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Issue 46 : November 2013  

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Fish Then, Turkey Now

As most Americans know, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, when settlers and Native Americans sat down for a three-day feast in celebration of goodwill.

Ever since 1863, when Abraham Lincoln officially set the final Thursday in November as Thanksgiving, it has filled our minds (and stomachs) with visions of turkey, potatoes, turnips and pies. Contrary to popular belief however, turkey played a very minimal role in the first Thanksgiving. 

Although there is no official record of the menu served during the most famous meal of the 17th century, historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Being that this festival took place in a coastal area, historians believe that seafood played an important role in the first Thanksgiving meal. It is likely that much of the menu consisted of fish and shellfish, including, lobster, mussels, clams, oysters and bass.

Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower's sugar supply had diminished by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which along with turkey, have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.

Based on research by the Calorie Control Council, "the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat from snacking and eating a traditional dinner with turkey and all the trimmings". The Food Research and Action Center reports that, "two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese", that totals 154.7 million Americans age 20 or older, according to the American Heart Association.

We may be 392 years apart from the first Thanksgiving celebration, but it doesn't mean that we need to be bound to the conventional standards. While turkey may have become a Thanksgiving staple, in New England, lobster and other shellfish are frequently served alongside the bird. If that sounds up your alley, you should stop by your local fish market and bring a little of the sea to your Thanksgiving table (and maybe enjoy a more historic meal). 

For this holiday season's kick off, we decided to go with a healthier menu option, Charred Texas Fiery Sweet Shrimp; this can be served as an appetizer or a side. If you're looking to make this, don't forget to use fresh Ecuadorian Blue Foot White Shrimp, you'll sure leave your guests asking for more!  
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Q: How many types of teeth does Tilapia have?
A: Tilapia have two types of teeth, jaw teeth and pharyngeal teeth. Both types of teeth vary from one tilapia species to another to suit the different diet preferences. The jaw teeth are small, unicuspid, bicuspid or tricuspid structures, arranged in one to five rows and flattened distantly to form blades that can be used as scrapers. The pharyngeal teeth of the phytoplank-tivorous tilapia, such as Oreochromis niloticus, are fine, thin and hooked on the pharyngeal bones, whereas those of macrophyte feeders, are coarse and robust. 
Source:  Tilapia Culture by Adbel-Fattah M. El-Sayer - Page 33
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Mix it all up and set it aside for when the guests arrive! Grill for a couple minutes on each side and kick off the party with a sweet, spicy punch! Click here for the recipe.


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Staff Notes
This month, Chuck Sebeth, reached his 6th year working in the accounting department at Tropical. 
On November 13th, Craig Appleyard, VP of Operations and Business Development celebrated his birthday at the Tropical office.

Congratulations and Happy Birthday!


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