My Hubby with lots of Yellowfin Tuna!
Spring is here and that means the hubby is back to the ocean and out of the boatyard! This also means more seafood in our diets (like two to three times a week instead of just once). We do freeze some of his catch to use throughout the winter and we always top off the freezer with shrimp as fall arrives so that we could have it once a week if we'd like and always have plenty to share with friends. We've been lucky to already have had some fresh yellowfin tuna and wahoo this spring but mostly we're still eating our freezer stash from last year. Currently on hand we have triggerfish, wahoo, black sea bass, and shrimp.
Since so many people are scared of seafood for one reason or another I want to start this little series on eating and cooking seafood by dispelling a few myths.
Myth #1. I don't know how to cook fish. Pishposh. If I can do it, so can you! I used to be scared of cooking seafood but my husband taught me how to cook seafood with confidence all you really need are a few simple tips (more to come)!
Myth #2. I don't know how to buy seafood. Rule number one - fish should NOT smell fishy. Not under any circumstances. It should smell like the ocean (a bit salty) or like nothing at all. Rule number two - see rule number one. Another big tip - buy local if you can. It may cost a small amount more as many local things do but this is money going back to your community. Buying local seafood is something that is dear to my heart and something I didn't know the importance of until I loved a fisherman. Buying local means also buying fresh. For my North Carolina readers you can go here and learn about buying local. And for my really local readers, make sure you know the restaurants who serve only Carteret Catch! I understand not everyone lives close enough to the coast to have a catch of the day for dinner but your butcher should know where your seafood was caught and share that information with you.
Myth #3. Seafood can cause cholesterol problems. Um, maybe if you always eat it fried, but then the seafood isn't the problem. Seafood has some great stuff in it, large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and large amounts of DHA, shrimp and other shellfish is also a natural source of iodine, a mineral that we do not normally get unless we use iodized salt in our diets. As with anything, seafood should be cooked in various ways and eaten in moderation. Fried shrimp is good once (Hello shrimp burger from El's) in awhile but not everyday.
Myth #4. Avoid eating fish because of mercury. A little biology and chemistry for ya - mercury is a heavy metal element that is retained in tissues (the parts we eat) and accumulates over time. Part of what I do is age fish so I can tell you that mahi mahi is beyond safe (they live to be 4 at most and grow at and insane speed), wahoo only live to 7 or 8 also very safe, as are most tunas despite the rumors. However there are some species that can cause concern, a large king mackerel may be 21 to 25 years old, a large grouper could be in it's 20s as well. Yes, if you are pregnant and have small children be diligent of the seafood you are serving - but overall it is not a concern - especially if you are consuming seafood once per week or less.
Next up I want to share some of our favorite recipes with ya'll but if you have any questions about seafood or want any other myths debunked (or have questions about these myths) please ask I'll be more than happy to answer! I majored in marine biology but never thought I'd marry a fisherman and that fish would play such a huge part of our everyday lives so I hope you enjoy this little series!