Eat like a Fish

Week 10- Pollock

by Slow Food Cape Cod on July 20, 2017

Atlantic pollock

A snail, a crab, a shellfish and a fish walked into a bar……

This weeks fish: Periwinkles, Peekytoe Crab, Surf Clams, and Pollock.

I almost struck out this week again, I knew I would not have any luck with periwinkles or surf clams, even though these are products that I could just go harvest out of the water easily (periwinkle) or I can watch the commercial harvesters harvest (surf clams).  There is no harvesting of periwinkles happening and although there is a lot of harvesting of surf clams happening I believe the product gets processed and sent to restaurant.

Not knowing very much about the Peekytoe crab I had to do a little research and see where it differed from other kinds of crabs.  I found an interesting article in the NYT about the Maine Peekytoe crab industry.  It is an older article, but was still a very interesting read.

I did find crab legs at the 2nd market I went to, (the first market just shock his head at all 4) and after asking 4 or 5 other employees what kind of crab it was I finally got the answer of Jonas Crab.  I thought I would strike out again this week.

Eventually I went to Whole Foods in Hyannis, they actually had a beautiful seafood display.  Not all of it was local, but it was the first counter I had seen with whole fish.  Most of the fish had tags on it with wild vs farmed and location.  They had pollock on display but no information about it.  After asking the fishmonger, he had to check the package in the back of the store, he told me it was landed in New England, but didn’t know any more than that.

I purchased the fish from Whole Foods, it was good and tasted good, but I believe it was a little drier than other fish I had purchased as maybe it was a little older.

I will continue to check Whole Foods if I find myself in Hyannis looking for fish.

I am headed out to Slow Food Nations this weekend and looking forward to having some Slow Fish conversations with fishermen and activists from across the country.





Week 9-

by Slow Food Cape Cod on July 10, 2017

Image result for strikeout

This week was a strikeout- my first one!!!

My fish this week- Razor Clams, Tilefish, Mahi Mahi, Pollock

This was an interesting week as it was the first week I struck out. Two of my fish (mahi-mahi and tilefish) I figured I wouldn’t find as they are not landed locally. Pollock I had previously located, and was given a hint by one fishmonger that if I went back to the same store I previously got it at I would find it again. But I didn’t think that was the point.

Razor Clams were interesting, I knew they were not in most markets, but are being harvested locally. This is the purpose of this project, a fish I could go catch, or watch being harvested off my shore, but can’t buy in the market.  I know a number of fishermen who are targeting razor clams and getting a very good price for them.  They just haven’t become a common item yet for people to eat, so they just have not made it to the general fish market shelves.  I had a really nice chat with one of the fishmongers who said “it’s just not worth me buying them, they shelf life isn’t there and people won’t buy them, I’d have to buy a bushel and would only sell 3lb”.  He told me I could go down the street to “China Joe’s” and he might have razor clams because he often carries odd products, but then he followed it up with, “but I wouldn’t buy anything there for eat anything from there”  I decided to skip.  He also told me he would never carry mahi-mahi or tilefish because they are not caught locally and when people come into his store they want what’s caught locally. Sometimes he would carry Pollock, because it’s a cheap fish, but not caught on cape.

The last market I went into again had nothing on display, when I mentioned I was looking for razor clams the reply was “well you could go around back and knock on the back door, there might be some back there”.  Again I took a pass.

I have had razor clams in the past that were harvested by recreational harvesters, and I know of some restaurants that are highlight them.  They were very tasty the last time I had them and I was looking forward to attempting to prepare some myself.


….  Better luck next week




Week 8 – Yellowtail Flounder

by Slow Food Cape Cod on July 7, 2017

Image result for yellowtail flounder

This weeks list: Spot/ Yellowtail Flounder/ Surf Clam/ Acadia Redfish

For the 2nd or 3rd time I have gone to the fish counter and bought the fish that was under the tag “Flounder”  each time I have bought a different fish, and each time the taste and texture have been slightly different.  Yellowtail was slightly more firm than the Dab I had bought previously and held up on the grill a lot better than I believe Dab would have.

I thought this was an good summary from Great Eastern Seafood, although brought me a little bit of confusion about the Dab I have bought in the past.

There are two flounder families: the right-eyed Pleuronectidae family and the left-eyed Bothidae family. The flounder family is large subclass of saltwater fish, made up of many species of fish. In the United States, East Coast varieties include Gray Sole (also called Witch Flounder), Winter Flounder (also called Blackback or Lemon Sole), American Plaice (also called Dab or Sand Dab), Yellowtail Flounder (also called Dab or Rusty Flounder), Summer Flounder (also called Fluke), and Southern Flounder. West Coast varieties include Petrale Sole, Sand Sole, English Sole, Rex Sole, Pacific Sand Dab, Dover Sole, and California Flounder. 

One of the things I am enjoying about this project is getting to taste and explore a lot of different fishes, but also not having to make really fancy recipes with each one.  Although, I love to cook, this week time was at a premium and just being able to quickly make a meal with fish by throwing it on the grill and making a fish taco was perfect for me.  When I have a little time I will make a more detailed recipe, but for the time being I love visiting the markets, talking to the fishmongers and tasting the different fish.

I’m hoping that now the season is here, maybe I’ll get: dogfish, skate, or stripped bass again next week…


Week 7- Tuna

by Slow Food Cape Cod on June 29, 2017

Image result for tUNA


This weeks fish list: Spiny Dogfish, Tuna, Peekytoe Crab, and Sea Robin.


I was excited to have Tuna this week– again it was the only fish they had when I went to Chatham Fish and Lobster.  It was caught locally, but the fishmonger wasn’t sure if it was Chatham or Rhode Island.

I bought a Tuna Steak and brought it home, with the plan on grilling it.  I decided to grill it with a wasabi paste and top it over a Caesar salad.  It was delicious, the fish was flaky, meaty and very flavorful.  I was even lucky enough to have a little left over that I mixed up into a tuna salad for my lunch the next day.  One of the very few fish that I would eat on the second day after cooking.

I was also lucky enough later in the week to enjoy some Tuna Sushi right of the boat in Chatham and so fresh it was almost still swimming.   I know that Tuna is one of those fish that is on Seafood Watch Green/ Yellow/ and Red list depending on where it is caught and how it is caught.  I believe the fish I was eating is on the green side as it was caught with a long line.


Until next week….




Week 6 – Dab

by Slow Food Cape Cod on June 20, 2017

Image result for dab fish

This weeks list: Striped Bass, Dab, Scup, Red Hake

This week presented an interesting debate in my mind in terms of eating with the ecosystem.  When I got my fish list this week my first thought was “oh awesome stripped bass”, followed closely by “oh wait its not in season yet”, which was followed up with “I hope I don’t find this in the store this week”.

This was the first week that there was a certain fish that I actually hoped I did not find in the store.  In the state of Massachusetts commercial stripped bass season does not open until June 26th, and as I found out from asking around, it is actually illegal for fish markets to have stripped bass on the counter in Mass before that date.

I did have the opportunity to score some scup from the local weir fishermen, but I literary and figuratively missed the boat on that opportunity.   My first stop after that looking for fish was my trusty Chatham Fish and Lobster, this week however I struck out.  My next stop was Cape Tip Seafood in Orleans, where I had been once before and purcased Dab.  I figured I had a good chance again to find Dab there.  The fishmonger remembered me and asked what odd product I was after this week.  She did have Dab again so I grabbed some.  She loved the concept of the project and said she has told many people about it.

This week when I took the Dab home I figured that I would utilize it an some of the local produce that I am getting in my CSA to make a completely local dinner.   Eating with the Ecosystem to the max.  I sauteed up: asparagus, swiss chard, bok choy, and garlic scapes.  I added the fish and put the greens on top to seal in the moisture as the fish cooked.  I added a side salad of local greens and some local beer and had myself a dinner created completely on Cape Cod.

Everything was fresh and local and tasted delicious.  Dab is such a delicate fish you don’t want to do to much to it or it will fall apart.  But it is definitely an easy white fish to work with and provides lots of opportunities for meals.   I can’t wait until next week.