“Your Berry Best Friend” hails the 2020 campaign from the US Highbush Blueberry Council, which recently kicked off its new season with a blueberry-themed tea party at TCH Foodworks. Guests were invited to celebrate the launch by indulging in a spread of delights made from the superfood while being wowed by a performance courtesy of Malaysian celebrity chef Dato’ Fazley Yaakob.
Malaysian Rep. US Highbush Blueberry Council and All About Fresh Managing Director Retna Malar; Celebrity chef Dato’ Fazley Yaakob; US Embassy Agricultural Attache, Foreign Agriculture Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture William Verzani; and Agricultural Marketing Specialist, Foreign Agriculture Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rowena Ngumbang
It’s no secret that the small plump summer berry is jam-packed with health benefits, ranging from cancer-prevention and immune-boosting qualities to aiding in heart health, bone strength, blood pressure and diabetes management. These facts plus many more were expounded on all throughout the event.
Present at the launch was Malaysian Representative for the US Highbush Blueberry Council Retna Malar, who waxed lyrical on the many amazing titbits of the blueberry as she welcomed guests – mentioning that whether fresh, frozen or dried, they retain their nutrients in full. In fact, when dried they contain an even higher amount of Vitamin C, while frozen ones make their powerful antioxidants more available to the body.
Retna Malar expounded on the many reasons why blueberries are considered one of the top superfoods on the planet
US Embassy Agricultural Attaché William Verzani elaborated on the agricultural trade relations between America and Malaysia in his speech and how the blueberry has seen a sharp increase in demand over the last few years. From retail to food processing – both booming sectors in the country – blueberries have been key products in these industries.
Dato’ Fazley then took the spotlight as he walked the audience through a blueberry thyme scone recipe. Incorporating succulent frozen blueberries into a crumbly pastry, the chef produced the delectable tea time favourite with a moreish twist. Guests were able to sample this plus other delights that emerged on traditional afternoon tea stands.
Dato’ Fazley Yaakob and his blueberry thyme scones
Among the scrumptious spread were blueberry cream cheese sandwiches, blueberry chicken salad wraps, blueberry and lemon pavlova, blueberry macarons and blueberry jam almond tea cakes.
Next up came Dato’ Fazley’s famous dessert table – his signature deconstructed Eton Mess – which is plated live and directly on to a table – with all the action and flair that it’s known for. The chef divulged interesting insights on the popular berry and how to best incorporate them into a variety of dishes while he worked.
Dato’ Fazley Yaakob putting the final touches on his deconstructed Eton Mess
His competed creation contained a mix of fresh blueberries and frozen blueberry puree, and was a treat for the eyes as much as it was for the taste buds!
Hailing from the nutrient-rich soils of North American, blueberries typically blossom between April and September – but can be enjoyed all throughout the year in dried or frozen forms. The former boasts an incredibly long shelf-life, while frozen they can last up to 10 months in the freezer without losing any of their nutrients, freshness and flavour.