You can hear faint music carried on the backs of warm breezes on still nights from festivals far away. Trees and flowers are in bloom, perfuming the city streets that drip with the sweat from thousands of air conditioners struggling in unison. The Fourth is now behind us and “construction” is the most merciful way to describe road conditions. All this can only mean one thing: summer is officially here, and we are right in the thick of it. Here’s a road map to help navigate the pit stops and pitfalls you may encounter when it comes to your fish selections.
Great Lake species such as Walleye, Perch, Trout, and Whitefish are all taking their summer swoon, diving into deep waters to find cooler climes. It’s very similar to us humans headed to the beach to catch the rays and some breeze. Unfortunately, this makes them that much harder and costly to catch. Expect supplies to be light throughout the summer.
The summer has finally caught up with the Snapper, Grouper, and Mahi supply. Fishing is slow going and coming off a holiday week that saw many fishermen tied to the dock for days, supply is struggling to get back to the market. Current pricing reflects the scarcity of these valuable species.
The Canadian Lobster season is closed, but Maine is just getting going. The Canadians are pilfering the Maine supply to feed their processed market, but this should not affect prices drastically. Hard shells should remain steady in the higher ranges, but there will be deals for firm to soft shelled lobsters. The “new shell” season is just starting, and though the meat-fill and shelf life are very short, these are some of the sweetest lobsters you’ll ever taste. A “new shell” is a lobster that has recently shed its shell, making its outer skeleton softer than the typical lobster. The meat-fill is less on these lobsters because they need time to fill out their new shells.
The Massachusetts Wild Striped Bass season has been greatly affected by quota cuts, keeping prices in the higher range of the spectrum. Most likely this will not get better until later in the season. Fluke and other Flat Fish are beginning to show up more frequently. This week Bluefish are finally coming back to feed and boats are beginning to find them, which is good news for people who love this oily, rich, delicious fish.
The Wild Salmon Season is in full effect with big landings of Sockeye expected out of Nushagak. Bristol runs are just getting started, so stay tuned for what is usually the largest Sockeye run of the season. Kings are in good supply and Cohos are beginning to show. It seems like the catch is heating up, much like the weather around the country.
As we stroll into the heart of the summer, air temperatures are not the only things sporting the heat. Here in the Midwest, summertime is synonymous with humidity and the sun’s ever-growing warmth. Conditions ripe for pepper plants to thrive.
This summer seasonality is also a time where chefs want to coincide their menus with the vibrant produce options we’ve been waiting all winter to enjoy. Enter the bold spiciness of Calabrian peppers. While our Calabrian peppers are preserved (so they can be enjoyed year-round), there is no better time to keep our quality pepper offerings in the back of your mind.
Calabrian peppers flourished in the hot, humid Mediterranean climate of southern Italy, after they were brought over from the Americas in the trans-Atlantic sea trade. Respect their bold spiciness but enjoy the fruity complexity they’ll add to any dish. Southern Italians surely do.
Del Re’s Crushed Calabrian Peppers (U2720630) or Del Re’s Whole Calabrian Peppers in Oil (U2720632), are two options that will put in you in the right culinary direction. The crushed variety is essentially a hot Italian chili paste, comparative to the famous Thai chili paste, Sambal Oelek. Where the whole peppers are the Calabrian pepper in it all it’s original, unadulterated glory. These peppers show the range of our gourmet portfolio and how we can accommodate all of your one-stop, foodservice needs.