Fortune Fish & Gourmet

The Seafood & Gourmet Specialists

The holiday week kicked off with heavy storms battering U.S. coast lines.  If you happened to catch a glimpse of the news stations’ radar on Monday, or you are a Weather Channel fanatic, the country looked a lot like a pinball bumper during multi-ball play, with storms coming from all sides.  This pattern will lighten towards the end of the week- when, hopefully, fresh seafood production stabilizes (see Seafood Report below).

 

In the Midwest summer weather finally arrived, and there’s no better time to showcase one of our many non-food products that could add some character to your next grill-out. Enter Pok Pok Thaan’s Thai-style charcoal logs.


This log-style charcoal was created by Andy Ricker, chef and owner of Pok Pok Restaurant Group (based out of Portland, Oregon), who was looking for a less expensive, locally-made binchotan charcoal.


Binchotan, known as Japanese “burnt gold,” is a form of hardwood charcoal typically made from Japanese oak. It burns at slightly lower temperatures (than traditional briquettes) but for longer periods of time, which is why it’s prized by chefs of all backgrounds. This high-quality charcoal is perfect for those establishments looking to impress with outdoor grilling events. Not only for yakitori or hibachi grills, this charcoal can hold its own in any grilling format.
Pok Pok Thaan’s (Thaan translates to “charcoal” in Thai) logs use rambutan, a sustainable fruitwood that imparts mild, charcoal flavor while still letting the food speak for itself. Low ash, low smoke, and long-lasting, this is one charcoal that is a great alternative to commercial briquettes. Comes in 5-pound or 22-pound varieties.

 

Seafood Report
In the Gulf, fisheries were hit hard by a tropical storm that wreaked havoc.  Snapper and Grouper supply could tighten up by the end of the week, depending on when the boats can get back to work. 
 
East Coast supply also lightened up towards the end of last week, making species like Black Bass, Wild Striped Bass, Skate, Fluke, and Bluefish hard to find.  While Skate and Bluefish should bounce back after the full moon, the supply of Black Bass, Wild Striped Bass, and Fluke could remain questionable due to fishing restrictions, weather, and normal movement.  These conditions may persist until mid-June.
 
The Copper River season has failed to get off to a bountiful start, to put it mildly.  There has been only a small amount of fish landed so far for both King and Sockeye Salmon.  Fishing was closed at the end of last week with no commercial landings due to weather, and Tuesday’s fishing was slightly better than the opener.  I don’t see prices dropping significantly for at least a week or two.  This past weekend in Seattle, fillets of Copper River Salmon were retailing for over $70 a pound.  Hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy start.
 
The Crab meat market is escalating as Blue Crab and Dungeness Crab prices climb.  Poor catches and seasonality are the major factors, though the market for both species should improve in the coming weeks.  The Softshell market stiffened, but according to Chesapeake lore, we should see Crabs actively shedding with the next full moon. 

Fish farms are adjusting their harvest schedules for the summer, and that will mean some disruptions in supply, especially for Trout and Sturgeon.  Fish will go on allocation.  Specifically, Sturgeon Farms will switch to harvesting males, which will be smaller than the females.  Imported fish such as Bronzini and Dorade should not be as affected; supplies of these species are currently stable.

 

 

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