I enjoy being outside this time of year. Maybe it’s the colors the leaves paint on gray sidewalks. Maybe it’s the cool breezes that refresh our brains from summer and at the same time, prepare our bones for the coming winter. There’s an electric chill that starts in October that gets fish moving, telling them it’s time to bolster stores for what’s to come. I think humans can hear the same music, even if only shadows of it, and we, like the animals, look forward to dining on what Nature provides. Here is what we can look forward to presently;
The Wild Striped bass season is nearing to its end in New York. With the unofficial closing of the Hampton’s summer social season, demand has abated, so right now is a great time to grab what’s left of the quota. New York striper is harvested from a hook and line fishery and the product we see is always incredibly fresh. Red gills, bright black stripes and striking eyes are typical, and the meat is cutting out pearly white.
The Hook and line Black Bass season has ended in Massachusetts for the year, but don’t be dismayed. There is still quota left in New Jersey and Rhode Island will be opening again on November 1st. There will also be trap caught fish coming from Virginia in the coming weeks. These fish are handled with the upmost care and are delivered with lively gills, most often still in rigor. They are one of the better tasting basses; the skin cooks up fatty, like pork belly, and the meat eats sweet, with sea lettuce notes.
The Fall Fluke season is underway in NC. Fish are being landed by gill nets and pound nets. Fluke, also known as Summer Flounder and Hirame, are one the best tasting flat fishes and work well in many different cooking applications. The supply will depend on weather and quota regulations.
Haddock is a species that peaks during the cold months when the fish are at their fattiest. We have fish coming out of the Gulf of Maine that are both short trip and day boat caught using otter trawls, gill nets, and hook and line. This fishery is a true success story. In the 70’s and 80’s concerns about the species stock status caused severe regulations, cutting quotas and ????fishing efforts significantly. Today the fishery has bounced back completely, and just recently the haddock fishery out of the Gulf of Maine achieved MSC certification. You can now proudly serve fresh, never frozen, haddock landed in Gloucester, MA, the oldest working commercial fishing port in the U.S.
Going to the Gourmet side of things, we have a delicious new cheese from Master Cheese Maker Chris Roelli, the Roelli Haus Select. This is a pasteurized cow’s milk cheddar that is ripened for a minimum of 90 days and is cellar aged. The first thing you will notice is the bright orange color; this cheese dazzles the eyes with a deep, pumpkin-like hue. The Haus Select is smooth and creamy on the tongue, with a robust flavor and meaty texture, it delights taste buds by reminding the senses of what great cheddar can be. This cheese is available in 20 lb wheels.