top each with 2 tablespoons of glaze. Set aside. Assemble a slider by slicing a dinner roll in half, then placing a beef patty on the bottom slice. Place a slice of Spam on top of the beef patty, drizzle with additional glaze, and place top Hawaiian roll on it to make a sandwich. Repeat with the other 11 rolls.

PINEAPPLE SOY GLAZE WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 3 cups brown sugar 2 cups soy sauce 2 cups crushed fresh or canned pineapple 2 tablespoons minced garlic 2 tablespoons lime juice 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce HOW TO PREP: In a saucepan over medium-high heat mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple, garlic, lime juice and hoisin sauce. Bring to a simmer, then reduce until it thickens. Remove from heat.

Spam & Egg Sandwich Makes 4 servings Try serving your eggs with a few slices of fried Spam, or go all out with this sandwich.

The simple truth is that Spam is a fun, distinctly American food of surprising versatility. The ease with which it fuses to foreign styles of cuisine, the fact that it has won wars, and the way in which it has been there, in good times and bad, make Spam the story of America, in miniature. Not bad for a “Hail Mary” attempt at finding a use for the humble pork shoulder, and one more win for the mighty pig.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 4 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 teaspoons Sriracha 4 slices Spam, cut into ¼-inch slices 4 slices cheddar cheese 4 brioche burger buns, split and lightly toasted 4 eggs, fried HOW TO PREP: In small bowl, combine mayonnaise and Sriracha; set aside.

Spamburger Hawaiian Sliders

In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook Spam until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Place 1 slice cheese on top of each Spam slice, then transfer to a large plate and tent with aluminum foil.

Makes 6 servings (two sliders per serving) WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 24 ounces ground beef chuck, formed into 12 patties 12 slices of Spam, sliced ¼-inch thick 12 King’s Hawaiian Dinner Rolls Pineapple Soy Glaze (recipe below)

Using the same skillet, fry four eggs. Place bottom buns on a cutting board and spread each with sriracha mayonnaise mixture. Top bottom bun with a slice of Spam and a fried egg, then place top bun on egg of each to make sandwiches.

HOW TO PREP: Fry the Spam slices in a skillet over medium heat until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes, then remove from pan and set aside. ROUSES

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Aloha By David W. Brown

You hear the words “Hawaiian roll,” and your senses go into overdrive. Your mind’s eye sees the white, fluffy bread bursting from a round metal tin.

You feel the slight pull of the almost foamy bread as you tear a piece from it — no, not a piece. A hunk. A fistful of what can only be some fantastic new state of matter. Solid. Liquid. Gas. King’s Hawaiian bread. Is your mouth watering right now? I know you can taste it. I bet you can even feel the soft resistance of the bread as your teeth sink into the softball-sized portion in your hands. Did you keep track of the plastic bag tie to keep your tin of bread fresh? Doesn’t matter. To open King’s Hawaiian bread is to say, “Oh, just one more piece won’t hurt…well, just one more…another…well, we’re this far into it, may as well commit to the act…” Hawaiian bread in any form — roll, loaf, bun — is the culinary equivalent of poetry. It’s also a litmus test for your extended family. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner and nobody shows up with at least one tin of the stuff, or the rolls — something — then you were born into the wrong family or didn’t properly vet your future in-laws. It’s the sort of oversight that should cause you, just before the meal is served, to take the turkey from the oven, golden brown and

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hot, juices dripping from the bird, and carry it on a platter to the dinner table, Charles Dickens style, for everyone to oooh and ahhh over, and then after saying, “Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!” you carry the platter out the front door and throw the turkey into the yard for the dogs to eat. Then you shout at your family to bring the right bread next year, or don’t bother coming at all. You’re not thankful for any of them, now get your stuff and get out. Thanksgiving’s canceled. It’s that good. To tell the history of Hawaiian bread is to tell the history of King’s Hawaiian, if only because Robert Taira, who founded the company, invented Hawaiian bread in the first place. “Robert had attended culinary school on the mainland, came home to Hawaii, and in the 1950s, founded a little place called Robert’s Bakery in a little town called Hilo, on the Big Island,” says John Linehan, the president of King’s Hawaiian. The young cook had tried Portuguese stone bread, which he really liked, but wanted to improve upon. “Stone bread is a


Kamehameha, that he offered bread to the gods, or some such thing, the “King” part of the name simply comes from the street where the company relocated. They were too big by then to keep the name Robert’s Bakery.)

little bit like the sweet bread, but with one major difference: Unlike Hawaiian bread, which is as fluffy on the second day as on the first, Portuguese stone bread hardens overnight. Like, really hardens. Pound-nails-with-it hardens, which is where it gets its name.” Robert wanted to give the bread a longer shelf life, and wanted to do so without adding chemicals or preservatives. He succeeded, and Hawaiian bread was born. It was an instant success on the island, and Robert soon outgrew his little store in Hilo. He relocated the business to a bigger place, on King Street in Honolulu, Oahu. (Though it is commonly believed that the name of the company, King’s Hawaiian, is a reference to King

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In the 1960s, Hawaiian restaurants and hotels carried King’s Hawaiian bread, and when tourists tried the bread, they had the same reaction we do: They wanted to know what it was and where they could get more of it. On the last day of vacations, the departing visitors would drop by the bakery on King Street and fill bags with the addictive bread. Robert and his wife, Tsuneko, started putting mail order certificates in the shopping bags for the tourists to take with them. The bread, as it turned out, was so popular that the cards started being mailed back to Hawaii from Japan, Latin America, Europe, all over Asia — all over the world. The tourists, now at home and hungry for the best taste of the islands, would order more, and some for their friends too. This meant that some people were gladly paying as much as $50 per loaf because of air freight prices. “The bread was so popular, in fact, that because of those little mail order certificates, King’s Hawaiian became

the biggest customer of the United States Postal Service in the state of Hawaii, and the company was dropping off one or two truckloads of bread to the airport every morning,” says Linehan. Which is how everyone heard about King’s Hawaiian bread. Not through a major marketing campaign or some splashy commercial during the Super Bowl. For the first 64 years of the company’s history, they never spent a dime on advertising. Everyone who ate their bread (and subsequently became obsessed with it) heard about King’s Hawaiian bread through word of mouth: Someone brought a loaf or rolls to a party. Someone mentioned this incredible bread they tried on vacation. Someone brought a gift back with them for a friend. You might be wondering about the tin, for which the bread has become so famous. When Robert first started making the bread, it was several times more expensive to produce than a standard loaf of bread because more ingredients were involved. Bread is basically flour, yeast, salt, water and, oftentimes, some preservatives and chemicals. But King’s Hawaiian bread requires, additionally, butter, milk and sugar. In the low-margin world of bread sales, this was a serious problem, and Robert faced a dilemma: How could he put his expensive (though superior) loaves of bread next to the other, cheaper brands of bread in grocery stores? His solution: sell them in those little tins, which made the bread look more expensive, and made the slightly higher price more palatable to shoppers. “That’s why he did it,” says Linehan. “So it would look and feel more like an unusual product than just another loaf of bread.” W W W. R O U S E S . C O M 3 5


company, with three generations of the Taira family delivering that irresistible Hawaiian food. Robert’s son, Mark, took over as CEO when he was 26 years old. Like his father, Mark was born in Hawaii, and the company remains devoted to its place of origin. “You’ll start to see a lot of new products in the years ahead,” says Linehan. “We invest in a lot of small food & beverage companies in Hawaii. We support some of the culinary schools there, and other efforts, philanthropically.” Seeking to make Hawaiian food a worldwide sensation, when its smaller affiliates do well in Hawaii, the company brings them to the mainland with an eye on even bigger horizons. In 1977, the company opened its first plant in Torrance, California to better supply the mainland. The bakery, 24,000 square feet in area, is still operating today. In 2003, the company opened a second plant in the California town — this one 100,000 square feet larger than the original. In 2011, the company expanded eastward yet again, opening the first of what would be two plants in Oakwood, Georgia. The reason for all this expansion? Demand and a desire to bring Hawaiian bread to the entire U.S., and then to the world. “We wrote a strategic plan in 2006, and we wrote a mission for the company: to deliver irresistible — not good or delicious, but irresistible — original Hawaiian foods with Aloha Spirit that families love, every day, everywhere,” says Linehan. “The decision to use the word ‘everywhere’ meant global. At the time, we were only sold in the United States. Today, we are in 16 countries.” Despite its exponential growth — or perhaps because of it — King’s Hawaiian remains a family-owned 3 6 J U LY A U G U ST 20 20

King’s Hawaiian is also concerned about Hawaii’s farmers, who have seen better days; 90% of the food eaten on the islands is shipped in from elsewhere. “Agriculture really has to come back to Hawaii,” says Linehan. “If we found a brand, and it did well in Hawaii and we thought we could take it mainland, what we would do is take a percentage of the profits that we make and put it back into a nonprofit that we’ve established there to help the Hawaiian food & beverage community,

because there’s a lot of great innovation in Hawaii.” The company keeps a close eye on how people are eating its bread. A lot of it is just eaten plain, as a snack. Social media has revealed such creative uses of the bread in recipes as French toast, sandwiches and sliders. “It makes unbelievably good bread pudding,” Linehan says. “Once you have it with our bread, you’re never going to want to have bread pudding again unless it’s made with King’s Hawaiian.” To that end, the company has more products on the shelf than just the bread in the round tin. Their most successful line of food is actually dinner rolls. They also have hamburger and hot dog buns, slider rolls and mini sub rolls. “Hawaiian bread has a cotton candy texture to it — a smooth, creamy, rich texture. The sweetness is there but it’s not too sweet. It is just enough so that you really get the taste. And if you eat it with something savory, like turkey or ham or a hot dog, the sweet and savory really work well together on your palate. Am I making you hungry?” Linehan asks, laughing. Yes, he is.


“The Island� Iced Tea Makes 1 pitcher WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 2 ounces vodka 2 ounces tequila 2 ounces gin 2 ounces rum 2 ounces triple sec 2 ounces fresh lemon juice 2 ounces simple syrup 6 ounces Coca-Cola Lemon slices, for garnish HOW TO PREP: Combine the vodka, tequila, gin, rum, triple sec, lemon juice and simple syrup in a large bowl filled with ice. Stir until well chilled, then strain into a large pitcher. Add the cola and float a few lemon slices in the pitcher for garnish. Serve in tall glasses over ice. PHOTO BY ROMNEY CARUS0 ROUSES

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Coconut Shrimp

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« Coconut Shrimp Makes 4 servings Use large shrimp that are at least ¹²⁄₁₅ count to a pound. If the shrimp are too small, they will cook through before the coconut breading has time to crisp. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: ¹⁄₃ cup all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 2 large eggs, beaten ¾ cup panko bread crumbs 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut 1 pound raw, large Gulf shrimp, rinsed, peeled and deveined, tails left on 1 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil, for frying Sweet chili sauce, for serving

HOW TO PREP: Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat the eggs. In a third shallow dish, combine the panko and shredded coconut. Working in batches and holding the shrimp by the tails, coat the shrimp with the flour, then dip in the egg, and then dredge in the shredded coconut mixture, pressing gently to help coconut and panko stick to the shrimp. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet, and set it over medium heat. When oil is warmed, add the shrimp to the skillet and fry, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Don’t crowd the pan; work in batches and add more oil as needed. Using tongs or a fork, remove the shrimp from the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve with sweet chili sauce or Sriracha mayo.

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Charred Corn on the Cob 4 0 J U LY A U G U ST 20 20


« Charred Corn on the Cob Makes 4 servings In Lower Alabama, Silver King is, well, king. Silver King has bright, white kernels and a high sugar content, which gives it an exceptionally sweet flavor. We also have bi-colored corn and Sweet Sunshine corn from neighboring Florida. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 4 large ears corn, in husks 1/4 cup butter, softened 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Salt, to taste HOW TO PREP: Carefully peel back corn husks to within 1 inch of bottom; trim the tassels and use a clean kitchen towel to remove silk. Soak in cold water for 20 minutes; drain. Pat corn dry. Combine the butter and parsley; spread over corn. Rewrap corn in husks and secure with twine or string. Grill corn, covered, over medium direct heat until tender, turning often, 15-20 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Grilled Peaches

Grilled Pineapples

Makes 6 servings

Makes 6 servings

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 8 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted Olive oil ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup dark rum ¼ cup almond liqueur, like Amaretto di Saronno Rouses Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 large ripe golden pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 8-10 wedges Coconut oil or vegetable oil Rouses Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

HOW TO PREP: Preheat oven to 375°F. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high and brush it with oil to keep the peaches from sticking. Place the peaches, cut side down, on the grill and cook until they’re slightly charred.

HOW TO PREP: Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Brush pineapple wedges lightly with oil and place on hot grill. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes per side until nicely charred and lightly colored, and you can easily insert a paring knife into the center of a piece. Remove to a serving plate and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Place the peaches in an ovenproof dish, cut side up, and sprinkle each half with sugar. In a small bowl, combine the rum and Amaretto; drizzle on the peaches. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until peaches are very tender. Serve warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Grilled Fish Fillets This cooking technique is perfect for thick, firm-fleshed white fish like catfish, red snapper, grouper, speckled trout and tilapia. Heat the grill and let the grate warm up. Gently dip a wad of paper towels in oil (make sure it isn’t so saturated that it is dripping). Holding the wad with tongs, wipe the grate. Keep wiping the grate with the oiled paper towels, redipping the towels in oil between applications, until the grate is black and glossy, about 5 to 10 times. Then brush both sides of the fish with a light coating of vegetable oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper, and place the fish skin side down and diagonal to grate slats. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the grill, and cook without touching the fish until the skin side is brown, well-marked and crisp, about 4 to 6 minutes. Try lifting the fish gently with a spatula after 4 minutes; if it doesn’t cleanly lift off grill, continue to cook, checking at 30-second intervals, until it releases easily. Using 2 spatulas, carefully turn the fish over to cook the other side. Cover the grill and cook until the centers of the fillets are opaque and register 140°F on an instant-read thermometer, 4 to 6 minutes longer. When the fish is done, remove it from the grill and let it rest a couple of minutes before serving. ROUSES

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Hey Poke A-Way By David W. Brown Draw a line from from California to Canberra, and cross it with one from China to Chile to create an X, and right where the two lines intersect, that’s Hawaii. Because the islands are at the crossroads of many diverse cultures, their cuisine is unlike any in the world — ever evolving and ever expanding. And one of its most celebrated dishes — poke — is a testament to this. Like all Hawaiian fare, the seafood delicacy has changed slowly but inexorably over the centuries, one ingredient at a time, one flavor at a time, and attracting one fan at a time until the world had no choice but to look up and take notice. These days on the mainland, you’d be hard-pressed to go a mile without crossing one poke shop or another, and you need not even go that far: Your local Rouses offers poke in its sushi section. At its most basic, poke is diced, marinated fish served over rice. (The word literally means “to slice.”) If that sounds like the sort of thing guaranteed to appeal to the Gulf Coast palate, you are exactly correct, says Michael Westbrook, the director of deli, cold cuts and sushi for Rouses Markets. “In our part of the country, we saw shoppers jump on poke much faster than the rest of the U.S. — even more than California, where poke first arrived from Hawaii.” Poke — sometimes spelled poké with the accent, and always pronounced poh-kay — was born on the Pacific hundreds of years ago as a solution to a basic problem for fishermen: hunger while working on the water. Hard workers pulled nets from the sea, sunup to sundown, and on their boats they had rice, fish — and appetites. One knife and one bowl later, a Hawaiian delicacy was born. The dish changed gradually over time as it encountered different peoples — soy sauce and other marinades were eventually introduced to the preparation. In that sense, poke is like the gumbo of Hawaii: a living cuisine made a thousand and one different ways and influenced by a thousand and one different cultures, and yet somehow always the same.

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When poke arrived on the continent, it took the West Coast by storm, and soon began cropping up in major East Coast cities. It was natural, then, that when it arrived on the Gulf Coast, the food capital of the country, it would yet again be transformed. Poke is deceptively simple: easy to prepare yet requiring a specialist’s skill to chop and cut the fish just right.

Fresh poke bowls are available every day at your local Rouses Markets!


and a sauce of soy, vinaigrette and sesame oil. Some stores will even make you a custom poke bowl, with additional protein options such as crabmeat, spicy baby shrimp and, of course, crawfish. In addition, you can pick and choose from such veggies as seaweed salad, sesame seeds, lettuce, fried onion, green onion and edamame. Just name what you want, and they will prepare it right there. “Our area has such a distinct palate, and we cater to that,” says Westbrook. “Tuna and salmon are our most popular bowls by far.” He says that customers have embraced the dish because you just get a lot of bang for your buck: it is inexpensive and filling. More than that, he adds, it is an incredibly nutritious cuisine. “It’s a healthy, clean product, and it sells extremely well because of it.” Poke became exceedingly popular not long after COVID-19 swept across the country. After we had all gorged ourselves from stress eating, and wore out our grills while doing yard work for the 40th day in a row, it’s like the South collectively decided that it needed something light and refreshing, and poke hit the spot. “We're really seeing that category grow — more, even, than the rest of the country, and a lot of that is because we were already so seafood driven,” says Westbrook, referring to the Gulf Coast’s natural affinity for seafood but also to the sushi rolls and nigiri available at Rouses. PHOTOS BY ROMNEY CARUS0

Westbrook first encountered poke in Hawaii, and brought it to Rouses a couple of years ago. “We were seeing it pop up on restaurant menus,” he says. “It had worked its way from one coast to the other, seeing serious popularity, and we went full bore with it in our sushi section, offering poke bowls to our shoppers.” The Deep South is well-suited for making poke because of the region’s bounty of ingredients that are natural to the dish — we already love every element of it — and Rouses set its trained sushi chefs on really tailoring the dish for the local markets. In Hawaii, traditional shops sell poke bowls tossed together and ready to go, usually with some onion and soy sauce. Rouses sells poke the same way: grab-and-go bowls that are made fresh daily, with sushi rice topped with tuna or salmon,

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Eusebio Gongora, the co-owner of Baton Rouge restaurant Southfin Southern Poké, says that the shelter-in-place mandate led to a whole new group of poke fans. “People were saying, you know, wow this is totally different — this is new — this is fun. Poke is prepared with all fresh ingredients, so just by its nature, it is healthy. It’s a dish that is not saturated with sugars and salts and things of that nature, because in poke you want those fresh ingredients to speak for themselves.” And speak they have, as the dish’s wildfire-like popularity reveals. The story of poke is one of change and growth, and chefs are just getting started in fusing, elevating and pushing forward the Hawaiian-born classic with different, local styles of cuisine. And with the bounty of seafood we enjoy on the Gulf Coast, there’s no end to the delicious poke combinations we can create.

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OH SO DELIZIOSO Our authentic Italian Sparkling Drinks are made with the most delicious Italian flavors. They were personally tasted and selected on a recent buying trip to Italy. Shop for authentic Italian food and beverages at Rouses Markets in person, and online for delivery and pickup at www.rouses.com.​


You’re the Wine That I Want By Sarah Baird

We’re living in unprecedented times, and if there’s any summer where we can all agree the social norms and fusty, arbitrary drinking rules of the past don’t apply, it’s this summer. That’s why it’s time we throw out the old notion that wine and ice don’t belong together, and begin to embrace how happily the two can coexist in any number of forms.

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HIGHEST WINE-TO-ICE RATIO:

An Ice Cube in Your Glass of Wine A couple of clinking ice cubes in a glass of wine has long been a no-no among oenophiles, primarily because of how the frozen water interferes with taking in all the complexity the wine has to offer. Unlike a scotch, where water helps the drink’s flavor profile bloom and expand on the palate, ice quite literally waters down wine, blocking the subtler tasting notes — a grassy hit, a tobacco undercurrent—and freezing out the taste buds. This is, of course, a problem if you have a special vintage you’ve been holding onto for a celebration or have lucked upon a “unicorn” (aka rare) bottle that you’re itching to savor in all its high-price-tag glory. But those scenarios don’t apply to 95 percent of the time when we’re just enjoying a bottle of wine — and the “no ice” rule shouldn’t either. Even the strictest wine nerds have started to loosen up at least a little bit, so as long as you’re not performing a reverse Biblical miracle and turning the wine back into water with too many ice cubes, do whatever is expedient in the situation — it’s hot out there.

“Keep all your wines slightly chilled and take them out in advance to warm up, depending on what temperature you need to reach,” writes Jon Bonné in 2017’s The New Wine Rules. “And if it gets too warm? Just put it back in the fridge or even toss in an ice cube if need be. (No judgement on that.)” Companies are even beginning to take notice of the trend reversal, with Moët & Chandon launching the Champagne Ice Impérial Rosé: the first-ever rosé champagne designed specifically to be served over ice. And if you’re feeling a little fancy, freeze a few green grapes and plop them in your glass as makeshift, no-melt ice cubes. For extra chill-atop-chill, popping a bottle of summertimefavorite white or rosé in the freezer for 20-30 minutes typically does the trick for getting the bottle to an ideal temperature for that ever-crucial first sip. (Any longer and the cold temperature might start to dilute some of its flavor.) On the flip side, don’t risk sticking a bottle of bubbly — champagne, prosecco, cava, any of those — in the freezer. It will explode if you forget about it (and who hasn’t done that?), leaving you with, at best, a sticky mess on your hands and, at worse, a dangerously pressure-packed cork waiting to erupt in your hands. No one wants to go into the night expecting a party and ending up with a trip to the ER. If you need to get a bottle of bubbles chilled down posthaste, filling an ice bucket with half-ice, half-water and submerging the bottle up to the neck for roughly 20 minutes is the gold standard. Also, if you’re a big sparkling wine person, you really should consider investing in an ice bucket. They come in all different types of retro-chic styles (mine is silver with embossed penguins), will draw a ton of compliments and ensure your wine can stay chilled while traveling with you to a pool get-together or a front porch hangout. (There’s a reason the white buckets full of ice at Bacchanal in New Orleans have remained a staple in their courtyard all these years.)

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Strawberry FrosĂŠ Recipe on Page 53

Mint Julep Granita Recipe on Page 53

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SECOND-HIGHEST WINE-TO-ICE RATIO:

MEDIUM-HIGHEST WINE-TO-ICE RATIO:

The Infamous Frosé (aka Frozen Rosé)

Granitas

For the past few summers, frosé — frozen rosé, for those who are not yet loyal devotees — has become a staple for the wine-loving masses looking for a playful way to stay cooled down while keeping it refreshingly low-key. After crashing onto the culinary scene in 2016 like the Kool-Aid Man through a wall, it wasn’t long before it was the sippable trend on everyone’s lips. “This is the summer of frosé!” Bon Appétit declared in 2016. “Are you a relatively happy person who typically appreciates sunshine, other people’s grilling, and hammocks? Then yeah, you’re going to love frosé.” Unlike flash-in-the-pan food darlings that cause a fervor, then fade away (looking at you, cronut), frosé has maintained its staying power because it’s so infinitely simple. In its purest form, frosé is a combination of rosé (ideally one with good depth of flavor, like a merlot rosé), a little bit of simple syrup and ice rolled around in a frozen drink machine until it reaches a Slurpee-like texture. (The much-adored version served at Willa Jean in New Orleans follows this recipe.) And while the drink is, of course, delicious, it’s also built on practicality: When the humidity is so thick your eyelashes are sweating, you need a boozy frozen drink ready to combat the weather. This is also why frosé has become the go-to beverage for savvy day drinkers, who know that a mimosa just isn’t going to cut it in the late-morning heat, but any drink that’s really liquored up might lead to a nap by 4 p.m. Frankly, frosé is the only icy beverage that’s ever made me earnestly consider buying a frozen drink machine for my house (sorry, daiquiris), because when you’re too melted down to deal with measurements or tinkering, what could be better than hitting a switch and watching icy relief fill your cup?

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While most of these wine-meets-ice creations on the list are proudly, definitely modern, granitas are quite ancient: around 4,000 years old, to be exact. The granita traces its roots back to Mesopotamia, where couriers would trek hundreds of miles to mountaintops in an effort to retrieve ice and snow for cooling down royal drinks. Generations later, Sicilians took the practice of gathering snow for chilling purposes one step deliciously further by adding herbs, honey and fruit to the snow, then placing the mixture in a container called a pozzetto for storage. Eventually, blades were added to the pozzetto to keep the mixture in constant motion and prevent large hunks of the sweet ice treat from forming, leading to the unique, crystalline texture of the granitas we know and love today. A completely dairy-free frozen treat that’s sometimes confused with its sorbet or gelato cousins, granitas are a natural at shape-shifting into an icy wine creation because their non-boozy natural state is so similar (sugar! fruit! herbs!), making them a prime candidate for a first foray into DIY frozen vino experimentation. Making it at home is as simple as combining your favorite wine that holds just a hint of sweetness — think riesling or a fruity chardonnay — with complimentary herbs, fruit juice and a little bit of simple syrup, then freezing it in a thin sheet on a baking tray. (Don’t improvise and use ice cube trays — they’ll leave the ice in too many sharp shards.) Three hours later, chip away at the semi-frozen, liquored-up ice mixture, scoop it into individual ice cream dishes for immediate enjoyment, and watch the “oohs” and ahhs” roll in. (If you’re feeling funky, you can also create granitas using beer — just make sure to steer clear of anything too hoppy, like an IPA.) Granitas are also a prime way to incorporate a little bit more red wine into your summertime drinking. A fruity red wine, like a pinot noir, works to create a granita that’s a bright, alfresco-appropriate palate cleanser when paired with lemon zest and rosemary, while a bold shiraz — when coupled with the flavors of mulling spices like star anise and orange — can create a granita that serves as a delightful end to any late July, lingering-long-past-sunset meal. W W W. R O U S E S . C O M 4 9


Wine-Based Ice Cream

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Perhaps most important, wine granitas — with their glittering, almost diamond-like ice flecks and herbal notes that work like aromatherapy — are special for their ability to conjure up daydreams of Italian seaside villages and ocean spray on Mediterranean coasts: Think of it as an Italian vacation in a glass.

typically a liquor or liqueur component (Cointreau and dark rum often find their way into the mix), but a rainbow of fruit juices and whole pieces of fruit hitching along for the ride. Frozen sangria doesn’t really let the iced-out wine take center stage and acts more like a member of the frozen cocktail family. Is iced sangria delicious? Yes. Is it more frozen cocktail than frozen wine? I say yes, but that’s definitely one of those “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” deep thoughts you’ll have to decide for yourself (while you’re sipping a glass of it, of course).

AVERAGE WINE-TO-ICE RATIO:

Wine Slushies If you’re just beginning your at-home journey into frozen wine drinks, vino slushies are another perfect jumping-off point to boost your confidence while flexing your creativity. The main reason? They are infinitely versatile and forgiving.

Wine-Based Ice Cream

One of the reasons for this is the texture of the ice. Wine slushies have more in common with Slush Puppies — small, granular pebbles of ice — than other frozen creations on this list and, lucky for you, that’s the texture that’s the easiest to achieve in your kitchen via the almighty blender. Simply pour a bottle of your favorite, inexpensive wine (or whatever you have on hand, honestly) into the blender alongside some complementary fruit (think berries for red wine and peaches or watermelon for white), chuck in some ice and give it all a whir. When it looks like a slushie (you don’t have to be very scientific here), pour it out into a glass and, congratulations: You’re a wine slushie whiz now.

People love to debate over whether cake or pie is the superior dessert, but for me, reaching for a digestif is always far more satisfying after a meal. Clearly, others have also been searching for a way to have our afterdinner drink and eat it too, leading to the recent rise in wine-based ice cream. These concoctions — which can be up to five percent ABV, or alcohol by volume — are most often made using port wine, moscato or other sweet wines, and are do-it-in-your-sleep easy to make at home using an ice cream machine. Just keep in mind that sugar always exacerbates hangovers the next day, so don’t eat several bowls at once, no matter how tempting.

MEDIUM-LOWEST WINE-TO-ICE RATIO:

NO WINE-TO-ICE RATIO:

Frozen Sangrias (Red or White — Take Your Pick) You might be thinking, “How does frozen sangria — which often includes not only wine but a fortified wine, like brandy — rank so low on the wine-to-ice ratio list?” A valid question, but hear me out.

LOWEST WINE-TO-ICE RATIO:

Ice Wine

Don’t be fooled by the name! Ice wine has nothing to do with a frozen beverage. Instead, it’s a unique type of wine made with grapes that have been allowed to freeze on the vine before they’re picked, leading to a marmaladesweet dessert wine that’s popular in Germany. Definitely not what you want to drink at a Fourth of July picnic.

Frozen sangria is typically made like a wine slushie, only with a whole lot of extras added in. Not only is there

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Orange Beach Blossom

Makes 6 servings WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 5 cups orange juice ⅔ 1 cup peach schnapps 2 cups ice cubes, or as needed 1½ cups chilled champagne 1 tablespoon grenadine syrup 6 peach slices, for garnish Mint, for garnish HOW TO PREP: Combine orange juice and peach schnapps in a pitcher; refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Pour ½ cup chilled juice mixture into each of 6 glasses; add 2 to 3 ice cubes to each glass. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons champagne into each glass. Slowly pour the grenadine into the glass over the back of a spoon or by drizzling it down the side of the glass, allowing it to settle at the bottom. Garnish each glass with a peach slice and sprig of mint.

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Strawberry Frosé Makes 4-6 servings Choose a bold, bright rosé like a Syrah, Pinot Noir or Merlot rosé. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 750 ml bottle rosé ½ cup sugar 8 ounces strawberries, hulled and quartered 2½ ounces fresh lemon juice 2-3 strawberries, hulled and halved, for garnish HOW TO PREP: Pour rosé into a 9" x 13" pan and freeze until slushy. Meanwhile, bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add strawberries and remove from heat; let sit 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl; cover and chill until cold, about 30 minutes. Scrape slushy rosé into a blender. Add lemon juice, strawberry syrup and 1 cup crushed ice, and purée until smooth. Transfer blender jar to freezer and freeze until frosé is thickened, 25-35 minutes. Place back in blender and blend again until frosé is slushy. Scoop into chilled serving glasses. Garnish with a fresh strawberry half.

Cherry Granita Makes 2-4 servings Early summer is peak cherry season. Ours come from Washington State, where they are grown by 3rd- and 4thgeneration family farmers. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 cup dry white wine ¾ cup sugar 5 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted

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3 tablespoons cherry brandy, like kirschwasser Juice of ½ lemon HOW TO PREP: Put wine and sugar in a large, heavybottomed saucepan and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add cherries and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cherries are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in cherry brandy and lemon juice. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Working in batches, purée cherry mixture in a blender until mixture is flecked with bits of cherries. Strain through a sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on solids with the back of a wooden spoon. Discard solids. Process cherry mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Scoop into chilled glasses to serve.

Mint Julep Granita Makes 2-4 servings The Mint Julep is one of the oldest cocktails in America. This bourbon cocktail was likely invented in Virginia, and popularized in Kentucky. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: ¾ cup sugar 1 cup packed mint leaves, plus mint sprigs for garnish ¼ cup bourbon ½ teaspoon crème de menthe

heat and add mint leaves (save sprigs for garnish). Let sit until room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Strain syrup into a 9" x 13" baking dish, discarding mint; stir in bourbon and crème de menthe. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Stir the mixture every 30 minutes using the tines of a fork, scraping the edges and breaking up any ice chunks as the mixture freezes, until granita is slushy and frozen, about 3 hours. Scoop into chilled julep glass and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Sangria Slushie Makes 6 servings For the orange-flavored liqueur, you can use your choice of triple sec, Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Curaçao. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 750-ml bottle fruity red wine ¼ cup brandy or cognac ¼ cup orange-flavored liqueur ¼ cup sugar 1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed berries (about 2½ cups) HOW TO PREP: Fill 2 ice cube trays with the red wine and freeze until mostly solid, at least 6 hours and preferably overnight. Combine the brandy, orange liqueur and sugar in a small container with a lid. Refrigerate until ready to make the sangria. Combine the frozen berries, red wine ice cubes and chilled brandy mixture in a blender. Blend on high until combined, and thick and slushy. Pour into a pitcher and serve.

HOW TO PREP: Bring sugar and 1½ cups of water to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan; cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved and a syrup is formed, about 1 minute. Remove from

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Toes in The Sand, Bushwacker in Your Hand By Sarah Baird I have to admit: The first time a Bushwacker was thrust into my hand, I was pretty skeptical. “It’s like a mocha-flavored piña colada!” My friend yelled over the rowdy din, as I raised an eyebrow among the college-aged revelers and trinket-lined walls of the Flora-Bama Lounge, a legendary roadhouse that sits on the state line between Orange Beach, Alabama and Perdido Key, Florida. My friend’s enthusiastic (if a little off-kilter) description definitely didn’t help make a case for the drink, but I’m never one to shy away from a beloved regional beverage. I whirled my straw around in the thick, chocolatey, frozen cocktail and clinked plastic cups with a nearby crowd of retirees in cutoffs (who were already more than a couple of Bushwackers deep). One gulp in, an icy flavor rush of coffee, coconut and a not-so-subtle undercurrent of rum washed over me, and I could quickly tell there’d be plenty of delicious, Bushwacker-induced brain freeze in my immediate future. Despite my initial doubts, it was clear that this signature cocktail of Alabama’s Gulf Coast and Florida’s Panhandle was the “adultsonly” milkshake of my boozy dreams. For all its wistful summertime connotations, the Bushwacker is actually a fairly heavy drink: There’s no zip of refreshing citrus or sparkling bubble of carbonation to help take the edge off of the throbbing heat of a muggy midsummer day. Beachside cocktail sippers, no matter how saccharine, typically have at least a fruity base or skew ultra-effervescent — like a spritz or an iced-down spiked seltzer straight from the cooler. They have names that evoke tropical locations and inspire luxurious mental vacations, like “Bahama Breeze” or “Blue Hawaii.” Not the Bushwacker (which was, according to lore, named in honor of a beloved Afghan hound). There are likely no other instances where you’ll see throngs of bikini and Speedo-clad people spreading out their towels and slurping down a chocolate-and-coffee-flavored drink beneath their 5 4 J U LY A U G U ST 20 20

beach umbrellas than with this blender cocktail. (Even the biggest caffeine lover has their limits.) But that’s what makes the Bushwacker so special. The drink’s dairy base has just the right amount of cooling effect, while the coconut cream provides enough sense memory of sunscreen and saltwatersticky hair to transport its drinker straight to the Gulf Coast — even if you can’t actually make the trip. The Bushwacker’s history, however, doesn’t begin along the Gulf Coast, but in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where it was created by bartender Angie Conigliaro at the Ship's Store/ Sapphire Pub in Sapphire Village, St. Thomas. Linda Murphy — the owner of the Sandshaker beach bar in Pensacola Beach — fell in love with the Bushwacker while on vacation in 1975 and, after a bit of tweaking, placed her own version on the menu at Sandshaker. It was a smash hit with flipflop wearing tourists and locals alike, and soon the bar was dubbed the “Home of the Original Bushwacker.” Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a beachside bar up and down the Emerald Coast that doesn’t have its own version of the Bushwacker (or have a strong opinion about it). At Lulu’s at the Homeport Marina in Gulf Shores, Alabama, owner Lucy Buffett’s spin on the drink adds in a drizzle of chocolate syrup and ice cream, making an already decadent drink even more so (and, yes, she is trop-rock legend Jimmy’s sister). The recipe for the Flora-Bama Lounge version is (naturally) top secret but is said to include five different types of liquor — giving the White Russian a real run for its


money. The menu at the Sandshaker has plenty of unique riffs — like a banana-flavored Bushwacker, an ultra-potent version using 151-proof rum — and there’s even a Bushwacker Festival hosted by the bar each year, complete with live local music and charity fun runs between drinks. Of course, staying true to its role as a blender drink, the Bushwacker is also very forgiving, and lends itself to plenty of DIY home experimentation. You might find that a combination of dark rum, Bailey’s Irish Cream, crème de cacao and coconut cream whirred up with ice is what gives you just the right balance of creamy-meets-dreamy, or that Kahlúa, white rum and a splash of milk alongside your crème de cacao and coconut cream is more your speed. You might take a page from Lulu’s playbook and add a dollop of ice cream, or top your Bushwacker with nutmeg, an extra float of rum or a maraschino cherry (or all three, why not?). This isn’t the kind of drink that needs the deft cocktail-making skills of a seasoned bartender or the inclusion of any rarefied-air liqueurs — quite the opposite. It’s the sort of drink that’s truly a “frozen concoction that helps [us] hang on,” as Jimmy Buffett might say. And even if the closest you’ll get to the beach this year is a kiddie pool in your backyard, who doesn’t need a little bit more of that delicious, boozy ease in their lives right now?

Bushwacker Makes 2 servings The Flora-Bama, a three-story honky-tonk beach bar on Perdido Key, is the home of the most legendary Bushwacker, a combination of milk, rum, Kahlúa, Amaretto, crème de cacao and who knows what else. The Flora-Bama’s exact recipe for this grownup milkshake is top secret, though we know it contains at least five types of liquor. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: ½ cup (4 ounces) cream of coconut 2 ounces Kahlua® coffee liqueur 1 ounce Bacardi® black rum 1 ounce crème de cacao ½ cup (4 ounces) half-and-half ½ cup (4 ounces) Rouses Vanilla Ice Cream (optional) Maraschino cherries, for garnish HOW TO PREP: Pour all ingredients except for cherries into a blender (ice cream optional) with two cups of ice, and blend until mixed. Serve in a hurricane glass and garnish each with a cherry.

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Brett/Robinson getaways are as convenient and easy as shopping at Rouses. Our worry free booking policy makes sure you plan ahead for your vacation without any concern. When you visit the coast, we can help you select a property, entertainment, and activities that suite you and your guests best. 100% refunds guaranteed.

800.932.6759 . FoodiesLoveTheBeach.com



Legendary Berries By Jillian Kramer

Pick up any clamshell container of Driscoll’s strawberries, and you’ll notice something: The berries are uniformly crimson red, consistently heart shaped, shiny but not too shiny. In other words, these strawberries look as good as they taste, and that’s by design — literally. The brand’s green logo scrolled on a bright yellow background may be what first catches your eyes, but it’s what’s inside those clear containers — packed full of perfectly colored, similarly shaped and always slightly sweet, genetically ideal (but not GMO) strawberries — that makes you recognize and love Driscoll’s. Randy Benko moved to Watsonville, California, where Driscoll’s is headquartered, in 1963. He began packing baskets of berries into trays for the local farmers who lined the street he lived on, making as much as 15 cents a stack at just 10 years old, he recalls. About the same time, he had the opportunity to visit Driscoll’s distribution center — a family friend had a connection — and he tasted Driscoll’s strawberries for the first time. “Having worked and grown up in Watsonville, I had never seen strawberries that looked like those,” the now director of foodservice customer development for Driscoll’s says. “They were not apple-sized, but they were huge. And the thing that I really remember too, at that very young age, was the flavor of the berries was different. I knew even then that the berries in Driscoll’s boxes were very different than everything else.” 5 8 J U LY A U G U ST 20 20

But what you might not know is Driscoll’s history, a path to those perfect berries that starts well before the World Wars. Today, Driscoll’s is a fourth-generation family business, and its founders J.E. Reiter and R.F. Driscoll, brothers-in-law, started growing strawberries even before the turn of the 19th century in the Pajaro Valley of California, which encompasses Watsonville. In 1904, the duo planted the strawberry that would become known as the Banner strawberry, the family’s first foray into consistently beautiful berries. While other strawberries might be oblong or pale, Banner strawberries were rotund and vibrant. The pair exclusively sold Banner strawberries for more than 10 years, until other farmers figured out the formula, so to speak, and grew them too. By the 1940s, Driscoll’s sons, Ned and Donald Driscoll, and their cousin, Joe Reiter, joined with Kenneth Sheehy, T.B. Porter and M.W. Johnson to found The Strawberry Institute, dedicated to researching and breeding superior varieties of strawberries. By 1950, the group formed Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Inc., or Driscoll’s, and in 1958 released the Z5A strawberry, its first proprietary cultivar — so ideal in its visage, flavor and transportability it boosted the brand to national recognition. (In Quest for the Perfect Strawberry:


and blueberries, and committed more fully to raspberries. Driscoll’s, the company decided, would become a yearround supplier of all the finest berries — not just strawberries. But with bushels of new berries came new problems. The company, like all fruit companies, had been packaging its fruit in pints. Driscoll’s pints were a lemon-hued yellow, made from plastic arranged in a grid-like pattern that allowed the fruit to breathe. But those pints also often cut and scarred the more delicate berries, such as the raspberries and blackberries that Driscoll’s had begun to breed. The little baskets “weren’t very kind to the food itself,” Benko says. To solve the problem, Driscoll’s began packing its berries in clamshells, the hinged, clear plastic containers all supermarket berries are packaged in today. In fact, the company led the clamshell charge.

A Case Study of the California Strawberry Commission and the Strawberry Industry, author Herbert Baum attributes the Z5A to establishing Driscoll’s “as the premier California grower-shipper, a position they still retain.”) “Z5A really put Driscoll’s on the map,” Benko says. And indeed, it did in a literal sense, too. The Z5A not only boasted a later and longer growing season — which allowed Driscoll’s strawberries to ship after other companies had long run out — but the Z5A also transported especially well. It was hardy, Benko describes, and it held up as it was shipped long distances. At the time, most of Driscoll’s demand came from east of the Mississippi River, he says. The Z5A traversed the country well, and stayed so fresh that it “outperformed from a competition perspective,” he says. “And that’s really at the core of what makes Driscoll’s unique: genetics,” Benko explains. That doesn’t just apply to its strawberries, either. Until the late 1980s, Driscoll’s concentrated its efforts on strawberries and a handful of raspberries. But as it watched competitors such as Dole and Del Monte dish out other varieties of fruit, Driscoll’s decided to expand. It started growing blackberries

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Retailers and customers, however, were reluctant to embrace the new packaging. “I recall very vividly, there were certain customers who did not want to see that change,” Benko says. “But there are so many added benefits to having products ready to sell in the clamshell that within a couple of years, [they] totally changed the strawberry industry from a packaging perspective.” Not only did the new packaging better protect the berries from physical harm and airborne contaminants, but it also gave the brand a boost in visibility. The hard plastic shell allowed Driscoll’s to affix its label at the very top of the package, where it couldn’t be missed by consumers shopping at stores such as Rouses Markets. “Instead of a basket sitting in the produce department with no identification,” Benko says, customers could now quickly identify where their fruit came from. Now, “when consumers buy Driscoll’s, they can see the brand name prominently featured on the package,” says Timothy Calkins, a marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Driscoll’s shift to using clamshells may have impacted the company’s mission statement, which Benko says the company adopted sometime in the 1990s. “Our mission is to continually delight berry consumers through alignment with our customers [like Rouses Markets] and our growers,” says Benko. And it does that in a variety of ways, from its Joy Makers to limited edition berries.

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Joy Makers? Yes, that’s what the company calls its team of scientists — or “artists,” as Driscoll’s dubs them — who are dedicated to creating and growing those genetically perfect berries that the brand is known for. They’re agronomists, breeders, sensory analysts, plant health scientists and entomologists using techniques such as hand crosspollination to ensure tasty, colorful berries. (The Joy Makers use only natural methods to create and breed varieties of their patented berries.) Each year, the Joy Makers study thousands of potential plants, choosing only what they believe to be the top one percent, to farm and sell under the Driscoll’s brand name. Each variety takes up to seven years to produce a seedling that’s ready for mass production. And after they’re grown, the Joy Makers flavor-test more than 500 varieties from test plots around the world to ensure quality. Frances Dillard, Driscoll’s brand strategist and general manager, says that few other companies employ such large teams dedicated to freshness and flavor. The team was responsible for the brand’s recent “rosé” strawberries, which hit select markets last summer in an attempt to tap into millennials’ love for the wine of the same name and consumers’ growing interest in more exotic fruits. Instead of a traditional red hue and sweet taste, these “rosé” strawberries were pink, with hints of floral flavor. Dillard described them as “silky and creamy, almost like a creamsicle.” The flavor certainly delighted consumers. Benko says, “If we do a good job — and by that I mean delighting consumers — we believe they will come back and purchase time and time again.” 6 0 J U LY A U G U ST 20 20

Calkin agrees. “Driscoll’s is a premium player, committed to quality,” he says. “Driscoll’s has clearly established itself as a leading brand — perhaps the top brand — in berries. Consumers and retailers know the brand and will pay more for it. This is a good definition of a valuable brand.” But while the Joy Makers are in charge of developing new and perfect berries, Driscoll’s quality is also controlled at another level: with its growers. Driscoll’s grows its berries in more than 20 countries — including the United States, Mexico, Peru, Australia and China — across what Benko estimates is more than 1,000 independent farms. The Driscoll’s proprietary and patented berries are given to farmers to grow on their land. “Back when I first started, we basically tried to service the world out of Watsonville, California,” Benko says. But that wasn’t a model the brand could sustain. As its international demand grew, Driscoll’s had to partner with farmers outside its immediate area to meet those needs, as well as be able to provide berries everywhere year-round. The independent farmers have become valued partners of the still family-owned company. (J. Miles Reiter, the grandson of J.E. Reiter, is the company’s current CEO.) About 85 percent of Driscoll’s revenue goes back to its farmers. Audelio Martinez, co-owner of Marz Farms in Oxnard, California, has been growing Driscoll’s berries since 1995, and says he feels like he is a part of the Driscoll’s family. “I believe you should treat all of your employees with respect, as if they are members of your own family,” he says. “I am proud to work for Driscoll’s. Their way of doing business is also my way.”


We’re “berry proud” to carry Driscoll and the best Gulf Coast berries during local growing seasons.

The harvesters that work for the farmers are critically important and valued by both the farmer and Driscoll’s. Driscoll’s believes it has “a responsibility as a trusted brand to ensure harvesters are treated with respect and working within the enterprise is a source of pride.” In 2016, Driscoll’s began selling Fair Trade Certified organic strawberries and raspberries from Baja California, Mexico. By 2019, all its berries from the region were Fair Trade — a mark of the company’s commitment to supporting and empowering its independent farmers. “We want to do the right things,” Benko says. “You really want to recognize hard work and reward the people at the grassroots of any business. And for us, that’s really at the picker level at our harvesters.” Driscoll’s berries are hand-picked. When the novel coronavirus swept the globe its production temporarily slowed. But the company donated $2.5 million to initiatives in the U.S. and Canada, $1 million to Central Mexico and Baja, and another $500,000 to Europe and Morocco. (It also delivered $500,000 of fresh berries to first responders and hospitals in New York City.) “You want to talk about the heroes in keeping the food supply and food chain open?” Benko asks. “Those [pickers] are the people on the front lines, continuing to harvest fruit and be an integral part in getting it to market, so that people don’t have to worry about getting food or how they’ll be able to get their hands on fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.” As rich as its history is, Driscoll’s promises an equally flavorful future, one in which everyone from its pickers to its Joy Makers to its CEO will continue to work to delight its consumers. “When you start thinking about all the hands that are connected to one box of berries, it’s pretty amazing,” says Benko, “because not only are you talking back to the picker, but you’re talking about all the other processes and people that come into play — all the way down to a company like Rouses Markets. All the people that are affected by that one box. Ultimately, we’re being judged by every clamshell we produce. Knowing that, we have to do a good job to make sure that, ultimately, we’re enriching the entire supply chain, from grower all the way to end user.”

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YOUR KITCHEN IS OUR CLASSROOM. We’re offering free online cooking and baking lessons — even a hands-on virtual Summer Kids’ Cooking Camp — to help you make the most of your time at home.

Visit www.rouses.com for a calendar of classes.


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Watermelon Rind Jell-O Smiles Makes 12 servings WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 6-pound watermelon, halved, with fruit removed (leave about ¼ inch of fruit in the rind) 3 (3-ounce) boxes watermelon flavored Jell-O 6 envelopes unflavored gelatin HOW TO PREP: Cut watermelon in half and line a large baking sheet with paper towels to place the watermelon halves on. Do this near the refrigerator so you don’t have too far to carry it! Scoop out the fruit, leaving about ¼ inch of fruit inside the rind. Set the watermelon fruit aside and save it for another use.

PHOTO BY ROMNEY CARUS0

Orange Jell-O “Cups” Makes about 30 orange slices WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 package orange flavored Jell-O 5 oranges HOW TO PREP: Cut oranges in half and, using a spoon, remove the flesh (fruit). You can use a knife but you risk cutting into the rind. Set the orange fruit aside and save for another recipe.

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Place all empty orange halves in a muffin tray for good balance. Prepare liquid Jell-O mixture according to package. Pour it into the orange rinds, filling them to the brim. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. When Jell-O in orange “cups” is set and ready to serve, slice each half into 4 slices. Do this carefully and with a sharp knife — too much rocking back and forth will pull the Jell-O from the sides of the orange and ruin that slice.

Mix watermelon flavored Jell-O and unflavored gelatin together, and prepare liquid Jell-O mixture according to package. Pour Jell-O mixture into the two watermelon halves and transfer baking sheet to the refrigerator. Chill for four hours or more. After your gelatin has set, remove one of the watermelon halves from the fridge and place it on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 1-inch slices. The gelatin will be nice and firm because of the added unflavored gelatin in the recipe. Even though you filled the watermelon rind with liquid gelatin, when it solidified, it shrank too. You can just trim the excess tips off of each slice. Cut each watermelon slice into three triangles. Repeat with second watermelon.


Click here to print this coloring sheet!

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Louisiana Children’s Museum Now Open!

When you make a child’s potential visible, wonderful things happen. Children can do amazing things, and at Louisiana Children’s Museum we give your child the space to explore their tremendous abilities. With unique gallery spaces including indoor and outdoor experiences, children learn through play and shared explorations.

Come play and enjoy LCM in a new safe way. Timed entry tickets must be reserved in advance for LCM Members and General Admission guests. Tickets available now at lcm.org/planyourvisit.

COME JOIN IN THE EXPERIENCE 15 HENRY THOMAS DRIVE | NEW ORLEANS, LA 70124 | 504-523-1357 | WWW.LCM.ORG @LouisianaChildrensMuseum

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@LouisianaKids

PLAY...DISCOVER...IMAGINE...EXPLORE...EXPERIENCE