This week marks the July 4th holiday when our nation celebrates the Declaration of Independence (from England, that is) by the original 13 colonies. It’s a tribute to those who took great risks, committing treason in the face of oppression, for the opportunity of a better, self-governed life. In the spirit of taking great risks, here are some ideas for what to serve while celebrating our nation’s independence. When staring down the barrel of conformity, it’s always better when you think and cook differently.
If you don’t recall, last year was one of the worst years we have seen for Wild Striped Bass landings in the Northeast. Thankfully, this year is already leaps and bounds better. We saw our first landings out of Rhode Island and Massachusetts last week and the pricing is already better than last year’s lows. These are some of the biggest and prettiest fish you will get all year, coming from small boats, they are line caught and of the highest quality. The Wild Striped Bass we are seeing now are big, some over 50 pounds, and each one gleaming with freshness. When the fish are this size, they make for terrific, easy to form, perfect portions.
No Mahi? Just say Ono! Mahi Mahi fishing has come to an abrupt halt. The domestic fishery just isn’t producing, as fish are proving to be elusive and the South American fishery is experiencing its typical seasonal drought. The good news is that you don’t have to suffer for great fish. Try substituting domestic Ono (Wahoo) while the Mahi fishery slackens. Ono offers a sweet, firm flesh option and cooks very similar to Mahi. Believe it or not, Ono are even more powerful swimmers than Mahi and their meat eats just as light. Other options currently available to substitute include Spanish Mackerel, Albacore, Swordfish and Hawaiian Opah.
Though many boats have switched to Wild Salmon, there continues to be a great supply of fresh, Day Boat Halibut available. The Halibut we are seeing are coming in big and fatty and super fresh, with many fish well over 30 pounds. Halibut is a perfect summer center of the plate option because it offers a succulent, rich mouthfeel packed into a flaky, delicate bite.
Like our country did in a July so long ago for its people, patios everywhere will set their tables and chairs free for outdoor seating. Seafood can lighten up your outdoor scene, mixing well with refreshing garden vegetables and chilled beverages. If you are on the retail side of things, show your patriotism by dressing your stands with Red Salmon, White Halibut, and Blue-fish. This holiday you can deliver your guests delight by showing off your Wild Stripes and Seafood Stars.
After 80 years of only having access to Milk, Dark, and White Chocolate, Mother nature has blessed the culinary world with a 4th type of chocolate. Introducing the elegantly named and beautifully colored; Ruby. Cacoa experts at Barry Callebaut have discovered that components of certain types of unfermented cacoa beans produce a unique flavor and color profile unlike anyone has ever seen or tasted before. Similar to grapes used in winemaking, Cacao beans are heavily influenced by the terrior in which they are grown. The beans used for Ruby are harvested from specific areas of Ecuador, Brazil, and the Ivory Coast.
Ruby offers an intense sensorial delight; packed in a mauve colored product that unleashes a fruity bouquet, it has a flavor that is intensely sweet without the addition of any additives. The piercing taste and color are sparking pastry chefs’ imaginations across the country, resulting in bold, new pairings and exciting novel dishes. Ruby can be used for numerous applications, ranging from confectionery molding to pastry mousses.
After much anticipation, Ruby Chocolate is finally in our warehouse and we are enthusiastic to see how our customers will put this product to use!