Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Night of the Seven Fishes

The goods are in for the Night of the Seven Fishes at the Reading Terminal Market. Both Golden and John Yi featured fresh sardines (herring) at $3 and $3.99/pound, respectively, though at least by today's display, Golden's were superior creatures. Yi also had spearling at $4.99, Golden some rather large langoustines, a.k.a. Dublin prawns. All the other usual suspects, too, including bacalao.

I've been having a blast enjoying fresh oysters now that I've purchased an oyster knife and learned to use it (very carefully). The oysters available at the RTM fishmongers are all from Virginia and the Chesapeake, the usually price being 50-cents apiece; I've only seen oysters from Maine, Massachusetts and Canadian Maritime waters at Wegman's in Cherry Hill, where they are nearly twice that price, but worth it. (When I asked one RTM vendor which oyster he had, he said they were Blue Points . . . from Virginia. Which, of course, is an impossibility. Since the HAACP tag said Virginia, they weren't Blue Points, which only come from Long Island.)

If you need a fruitcake, either as a gift or a weapon, Iovine Brothers Produce has Claxton cakes in the reefer case by the checkout closest to Filbert Street. Only the regular version, not the dark (which I prefer). Priced at $3.99 per one-pound brick. These fruitcakes are more fruit and nut than cake by a wide margin.

Although Iovine had Hass avocados available at a buck apiece, they were either far from ready or over-the-hill. Instead, I picked up one of the Florida/Carribean fruits, which tend to be considerably larger. I'm not sure they'd make as good a guacamole, because they tend to be less rich/buttery, but they are excellent in salads. I used some tonight in a tortilla wrap with chicken, Mexican white cheese, cilantro, lettuce and salsa.

Ducks and geese: Nice selections at a number of butchers. Godshall's has both (including Eberly's geese), L. Halteman has Muscovy ducks, Giunta's Prime Shop Long Island (Peking) ducks and can order the Eberly's geese. If the dark meat birds don't interest you, yet you want a big bird but not turkey, consider a capon from Godshalls or Giunta's. The latter carries surgically caponized birds from Eberly; I don't know whether Godshall's are surgically or chemically caponized. In either case, capons are larger chickens (ex-roosters, actually) that tend to run about 8-12 pounds and have a preponderence of breast meat, which stays moister than the usual chicken's.

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