Catch(es) and Releas(es):
The fish world is ever changing. Each morning I enter the coolers at the shop in anticipation of what I might find. Our head monger and buyer Tom usually has some insightful information for me, because he knows that I need up to date fishing reports in order to provide accurate data to our patrons. Hurricanes, cold fronts, season closures (and openings), emerging risks and competition for our resource and pricing fluctuations are all useful information that aid our wholesale and retail customers in making informed choices regarding seafood consumption and preparation. Please feel free to message me regarding your questions and interest in the state of the worlds seafood fisheries, cooking methods, supplier tips and basically anything else that "catches" your fancy. I will do my best to address your issues in a comprehensive manner so that we can all benefit from the information learned. Thank you for taking your time to be here, and be involved in solutions that will benefit us all as consumers of the resource.
Let's all get on the same page:
I have by default become somewhat of Hudson Valley Seafood's brand ambassador, through my interaction with chefs and farmers market patrons throughout the region. Often times we forget that not everyone is familiar with the lingo of the seafood business. In order for me to be able to go beyond basic cooking instructions or fish selections, I would like to bring everyone up to speed on the basic terminology of the fish market. With this knowledge, you can better understand what the heck I am talking about when I suggest a fish to cook or technique of cooking your selection. So here is a glossary of fish terms for your use:
16/20 - 10/ 20 - 41/50 etc. - When you see a number preceding a seafood item, this denotes the quantity per pound of that item. For example: 16/20 Gulf shrimp means that there are approximately 16 to 20 shrimp per pound. U/10 means that there are less than or "under" 10 per pound.
Chix- refers to live lobsters. This is the smallest legal lobster that can be sold, and refers to lobsters that are between 1 pound and 1 and 1/4 pound.
Cull lobster- refers to live lobsters that have only one claw.
Dry- as in dry 10/20 sea scallops. Dry refers to seafood that has not been treated with a preservative such as nitrates or phosphates. Often in the industry, seafood such as shrimp and scallops are treated with these preservatives to increase their raw weight and prolong shelf life. However, the effect on the product is that it will suffer greater shrinkage when cooked, and in my opinion, will be rendered inedible due to the question of safety of these chemicals. Always ask your server at a restaurant, or your fishmonger if the product is "dry". If they do not know what you mean, order a steak.
B/I or B/O - This refers to whether the fish is sold "bone in" or "bone out". Fillet refers to fish that are completely boneless.
Refreshed- refers to seafood that was previously frozen. Also referred to as "PF".
IQF- Individually Quick Frozen
PEI- Prince Edward Island
Domestic- Harvested and processed within the US
P+D- Peeled and deveined
Roe- fish eggs
Dayboat- seafood that is caught and brought to shore on the same day.
Sushi Grade- Although stores use the label "sushi grade fish," there are no official standards for using this label. The only regulation is that parasitic fish, such as salmon, should be frozen to kill any parasites before being consumed raw. ... The best ones are assigned Grade 1, which is usually what will be sold as sushi grade.
Line Caught- denoting a fish that has been caught with a rod and fishing line, not by trawling with a net.
So that is a basic glossary of seafood terms that you will discover being used in the seafood industry. If I have missed any that you may have come across, please write me a quick note, so that I can add them to the list. Feel free to stop by our shop and use any of these terms when selecting your purchase. You may be surprised at the level of service that you receive when your fishmonger knows you are well versed in the lingo!