Jump to content


Photo

Not-so-wild salmon.


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#16 ngatti

ngatti

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,327 posts

Posted 10 April 2005 - 03:56 PM

"Diver" is a short season and the word is only meaningful to people with inside knowledge. It is the most abused of the terms

Dayboat is nice. It exists, but you have to ask "is this true dayboat?"

For all intents and purposes what most people would like (myself included) is "Top-Catch". Again you have to ask for it.

If you ask about "line" or "troll" caught, a reputable fish-monger will tell you "yes" or "no". (that's my experience).

The problem comes with knowingly menuing the false terms or selling fish that just ain't so. Fraud, pure and simple.
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#17 Leslie

Leslie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,819 posts

Posted 10 April 2005 - 03:57 PM

There is a post on the eGullet thread that appears authoritative, from a Washington State poster, that indicates that there is at least a small quantity of wild fresh Oregon salmon available now.  Whether any of this makes it to the East coast is another question.

ahem, I'm not authoritive, but I did post on MF yesterday (not eG) that my seafood manager at my market in Seattle (who is authoritive) said a few days ago that his only fresh wild salmon was Oregon troll caught Kings.

I will make some other calls around the Seattle markets today to see where their wild salmon is coming from and report back.

#18 marcus

marcus

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts

Posted 10 April 2005 - 04:19 PM

She solicited opinions on the eGullet website, as I recall, and several people offered comments. Her conclusion was "peeky-toe" or "dayboat" or geographically specific labels could allow some wholesalers to double the usual price.
.

In general, the prices at greenmarket dayboat stands are significantly lower than than premium fish markets for comparable items. Their product is also fresher and better. The reason is undoubtedly that the product does not need to pass through the distribution system with its many middlemen, and the overhead of operating a greenmarket stand is undoubtedly lower as well.

#19 marcus

marcus

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts

Posted 10 April 2005 - 04:21 PM

ahem, I'm not authoritive, but I did post on MF yesterday (not eG) that my seafood manager at my market in Seattle (who is authoritive) said a few days ago that his only fresh wild salmon was Oregon troll caught Kings.

sorry I missed your post

#20 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,912 posts

Posted 10 April 2005 - 05:48 PM

She solicited opinions on the eGullet website, as I recall, and several people offered comments. Her conclusion was "peeky-toe" or "dayboat" or geographically specific labels could allow some wholesalers to double the usual price.
.

In general, the prices at greenmarket dayboat stands are significantly lower than than premium fish markets for comparable items. Their product is also fresher and better. The reason is undoubtedly that the product does not need to pass through the distribution system with its many middlemen, and the overhead of operating a greenmarket stand is undoubtedly lower as well.

I'm not disagreeing with you, marcus, but merely pointing out what the article said. I agree with your explanation of the economic incentive, in season, to capture the best price.

While I'm sure there are many restaurateurs (Bill Teleplan and the folks from Tocqueville come immediately to mind) who incorporate greenmarket produce and fish onto their resto menus, I suspect the vast majority of NY restos will source most of their fish from markets and wholesalers.

The same conclusion could probably be drawn from a test of "prime" beef at a wide range of steakhouses. I would not be surprised if a significant portion is actually choice beef.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#21 yvonne johnson

yvonne johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 8,076 posts

Posted 10 April 2005 - 07:09 PM

I'm not surprised by the findings in the NYT.  "Wild", "day boat", "line caught",  "'diver' scallops" etc are gimmicks.  An excuse to put the price up and, in most cases,  when I see them on menus, I take them with a pinch of salt.

These are all meaningful characterizations, and represent potentially significant increments in quality over conventional commercially caught fresh fish. They are only gimmicks when they are used fraudulently, which is apparently now pervasive. The message that I take away from the NYT article, is only to buy fish from the dayboat stands in the greenmarkets, and to be very wary of ordering fish in restaurants.

Oh, I agree the terms can be meaningful, but my comment was really addressing what appears to be ubquitous use of these terms on menus when it might be the case that the terms falsely describe the fish.

Back to the terms individually: Let's take 'line caught" What do peple have in their minds? A romantic idea of one person fishing with a single line? That what's caught is taken speedily within 24 hours to the restaurant? That the fish hasn't been frozen on the way?

Problem with above conception is that "line caught" can refer to lots of things including "conventional commercially caught...fish". Huge boats with hundreds (thousands?) of lines. The fish are, no doubt, frozen at sea (a whole other debate warranted on pros and cons of this) and does this mean it's "fresh"?

What I'd like to see on the menu:

"Halibut caught in huge drift net as wide as ten city blocks and as deep as a NYC sky-scaper. Flash-frozen on factory ship and is now 6 months old".

Thing is, this would not put me off. The fish would probably be good.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#22 Orik

Orik

    Advanced Member

  • Technocrat
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,068 posts

Posted 10 April 2005 - 10:22 PM

I don't feel the need to see anything of the sort on menus, they should just serve good fish.

And talking about retail, most of the salmon varieties (and most other fish) sold as wild can hardly be mistaken for farmed (certainly not once you taste them), so I don't see the huge issue here except the usual level of fraud/buyer beware you expect when doing business in the US. Not more surprising than Murray's selling spoiled cheese or wine shops putting leaky bottles on sale as staff picks.
I never said that

#23 yvonne johnson

yvonne johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 8,076 posts

Posted 11 April 2005 - 12:48 AM

I don't feel the need to see anything of the sort on menus, they should just serve good fish.

You weren't taking me seriously, were you? Like you, I'm happy with "Halibut" on menu.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#24 Melonious Thunk

Melonious Thunk

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,685 posts

Posted 11 April 2005 - 01:11 AM

I wonder why Citarella was not in the mix. Maybe they were not selling "wild" salmon when they did the test. The excuses of those busted seem pretty lame.
"Pippa, I'm going to tell you something and it's important. Sometimes you have to go to work."__Hannah Marie Konstadt, Two years, nine months.

'How high can you stoop?"__Oscar Levant.

#25 Orik

Orik

    Advanced Member

  • Technocrat
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,068 posts

Posted 11 April 2005 - 04:06 AM

I don't feel the need to see anything of the sort on menus, they should just serve good fish.

You weren't taking me seriously, were you? Like you, I'm happy with "Halibut" on menu.

I was. ;)
I never said that

#26 yvonne johnson

yvonne johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 8,076 posts

Posted 11 April 2005 - 05:51 AM

Must be something to do with the brolly over your head!

I was a bit surprised that Citarella wasn't in the group of stores under investigation.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#27 Wilfrid1

Wilfrid1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 42,108 posts

Posted 11 April 2005 - 01:57 PM

Hmm. Well, the wild Alaskan King salmon at Hearth had very visible white banding on it.

Interesting that members at separate meals reported finding it muted in flavor. ;)
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#28 NeroW

NeroW

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,078 posts

Posted 11 April 2005 - 03:50 PM

One more thing: Wild salmon is a bitch to pin. I don't think Ripert and others do much pinning anymore. ;) It's a commis job.

Do you know why that is? An interested commis would like to know.
We eat so many shrimp, we got iodine poisonin

#29 Leslie

Leslie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,819 posts

Posted 11 April 2005 - 06:54 PM

Reporting back regarding my calls...

Calls to 4 of the higher quality fish markets it Seattle today (Mutual Fish, University Poultry & Seafood, 2 Metropolitan Markets) all said their fresh wild salmon *today* are Kings from Alaska.

One manager said the Alaska season just closed yesterday, and that the next wild salmon they get in will come from Canada. He said they received Alaska wild salmon all winter long.

One manager said they preferred Alaska Wild salmon over the Oregon, which he referred to as more mushy.

I think it's a very competitive market here, and it is reflected in their conversations on the topic.

Alaska Copper River salmon season will begin approx. the 2nd week of May.

#30 marcus

marcus

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts

Posted 11 April 2005 - 06:55 PM

I went by Wild Edibles at GCT today and the wild Alaskan King Salmon was no longer there, it was yesterday, but they still have their wild fresh Oregon salmon, which may in fact actually be wild.