Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Know your Grades of Uni!

So, I recently discovered that there was a California Sea Urchin Commission, complete with their own very interesting website.

What I didn't know was that there are actually GRADES of uni available. The CSUC describes them as such:

The Commission also adopted the following grade names and standards of quality to encourage uniformity throughout the industry, to help retail and consumer customers make better purchasing decisions, and to give assurance of product quality.

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

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

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

And here are Uni's Nutritional Facts!


Miriam Goldstein said...

Uni's so pretty, and yet it tastes like dirt to me. Sadness, particularly since there's a fishery right here in San Diego.

(Also, when you type in yellow, it makes it really hard to read in an RSS feed. I dread missing out on echinofacts!)

ChrisM said...

Well, not everyone takes to it. I liken it to the 'deep end' of the pool when learning how to swim. And even if you get to that point, you might not like it.

And as the grades indicate-your uni may vary with where and how you get it.

I have been told the yellow and light colors are hard to read in an RSS feed. I will try to find more middle-ground colors!