It’s a Nice Day for a White… Fish

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At Atlantic Seafood, we are always happy to provide Old Saybrook and all of Connecticut with the best whitefish on the CT Shoreline. While we carry a large and diverse line of fresh, delicious whitefish, the varieties that we’ll be talking about today are Catfish, Hake, Sablefish, and Barramundi. If any of those names don’t look familiar, there’s no need to worry. By the time you finish reading this article you’ll be quite well-versed in your knowledge of these species and more likely than not, will be hit with an intense craving for all of them.

We’ll start out with the whitefish that every American knows. Of course, we’re referring to the Catfish. Catfish get their name from the barbells, (whisker-like organs that extend from near the mouth that contain taste buds and are used to find food) are eaten around the world, from Asia, to Africa, to Europe, to North America, and beyond. While Catfish come in several different varieties and sub-species, the most common form of Catfish found and served in America is the Channel Catfish, which is mostly native to the waters of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Channel Catfish tend to have quite a large degree of variation in their size, with the ones that are typically caught commercially weighing in at about 4-10lbs. However, they have been known to achieve weights of up to nearly 60 lbs in extreme cases.

In terms of taste, Catfish tends to be on the most side with a soft texture and distinctive flavor for which it is widely known and loved, especially in the southern portion of the United States. There are several different ways to prepare it that are seen around the globe, including such methods as dicing it and serving with chili, baked and served with vegetables, or blackened to a crisp and doused in spices (Cajun Style). The most popular way for cooking Catfish here in America is to simply coat it in cornmeal and fry it up for a simple and mouth-watering treat. Catfish also possesses numerous health benefits, with an abundance of Vitamin D being the most notable. If you’re looking for a simple and nutritious meal, come down to Atlantic Seafood and get yourself some catfish in Old Saybrook today.

Our Old Saybrook seafood market is also known for providing shoreline residents with the best Hake in CT. Hake is most often served in fillet form and is common in Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine, and is slowly but surely becoming a hit in the USA as well. Hake features a soft and white flesh with a delicate flavor and texture that is very easy to cut. It is a very nutritious fish, boasting high values of Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B 12, and Vitamin B 6 and has even been scientifically proven to lower the risk of heart attack when consumed on a regular basis.(1) Hake is known for having a light flavor that is very distinctive without being overly fishy.  They tend to be a larger fish, with a typical length of about 2 ½ feet and can be prepared in many different ways and styles such as roasting, grilling, frying, and more. Many people consider Hake fillets to go especially well with green vegetables such as asparagus and spinach.

If you’re looking for Sablefish in CT, we have you covered. Sablefish, which is often referred to in the United States as Black Cod,(2) is widely known and  appreciated for its very mild taste and yielding texture. Similar to other whitefish, there are many different ways to cook Sablefish, with frying, baking, and grilling being among the more popular methods here in America. When cooked, the meat of the Sablefish becomes very light and flaky and has a texture highly reminiscent to that of Chilean Sea Bass. Despite its similarity to the Chilean Sea Bass in texture, Sablefish has a very distinctive taste all its own, often described as being very buttery and light.

Sablefish is quite popular internationally and is frequently featured in sushi along with rice and avocado in Japan, with sushi restaurants in the USA quickly catching on and serving it in this manner as well. On the exterior, Sablefish have a dark gray, almost black color and usually weigh around 8lbs when caught commercially, though in the wild they have grown to be as heavy as 42 pounds and as long as 4 feet in length. They can also live very long lives, with the oldest Sablefish on record having reached 114 years of age.(2)

The last whitefish we’ll touch on today is Barramundi. The rather unusual name of Barramudi comes from an Australian Aboriginal term meaning “large scaled river fish”.(3) Barramundi is found in several different regions of the world, though it is most frequently found in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, with populations being especially concentrated off of the coasts of Australia and Southeastern Asia.

Barramundi is frequently referred to by many alternate names, with Asian Sea Bass and Giant Perch being among the more common ones. They are a very popular breed of fish among deep sea sport fisherman as they are quite large and strong and are known for putting up a good fight when being reeled in for the catch. While farm-raised Barramundi tend to usually be around 3 lbs, ones that are caught in the wild have commonly exceeded lengths of 6 feet and weights of more than 100 lbs.(3) Barramundi have a taste that is similar to that of Grouper or Red Snapper and is often described as being sweet, delicate, and mild. The meat is quite oily and moist and appears dark pink when raw, but turns white when cooked. An additional interesting feature of the Barramundi is that its skin is edible and makes for a delicious and unique complement to the meat, especially when fried.

These are just a few of the fresh, delicious whitefish that you’ll find when you shop at Atlantic Seafood in Old Saybrook, CT. Stay tuned, as you never know when we’ll be delving into some of the other varieties of whitefish we carry as well. Now that we’ve fed your brain with information, it’s time to come down to our seafood market and fill your stomach with the best Catfish, Hake, Sablefish, and Barramundi in CT.

Works Cited

1.Traver, Michele
Silver Hake
NOAA, 2006

2. Author Unavailable
Sablefish/Black Cod (Gindara)
I Love Blue Sea, 2010

3.Author Unavailable
Barramundi
Seafood Choices Alliance, 2006
http://www.seafoodchoices.org/archived%20smartchoices/species_barramundi.php

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