Friday, February 01, 2013

Spanish Mackerel Returns

"A fish of high quality."

That's how Alan Davidson describes the Spanish mackerel in his indispensible North Atlantic Seafood. A larger cousin to the Atlantic or Boston Mackerel, both offer a meaty, clean-tasting sign that spring cannot be far off.

But what to make of the price?

Last Saturday at the Reading Terminal Market the price was $1.99 a pound at John Yi. Today's price at Whole Foods (Callowhill and 20th) was $4.99. I could see no difference, visually, in the quality of the fish. And I'll be willing to wager that John Yi has a higher turnover of the variety than Whole Foods, so the former's is bound to be fresher.

Because of its size, the whole fish is better baked than sautéed, though I've done the latter with fillets.

Another piscatorial sign that spring is nigh at John Yi's: roe and buck shad. Undoubtedly from Florida. The local Delaware River run is usually in May.

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