Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
On Thursday July 28, 2011at 10:00 am I met my class at Marriot, Long Wharf and from there we left for our much awaited Whale Watch trip. As you all can see in the picture how excited everyone was. When we first boarded the cruise it was moving slow and quickly picked up speed which made me and 3 of my other classmates seasick. However, I was still enthusiastic about seeing whales, our tour guide kept us informed with whale facts that usually we will spot humpbacks these Northern hemisphere whales reach an average length of 50 feet, and weigh about 37 tons. Sadly, they're also among the most endangered. It is estimated only 8 percent of their original population remains.
We spotted also saw minke, fin back whales. Minke was smaller than the other 2 and resembled dolphins. The next one was Finback whale, at 45-70 feet long and weighing 40 tons, are second in size only to blue whales.According to our guide finbacks may live up to 100 years which was surprising. While white-sided whaled are only found in North Atlantic water just south of New England. We also spotted the Whales traveling in a pair that is most likely to be a mother and a calf, and most of these whales reproduce only once, which makes the possibility of this creature going extinct highly likely. The cruise was very crowded and I thought I would never be able to see a whale, but I made my way through the crowd and caught some really worth-watching "Whale Moves". In the end we also saw the Whale breaching which put an extra icing on the cake.
In the end I would like to wrap up the most hands-on class I have ever taken. I enjoyed everyday of the class. This is the whole new level of learning about Earth Science. I can tell my friends and family some fun facts that I never knew before. We explored the Islands, under the dock, Whale Watch, and even Quicny market. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone who would want to take an for Earth Sciences class. Thanks to all the group and class fellows who made this class so interactive. Ofcourse without Prof. Berman this would not have been possible.
Friday, July 29, 2011
It was so fun to learn about the harbor. I want to thank Prof. Berman for enabling the opportunity for so many people to discover the beauty of the bay and to appreciate marine life. It really helps to make vague concepts more tangible and will hopefully help to motivate better behavior.
Again, I really wish everyone the best for the future, you are all very special and have so many wonderful personalities. It has been such a gift to spend time with you all.
The whale watch was a great experience to get beyond the inner harbor and into Stellwagon bay. It took the boat approximately an hour to get out to our observation location. The boat was moving very quickly and on the way I noticed a kite fisherman, he had a kite in the air and apparently as a classmate explained lures that lay on the waters surface rather than the traditional way of doing it.
I wonder what its like to be fishing with a boat so low to the water and being right up next to a breaching whale. It would be a spectacular view. The air got chilly and I went downstairs while we waited to get to our destination. Once we got there I got a great spot on the first level although some of the other passengers were very tall I still could get a great view of the each whale as it came into view.
I got really excited when you could see the white part just below the surface and know that in a few moments it will be coming up into better view. I kept my camera in my bag for awhile because I knew I would miss a lot just trying to get the best shot so I focused more on what I could see. I definitely noticed the differences on the bottom side of the tail fin.
I was shocked that we got to see them swimming and diving together in a group of three. I thought that was a unique sight also getting to see the whale breaching it was really amazing I have never seen anything like that in person. It was a really wonderful day and I look forward to getting into the paper and better developing my stance on sustainable populations vs. economic gains... It really does take some thought to separate your own values for everything and everyone involved and how to come to terms with the two.
Now that we have come to the end of the course, I wish to declare loudly that I have no regrets signing up for this 'second choice'. Indeed, it has taught me much about marine animals, the issues on environmental and wildlife protection, the ongoing tension between commercial and recreational fishermen that I might never know because of this course as I don't fish, as well as honed my observation and critical thinking skills. I do not have to be a marine biologist, but I definitely could still apply the skills learned in life and other areas.
Boston Harbor is a place worth visiting. I will bring my friend who is coming from Singapore tomorrow to Long Wharf and be Prof Berman No. 2, pointing out the unique marine organisms that one can find at the docks. By the way, the Barking Crab restaurant is a serendipitous discovery for me because of this course. I also saw on Man vs Food program yesterday that it is well known for its clambake. You should see us there next week!
Finally, I would like to convey my thanks to Prof Berman and all my classmates for making this intensive six-day course an enjoyable and memorable one. They have certainly made me love Boston even more. My well wishes to everyone in summer class 2011. Goodbye!
Their names were given to them by the underside of there flukes which showed either a dark area, a one spot white area or a two spot white area which told the guide the name of the whale. At the very end of the day, going back to the dock, one of the whales put on a show that excited everyone on the boat. He leaped out of the water and down he went. He did this a couple of times and awed the crowd. I think he was putting on a show just for us knowing that we were leaving the area and saying thank you for coming to see us. This day will be planted in my mid forever. I hope someday soon in the near future, I will be able to revisit these wonders of the sea that brought joy to everyone that saw them.
After cutting up the fish and removing the organs and fillets Prof. Berman prepared some sevichi and small sushi cutlets. The sevichi was prepared with lime, garlic, parsley, and peppers. These ingredients really made the fish tasty. The second meal was little cutlets of fish that we dipped in soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi. This is the first time I have ever ate striped bass and I was surprised at white texture and great taste. This was truly a treat.
We set out for open waters and were on our way to "whale watch" for part of the day. We sailed past Deer island and a couple of others and continued for what seemed like about an hour. One of the tour guides gave a briefing on whales, the water depth, the way they open their mouths for the fish to enter their mouth for food, and how soon we should begin to see them. She mentioned that some of them have names - I think they were Dunkin, Kagey, and Percit.
Almost suddenly one popped out of the water, went down and while we waited for it to come back up another one appeared on the opposite side. Then three Humpback whales appeared together. It was amazing to see such huge creatures come out of the water and nose back down and to see the white side tails gracefully splashing through after that huge body. The Humpback are found in several water bodies across the planet. They feed on smaller fish and their habitat ranges from polar to tropical waters. The hump back got its name because of the way its back arches out of the water when getting ready to take a deep dive. megaptera is its true scientific name and it means large winged in reference to its long flippers. Its tail has distinct black and white markings which can be used to distinguish one whale from another. Some would come up and by the time I got to my feet to take a picture I would only catch the tail going back down in the water. There was one that looked like a big log just floating in the water. The guide said he was taking a nap. I guess even if we are animals, we do deserve a little down time.
We also saw the Mink Whale which was not too big. They are smaller than the hump back and their diet is a wider variety of fish. Overall, it was a good day with great sightings. As we were leaving to head back to the wharf one "show off" decided to put on a mini show for those who did not get a good enough view, and sure enough he/she was spectacular. It dove in and out as is saying if you did not see any of my family here are some memories to take home. It was awesome. We headed back for what seemed a much longer drive back, since all the anxiety for the day was over. It was my very first whale watching trip, I enjoyed it and i do look forward to another one.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Our third day, Sunday, July 24, 2011 started out rainy but by the time we boarded the boat to our first destination the weather changed and turned over cast for our ride to George's Island. When we reached there we sat and had a discussion on the past two days excursions and what was planned for today. Then we left on our way to Fort Warren. We met a range who was happy to tell us the legend of the 'Lady of the Black Robes" who was the wife of Andrew Lanier a confederate soldier who was accidentally shot by his wife while they was trying to escape from
prison. The legend is that she still roams the Fort searching for her husband. We continued on our way crossing a grassy field were geese were roaming freely. When we reached the fort we walked through different areas as Professor Berman talked about its history. We came to a very scary part of the fort and we all managed to make it out. We then climbed stairs and walked the top of the fort. There we could see the see water and some of the islands. One of which was Lovell's Island our next destination. We all walked back to catch our ferry.
Lovell's Island Seashore Exploration
Once we reached Lovell's Island I noticed that the water was at low tide. It was very rocky and there was different types of shells on it. We found lady slippers, blue mussels, and periwinkle shells. We explored the water and found little green crabs and a injured rock crab that was saved after losing his claw while being attacked by birds. Some of the rocks had barnacles on them but these barnacles were much smaller than the barnacles we saw under the dock. Most of the rocks had light green moss on them. There was brown leaf stuff that was identified as brown kelp. We also saw green sea lettuce. We all had to find alive periwinkles and we were asked to make soft sounds to see if they would emerge from their shells. One did and it had two antennas, two claws, and four legs. On the road back we found snails that were a bright yellow color. These creatures were very different from our dock creatures.
In todays class we met at 9:30am At the Long Warf Hotel. The weather was sunny and it was in the 70’s. At 10:00am we boarded a ship to go whale watching. We traveled by boat for about an hour. We went all the way by Province Town. When we finally reached the province town area we started to spot whales. It was around 11:15 the sun was out and it looked like we were in whale-infested ocean. After about 15 minute of waiting after reaching our destination all we saw was whales. There had to be a total of 20 sightings. Some whales were in groups of three. Others were in pairs and some swam around solo. When the whales did appear they would skim the surface of the ocean and then disappear into the unknown. The type of whale that we saw was called a hump back whale. They were all black with spots of white on certain locations. Some had white of their tails, some on their flippers and there was one that was all black. I learned that whales show their tail right before they go for a deep dive. Another thing I learned is what breaching means. Breaching is when a whale pretty much jumps out of the water and does sort of a back flop kind of thing. The tour guide told us that they where unsure why whales do that but it might be a form of communication. Another thing I noticed is the whale’s blowhole and how it blows water and air threw it. After observing the whales for a good hour or so we then when back to Boston Harbor. It was my first time whale watching and I really enjoyed it.
If the whale population is sustainable should we hunt whales?
I think that we should hunt whales. If a certain species is not endangered then why not do it. As long as the whale Fishermen have a quota that won’t damage the whale population, I don’t see a problem. There are many countries that hunt whale and make a huge profit. An example would be Japan. They say it’s their waters so they can do what they want. I agree with that, as long as there’s still a large population of that species of whale. If America was to start doing this I think that it would be a great export and it would be a way for our country to make a little extra money.
Before setting sail, we had a group picture taken on the dock. Ironically I had a huge smile on my face of genuine excitement. Little did I know, I was in for a day of partially crippling seasickness. I hadn't been on a whale watch since I was a 5 or 6 but I remember having a great time despite some mild seasickness. Motion sickness runs in my family. I believe this is largely psychological as my father became violently ill on "It's a Small World," which is in it's own right, not even a boat ride. To this day he claims he "got" on of the animatronic children... I dont believe it but he stands by this proclamation because after all, who are we without our principals.
We boarded the Aurora and was informed of it's eco friendly water jets that powered the vessel. Boba said that the Boston Whale Watching Catamarans are the cleanest running catamarans in the country. Anway,,, roughly an hour into the excursion after standing on the bow of the boat, I decided to look around the ship I'd be spending the next 3 hours on. When I got to the second level of the boat I peeked into the cabin for a moment and saw that a girl had lost her lunch on the floor. I empathized as I've experienced sea sickness before but as soon as I caught a whiff of the mess she left I instantly remembered being seasick as a child and my brain went to a familiar place. Moments later I too was sitting with my head between my legs on the outside dock with my eyes closed. Luckily people on my level were reacting loudly with excited gasps. Luckily I regained my composure to witness the majestic creatures of the ocean.
I found a strange sort of solace when Boba mentioned that whales often travel in twos. Is it for companionship? protection? In any case, Duncan was nice enough to grace us with his presence for a short while. I don't know how gender neutral the name "Duncan" is. It seems about as gender neutral as "Melissa." It was disheartening knowing that the population of these creatures is dramatically decreasing. I can't wholeheartedly say that I'd be devastated if I found out whales became extinct but at the same token I'd be surprised if we stood by and let this happen. What is killing whales is oil spills and pollution but at this point, can we help either case?
I was surprised to discover that when the whale watchers go out on tours they don't use sonar when trying to find humpback or any kind of whales. They had a hot dog cooker but no sonar. The woman at the snack bar spoke candidly said that today's trip was about a 7 or 8. This was a fair compromise as many whales were seen by all.
On July 27, 2011 around11:30 AM our class met at 808, Common Wealth Ave, in Ever Green Culinary Arts Kitchen, where professor narrated the story of his catch, 10 ft below his boat from a night before. The Stripe Bass was fresh, because when we cut it open the blood was still coming out and the eyes were relatively bright. Let’s talk about the anatomy of the fish now, it seemed to be 30" long and 10" wide, symmetrical, silvery body with dark stripes, it weighed 35lbs and was 5 years old, estimation by looking at the rings on her scale, however it can live up to 30 years. Now a day’s price of Striped Bass per pound is $7.99 which made this catch worth more than $200. It had 8 fins, upon lifting the operculum we saw bright red gill plate which was soft to touch and had 8 total gills. Professor started filleting the fish his knives and we saw the white and pink flesh. Moreover, we also examined all the fish organs which were closed in a sack. First, we cut open its intestines, which is one way to determine fish's eating habits and we found pieces of crab in there. We also saw liver, kidney, air bladder, stomach, vent and spinal cord. One of our brave classmates popped the eye out from the eye socket, so he could find its brain and heart. Though it was one heartless fish (sigh) in the mean time, professor marinated the fish fillet in lemon juice, cilantro, green and red pepper, and ginger. I was amazed by the fact that fish actually cooked itself in the lemon juice acid and this recipe for “Ceviche” turned out to be very juicy, tender and flavorful. He also made “Sashimi” which was plain raw fish with soy sauce, ginger and wasabi paste for dipping, though I did not like that much, but everyone else enjoyed. At the end of the day everyone took a piece home to try their own recipe. I am posting a video of the Striped Bass disection I hope you guys find it informative.
In todays class first thing we did was take a midterm. We had four questions we had to answer. After finishing the midterm we got to relax for a little bit. From there we went over to 808 Com Ave and into the culinary kitchen. Professor Berman took out a 32-inch striped bass out of a cooler. He placed it down on two cutting boards and explained the body parts. I learned that striped bass have eight spines on the top of its body that allows the fish to move swiftly in the water, but also protects the fish from being eaten by predators because those spines get caught in the predator’s throat. I then learned that you could tell how old the fish was by looking at how many rings are on the scales. Striped bass have two pectoral fins on each side of its shoulders. It has two holes on the top of its mouth. The two holes appear to be where the fish take in oxygen through the water. I also learned that they have a total of eight fins. After seeing all of the fish body parts, professor Barman showed us how to fillet a fish. The way to do it is insert a hole by the head of the fish then slide the knife down the spine as close as possible and make sure not to cut the stomach. After we filleted the two sides of the fish the class examined the remainder of the fish while professor Berman got lunch ready for us. There were two different dishes of fish. One had raw black striped bass with garlic, a lot of lemon juice to preserve the fish, and hot peppers. The other dish was just plain raw black striped bass with had dipping sauces on the side. I tried the first dish and I was not a fan of it. I liked the way it was marinated but I didn’t like the texture of raw fish. After everyone finished eating the class was assigned into groups. Each group was assigned to play the role of commercial Fishermen, Recreational fishermen or a mixture of the two. The assignment was to work as a group and try to figure out and agree on a resolution for the dispute of Commercial fishing vs. Recreational fishing and trying to figure out a deal that will be fair for the two parties. Then we would have a debate about it. Overall it was a fun and interesting class and we got to learn about striped bass!
Upon waking up from a seasick coma, I enjoyed a small yet tasty sample of Striped Bass. As I mentioned before I'm very particular about the way I cook seafood and am careful not to over-season as the fish itself as most of the good flavor is in the flesh itself. I simply thawed the cut and put it in a frying pan with some olive oil, salt, pepper, a dash of soy sauce and Mrs. Dash. If you're feeling that there's a spice missing from your shelf and the void is unfillable, treat yourself some Mrs. Dash.
I'm on the commercial side of our debate and this morsel made it even easier to stand by my position to kill as many of these things as safely as possible. As a future fisherman I was delighted to learn that preparing a fish is somewhat simple. After our class midterm, we made our way to 808 Comm Ave where we explored the culinary classrooms. Seeing these classrooms made me wish I took a cooking course in stead the Millenary course I took in the fall of last year. Hats do not taste as good.
As it turns out, all it take to prepare a striped bass is a few ingredients, and more importantly a proper set of gutting knives. I remember being on the cape and watching a bass cutting competition. 3 men had to gut as many fish as they could in 10 minutes. I remember being mortified at 10 years old at what I was seeing so I don't recall the BEST record, but the memory of flying entrails stays with me to this day. If I remember correctly, Bruce said that he caught the fish by placing several bugs on a fishing line to make the fish believe that they were stalking copapods. This seems to make more sense than using the cliched worm which is blatantly outside of the striper's ecosystem.
I was in Alaska last month. The whale watching cost me $120 but it was worth it. We took a small boat out that could take only around 30 people (usually whale watching boats are huge). The waters were calm and within 10 mins of sailing, we saw one, no, two whales! They were close to the boat and I was surprised that they were swimming close to the shorelines. My previous two experiences told me that I had to be in the open sea to see the whales, but this was different. When we went to another site, we saw more whales.
Then when Prof Berman said we were going on a whale watching trip, honestly, I didn't expect too much. I selfishly thought never mind if I didn't see one, as I already had the best whale watching experience in Alaska recently. One hour later when we reached the Atlantic ocean, the annoucement came on that we had a Minke whale (a smaller species). Then we started to see some humpback whales. There were two, hey wait, three of them! The guide said that this was a rare sighting as you usually see a pair - the mother and calf. So today it was a family outing for the three whales, I guess. On our way back to Boston Harbor, we were in for another surprise. Two whales were playfully flapping their flippers and then to our amazement, one of them leapt up in the air and whoosh! - it fell back into the water. That was magnificent!
The guide said that the clean water and absence of fishing gear are factors that attract the whales to roam around this area. Clearly, good rules and regulations as well as cooperation from everyone can help protect the whales. The topic of whale hunting was brought up. I personally do not object to it, as long as there's some responsible regulatory body to oversee the whale population to make sure that our hunting activity and eating habits do not wipe them out. I don't know how tasty whale meat is as I haven't got the chance to try it. I will like to actually, out of curiosity. But I doubt whale meat will become staple food like rice and potatoes. As a delicacy, there shouldn't be a drastic decline in the population. Just like sharks fin, caviar and black truffles that each cost a bomb. How often do you eat them?
I have never looked at a fish in so much detail, I learned that scales can tell the age of the bass. The scales felt like very flimsy fingernails. The lips did feel like a toothbrush and I noted that the raspy part was not only on the inner lip and also further into the mouth. It also looked like two tongues when looking into the mouth. The lips were very strong and yet the parts holding on to it were soft and rubbery.
I thought the colors were very spectacular, green with a hint of brown and a beautiful pattern running along the body. It had a white belly and 8 dark fins. There were remnants of a crab in his belly and not much else. I could observe bile once the belly was cut open and I noticed a part that looked like the liver and then a dark brown rusty almost black looking part that could possibly be the spleen. We also cut into the air pocket and it deflated like a balloon it was very interesting to see. The smell was pretty awful once we started to cut in. The eyeball came out in one piece and I realized a fishes eye isn't actually the flat disc I always thought it was.
Tasting the fish was much better than dissecting it. The ceviche was yum but the best was the raw fish with soy sauce. It was a clean flavorful bite without any of the fishy taste. It wasn't too rubbery and the texture was actually pretty good. As I took home the fish I knew I had to bring it to work with me. I stopped somewhere for an hour before going into work and so I couldn't wait to get my fish into the refrigerator. That's where it stayed until very late because I had to go out to do some service work at a treatment center so I didn't get back to my fish for awhile. Once I did I was a little nervous to eat it again because it had been out for awhile before getting to the fridge. I then decided to prepare it at home and I found two very sharp bones in it. Sharper than any fish bone I have ever encountered I'm glad I checked it because I then cut it up and fed it to my dog who enjoyed it very very much. It was still easy to work with and the color had changed only because the blood had covered the piece but after washing it it cleared off again.
The Stripped Bass is a symmetrical fish which has a total of 8 fins. Those on its back are very sharp (kind of thorn like) and one has to be careful not to get stuck. The scales are kind of large and you can tell the age of the fish by looking at the number of rings on the scales. Like every other fish it breathes through its gills, it has a mouth with teeth but prefers to swallow its food. It swims near the shore and when it is in abundance is an easy catch.
The Professor began to filet the fish by first skillfully removing some scales around the tail side in order to gain easy access to the flesh of the fish. He then held the knife close to the spine which runs along the top of the fish and began making his way down through the flesh. The cut has to be behind the pectoral fin which is near the gills. He was careful not to puncture the bowel sack, because if he did the fish would be contaminated from the fluids from the spleen.
We examined the fishs' stomach which is neatly enclosed in a sac. There was a crab leg which indicates that is what he ate before his durmise. We took a look at his intestines, liver, spleen and air bladder.
The Professor is now at another table preparing the cerviche dish. With some assistance from a few students, he washed some of the fish, chopped it in small pieces and placed it in a dish. About four limes were squeezed into that dish, cilantro and pepper were chopped and placed in there with some garlic, turned around a few times and it was ready for eating. He also had some more chopped on a plate and these could be eaten by dipping it in some soy sauce, and wasabi and ginger paste. Uh Uh! Yummy!
The balance left over was cut and some of us who wanted took it home. I seasoned it up with some garlic, celery, onions and a dash of seasoning salt, placed it on the small grill, and it was good eating. Thanks professor!
Preparation time! So here we have three main steps. (Although one I missed the first time around and had to go back and do so technically there are four, but I have only depicted three).
While Professor Berman prepared several dishes from the fish meat on the table adjacent to us we got the opportunity to examine the fish's inners (intestines, stomach and liver) and head.
We didn't find the heart or brain but we tried. The head was very hard and we couldn't get to the location that we thought it might be. After completing our examination of the fish we move over to the other table to taste the prepared foods. One dish was cured (cooked) in lime juice and the other dish was raw and eaten with wasabi and ginger paste and dipped in soy sauce.
I found the day to be very educational and enjoyable!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Anatomy of a Striped Bass
Female Striped Bass
Approximately 35 pounds
Caught in Charlestown Marina
< 24 hours post mortem
The class examined the exterior of the fish. The animal had 8 fins totals. On the top of the fish were two dorsal fins, one of which had a sharp edge. Near the gills were the 2 pectoral fins, one on each side of the animal. The fins we didn’t identify in class are called the pelvic fins. There were 2 of these located on the bottom of the animal in the front. There was also the anal fin and the tail.
We examined some scales that had been removed. They were transparent with marking on them that reveals the age of the fish. We examined the mouth of the fish; the teeth were soft. We were told that the fish crushes his food more than chews it and that we could expect the contents of the stomach to contain somewhat whole pieces of food.Then we cut the fish open. The fillets are made of muscle tissue. The organs were enclosed in a sac. We were able to indentify the stomach, intestines, spleen, and liver within the sac. The stomach was cut open and revealed that the fish had recently eaten a crab. When the air bladder was broken one member of the class comment they could actually feel the air come out. When the eye was removed from the socket we saw that it was fairly large and round. Some of us tried to find the heart, but we weren’t able to. I found a diagram on the web that shows where a fish heart should be http://www.kentuckylake.com/fishing/fishfacts/anatomy.html.
We then headed to the another table where Professor Berman cut the fish in bite sizes pieces for everyone to eat. I did not eat the raw fish, but I was given some to take home to cook. I did so with some garlic table sesasonings, oinions, and olive and the results were delicious. This actually was the first time I ate bass freshly caught from the both of the sea.
The blood was oozing out when Prof Berman got into its flesh to cut out the fillet. It showed how fresh the fish was. We also had the chance to touch and feel the sharp teeth, tongue, eyeball, gill cover (4 gills were counted), liver and all other parts that most people wouldn't have the chance to do so if you were not a fisherman. From its intestines, some remnants of yesterday's meal were observed: crab and squid. While some of the students were busy 'torturing' the fish, the other side of the table saw Prof Berman and other students helping to prepare a delectable fare of sashimi. Being an Asian, eating sushimi is nothing special to me, but this was the first time that I witnessed myself the entire process from cutting to serving. It simply added on to the sensation that I was eating fresh fish literally.
Now I am smelling something fishy from this session... we have to get ourselves involved in the longtime tension between commercial and recreational fishing this Friday.
Today's class we observed professor Berman dissect, explain and fillet a pretty decent sized Striped Bass.
We learned how professor Berman caught his Striped Bass, what they eat and a little bit about their habitat.
We learned how to tell the age of a Striped Bass, by looking closely at the rings on its scale and observed the anatomy of the Striped Bass as it was being dissected.
More importantly we learned how to prepare and eat one!
Professor Berman was generous enough to provide us with some take home, "raw stuff" and have as prepare it and share it on this blog. I kept it very simple and it came out great! Here's what I did:
First seasoned it with some Portuguese Olive oil, (Victor Guedes brand) then added a bit of salt, black pepper. Heated up some extra virgin oil on a frying pan seen. Cooked it on high for a few minutes. Next, I served with some lettuce, 2 tomatoe slices and a thin slice of red onion, with some Balsamic Vinegar (Rozzano of Modena brand) on the side (very yummy) and some wasabi coated peas (not bad also!). Have to say it, it was pretty good. Thanks!