Monday, July 27, 2009

10 Gourmet Foods That are Illegal in the US.

Some illegal foods are illegal for health reasons, others are for the survival of a species or against acts of animal cruelty. Some may be delicious and others may be downright nasty. Different cultures all have their own palette. The United States has banned these 10 foods whether you’d eat them or not. Take a look and see what you can’t eat and what might be worth the risk to you.
  1. Unpasteurized cheese – Unpasteurized cheese is not your typical Kraft block of cheese. This cheese is full flavor and is touted by enthusiasts as the best cheese to ever hit your taste buds. It carries a dangerous health risk: bacteria. The FDA warns against eating any unpasteurized dairy products, but cheese lovers from across the country are willing to take their chances.
  2. Beluga sturgeon caviar – The eggs of the beluga sturgeon fetch prices as high as a few thousand dollars for as little as three ounces, but you can’t buy it in the U.S. The Federal Fish and Wildlife Service added the beluga sturgeon to its endangered species list in 2004 and approved a nation-wide ban on the import of all Caspian Sea beluga sturgeon caviar in 2005. Caviar from the fish is often considered the best available, but the fish are dwindling in numbers from overfishing and poor habitat conditions.
  3. Foie gras – A French favorite, foie gras is made from the fattened liver of a duck or goose. Two states have imposed bans on foie gras – California and Chicago. California’s ban will not take effect until 2012. Chicago’s foie gras ban started in 2006, but was overturned in 2008. What’s all the fuss? Foie gras is traditionally obtained by force feeding the waterfowl and then harvesting it. Many people continue to eat and enjoy the duck delicacy, despite surrounding controversy.
  4. Chilean sea bass – While Chilean sea bass are not illegal to consume, the U.S. government closely regulates the illegal fishing and importing of the buttery-tasting fish. According to the Department of State, consumers and restaraunteurs should ask about where the fish comes from before eating or buying it to help prevent the illegal harvesting of the pricey import.
  5. Mangosteens – Until 2007, fresh mangosteens were illegal to import into the U.S. because of the potential for Asian fruit flies to endanger crops. Now people can enjoy the delicate fruit for a high price from specialty stores. The mangosteen had some famous fans including Queen Victoria who would offer rewards to anyone that could bring her a mangosteen.
  6. Sichuan peppercorns – These little Asian fruits are the mainstay of many traditional Chinese dishes. The peppercorns are no longer illegal in the U.S. provided that the peppercorns are heated to kill harmful, difficult to control bacteria, citrus canker, that can kill citrus crops. The FDA lifted the 37-year ban in 2005.
  7. Raw milk – Raw milk drinkers have existed for centuries and rave about the health benefits of drinking the unpasteurized cow’s milk. The FDA does not though. As a matter of fact, the FDA has attributed illnesses and even deaths to drinking unpasteurized milk.
  8. Sea turtles – Sea turtle soup is a European dish that has been around for several centuries. A mock turtle soup must now be cooked from the gelatinous area of a calf’s neck and head since catching a sea turtle, much less eating a sea turtle, can land you in serious trouble with the law for poaching. Sea turtle soup is famed for being delicious, but the endangered species tops the list as a higher priority than soup for the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service and for the millions of people that stopped eating it.
  9. Moonshine – A product of the abolishment of alcohol, moonshine is still around today intoxicating those brave enough to sip it. The home distillation of moonshine is illegal, but for those who sneak the drink, it’s a delight worth tangling with the law over.
  10. Horse – While many people would probably not eat a horse in the U.S., Texas passed legislation to ban the slaughter of horses for consumption in 2007 to prevent American horses from ending up as dinner in foreign countries that routinely eat the animal.

Now you know some of the illegal foods in the U.S. so don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Provided by

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Gourmet Sauce Business Thrives in Soft Economy.

Our good friend Gary at The Black Market Condiment Company could use your vote! Click the image and vote for BMCC today and everyday until they win the Home-Based 100 contest. No registration is needed so vote daily to show your support!

Black Market Condiment Company are purveyors of gourmet-style condiment products including pepper sauces, dry rubs, marinades, grilling sauces, grilling sprays and more. All of our products are all natural, contain no additives or preservatives, are gluten free and vegan friendly.

We are a true home based start-up company in the truest sense. Founded in December 2005 in our kitchen, Black Market has already had it's fair share of bumps and bruises and almost didn't happen at all. In our first year of business our contract packager built all of our products wrong and would not make good on their mistake. After a lengthy (1-year) attempt at arbitration, we decided to cut our losses and liquidated our entire inventory for nickles on the dollar. We then spent the next 14 months, and a bunch more money, working with a new contract packager who flawlessly took us from point A to Z of the process and in March of this year delivered three delicious pepper sauces that are now on the shelves of major and independent grocers all across the California Central Coast. With the sauces selling very well, we are now in the process of initial talks with a handful of distributors with the goal of moving into the northern, central and southern California markets in the next six to nine months, and other states in the southwest corner of the U.S. in the next year.

There were many times that we would have liked to have thrown in the towel and called it quits, but the desire to succeed at something we are passionate about outweighed any sort of adversity and in the end has only made us a wiser and stronger company.

Recent press release:

New Paso Robles Condiment Company Launches First Products

PASO ROBLES, California – June 08, 2009 – Black Market Condiment Company, a new Paso Robles based producer of innovative gourmet-style condiment products, announced today the launch of the first three products from their Original Black Market Brand line of pepper sauces.

The first three products to be released are their fiery roasted garlic pepper sauce, chipotle pepper sauce, and black pepper blend pepper sauce. All three contain no additives or preservatives, are all natural, gluten-free, vegan friendly and in the medium heat range. Being gourmet-style products, they are fairly complex and are made with only the finest ingredients, perfect for beef, chicken, lamb, pork, seafood, veggies, and of course, taco night.

Original Black Market Brand pepper sauces are currently available at all central coast Albertsons stores, select Spencer’s Markets, Meridian Vineyards, and New Frontiers Natural Marketplace, with more stores being added weekly. They are also available online at

“All three of the Black Market pepper sauces have been very well received by local consumers,” says owner Gary Gannon. “We are thrilled to finally have our products out there and available to the consumer. Everyone who’s tried them absolutely loves them. They become instant fans and repeat customers,” he added. “We’re going to begin doing tasting demos at the stores that carry our line so that those who haven’t tried our products can have a taste and see for themselves why people are excited about them.”

Black Market Condiment Company is committed to providing high-quality and creative new products to those who wish to bring a new flavor dimension to their meals. Future product releases will include a full line of gourmet-style marinades, grilling sauces, dry rubs, and grilling sprays.