At Seaview Crab Company we strive to provide customers with delicious, fresh fish, which is why we keep our displays full of crowd favorites, plus some out-of-the ordinary local fish.
“The most popular fish that we sell are grouper, tuna and mahi-mahi,” says fishmonger Winn Altman.
Great choices, but there are so many more fish in the sea.
On a recent summer afternoon, Seaview’s fillet cases were brimming with some of the popular choices like flounder, grouper, wahoo, swordfish, mahi-mahi, tuna, catfish and salmon.
The whole fish display included: triggerfish, sheepshead, yellow-eyed snapper and puffer fish, jolt head, golden tile and a cobia.
Also in the mix were rose fish, squirrel fish and one lone red devil fish.
While some folks are well acquainted with those fish, other people have never heard of them – much less thought about eating any of them.
Others are more adventurous.
On this particular afternoon a couple wanders into the market looking for fish.
“We want to try something new,” the man says.
“Really?” says Greg Zimmerman, one of Seaview’s fishmongers. He points to the most unusual looking fish on display, the red devil fish and asks them if they want to try it.
After asking what the fish tastes like and discovering that its’ flavor and texture is similar to black sea bass, the husband and wife look at each other, shrug, and say, “Why not?”
As Greg cuts and fillets the fish for the couple (a service provided for free by Seaview Crab Company), the wife says they are new to the area.
“We just moved here a few months ago and we live right up the street,” she says. “We’ve decided we want to try every fish you sell.”
That’s the kind of mindset we appreciate and cultivate at Seaview because our waters are teeming with many varieties of delicious fish.
One of Seaview’s owners, Nathan King, says that Seaview offers a variety of fish that may not be found in other markets because the company’s mission is to move seafood forward.
“We adopted the philosophy of ‘moving seafood forward’ because we want to ensure the future of sustainable seafood production,” King explains. “Part of that process is educating our customers about the lesser known, but often more abundant, species.”
Altman says that though many people come in wanting the better known fish such as flounder or mahi-mahi, some customers are branching out to try some of the more unique varieties.
And, some of the lesser known and less popular varieties are often a little less expensive.
“Shark is something that people don’t usually eat, but it’s a mild flavored white fish, that cooks up a lot like chicken,” Altman says. “Amberjack is another rich fish which cooks up similarly to mahi-mahi.”
Skate wings are another unusual offering from Seaview. “These are growing more popular,” Altman says. “They have a texture like pulled pork and a very satisfying taste.”
Fellow fishmonger Sarah Gagliardo agrees, saying she recently ate a smoked skate wing Reuben sandwich at a Moorehead City restaurant.
“It was fantastic,” she said.
Gagliardo believes Seaview tries to educate customers about seafood, open their minds to try new things and not just stay eating one kind of fish.
“It’s about sustainability,” adds Altman. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
Or your fish either. Catch you next time.
THE FUNDAMENTAL FISH FLAVOR AND TEXTURE PROFILES
There are three main textures that most fish and seafood fit into: Delicate textures, medium textures and firm textures. In addition to textures, there are also three flavor profiles that fish and seafood fit into: those are mild, moderate and full flavored.
Flavor Texture Example
Mild Delicate Flounder
Mild Medium Sea Bass
Mild Firm Grouper, Monkfish
Moderate Delicate Sea Trout
Moderate Medium Atlantic Salmon, Skate
Moderate Firm Tuna, Swordfish
Full Delicate Bluefish
Full Medium Popeye Mullet
Full Firm King Mackeral