Sunday, June 21, 2009

Seafood Comes . . . and Goes

Spanish mackerel made a brief appearance at John Yi’s stall in the Reading Terminal Market last week, and disappeared just as quickly. The fish that was selling at $1.99/pound whole Thursday were not to be found on Saturday. No doubt these members of the mackerel family, which tend to be found on warmer waters than the Boston mackerel, will make a reappearance. They are also slightly larger and meatier than the Boston variety, but similar in flavor. Cook them the same way, though I find they do best baked.

The price of Copper River salmon drops with the size of the catch. At John Yi’s this past week filets were selling at $19.99/pound. Althogh unmarked as to variety, they are undoubtedly sockeyes. Sockeyes from other areas were selling for $15.99/pound.

(Through June 17, Alaska Fish and Game reports a total of more than 600,000 sockeyes (reds) landed in the Copper River District, vs., 8,000 Chinook (king).The Copper River district accounted for most of the table-quality salmon (chinook, sockeye and coho) landed in Alaska’s Prince William Sound area of the Central Region so far this season. The Cook Inlet and Bristol Bay areas within the Central Region also scored well, with more than 100,000 each so far. Another big area for sockeyes, the “Westward” region from Kodiak Islands to the Aleutian peninsula and islands, landed just under 600,000 reds so far this season. Hardly any fish have been landed so far in the Yukon-Arctic Region.)

Also at John Yi’s last week whole wild striped bass was selling for $5.99, filets $11.99. Haddock looked to be the best value among the cold-water finish at $7.00/pound, with scrod (who knows what it really is, other than some member of the cod family) was $8.99. cod $9.99. From warmer waters, flounder was $8.99 for filets. Soft shell crabs remain dear at $5.99 apiece or four for $20.

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