Mom’s deserve the best; of weather, of good feelings, of great ingredients, of everything. This week the rain may cling to the area a little more than we all would like, but there’s sunshine behind the curtain and hope is often rewarded with bouquets of success. Remember what Mom said, “All good things to those who wait.”
The Atlantic is currently much colder than average and the temps are stunting migrations, shellfish growth, and Lobster landings. You can just feel the bubbling of production underneath the cold surface, ready to burst forth copious landings of vibrant fish. Seasons have been delayed, but I think we will start to see many species spring forth and prices begin to trickle down in just a couple of weeks. Look for Lobsters, Soft Shell Crab, Bluefish, Mackerel, Porgy, Tuna, Bass, Grouper, Snapper, and more begin to come into full swing.
The Copper River Salmon opener is slated for May 16th and we should see fish about a week after. In the meantime, there have been some California Troll King Salmon and Columbia River King Salmon openings, but these have been stymied by bad weather. Big swells have kept many boats from bringing product to market, so we are currently only able to offer small shots of fish. Be on the look-out for Wild Salmon offerings and don’t drag your feet on purchases if this is a species you covet. It’s close, but we really won’t see a buyers’ market until the end of May and after.
Fluke/Flounder and wild Striped Bass are going to tighten for the next few weeks due to closures and catch limits. Fluke quotas were cut in Rhode Island and North Carolina, taking a lot of fish off the market. Big Stripers continue to show up on the ocean side of the Chesapeake, but fish are on the move and this will most likely be short-lived until they reach the Northeast. Expect some price increases in the very near future.
The Scalloping season is underway, and the market is seeing some relief from the winter season. Maine Day-Boat season is closed, but there are some short-trip boats operating out of the Cape. It seems that U15 Scallops are the most plentiful and many are doubtful that we will see prices of the larger scallops hit as low as we did last year, though all in all, most predict a very favorable season. Be careful of the product you are procuring…There is a wide variation in the quality of the scallop market and often that quarter you saved with the inferior scallops will end up costing you a lot more in the kitchen. I recommend sticking with purveyors you trust and product you can count on. Choosy Mom’s choose quality ingredients, and after all, doesn’t your Mother deserve the best?
Mother’s Day is a great excuse for another extravagant day. Why not bring out the best for all the hardworking mom’s, grandma’s and other important women in your lives.
DuFour Pastry Kitchens hand produce some of the best tasting puff pastry out there – just ask Thomas Keller! Along with their tart shells, they assist in making appetizers and desserts taste just like (or better than) homemade and in a fraction of the time. For the dessert application, the delicious chocolates from TCHO Chocolate and Barry Callebaut finish off these pastries perfectly.
On the savory side, Farmer’s Hen House Eggs make some tasty frittatas and quiches, while the applewood smoked bacon from Nueske’s and North Country Smokehouse pair for a great side. Let’s not forget the best tasting breakfast sausage out there – Chef Martin’s All-Pork breakfast sausage. And, for those that like their syrup on their sausage, BLiS Bourbon Barreled Aged Maple Syrup is an extra treat.
Finally, to round out the day, why not indulge in a stunning cheese board. Our fresh Buffalo Mozzarella just landed and is sure to be a crowd pleaser, especially topped with a little arbequina olive oil and Maldon Sea Salt. The Pico Affine and Tulip Tree’s Nettle are also cheeses that scream “Spring!” and paired with Quince & Apple’s Raspberry Rose and marcona almonds, it’s an unstoppable cheese platter for the day.