I know, I know, I completely understand if you spit your coffee out and cursed the title of this post. We love our summers here and try to hold on to them later and later each year. It is safe to say that we are still FAR AWAY from the end of this beautiful weather; however, the fish in Alaska are already into fall and that is good news for us. Specifically, the Keta have begun their fall migration on the Yukon, which means the fishermen are back on the water and this delicious fish is back on the menu. It’s time to take advantage of the next couple of weeks, as the catch will be hot and heavy and fleeting.
Sockeye and King Salmon continue to roll in with good color and bright skin. We are seeing some very fine Sockeye now, especially for this time of the year. But don’t get too settled on this species; the season is ending, so we will have to monitor the catches closely to ensure we pull the plug on offering sockeye before quality suffers. We are currently getting a mix of net and troll Kings and are happy with the quality of both. Fish are ranging 7-20 lb, with the majority in the 12 lb range. Coho Salmon season has started, and the bite is on. Troll and netted fish are available, and this season should get us into late September. There are just a few more weeks of Wild Salmon left, so take advantage while you can.
The full moon this week has the Swordfish market in a swoon, as supply is at its lowest for the month. Expect some painful pricing until the end of next week. Swordfish supply will continue to get better following the end of this week into next, unlike Mahi Mahi, which won’t see any relief until the South American season gets cranking again, most likely sometime in October.
Gorgeous line-caught Summer Bluefish and Porgy continue to reel in out of Massachusetts. These fish are handled much more carefully than the trawled versions and arrive to us with great quality. They each make for a flavor-packed protein that is high in essential oils and minerals.
Out of the Gulf we are seeing some Hog Snappers and Grey Tilefish. Both are line caught and make for delicious specials. The Hog Snapper is in the Wrasse family and has a sweet, crab-like flavor. We are bringing in 2-4 pound fish, which make for easily portioned fillets. The Grey Tile has sweet, white-flaked flesh that is like Grouper, but with a more tender mouthfeel. Sometimes you can find the best specials in the least likely of places.
Every July a large group of industry professionals gather for the annual American Cheese Society conference (aka Cheese Camp) to discuss the artisan cheese industry and issues they are currently experiencing. One of the highlights of the conference is an evening event called Festival of Cheese. This event highlights the winning cheeses that were selected from the 2,000+ artisan cheeses entered into the prestigious ACS Judging and Competition.
Who would have thought that while attending the annual cheese conference that the most memorable food item would be a delicious line of salamis? I guess you never know where or when great food will pop up, so it’s always a good idea to keep space in your belly and an open mind.