We are one week away from the day designated to expressions of love. It’s a busy day for the service industry as many patrons will show up in droves to confess their love with the age-old, time tested and never-failing gift of good food. Breaking bread with our loved ones is an ancient testament that endures even today as a common language of affection. Next week before the masses descend upon dining institutions across the country, here are some seafood options to contemplate.
Nothing says “I love you” like a lobster. At least that’s what they say in New England. While Patriots fans may be soaking up missed opportunities with gracious amounts of fresh lobster, they won’t be paying any less for them. The industry is wise to the value of this crustacean during this time of year and prices always increase, mostly due to the harsh winter weather. Due to recent storms, it is likely the majority of fresh lobster will be pulled from pounds, keeping supply tight while demand is high.
While the weather is harsh for the love bugs, it appears we will have a good supply of Monkfish, Fluke, Halibut, Striped Bass, and Black Seabass from the East Coast, and Mahi and Grouper from South America. Fish will go fast, so get your pre-orders in as soon as you can. It looks like there could be some supply issues with Snapper, so keep Grouper and Bass in mind as viable substitutions.
There is a small shot of Bay Scallops available for weekend sales. Fishermen were able to get out there during a small window earlier, and we will have some product. Stone Crabs on the other hand are hard to find. There are a few factors causing this shortage. First, the water temperatures have not warmed up. If Crabs are harvested from waters below 58 degrees the meat quality will suffer, so some fishermen on the north coast of Florida are staying away. Additionally, we haven’t had much in the way of storms to stir up the sediment for the Crabs to have cover to move. Stone Crabs have many predators and prefer to move under the stealth of disturbed sea bed, without this camouflage they are very vulnerable, so they tend to stay put when this happens. If crabs are not moving, then they aren’t going into the traps looking for food. Finally, Octopus are one of the many predators Crabs must face and are particularly brilliant hunters. It is likely a healthy Octopus population is putting a dent in the Crab supply.
Expect Swordfish and Tuna to reappear now that the super moon is behind us. They have been a little tight, with quality fish being hard to find. This market should ease up for a couple of weeks.
Tulip Tree Creamery is a small-scale creamery located in northwest Indianapolis that specializes in hand made cheese. Their milk is sourced from a single farm, Lot Hill Dairy Farm in Seymour, IN, where the cows are free of GMOs, antibiotics, and growth hormones. Tulip Tree offers an array of cheeses and we recommend starting with the Trillium. The Trillium is a triple cream, mold ripened cheese that is creamy in texture and smooth in flavor. It’s kind of like a cross between Camembert and Brie, with grassy notes and soft hints of fresh butter. It’s a crowd pleaser, but don’t think that it’s not complex; it’s sultry subtleties are worth a second taste.