The big chill of 2018 is testing furnaces and car batteries throughout the country. We are expecting a Nor’easter on the East Coast and arctic winds in the Midwest. It’s just plain cold, and most of us are probably still nursing Dionysian hangovers from December shenanigans. Just in case you decide not to hibernate for the next three months, here are some seafood bites you should know.
One of the overlooked positives of this time of year is the fact that, due to lack of demand, you can find many of the usually more expensive species at a discount, especially Hawaiian fish. Marlin, Ono, and Monchong can be bought 10% to 20% cheaper than peak pricing.
Though the Nor’easter will wreck fishing this week, it too shall pass, and new quotas have started on Southern species such as Black Sea Bass and Wild Striped Bass. These fish, as well as Fluke, Mackerel, Skate, and Monkfish should be available for the next few months.
Buyer beware on stone crabs. This time of the year, when water temperatures dip below 58 degrees, quality suffers on the claws. In chilly temperatures the crabs will use their fat to keep them warm, causing the meat of the claws to stick to the shells after cooking. If someone is selling crabs from water that is below 58 degrees, you could have issues serving.
Further, though the Bay Scallop season is underway, as long as the temperatures remain below freezing, nothing will be harvested. And Sea scallop season is going into it’s seasonal lull, so expect product to tighten up with incremental price increases.
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