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Apr 18, 2007 12:55 AM

What is frozen spinach?

What is the frozen spinach that you buy at the supermarket in the frozen food aisle? Is it precooked, boiled, steamed, or raw spinach before it's frozen state?

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  1. An intriguing question, but where did it come from??

    Anyway, a quick google search for "frozen spinach processing" turns up a "codex standard for quick frozen spinach" that suggests that the spinach is blanched (to keep the color bright) then frozen.

    1. The frozen spinach I have had is basically cooked as much as you'd really want to cook spinach. Just wilted, then chopped and formed into nuggets. These frozen nuggets can be thawed quickly and are easy to handle - you just use as much as you need. The truth is I've only bought it once, when fresh spinach was unavailable, but I don't think there was anything in it I would object to.

      Of course you can buy other frozen spinach preparations - in sauce, etc. But this was plain, bagged, frozen chopped.

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        1. Thanks for the responses. A recipe of mine asked for frozen rather than fresh spinach. Now I know to just blanch it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: david t.

            I like what we call the little turds ("petites crottes") as well - think they usually come from Belgium or the Netherlands - convenient to have in a pinch, on a very cold day or when you are out of greens. I like the chopped stuff - good to throw into a soup or have with pasta (and a white sauce). Sometimes in the wintertime I'd rather have that than the oozy spinach in bags, or dried out bunches. Fine to layer with fish à la florentine, or for a savoury tart or flat omelette.

            Of course in the summertime (for quite a long season, from spring to autumn) I always buy fresh spinach at the Jean-Talon market.

            I bought a bunch of rapini - that too will be blanched very briefly and cooled before being stir-fried with olive oil and garlic (not true stir-frying - done at a lower heat - more sautéeing - true stir-frying would burn olive oil). But in a wok.

            1. re: david t.

              I am pretty sure that the commerical food processors' definition of 'blanch' is more like "pastuer ize" than it is like what a chef would do. You won't find any ice water dunk to stop the cooking. The blanch that happens at the processing plant is to kill bugs and help eliminate bacteria.

              If you are trying to replicate commercial frozen spinach from fresh for a recipe you should know that the texture of commercial frozen spinich is way different than anything that would result from kitchen style blanching...