MANILA,  September 28
, 2004 (STAR) By Julie Cabatit-Alegre - It is said to be the second most popular drink in the world, next only to water. No, it is not soft drinks or coffee. It is tea. First cultivated 5,000 years ago, the three main types of tea being produced today are black (fermented), oolong (semi-fermented) and green (unfermented). Since fermentation tends to destroy its valuable health elements, of the three main types, green tea is believed to be "tea at its best."

"The only problem is its bitter taste," Andrian Lee, creator of Resensa Green Iced Tea, remarked at the Gourmet Dining with Green Tea event held recently at Cravings Katipunan. "Green tea usually comes in tea bags and is often drunk hot. Most Filipinos, however, prefer iced tea. So we thought of creating the world’s first green iced tea mix."

Resensa Green Iced Tea contains 100 percent natural green tea powder with 40 percent catechin, said to be the most powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect the body from potentially harmful substances called free radicals, which can damage tissues, cells and genes.

"The antioxidant in green tea is 100 times stronger than vitamin C and 25 times more potent than vitamin E," Lee pointed out. He then proceeded to expound on the health benefits of green tea.

"Green tea refreshes the body. It contains caffeine that, combined with catechin, produces a mild and natural energizing effect," he explained. "Green tea also controls high blood pressure. The catechins in green tea impede the action of angiotensin, a chemical in blood, which is known to cause high blood pressure. Green tea protects against heart disease as it mildly lowers total cholesterol levels.

"The catechins in green tea have been proven effective in reducing cancer risks," he added. "Green tea also manages proper body weight by promoting the burning of fats. It deters food poisoning since green tea has the ability to kill certain bacteria. Its strong sterilizing effect on bacteria is used in the treatment of diarrhea. Experts also believe that the powerful antioxidizing agent of green tea delays aging. Daily consumption of green tea in sufficient amounts helps prolong life."

He remarked, "Our mission is to promote preventive health through green tea, and we’ve thought of different ways you can enjoy it, not only as a beverage but also as an ingredient in different dishes."

At the Gourmet Dining with Green Tea event at Cravings Katipunan, chef Enrico "Ricky" San Pedro, Cravings culinary manager and Center for Culinary Arts (CCA) Manila graduate, gave a step-by-step demo on how Resensa green tea can be used as an ingredient in a number of appetizing dishes, from salad to main course to dessert.

"We at Cravings want to show that we are continually innovating our food offering to suit the needs of our customers," CCA Manila general manager Badjie Trinidad remarked. "We are always on the lookout for ways to improve the taste of our food and at the same time, use healthier ingredients."

Cravings is fast getting to be known as the "green restaurant," with it popular salad bar, earning for it the title the country’s "Salad Capital." It is totally committed to healthy environmental practices such as zero waste management and recycling. It also has its own herb garden. Recently, it launched its own line of spreads and sauces using only fresh and healthy ingredients, under the label "Annie’s Kitchen," after CCA Manila founder and president Susana "Annie" Guerrero.

In sum, Trinidad reiterated, "We would like to promote a healthy lifestyle."

Chef Ricky, who is also the executive chef of Monsoon Restaurant at Linden Suites, referred to Resensa green tea as "the wonder powder" and used it in his salad bar with green tea-infused salad dressing" and his pan-seared fish fillet with tamarind-green tea sauce, which were included in the Gourmet Dining with Green Tea menu.

"This is proof of the versatility of green tea," Lee remarked as he nursed a tall glass of the refreshing lemon-flavored Resensa Green Iced Tea.

Pan-Seared Fish Fillet With Green Tea And Tamarind Sauce

For green tea sauce:

45 g. all-purpose cream 1/4 tsp/1 cube fish powder/cube 1/4 tsp. green tea mix 15 g. pesto sauce 4 leaves fresh tarragon For tamarind sauce: 1/4 tsp. tamarind powder 4 Tbsp. water 1/2 Tbsp. roux 120 g. mahi-mahi fillet to taste salt and pepper 4 Tbsps. corn oil 1/2 stalk julienned leeks 1 serving rice pilaf or mashed potato

Heat cream and fish powder diluted in water. Add green tea mix, pesto and tarragon. Adjust consistency and season.

Dilute tamarind powder in water then thicken with roux. Add 1 tbsp of corn oil. Whisk.

Season fish. Heat oil, then pan-sear fish.

Deep fry vegetable and leeks then drain oil. Put on top of the fish

Serve with rice or mashed potato.

* * * For more information, call the Resensa Center at 915-0628, 915-0629 0927-4854491.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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