Looking for a sodium-free tenderizer

Burning Questions


I have used Adolph's sodium-free tenderizer on all my meat, poultry and fish for years. I'm told that the company is no longer making it, and the alternatives all seem to have sodium. Will the company be making it again or can you suggest a good substitute?

According to the customer-service department at Lawry's, the division of Unilever that markets Adolph's, the sodium-free tenderizer was indeed discontinued in January. The representative said there was a possibility the product would be reintroduced if customer demand was high enough, so all you fans out there: Call 800-9-LAWRYS and make yourself known.

I, too, was unable to find another low-sodium meat tenderizer, but then I have a sort of reflexive distaste for chemical additives -- even though the primary chemical in meat tenderizer, papain, is a derivative of papaya. Could you not be persuaded to adjust your cooking methods to promote tenderness?

I can't quite figure out why you would need to artificially tenderize poultry or fish because, when cooked properly, neither is tough. Are you perhaps overcooking your fillets and chicken breasts?

As for meat, I related your query to a butcher who told me that if you buy quality meat, you should never have to tenderize it. I would urge you to find a good butcher in your area or to find a supermarket with a knowledgeable butcher on staff.

Erica Marcus writes for Newsday. E-mail your queries to burningquestions@newsday.com, or send them to Erica Marcus, Food /Part 2, Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Road, Melville, NY 11747-4250.

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