Holidays are here, and while I am sure this isn’t breaking news, I am willing to bet that there’s a tiny collective amazement and wonder of “How did we get here so fast?”. This time of year can be hectic and getting the right products to your business can prove much more difficult in the middle of December, just when you need them the most. This is not only due to bad weather, but it is also a result of heavy airline traffic – both cargo and passenger. Most companies will book airspace months in advance, whether or not they actually plan to use it, just to ensure their products will make flights. Often, seafood shipments will get bumped for other products that have pre-booked, since seafood tends to be ordered as needed. To stay ahead of the game, and to make sure that you have a better chance of acquiring that centerpiece for the main course, it is always a good idea to get your orders and requests working in the system days and, if possible, weeks before you’re going to use them.
Domestic King Crab season is winding down in Alaska as the quota dwindles, but there is good news for the frozen market. This year prices will be stable to down on foreign and domestic King and Golden Crab, though there is usually a premium for the domestic product over the foreign options.
Unfortunately, the Snow Crab market is much stronger than years past. Both Bairdi and Opillio species of Snow Crab are much more expensive these days, and Snow Crab claws are at historical highs. Weak harvest is the biggest culprit, but it is important to note that demand, especially overseas, has increased, placing more stress on this fishery.
In other news of delicious bugs in the sea, right now the southwest Nova Scotia lobster season is underway. If you are not familiar, in the month of December alone, this region accounts for nearly 40% of Canada’s entire annual harvest. Explained in other figures, this catch is equivalent to about as much as 60%-70% of the entire state of Maine’s yearly harvest. That is a lot of lobsters all at once. So, what happens to them? Well, it should be no surprise that a typical Canadian winter will not allow for safe fishing, and even the hardiest of fishermen will be tied to the dock by the New Year. Processers will take the bounty which was previously caught and hold the lobsters in pens, filling orders as they come. Once those supplies are exhausted, that is it, until fishing can resume. This is why you typically see lobster prices reach highs towards the end of winter and beginning of spring.
If you are looking for a hardy, fatty fish to sustain your winter stores, try Snake River Raceway Farmed Sturgeon. Raised in Idaho for their Caviar, these White Sturgeon will be available for about 2 weeks. They are raised hormone and antibiotic free and produce large, thick fillets with layers of flavor. These fish arrive just hours out of the water and make for a great smoked option or a satisfying entrée.
This is a very busy time of year, but I want to take a second to mention of how grateful we are to be partners with some of the most creative, innovative, and hardest working people in the world. It is a blessing sharing great food with great people. Have a wonderful holiday season.