As a nation, Americans are eating more fish than ever. In 2016 it reached the same levels as the per capita consumption of turkey (the animal, not the people in Turkey who eat fish!). This same effect is occurring around the world. Europeans eat more fish and Asians were always high consumers, but that too has continued to grow.
With a growing market it is not surprising that more outlets make fish available and with such a short-lived commodity you want the time between the fish leaving the water to being on your plate to be as short as possible the sellers who are good at it, dominate the market.
If you’re lucky enough to be close to a dockside fish market you have the chance to get seafood as close to the water as you can without catching it yourself.
The rest of us have to depend on local fishmongers and in-store fish displays in elegant seafood merchandisers. In recent years selling fish has become increasingly sophisticated. The merchandisers have moved into action.
Most of us need lots of guidance. We might just about work out how to put a piece of salmon on the grill, but beyond that we need help. Fishmongers are great at giving advice and ideas. It is easy to find a recipe for cod for example, but how do you know it is cod you want in the first place?
Can you prepare this fish in the same way that you prepared that one, and beside tartar sauce what do you serve?
Luckily fishmongers are usually more than willing to answer our questions and they are more helpful than a recipe. Recipes can’t describe the taste in a way that makes sense.