Friday, October 3, 2014

October Is A Great Month

October is National Seafood Month and there are many reasons you should get out of your meat coma and try seafood for dinner.  During the month of October many seafood species begin schooling and moving towards their winter habitats.  This makes them easier to catch and more affordable.  Translation: you will be seeing top quality product of some of your favorite varieties at affordable prices.

Species like swordfish, tuna, rockfish, mahi, and fluke are becoming more visible and therefore easier to land:

  • Swordfish and tuna are on their way south and big fish just a few days out of the water are being offered at high-end markets.  
  • Rockfish are being caught in New York from now until November and during this time there are also smaller fish being offered from our backyard in Maryland.  Soon the Chesapeake will open for the winter fishery and you will see big monsters available from our local waters.  
  • From now until spring, mahi season will be in full effect in Central America.  There are day-boat operations established in this area that provide incredible fillets with gorgeous bloodlines and succulent meat.  
  • Fluke season is officially on in the North Atlantic and soon the Carolina and Virginia seasons will be rocking.  Typically fluke from these areas are pound netted, meaning the fish are harvested in a live state and extra care is taken to ensure sashimi quality fish. 

Meanwhile, wild king salmon is at the tail end of its summer run and fish are beginning to make their way up river. But be careful: Though prices are at seasonal lows, fish this time of year can be devoid of much of their fatty stores and the flavor can be muted and flesh dry.  Sockeye and coho prices are also at a bargain and these species always present better on the plate than king.  All considered, you have a few weeks left to get your fill of inexpensive wild salmon.

October is also the month when shellfish end their summer vacations and begin feeding again, producing the fatty, sweet flavors that we all have come to crave.  Clams, oysters, scallops, and mussels are paying attention to the chilling waters that foretell winter and have once again began gorging themselves for our benefit.  This is also the best time of year to eat crabs.  Blue crabs are looking to fatten up for the winter, resulting in the fattest, tastiest crabs of the year.  You can look for plumper meats, more pronounced flavors, and a sweeter bite for all of your favorite shellfish.

October is National Seafood Month for more reasons than empty publicity.  October to many seafood species is like May for many types of flowers, a time to bloom.  If I were you I would more seriously consider the bass over the ribeye or the mussels over the cheese sticks the next time I dined out.  Enjoy more seafood during this month.  Heck it might even crossover to the next month, and the month after that.  Some trends are better for you than others.  


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