* The Southern half of the United States is the home of the Pecan, which are members of the Hickory Family and its native to the Mississippi River Valley.
* Pecans are harvested in October and well unto December.
* When it comes to storing pecans one must realize that their high oil content makes them perishable and hence they must be stored in a cool dry place to maintain their quality.
* Before a shelled pecan is ready to be sold, it must first be cleaned, sized, sterilized, cracked and finally, shelled.
* It would take 11,624 pecans, stacked end to end, to reach the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.
* The U.S. produces about 80 percent of the world's pecan crop.
* There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans. Many are named for Native American Indian tribes, including Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee.
* Pecans come in a variety of sizes - mammoth, extra large, large, medium, small and midget. They also come in several forms including whole pecans, pecan halves, pieces, granules and meal.
* Albany, Georgia, which boasts more than 600,000 pecan trees, is the pecan capital of the U.S.
Pecans provide nearly 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for zinc, which helps the body produce testosterone, the hormone that perks sexual desire in men and women.
* Texas adopted the pecan tree as its state tree in 1919.
* Pecan trees usually range in height from 70 to 100 feet, but some trees grow as tall as 150 feet or higher.
* Some of the larger pecan shellers process 150,000 pounds of pecans each day. That's enough to make 300,000 pecan pies!
We are excited to present to you the second installment of our newsletter, The Date Line, and wanted to pass that excitement on to you with an early Summer Father's Day Special!
In this issue, we highlight special products and discounts for Father's Day, as well as an article about Desert Honey as a remedy for seasonal allergies. Additionaly, we spotlight and profile local Chef Ryan Anderson of Sushi Roku, who discusses two of our hot sauces. Finally, we spotlight one of our premier Arizona wines - Sonoita Vineyard's MeCaSah. As well as provide details for our next tasting, which will be held on May 26th.
We would also like to say from our family to yours, thank you for supporting a locally owned American small business like Sphinx Ranch Gourmet Market.
All our best,
Jason Heetland & Family
| Father's Day Spotlight & Special Offer |
It's almost summer and as the weather starts to get nicer, it's time to start thinking about doing something nice for the #1 man in your life: dear old D-A-D! To help celebrate the occasion this season Sphinx Ranch
is offering a special Father's Day Mixed Nut Basket.
Dad's are some of the most important people in the world, so let her know how special he really is with a "gift in good taste" from Sphinx Ranch Gourmet Market
. Our premium Father's Day Mixed Nut Basket contains: top quality, roasted and salted Arizona Pistachios, Mixed Nuts, Almonds, Cashews, and Arizona Pecans. To order please call (800) 482-3283 or visit our Website
| Chef Spotlight: Sushi Roku's Ryan Anderson Gets Spicy |Earlier this month, one of celebrity regulars, Ryan Anderson (former pitcher for the Seattle Mariners and now chef at Sushi Roku) was in buying supplies. During his visit he inquired about a couple different specialty hot sauces we carry: Habanero Hot Sauce from Hell and Dumb Ass Hot Sauce. He asked if either sauce was truely "HOT" and wondered which had better flavor. Frankly, we did not know the answers so we gave him a bottle of each and asked him to do a little professional comparison for us.
Chef Anderson reported back to us the following: Habanero Hot Sauce from Hell is more of a traditional hot sauce. He compared it to the taste of Tabasco Hot Sauce with a thicker consitancy, a sweeter back tone, but not with a pronounced tingling sensation on the back of your tongue. On a scale of 1-10, Anderson rated this hot sauce a 6
On the other hand, Anderson found Dumb Ass Hot Sauce to be extremeley hot with a thinner consitancy. Further, he added that it has a very strong tinginling sensation from the moment it hits your tongue. On a scale of 1-10, he rated this hot sauce a 9. Finally, Anderson noted that Dumb Ass Hot Sauce has capsicum extract which is used to make the hottest sauces. (***This hot sauce should be used with caution***)
Capsaicinoids are chemicals that are responsible for the heat in chile peppers. Capsaicin is a compound that is fat soluble and therefore water is of no assistance when your mouth burns.
Two things that will help your mouth with the heat sensation are:
Chef Anderson recommends the following foods for these hot sauces:
- BBQ sauce
- Homemade chilli sauce
- Homemade salsa
- Hotwing sauce
- Stews & Soups
- Jerk seasoning
- Hollandaise sauce for eggs bennedict or steaks
- Soy bean paste
- Scrambled & fried eggs
About the Chef:
Ryan was born in 1979 in Southfield, MI. Graduated high school from Dearborn Divine Child in 1997. Immediately after graduating from high school he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 1st round. Ryan played for the Mariners from 1998-2005 then played for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005. He retired from professional baseball after the 2005 season due to three shoulder surgeries. After baseball he attended the Scottsdale Culinary Institute from 2006-2009 where he graduated with honors. In August 2008 Ryan was fortunate to help open Sushi Roku at the W hotel in Scottsdale, AZ where he currently works as Chef and Kitchen Supervisor.
| Arizona Honey a Remedy for Seasonal Allergies
Honey harvested from the flowers that an individual is allergic to is an effective method for combating seasonal allergies. We at Sphinx Ranch get the most feedback about our Desert Wildflower Honey. Many people are allergic to the pollen from wildflowers that bloom after heavy summer rains, and some of our customers have reported being able to stop medication after eating our Desert Wildflower Honey.
The idea behind eating honey is kind of like gradually vaccinating the body against allergens, a process called immunotherapy. Honey contains a variety of the same pollen spores that give allergy sufferers so much trouble when flowers and grasses are in bloom. Introducing these spores into the body in small amounts by eating honey should make the body accustomed to their presence and decrease the chance an immune system response like the release of histamine will occur. Since the concentration of pollen spores found in honey is low - compared to, say, sniffing a flower directly - then the production of antibodies shouldn't trigger symptoms similar to an allergic reaction. Ideally, the honey-eater won't have any reaction at all.
If a honey regimen is undertaken, however, local honey is generally accepted as the best variety to use. Local honey is produced by bees usually within a few miles of where the person eating the honey lives. There's no real rule of thumb on how local the honey has to be, but proponents suggest the closer, the better. This proximity increases the chances that the varieties of flowering plants and grasses giving the allergy sufferer trouble are the same kinds the bees are including in the honey they produce. After all, it wouldn't help much if you ate honey with spores from a type of grass that grows in California if you suffer from allergies in Arizona.
At Sphinx Ranch, we carry of number of different local honey flavors from Mountain Top Honey Co. out of Flagstaff, AZ. Flavors include the following, which are all available in 8 oz., 16 oz., and 32 oz. jars:
| Sonoita Vineyards: MeCaSah Es Su Vino|
A delightful blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah (which is where the name is derived). A house wine with bright fruit flavors, good acidity and a toasty oak finish. Medium garnet. Good nose. Cherry, blackberry, and currant. Toward the finish, a good, savory quality, with a hint of orange rind. Relatively closed at this stage. A wine of good quality. Having tasted this, one can certainly see how in a good year, their wines could age very well. Will improve over the next 5 - 10 years.
Pairs nicely with a wide range of rich and full flavored foods.Price: $32.95