During week 6, our citizen scientists made 123 individual market visits and cooked up some mouthwatering meals! They also learned some new information about why markets carry some species over other. Many participants have told me that the markets they have visited will tell them "oh we don't carry ______ species because there is no consumer demand for it", "we only sell that to restaurants", or "we have never heard of that species". However, due to the continuous requests for local species some markets are beginning to see that there is demand for local seafood and are starting to carry more of it! Join our citizen scientists by asking for local seafood and go outside your comfort zone and try something new! You might be surprised, as many of participants have found, that some of these less familiar species are not only local but also extremely tasty! One participant even found a treasure while eating her dinner!
Rebecca Stevens from Massachussets
"What a great experience this week! I stopped at a different Stop & Shop first, which had very little selection. Next stop Whole Foods, where I was able to purchase some littlenecks. I've made mussels at home before but only had steamers at a restaurant. Cooked them in some beer, served with melted butter. They were delicious. Got to my last one and found a pearl! I learned that clams don't make pearls as frequently as oysters, and clam pearls have a porcelain finish, as opposed to the lustrous finish of oyster pearls."
Kirstien Davidson from New Hampshire
"I lucked out this week getting the last filet of locally caught haddock at the fish market! Talking with the fish monger, he said normally they sell the locally caught fish to local restaurants because people buying it in the market want bigger pieces. I grew up eating haddock, normally either baked stuffed or in a chowder, but decided to try something different for this one. I stopped at Tendercrop Farm in Dover on the way home and picked up some lemon basil aioli. To prepare the fish, I put pesto over the top and wrapped it in tin foil. Then I grilled it for about 15-20 minutes. Once it was done, I put the aioli sauce on top. I served it with some grilled veggies and pasta with more of the pesto sauce. My daughter actually ate quite a bit of it for once!"
Lisa Jarosik from Connecticut
"I looked all over for Black sea bass. When I called the store I purchased it from, the owner of the store had actually caught the fish himself in Groton and brought it back to the store. It was very fresh and looked delicious even uncooked."
Meggan Dwyer from Maine
"The two markets I visit are run by fishermen families so they are pretty well versed in what is the usual catch in these parts. Neither had heard of sea robin even by is other name Guenard. They both said they rarely if ever had sculpin or periwinkles. But they always have haddock! That seems true of most of the markets around here - plenty of haddock! I hope I don't spend the whole summer with haddock as my default fish as it is not really my favorite."
David Ford from Rhode Island
"For week 6 I found just off the boat Striped Bass at my first stop - Andrade's in Bristol, RI. I coated the filet with olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper, then roasted at 300 for 30 minutes. I served it with a grilled peach salsa. My dinner guests were very happy!"
Mary Tanzer from New Hampshire
"I love fried clams. I have never made them at home before, however, since frying causes such a mess, greasy mist all over the kitchen, not to mention calories! I purchased a hot air fryer - specifically because of the clams on my list, actually (and because I love my kitchen gadgets). I did not really enjoy having to shuck the clams having never done it before - much easier when you steam them and the clams open up for you! The air fryer worked very well - no grease but a nice crisp exterior. The clams were tender and sweet. It was so easy and so tasty. A great success for my first attempt."
Debbie Mathieu from Rhode Island
"Even though I had been to that Stop and Shop in the past and was told they don't carry local fish, I was told today that they occasionally carry local fish - it costs more - and they do not advertise it! We discussed how they have little space in the weekly flyer for fish and therefore they could not post limited items like local items. Big stumbling block. The store I did purchase at was manned by two women with some difficulties with English - Portugese speaking. They told me the cod was local from New England...but the price was so low for a fresh fish. Taste was great! Also when poached with rice and some veggies, went a long way and could easily feed family with salad, rolls, etc. Still perfecting my recipe ... will add some canned diced tomatoes next time."
Terry Hahn from Rhode Island
"Never had cooked live crabs before-they were almost a pound a piece. I asked a friend from the south about cooking them, and the retailer. Got info on picking or cleaning, step by step on a chowhound internet site, then got a recipe from a chef friend for crab cakes. (have some crab bake/casserole recipes that I like but wanted to try crab cakes-hate the bready, squishy ones often found in restaurants) The joy of cleaning them escapes me-but a southern friend says you need people, beer, music, a sunny afternoon, to really enjoy that part. The retailer also had local crab meat-would buy that next time! Learned a few things I didn't know about cooking live crabs.Glad I had this opportunity-would probably never have gotten around to trying this on my own."
Rachel Hutchinson from Massachusetts
"This was the second time I enjoyed Dab from my fish list. Most of my other first was out of season, and even illegal to sell at this time of year in Massachusetts. I had an opportunity to grab some whole scup off a fishing boat when they came in, but I missed the boat so to speak. Stripped Bass is not yet in season in Massachusetts for commercial harvest, and although recreational harvest is open and possibly RI is open, it is illegal for fish markets in Massachusetts to have stripped bass for sale. Dab is such a fine delicate white fish I didn't want to do to much to it so as not to destroy it. I decided to make a hyper local/ seasonal meal of greens and fish. I sautéed up some baby bok coy some asparagus and Swiss chard with garlic scapes. I added the fish and put the leafy greens on top of the fish to essentially poach it. It was super easy to prepare, and delicious and was local and in season."
Christina Rodriguez from Rhode Island
"We marinated our squid in pickled chili sauce first, then pan-seared it with onion, greens (kale), bacon, & kimchi, and served it over rice. This was the first time we made this recipe and it was hot and spicy, which we enjoyed immensely."
Michelle Nelson from Connecticut
"Prepared the cod for Father's Day dinner for my husband and father-in-law. They enjoyed the preparation. I bought 2.6 lbs because I was serving 5 people. We all had plenty and there was enough for 2 small portions as left overs. I covered the fish with a combo of sour cream, horseradish, Italian breadcrumbs and shredded carrot. It baked 17 mins at 400."
Caitlin Peterson from New Hampshire
"I was surprised to find local fish in Shaw's! I've struck out in large chain grocery stores many times throughout this project, so I've been making more of an effort to seek out fish markets. This week was really busy and I didn't have time to drive out of my way to a fish market, so I figured I'd at least grab a "zero" data point by hitting up another large chain grocery store. To my surprise, the fish selection at Shaw's was not bad! I'll definitely stop there again to check on their fish selection when I don't have time to make it to a market that's farther away. Haddock was a nice species to find on a busy week - easy to cook, fits into lots of familiar recipes, and not a big barrier to sharing with others because the taste is familiar to so many!"
Debbie Proffitt from Rhode Island
"Simple and Sweet Steamaahs!! I was excited to see soft shell clams on my list this week because I hadn't had them in a very long time. We tend to buy little necks or eat the soft shells clams as fried clams. I was surprised I couldn't find wild mussels but maybe it was timing and because there are some mussel farms in the area, not sure. I did not find herring or spot. I bought a big bunch of soft shell clams and we steamed them up - they were sweet and delicious! And it was very simple and easy."
Aubrey Church from Massachusetts
"For week 6 of #eatlikeafish my four species to search for were: Halibut, Sea Urchin, Peekytoe Crab and herring. I was only able to find #halibut. Atlantic halibut are the largest flatfish in the world. They are a right sided flounder, with a very large mouth filled with sharp, curved teeth. The Massachusetts State Record is 321 pounds caught in 1965 in Massachusetts Bay. Atlantic halibut has a mild, white meat. It is flaky, and firm, but tender when cooked. For dinner I made Bahamian Halibut! The fish was marinated in #darkrum #limejuice and put on the grill. I served it with a mango/pineapple avocado salsa. Delicious! Follow along for next week's #fishtale. #eatingwiththeecosystem #eatfish #eatlocal #knowyourfish #supportlocalfishermen"
Michelle Pechie from Rhode Island
"I had the fish monger at Anchor Seafood find me whole fish from my list, and he came up with 2 small to medium haddock. They were beauties with bright, clear eyes and only a wiff of the sea!! I was going to fry them whole in the Thai style, but relented to my husband who is a bit more conservative than I. Tempura required I filet them my self. I saved the carcasses for stock so my lack of skill did not result in waste!! Haddock is a lovely, sweet fleshed fish that brings me back to my youth, when it was the fish and chip fish of choice. I'm hoping to acquire a more unfamiliar fish next week."
Daryl Popper from Massachussetts
Carolyn St.Jean Gogan from Rhode Island
"I found squid at all three places but one could not tell me if it was locally caught and none of them had fresh tubes. They only had fresh squid rings. I really wanted fresh but I ended up buying frozen tubes since that was all I could get. The frozen worked out fine. I stuffed them with a mixture of chorizo and seasoned rice topped with a nice roasted red pepper sauce. I bought medium sized tubes but next time I will buy the larger ones so that they would be easier to stuff. And since I purchased two and a half pounds, the next day I sliced the tubes and made calamari. So my family ate well for two days."
Pamela Corcoran from Maine
"I appreciated eating the quahogs chilled in a salad. This approach was new for me, but made perfect sense given how hot it was (90+). I imagined the clams as I might have used a firm flesh fish in a composed salad. I n chopped them up and added to a tomato, cucumber feta cheese and parsley mix. Garnished with red onion, parsley and lemon it was delicious. Easy, inexpensive and delicious. Of course the "bonus" clam broth went to the freezer for colder days and chowder soup."