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Sunday, January 8. 2012
Dining in a clam shack can be cheaper, and far better, than eating at home. I love rickety little clam shacks. This one has a more extensive menu than the usual. Place is famous for the best Lobster Rolls in the world (in their opinion).
Why Sea Scallops cost more than Bay Scallops, these day, is a puzzle to me. The little Bay Scallops are much tastier, but the big Sea Scallops make a better presentation, I guess. Lots of people just don't know their seafood. I don't know much, but I think I know my seafood.
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I've eaten seafood all over the world and this country - southern, MD, low country, west coast, mesquite broiled...but NOTHING, NOTHING beats NE seafood...thanks for the photos and the memories...it's a damn shame I'm 3,000 miles from a bowl of chowder and half that menu....OK maybe ALL that menu...
Didn't someone get caught punching "Sea Scallops" out of skate with a small cookie cutter a long time ago? Probably an old wives' tale (Where did THAT saying come from?) Agreed, the bay scallops are tastier. I agree with Whiskey_Joe except for one menu item - I won't order a crab cake anywhere outside of Maryland anymore - been tricked too many times!
Looks good BD but I don't see any crayfish, crabs, etouffee, gumbo... :-)
Yes indeed. Dogfish and sand shark too.
The spiny dogfish used to be a staple of the English fish and chips shops. They are currently on the endangered species list as their stocks are way down from over fishing.
Can't agree with you unfortunately. New England seafood is excellent, but comparing it to southern, Cajun or other types of preparation is like comparing apples to ten penny nails - they are completely different cuisines using completely different species in some cases.
One of three different types of bases - cream broth(white), tomato broth (red) and clear broth (clear).
Or course the only true chowdah is cream based. Tomato is for them city slickers from Neh Yawk Citay and clear for the mob types in Rhode Island. :>)
One of my best friends insulted my wife once when she made fresh New England clam chowdah when he was up visiting from New Orleans. The first thing he did was ask for Tabasco sauce to "spice it up".
She went apoplectic - didn't speak to him for years. Spoke to his wife, but not to him. :>)
...i know you mean crawfish, or crawdads --i'm sure that 'crayfish' is for the Zangs ('les Anglais'), AKA 'the English'.
Interesting question SiC. I've heard the legend of "skate punching" since I was a kid. Never questioned it until I saw your question here on Maggie's, as my incredulity is heightened online. Here's the first report I read tonight, which claims the legend is untrue. All I am sure of is next time I go fishing I'm keeping my junk fish as alt-cuisine. I'll be cooking up some skate, right after I eat a snapping turtle.
Regarding bay scallops being cheaper than sea scallops...
I'd guess that since tilapia is on the menu, and none of that is produced anywhere outside the tropics or the subtropics --where it is almost entirely an aquacultured species-- and indeed much or most of the tilapia consumed in the USA comes in frozen from China, that the bay scallops there are also the aquacultured Chinese product. Which is simply awful. No taste, no texture, and pretty much a down-market item. Sea scallops are universally wild caught.
In New Orleans, it is spelled "crayfish" usually, but sometimes, it is spelled "crawfish". Another term is mudbug which is where I took my name. :-)
Yes it is. One of my ambitions is to enjoy a crawfish boil. None of that around here though. Up here, apart from special orders they're frozen - spelled d-e-a-d - and that's not how they've come recommended to me.
My parents retired to the Tidewater area of Virginia, so I spent many vacations there. The scallops from Chesapeake Bay are the sweetest dearest things i have ever eaten. Unfortunately, we can't duplicate them down here in the Gulf of Mexico, so I've had to do without. But we do have succulent blue crabs which one can pick up off the walls of our boat slip, always supposing that one has a boat. But the seafood I miss the most is lobster. I wish that I could find a purveyor who would cook and pick the lobster and sell me the frozen lobster meat. Haven't found a company that sells it. The other yearning I have is for langoustine, sometimes called Norway lobster. When I was young and lived up north I could buy those delicious creatures and serve them up three to four to a plate. Much as I love Maine lobster, I think langoustine are even sweeter and more tender.
In addition to tilapia I notice they list "Chilean Sea Bass" a.k.a. Patagonian toothfish, a fish that's caught in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean. (And when I say "Southern" I don't mean off the coast of Alabama). So they are not just sourcing their seafood locally.
But I too am puzzled at the price difference between sea and bay scallops. I like them both, and of course if the restaurant is on the Cape or Islands both should be available if not necessarily in season. It's been a while since I spent a lot of time in southern New England (where I assume these menus are) so maybe things have changed.
I can introduce you to at least two commercial fishermen who actually sell their own product instead of through a distributor.
They "punch" skate, doggies, etc., for "sea' scallops. If they're doing it, others are too.
Speaking of "trash" fish, I was out the other day doing some cat fishing just for giggles when I caught a rather bid American Gar. The guy who was with me took it because he said it was delicious. A SOB to clean (like pike or so I was told), but I understand that the flesh is firm and very sweet. Same with grass carp.
Tom, thanks, but that was a rhetorical question filled with barely concealed disdain that a New England shop would offer such a concoction :)
That's right. Crayfish are boiled live with lots of good seasoning (Zatarains or Old Bay crab boil plus some extra cayenne pepper for zip!).
In defense of those selling frozen mudbugs, they were certainly boiled live and may actually have some seasoning. But it's not the same.
I would have agreed with the "nothing beats NE seafood" before vacationing in Cape May. The Lobster House in particular is as good as it gets.
Tom, I first bumped into the legend when I was a kid hanging out with a school chum, my buddy Johnnie D. His dad was a fisherman. He was the one who first told me about using skate as scallops. Can't say I disbelieved him. He hocked a loogie on the top of my head the last time I saw him necessitating my taking a bath in a tidal marsh. It's just the kind of guy he was I suppose. But that's where the legend took root in my mind.
I'm not saying it isn't true...I just want to keep an open mind on the subject. It would be nice to put that one to rest though. I can't order Sea Scallops at Newick's without poking at my food and sniff testing it to figure out if I'm eating skate or not. Like I said, I'm going to eat a skate next time I pull one up. If there's a difference in the flesh from that of a scallop I'll rest easy, and if it's the same I don't give two figs if they serve it to me as scallops in a restaurant. I just like to know what's what I guess.
I had some great blackened dolphin in Key West - somewhere. After several daiquiris (they used grain alcohol instead of rum), and a stop at Captain Tony's, We were lucky to make it back to our cruise ship.
It's been many decades, but I used to love the Lobster House in Cape May as a kid.
Urie's in Wildwood was great too.
BD, you sure set off many a fond memory, with them pictures of menus. They are art work in that way i think --and a good eye you got.