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It all started with a man and his dog.

Des Fitzgerald loved to fish, and he would often bring his dog Caleb with him on all of his expeditions into the wild landscapes of Lincolnville, Maine. Along the Kendall Brook, Des found a pleasant patch of land and built a small bungalow for him and Caleb. For the love of Trout, he began farming the fish along the water’s edge – it was here where Ducktrap River Fish Farm was born, named after the river into which the Kendall Brook flows. For this story, it’s only the beginning of many long years of perfecting his product and making it that much more special, just like the relationship between Des and his fish.

Des started smoking his Trout with the help of a smokehouse at 4 x 4 feet. He installed a small stove buried into the ground of the smokehouse and began to forge his own smoked fish business, selling his smoked Trout to local restaurants and markets. Des’ business grew with his love for the product. It was a match made in perfect harmony.

Using traditional European smoking methods, Des developed incredible-tasting smoked seafood products that continue to shine in the kitchen today – Ducktrap is thought to be the first company to smoke Mussels, one of the savory products offered by Ducktrap River of Maine. In 1990, Des purchased a mechanical pin-bone machine and an automatic slicing machine for his Salmon. In 1998, he purchased a kiln with its own environmental control system with the ability to manage the moisture within it, just one of seven that existed in the world.

Ducktrap River of Maine has an extensive list of smoked products, all of which have received wide acclaim by chefs for over three decades. Ducktrap’s Spruce Point brand of smoked Salmon is to-die-for. It’s a cold-smoked pre-sliced Atlantic Salmon of the highest quality and it’s truly a culinary masterpiece of incredibly bold flavors. The Salmon fillets are dry brined, lightly trimmed, and cold smoked in small artisanal batches. They are then seasoned by hand with a special blend of spices. The end result is an original variety of thinly sliced smoked Salmon, especially great for sandwiches. Our favorite: the Spruce Point Smoked Salmon, Pastrami-Style. With a little bit of a kick to the taste buds, it needs to be tasted to be believed.

The Rainbow Trout Fillets are an experience to the palate as well. Smoke roasted and sustainably sourced, it is the most exquisite of all smoked fish and it is the center point of Ducktrap’s rich history, from when Des and his little dog Caleb were fishing together back in 1978. The fillets are hot smoked gently to hold on to their natural juices and texture. The taste is delicate and ideal for those unfamiliar with smoked seafood. Ducktrap’s Rainbow Trout Fillets are the perfect alternative to more traditional breakfast proteins and they really shine in an omelet. Available in Traditional flavor, Maple Glazed, and Lemon Pepper & Garlic flavor, there are several ways you can accompany the flavors with your own creativity.

Ducktrap River of Maine has a series of smoked Shellfish that wow guests time after time. All sustainably sourced, they make for an unforgettable smoked seafood platter paired with Ducktrap’s Trout and Salmon. From Mussels, to Bay Scallops, to Shrimp, they have everything you need to make your guests full and happy. The Mussels are plump and amazingly succulent, and they are blanched after harvest to save their unique flavor. With Ducktrap’s signature blend of Maine hardwoods and fruitwoods smoke, the full flavor comes in with every bite. The Smoked Bay Scallops are steamed almost immediately after being pulled from the water. They are then cold smoked with a custom-developed wood blend to enhance their all-natural sweetness. Their cold water Smoked Shrimp are especially great as well – they’re cooked immediately after harvest and just mildly cold smoked.

From Des Fitzergerald’s humble beginnings on the brook’s edge in the thick of Lincolnville, Ducktrap River of Maine has stayed true to their commitment of quality and excellent taste ever since 1978, and they continue to showcase high standards in their catch and preparation just for you, the chef. Des Fitzgerald is regarded as a local hero to the people of Maine today, and it all began with the perfect combination of just three ingredients: a man, his dog, and his trout.

Aunt Connie’s Feast of the Seven Fishes

Delivering Value and Quality and Saving You Time

By: Catherine Dempsey

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – surrounded by family with good food on the table and all the joys of the winter season upon us. Aunt Connie’s Famous prepared foods have created items to enhance your catering menu and save you time this holiday season. Everyone has their own holiday traditions, and in Philadelphia, many Italians go straight to Samuels and Son Seafood to pick out their fish for the Feast of the Seven Fishes meal every year. Called The Vigil in Southern Italy, the Feast of the Seven Fishes celebrates the midnight birth of baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. Some of the most popular items served during this old tradition include Baccala, fried Smelts, Calamari, stuffed Squid, and various seafood-centric foods from Aunt Connie’s Famous, such as her soups, salads, freshly prepared foods, and burgers. Made to order every day, Aunt Connie’s Famous foods are authentic and they’re a small taste of Samuels’ beginnings.

In 1919, Concetta and Guiseppe Ippolito arrived in America with a pushcart and a dream, where selling fish has become a family legacy and a way of life. Ten years later, after operating his fish pushcart with great success, Guiseppe was able to open the doors to Ippolito’s Seafood on the corner of 13th and Dickinson in South Philadelphia, which led to the opening of Samuels and Son Seafood. New world fish: meet old world cooking. Their daughters, Rose and Connie, helped their mother prepare meals and later developed the Crab Cake and the Crab Gravy, recipes that have remained hallmark items on the Ippolito’s menu today. The recipes remain untouched since the beginning, and they represent the family’s nostalgic, old world roots. They are the same items enjoyed in Aunt Connie’s Famous products of wholesome seafood dishes, available exclusively through Samuels and Son Seafood. It is homemade, flavorful recipes that separate Ippolito’s from the rest: a love for food, family, and history.

For decades, Aunt Connie’s wholesome and excellent prepared seafood-centric dishes have been wowing chefs and their guests time after time with only the freshest ingredients and the tenderness and care that comes with creating a good meal. Her recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and continue to shine on all occasions. Your guests will love the hearty and flavorful taste of her freshly prepared salads, seafood dishes, soups, sauces, and ready-to-eat foods on your catering menu and beyond. Aunt Connie’s old world recipes have a new, modern, and delicious twist and will save you time and deliver you value. Aunt Connie’s Famous soups, salads, prepared foods, sauces, and burgers can deliver the homemade touch you’re looking for to bring your meal to the next level, especially when it comes to her Fish Cakes, Crab Cakes, and special burgers. They are all delicious and unique, and they’re perfect for Feast of the Seven Fishes or any large event around the holidays.

Take the Shrimp Burger. It’s an outstanding seafood sandwich that is perfect for a seasonal bar menu and it’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Great and easy to make, they are a wonderful staple on any catering menu or seasonal event. There’s also the Panko Encrusted Crab Cakes, with large tender pieces of sweet Jumbo Crab meat in a béchamel sauce and encased in a golden brown panko shell. Dense with meat and guaranteed to wow guests, Aunt Connie’s Crab Cakes are the perfect addition to the traditional meal, and they’re a great staple on a pub menu that wants to get in on the fun of the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Make your Feast of the Seven Fishes spectacular and memorable for years to come with both highly traditional staples such as Baccala and Eels, and other new world favorites such as Crab Cakes and seafood burgers. Aunt Connie’s Famous prepared foods are the perfect addition to go along with your holiday catering menu this year. Get the magic of old world Italian Ippolito’s delivered right to your door. From all of us at Samuels, including Aunt Connie herself, we wish you a very happy holidays and a happy New Year!

The Best Tasting and Most Versatile Fish…Open Blue Cobia

By: Catherine Dempsey

Open Blue Cobia is a healthy and pure source of protein. Raised in the open ocean in a natural growing environment, Open Blue is the world leader in offshore fish farming and they are at the forefront of the best environmental practices. Their farming activities go above and beyond all required legislation and achieve the world’s best practice standards. They are BAP, Friend of the Sea, Global Gap, and BRC certified. Open Blue Cobia is aiming to be the first company to achieve ASC certification for the Cobia species. It is fast becoming a favorite of many chefs and home cooks, as it lends itself to a range of international cuisines and cooking methods, and it pairs well with a wide variety of flavors.

Often compared to Swordfish or Chilean Sea Bass, Cobia has an amazing, fresh, buttery flavor and a firm texture. It’s a strong fish, and it holds up well no matter how you decide to prepare it. Cobia has been recognized for its stunning beauty and taste in uncooked applications. When cooked, Cobia’s texture is ideal for grilling, broiling, searing, baking, and more. It’s a highly versatile fish with endless possibilities as far as culinary creativity.

Open Blue Cobia is one of the best tasting and most versatile white fish available. Its firm white to pale pink flesh is delicately flavored and is perfect for all raw preparations such as sushi, sashimi or ceviche. This is a fish that is ideal for on-trend recipes, such as poke, protein bowls, and tacos. It is genuinely superior to other fish, with a higher fat content, cleaner flavor and firmer texture making it more versatile, consistent and delicious. Open Blue Cobia is so easy to prepare due to its naturally high oil content. Chefs and food lovers alike can enjoy the taste of Cobia whether they’re an expert or a novice in the kitchen. “I like the fact that the protein is a balanced fatty meat, firm to grill or use for raw preparations,” says Chef Irvin Van Oordt of Tiger Fork in Washington D.C. “It works as a blank canvas for chefs and home cooks alike to create different masterpieces.” Chef Irvin prepared Cobia collars, cleaned and brined for 24 hours in a sugar salt Sichuan peppercorn, chili arbol, and garlic brine. The collars were then air dried for 12 hours, before being grilled to perfection.

In the next 50 years, more food will have to be produced than during the past 10,000 years combined. That’s a lot of food. There are many theories on how to produce this much food when the time comes, and scientists are already developing ways to solve the problem. Open ocean aquaculture or mariculture represents a long-term solution with the proven ability to feed more people around the world than any other system today without damaging the environment or wild fish stocks.

Open Blue Cobia is one of the few companies that are doing it the right way, with a neutral impact on the environment and a standard that speaks to treating their fish humanely and naturally – just as they should be. Open Blue Cobia takes one part investigative scientific research, and one part technological innovation to create their state of the art aquaculture farms in Panama. Open Blue was the first company to introduce fresh farm raised Cobia to the US market, a fish that continues to wow chefs and their guests time after time.

Open Blue traces their Cobia from egg to plate. Seriously. You could find out the exact hatch date of any given fish and be able to trace it from its time swimming happily in open sea waters, to its journey right to your plate. It’s also highly sustainable, so there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to the future of this fish. Open Blue Cobia is rich in Omega-3s, a 8oz portion of Cobia contains the equivalent of your weekly recommended dose of Omega-3s.

Open Blue Cobia is available fresh and frozen in a variety of cuts. Coming soon are frozen portions, natural buffet cuts, and natural taco strips.

For more information, visit www.openblue.com.

Look to True North for the Freshest Salmon

By: Catherine Dempsey

From ocean to plate in record time, True North Seafood is a purveyor of one of the freshest Salmon available. With True North, freshness is always the number one priority. Their Atlantic Salmon are raised in the most natural environment possible, along the Gulf of Maine and the Atlantic coast of Canada. Exactly the kind of location where good Salmon come from. This pleasant and pristine area is the ideal spot for raising really great fish, and the proof is in the taste.

True North Salmon is one of the best tasting, with a light, mild, and delicate flavor and a smooth, buttery texture. Chefs can feel free to get creative with how they want to prepare it; poached, grilled, broiled, baked, sautéed, smoked, and more. True North Salmon is also super rich in omega 3 and fatty acids, so it’s good for you too. Delicious, versatile, and healthy? You bet.

Buying locally raised Salmon ensures fresher, better tasting Salmon. True North Seafood promises Salmon delivered up to a week faster than any other company. Additionally, this close proximity allows for a smaller carbon footprint, making for a more environmentally friendly choice. That’s good for all of us.

True North Seafood harvests their Salmon to order, which means the fish are swimming in the cold, clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean right up until the moment your order is placed. They also ship their Salmon daily, promising a steady and fresh supply all year long. Their care for the environment at large is impressive and they take all the necessary precautions to ensure their Salmon is sustainable. The goal? Delivering the freshest possible Salmon. No frills, no gimmicks. Just purely good fish.

The company utilizes some genius technology to further pursue their goal of developing the perfect Salmon. Researchers have developed the Offspring 50K Chip, which is essentially a genetic road map for Atlantic Salmon in North America. This allows True North to work on their selective breeding of farmed Atlantic Salmon, without genetic modification, only breeding the best fish. Raising a market sized Salmon is a 3-year process for True North Seafood, meaning they put the utmost care into raising their Salmon – ensuring they are raised in a healthy, stress-free environment. This means you’re going to receive a deliciously perfect fish from True North time after time, for years to come.

True North Seafood boasts the 4-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification. The BAP certification is third party certification which promotes responsible practices across the aquaculture industry. The Global Aquaculture Alliance coordinates the development of BAP certification standards for hatcheries, farms, processing facilities, and feed mills. True North Seafood cares deeply about the ocean world and they are always seeking to improve their methods in order to ensure that they are up to the highest standards of care for their fish. The 4-star BAP certification means True North Salmon is completely traceable, from egg to plate. With the growing consumer concern of the origin of foods they consume, True North is the clear choice giving you and your customers peace of mind.

Family owned and operated, True North Seafood’s parent company Cooke Aquaculture Inc., comes from a generational history of fishing and ocean stewardship. When you love what you do as much as True North, there’s nothing coming between you and the food you deliver to the world. They live and work in the coastal communities they serve and they strive to have a positive influence on the places they call home. They also just love what they do. And when you love what you do, it shows. True North Seafood is the producer and distributor of their Atlantic Salmon, meaning they control and trace every step of the way to make sure you receive the best product every time. With the freshest Salmon right in your backyard, why go anywhere else?

True North Salmon is available as a whole fish, hand cut fillets, or custom cut portions. Reach out to your Samuels agent and ask about the many cut options available.


Sweet for the Soul, Perfect for the Palate: Verlasso Salmon Supports the Kick Hunger Challenge!

By: Catherine Dempsey

There’s something really special about charities that put good thoughts into good deeds. Verlasso Salmon is teaming up with the Taste of the NFL (TNFL) for the Kick Hunger Challenge throughout the football season this year. For every pound of Verlasso Salmon you buy, you will be positively impacting your local food bank by providing up to two meals to those in need. This is such an important cause which will inevitably benefit thousands of families across the country. Verlasso’s goal? End hunger. Period. They’re also working closely with the TNFL, which seeks to raise money in support of food banks throughout the United States by rallying the country’s top chefs and the NFL’s greatest players on Super Bowl Eve. You can donate in the name of your favorite team and raise money with other fans to benefit this wonderful program by going to support.tasteofthenfl.com.

Verlasso Salmon is delectably clean tasting, and there’s a reason why so many chefs choose it in the first place. The buttery, melt-in-your-mouth feeling one gets from a wonderful Salmon is what Verlasso strives for. It’s this feeling that has chefs coming back time after time. This Salmon is truly something that needs to be experienced first-hand. The flavor profile is crisp, clean, and bright. Salmon from Verlasso is super versatile. Feel free to bake it, grill it, broil it, pan-sear it, or get creative. There’s nothing stopping you from showing off your culinary skills with this Verlasso Salmon.

Tradition: meet harmonious aquaculture. Verlasso Salmon are raised on the western shore of Chilean Patagonia. Here, they are living, breathing, and swimming within cool and clean waters where the motto is always “fish in, fish out.” This means a 1:1 ratio is kept in order to insure that the Salmon raised here are truly happy and healthy. Sustainability is a high priority, and Verlasso is well-versed in what it means to be environmentally friendly. They were the first ocean-raised Atlantic Salmon rated yellow “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Verlasso is pioneering new traditions and taking sustainability to a grander scale, with a taste that you, the chef, can trust.

Your Salmon from Verlasso is traceable. You’ll know the journey of your Salmon from the ocean to your plate, step by step. Verlasso Salmon are from Cascada Farm in the 11th region of Chile (the least populous of Chile’s regions), where they thrive in the pristine, filtered waters and are fully able to grow, prosper, and become the strong, tasty Salmon we love to eat.

Salmon is good for the soul (and the body too). It’s an excellent source of protein and it contains 75% less saturated fat than a steak. The USDA has recommended that women who are pregnant or breast feeding should consume up to 12 ounces of seafood every week to increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, so Salmon is great for you and your babies’ health. According to both observational studies and controlled trials, the omega-3 fats in fish are important for the development of a baby’s brain, as well as their nervous system. In fact, the children of women who consume lower amounts of omega-3’s during pregnancy and breastfeeding have evidence of delayed brain development. According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines, we should be eating at the very least 8 ounces of seafood every week to increase our overall wellness and improve our heart health. Verlasso Salmon is a great way to get this intake up.

Verlasso knows their Salmon, and they know what it means to provide the best of the best from their farm. Exceptional quality, delectable taste, and health benefits to match – what a catch!

For more information and recipes, visit verlasso.com.

Experience Perfection with Skuna Bay Salmon

By: Catherine Dempsey

a great catch. Skuna Bay takes their Salmon seriously, and it shows in the exceptional taste and texture. The flavor is buttery, mild, and tender while the texture is always firm and solid. Skuna Bay’s relaxed Salmon are sturdy and healthily robust, with splendid silver scales and thick and muscular bellies. Skuna Bay’s Salmon are from the cool, clean ocean waters of Vancouver, Canada where they are diligently cared for 24/7 by the people who know them the best: The Skuna Bay Salmon Craftsmen.

Skuna Bay is passionate about quality Salmon to a meticulous and careful degree. You’re going to find the best Salmon in every Skuna Bay box. They have recruited six Salmon experts who specialize in knowing what a good fish looks like – these are the only people who get the chance to touch the fish before it makes its way to your kitchen. This precise approach ensures that you’re going to get the best fresh, distinctively high quality fish that was personally chosen just for you.

Each fish is inspected according to a 14-point criteria, which means the Skuna Bay Salmon you receive is of the highest standards and virtually perfect. After one of the Salmon experts at Skuna Bay package the box and install the tamper-proof and traceable seal, the next person to touch the fish is you, the chef.

Skuna Bay’s Salmon pens contain 98.5% water and 1.5% fish. That means less crowding, less stress, less margin for error, and more of the happiest Salmon available on the market. Skuna Bay has Salmon that have room to swim and this allows them to build up their strength and muscles, just the way they should. Not only will you feel good about the superior taste and texture of your Salmon, but you’ll sleep well knowing that your Salmon is sustainably caught. Skuna Bay’s dedication to the environment at large is one of their highest priorities.

Skuna Bay makes their Salmon available as a whole fish, or as Salmon fillets (d-trimmed and scaled, available Skin On, and pin boned). Stay tuned for new portion options coming soon. Skuna Bay has also been the official Salmon of the James Beard Awards and the James Beard House, and they’ve been providing the US Open Tennis Championships with Salmon since 2013. Skuna Bay puts a lot of importance on the environment as a whole – they use a corrugated and completely recyclable box to deliver your incredible fish, and they offset all carbon generated during shipping through their Terra Pass partnership, insuring your Salmon arrives carbon-neutral.

Skuna Bay’s Salmon is truly second to none on the market, and Samuels is proud to supply our family of customers with such a pristine and elegant product, straight from the Salmon experts themselves and delivered directly to the talented chefs and restauranteurs who rely on true blu

Nippon Shokken Unveils Must Have Products

By: Catherine Dempsey

Major cities across the US have been raving about traditional Hawaiian poke, the trendiest new dish that can be found in the form of fast food as well as high-end fine dining. Hey, Los Angeles and New York can’t have it all. Let’s give Hawaii a spotlight for a second.

No poke is complete without the wholesome taste of a good sauce — something that doesn’t overwhelm the pallet or the natural coolness of the fish. Nippon Shokken Poke Sauce is the perfect addition to a traditional Hawaiian meal that is quickly becoming the hottest new staple on menus across every style-spotting trend-setting city.

This poke sauce has no added MSG, artificial flavors, or high fructose corn syrup, making it the most natural tasting poke sauce. The sauce’s thick viscosity allows it to hold up over long periods of time, keeping its bright color and glossy finish for several hours. While other poke sauces darken and become dry, Nippon Shokken Poke Sauce beats the rest in its longevity.

Feel free to eat your poke with plain poke sauce, which has a vibrant and shining red color and a light and savory flavor, or spice things up to make your meal completely your own. This poke sauce can be combined with mayo, wasabi, sriracha and anything else your taste buds crave – it’s incredibly versatile and suits well with most other sauces so your dish is destined to be deliciously original.

Nippon Shokken Poke Sauce is perfect on salmon, octopus, shrimp, scallops, albacore, chicken, vegetables, and fruits. Even on beef, this poke sauce breathes new life into meals. Picture this: ahi tuna cubes glazed in Nippon Shokken Poke Sauce along with some chilli and ginger to kick things up a notch. Add a little sriracha for good measure. You’ve got yourself a delicious, hearty take on the classic Hawaiian poke bowl.

On another note, one of the best feats in the world of desserts is the birth of fried desserts. But let’s be honest: isn’t everything better when it’s fried? And who can deny the awesomeness that is homemade fish and chips? Pair that with a little tartar sauce and you’ve got yourself some excellent comfort food. What about tempura soft shell crabs? Delicious. And the ease and nostalgia of classic fish sticks? Too good to measure.

But things can go from dreamy to nightmarish when your tempura batter doesn’t hold up. The batter can get soggy, greasy, and wet. Sometimes it refuses to stick to the seafood, vegetable, or dessert you’re dying for.

That’s where Nippon Shokken’s Tempura Batter comes in. All you need is a little bit of water to give it what it needs and you’re all set. One could also use beer or club soda depending on what’s being made. This tempura batter will stay crispy for 3 hours after it’s been fried.

The light and crunchy texture of this batter makes it absolutely wonderful for all kinds of seafood, vegetables, and chicken. Once you experience the satisfaction of truly great tempura batter, you’ll be looking forward to the same kind of crunchy crispy goodness every single time. One bite at a time.



By Shahin Mobine and Patrick Dunaway

On the open road of a seemingly endless landscape of desert and sand dunes, a glimmer of life appears in the distance. An oasis of date palms lining a vast tropical sea dissolve out of the heat, like a beacon. These hidden palms over the horizon welcome you to the tropical desert shore of the Red Sea.

Over 12 kilometers off this palm lined shore in the open sea, Hidden Palms Barramundi are raised sustainably to perfection. The extremely high salinity and clear tropical waters of the Red Sea lends the perfect environment for raising higher quality, and better tasting Barramundi.

National Aquaculture Group has been raising Hidden Palms Barramundi off the coast of Saudi Arabia since 2012, and cultivating Shrimp and Algae since 1970. With an annual seafood production exceeding 100,000 metric tons a year, and 2,500 employees from 32 different nations, this is one of the largest fully integrated marine farms in the world. With their farming model founded on sustainability and food safety, National Aquaculture Group is truly the home of desert coastal aquaculture, a shining example for the future of global food security.

The issue of fresh water scarcity is increasingly becoming a global concern.
This is even more pronounced in coastal arid deserts, where food production has always been extremely limited by the availability of fresh water. Much of Saudi Arabia’s agricultural efforts are placed on drought resistant plants, like date palms, which thrive in the harsh desert. When Dr. Al-Ballaa, a fifth generation date farmer visited a Shrimp farm in the Philippines while recruiting for civil engineering projects in Saudi Arabia, he was instantly sparked, and started building what is now National Aquaculture Group. This he knew was the solution to his country’s and perhaps the world’s food security. Much like date farming, Marine Aquaculture does not require the use of large amounts of fresh water if any at all, making it one of the most sustainable forms for protein production on the planet, and not to mention one of the healthiest.

Dr. Al-Ballaa still farms dates, operating one of the largest farms in Saudi Arabia, cultivating the sweetest and rarest dates on the planet. His passion for high quality food, lead him into open sea farming of Hidden Palms Barramundi. Serendipitously, the Red Sea is more than ideal for producing premium quality Barramundi.

Hidden Palms Barramundi is unique in that the high salinity of its environment is correlated directly with it’s taste, flavor and cooking performance. A naturally mild and sweet white fish, Hidden Palms Barramundi’s sweeter flavor and ability to maintain moisture during cooking is a result of its high salinity environment, crystal clear waters, low density stocking, and stress free farming practices. Sashimi quality Hidden Palms Barramundi can be prepared in a multitude of ways: raw, pan seared, baked, broiled, sous vide, and grilled. Its mild nature compliments multiple cooking applications allowing sauces and flavor to shine through. Hidden Palms Barramundi is also a perfect substitute for other more known species such as Mahi Mahi, Snapper, Sea Bass, and Grouper.



By: Sally Herriott

Open Blue Cobia took top honors at this year’s Seafood Expo in Boston, receiving the ‘Best New Foodservice Product Award’ for its frozen Open Blue Cobia fillet. The sashimi grade product wowed a judging panel of industry experts for its taste, uniqueness, convenience, nutritional value and for its market potential.

“It was a great start to the year and on receiving the award,” said Laurel Raffan, Open Blue‘s Business Manager for Samuels and Son. “We choose to farm our Cobia in the pristine environment of the open ocean as this unique approach delivers the highest quality and best tasting fish to our consumers.”

With Spring in the air, many restaurants are turning to Cobia as the ideal white fish to keep their menu offer current and fresh. From delicious fish tacos to on-trend poke, Open Blue Cobia is one of the easiest fish to prepare and works equally well raw or cooked, across a variety of global cuisines.

The key to Cobia’s versatility is a naturally high, healthy fat content, which keeps the fish tender and moist even at extended cooking times and is perfect grilled, pan-seared or as a healthy alternative to steak on the barbeque. Open Blue Cobia has a pure and mild flavor and a beautiful white firm flesh that works well with different sauces and preparations.

Offering a world of culinary possibilities, Master Sushi Chef Andy Matsuda has created a collection of his favorite Cobia dishes for an Open Blue Sushi Guide, available to Samuels customers. Andy says, “Chefs can create many new and innovative dishes using Open Blue Cobia because of its versatility. It pairs well with a variety of flavors and foods making it a great fish to work with.”

If you are seeking a menu replacement for Mahi Mahi, or Chilean Sea Bass, Open Blue Cobia excels, offering flexibility for a raw or cooked dish, consistent quality year-round and price stability. Current product formats include H&G and skin-on or skinless fillets.

Look out for a new range of convenient fixed weight portions, fresh or frozen, coming later this year.

Packed with protein and low in calories, a single 4oz serving of Open Blue Cobia provides the recommended intake of Omega 3 for an entire week, ideal for consumers looking to eat well and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

With full traceability into the life of each fish and a natural, non-GMO diet, the dedicated team of experienced fish farmers at Open Blue are pioneering a new and responsible approach to meet a growing demand for high quality sustainable seafood.

Committed to best practices, the company recently achieved four certifications – British Retail Consortium (BRC); Best Aquaculture Practices (Three-Star); Friend of the Sea and Global GAP and expects to achieve Aquaculture Stewardship Council accreditation in 2017.

With an exceptional taste, nutritional benefits and Open Blue’s approach to responsible open ocean aquaculture, it’s no wonder that Cobia is fast becoming seafood’s hottest new menu item.

Seasons Change, True North Salmon Remains

By: Nick Iannucci

The cold wind of winter is giving way to the warm breeze of spring signaling a time of transition and renewal. Customers are looking for lighter, nutritious fare, and True North Salmon is the perfect option to satisfy their hunger.

The flesh of True North Salmon is a bright pinkish-orange color and the meat is moderately firm with a large moist flake. With a light, mild, delicate flavor and soft, smooth, buttery texture, their Salmon make for a great spring and summer meal. Thanks to a wonderful consistency in flavor and texture, True North Salmon are highly versatile in the kitchen; meaning there is no limit to the creative dishes that can be made.

Grilling is synonymous with the spring and summer and True North Salmon is simply delightful on the grill. Whether it’s the beautiful color or the subtle infusion of smoke, grilling always seems to make seafood extra tasty. The perfect way to cook this time of year, grilling True North Salmon will give your guests a delicious meal and satisfy that springtime yearning. Try marinating True North Salmon in BBQ sauce and grilling or lightly season with sea salt and pepper and let the natural buttery flavor of True North Salmon shine through.

One of the easiest ways to prepare True North Salmon is sautéing. The combination of a light crunch and wonderfully moist flesh makes it simply unbeatable. Sautéing keeps the natural flavor of food vivid, meaning it will bring out almost all of the flavor the meat has to offer. Olive Oil is a common fat used in sautéing and will keep your dish healthy as well as tasty!

Poaching is a wonderfully healthy way to prepare Salmon as it preserves the maximum nutrition in the food. The simple, gentle simmering in flavorful liquid produces a moist, flaky fish deeply infused with flavor while retaining the delicious, natural taste of True North Salmon. Plus, you can use the liquid to make a great sauce as an accompaniment. A variety of different liquids and seasonings can be used in poaching allowing you to be as creative as you’d like when preparing your dish.

We covered a number of ways you can cook True North Salmon on your stovetop, now let’s move inside the oven where True North Salmon continues to shine under the heat. Broiling is a fantastic and healthy way to prepare seafood in the oven. Cooked at high temperatures for a short amount of time, broiling True North Salmon leaves the fish tender and moist while still giving you the slightest charring on top, adding to the overall flavor.

Keeping inside the oven, roasting True North Salmon produces a mouth-wateringly caramelized exterior with a moist, juicy interior. It is also a great way to cook a healthy meal as roasting keeps most of the vitamins and nutrients with the protein. Roasting is well-known to enhance the flavor of food and True North Salmon is no exception. The meat easily absorbs the spices or marinade used in the cooking process without losing its own flavor. The result is succulent, full-flavored Salmon sure to delight even the most discerning pallets.

Raising such a delicious and versatile Salmon shows the care and technical expertise True North utilizes. The life of their Salmon mimics the life-cycle of wild Salmon. The process begins in freshwater hatcheries where the eggs are nurtured until they hatch. Fry are then moved to indoor freshwater enclosures, followed by open water enclosures in the sea where they live and grow before being harvested. Once harvested, True North Salmon are quickly and carefully packed and shipped, ensuring the product at peak freshness.

The seasons change, but the need for delicious, versatile seafood remains. Ideal for any preparation, True North Salmon is the perfect Salmon to carry your menu through the change of seasons and satisfy your guests’ hunger.

Visit truenorthseafood.com/seafood-school for more great information on recipes, cooking techniques, and more!

Les Vivers: Artisanal Fish from the Sea

By: Nick Iannucci

There are treasures in the oceans all over the world; it is knowing how to find them that can be the difficult part. Les Grands Viviers is a contingent of fishermen who depend on the sea for their livelihood and use lessons that have been passed down through generations of local fishermen. From the pristine Atlantic waters off of the coast of these Senegalese villages, sensational fish including Rouget, John Dory, and Scorpion Fish are found.

Rouget, also called Red Mullet, is an astonishing fish to look at with its bright red skin. They are prized for their delicate white flesh that’s high in protein with a flavor boosting high fat content. It suits simple cooking methods particularly well, such as grilling, sautéing, or pan-frying. Rouget is a great fish to cook whole and on the bone which helps to impart a deeper amount of flavor.

With their delicate white flesh, John Dory is a delicious fish with a firm textured white flesh, moist fine flakes, and a mild, sweet flavor. This fish is excellent for sautéing, steaming, and poaching, as well as using in soups, stews, and bouillabaisse. Best prepared with the skin-on, John Dory has a mild flavor that tastes great when pan-fried with white wine.

Branzino, prized for their white tender meat and soft salty flavor, is perfect for broiling, sautéing, roasting, and grilling. Another popular method of preparation is to braise it whole, which makes for a great table presentation. Branzino’s mild flavor pairs well with a multitude of complimentary flavors. Try serving whole with olive oil, garlic, and lemon for a classic treat. A popular preparation is to bake Branzino is a salt crust.

Scorpion Fish are quite the sight to behold with their eye-catching red skin and unique appearance. You must be careful when handling Scorpionfish as they have poisonous spines that, while not deadly, will leave you in pain. When cooking, their spines can be easily removed using a pair of kitchen shears or you can choose to cook Scorpionfish whole, as this will also eliminate the poison (plus making for a very dramatic table presentation). Scorpionfish are great for stews thanks to their numerous bones that create a complex and flavorful broth. Larger sized fish also have enough firm, tasty white flesh that you can cook as a fillet. Their mild, slightly sweet flavor is sometimes compared to lobster.

Small boats, holding four or five fisherman at a time, set out for 8-12 hours each day to fish. They use simple hand-lines which pose no threat on the environment. As the waters are paramount to the success of the villages, these generational fishermen know that they must not do anything to harm the ocean.

When the boats return to port, the catch is immediately pulled and put into sturdy boxes with ice. Shortly thereafter, the fish arrive at the family owned packing facility where the top quality fish are sorted and sent to fulfil orders. The attention to detail is very important to ensure that the fish are a true representation of the care that goes into sourcing these unique and delicious products.

In keeping with the traditions of their forefathers, Les Vivers Grande is providing a variety of delicious, premium fish perfect for your menu.

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Ōra King Salmon: Not Just Another Salmon

By: Nick Iannucci

Ōra King Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) has been raised for over 20 years in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand; producing over 100 generations of exemplary King Salmon that chefs absolutely love.

Ōra King Salmon is truly a unique breed, as it has been isolated and optimized through a special breeding program where the best genetic qualities are carefully selected and only the best of the best are bred. The thorough aquaculture practice for Ōra King Salmon accentuates and improves upon all the characteristics chefs covet in Wild King Salmon, making it the pinnacle of King Salmon. This is why Ōra King Salmon could be referred to as the Wagyu Beef of Salmon.

Ōra King Salmon has a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors that compliments a wide variety of ingredients, making it a pleasure to work with and a joy to eat. King Salmon’s naturally high oil content keeps Ōra King Salmon moist when cooking and gives their King Salmon a light, smooth mouthfeel. Their vibrant orange flesh has beautiful marbled fat lines throughout and their meat is buttery and soft. When compared to other farm-raised Salmon options, Ōra King Salmon have a rounder shape with a thick belly and a short tail. The thicker belly means a generous fillet can be cut from the fish with an overall greater yield compared to other farm-raised Salmon options.

Ōra King takes great pride in their King Salmon and they go the extra mile when it comes to raising them. King Salmon eggs are nurtured in the crystal clear waters flowing from Te Waikoropupu Springs at a hatchery in Takaka. Fertilized eggs are then sent to their hatchery in Tentburn, where the focus is on hatching and rearing baby King Salmon in a constant supply of fresh water. Within a year, the smolt are transported to the Marlborough Sounds to mature, thus mimicking the lifecycle of Wild King Salmon.

The pure and isolated waters of the Marlborough Sounds enable Ōra King to raise their King Salmon in a natural manner, with their sea farm pens being 98% water and only 2% King Salmon. The pure water, strong currents, and low stocking density allow Ōra King Salmon to grow in the perfect environment. The natural current replenishes a completely fresh batch of saltwater every three minutes and keeps Ōra King Salmon free of parasites, viral infections, and water mold infections.

Another important factor to raising outstanding King Salmon is the feed used. Ōra King Salmon are fed a nutritionally balanced, certified GMO-free feed that has been specially formulated by feed experts. When Ōra King Salmon reach an average weight of about nine pounds, they are harvested using humane harvesting techniques to ensure the process is as quick, effective, and as stress-free as possible. They are then transported to a facility for processing where they are thoroughly cleaned and graded by master graders who review each Ōra King Salmon for specific size, color, and quality. Each King Salmon is then tagged, allowing full traceability and product authenticity.

Ōra King doesn’t want to only raise excellent King Salmon. They also want to keep the pristine environment where their King Salmon are raised just that: pristine. They are the first company in the Southern Hemisphere to receive a Three-Star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification for their hatcheries, sea farming, and processing operation. Additionally, Ōra King Salmon has received a ‘Best Choice’ purchase rating for consumers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s consumer guide, Seafood Watch. These independent ratings support their ongoing efforts to maintain the environment.

All of these efforts have led to premium quality, superior tasting Ōra King Salmon that’s winning the hearts of chefs everywhere. Ōra King Salmon isn’t just another Salmon, it’s the pinnacle of rich, savory King Salmon.

For more information, visit: orakingsalmon.co.nz


A New Spin on Classic Japanese Products

by: Nick Iannucci

Shrimp, Gyoza, and Shumai all have storied histories within Japanese cuisine and since 1995, DNI Group has been providing premium, high-quality versions of these products that live up to the history behind them. A popular trend for chefs is using these staple Japanese items and applying them in new ways, shattering the general misconception that they are strictly used in Japanese cuisine.

Let’s start with Tempura Shrimp. Tezukuri® Tempura Shrimp from DNI Group are hand made using a batter that is light and crispy. The batter adds a delightful crunch to each bite and a nice complimentary flavor to the sweetness of the Shrimp. Harvested from BAP certified aquaculture farms, Tezukuri® Tempura Shrimp are wholesome, all-natural, preservative free products. Every succulent Shrimp is hand dipped in tempura batter and fully cooked, then conveniently packaged and frozen – all you need to do is open the package and fry them.

This is the perfect item for gastro pubs as Tezukuri® Tempura Shrimp have a multitude of cooking applications. The Shrimp have enough taste and flavor to be served as an appetizer, either alone or with a cocktail sauce. Try another great application: fry the Tempura Shrimp, cut them into smaller pieces, and add them to a salad. The sweetness of the Shrimp and the crunch of the fried batter will take any salad from good to delicious. Being plump and meaty, Tezukuri® Tempura Shrimp can also be used in a sandwich. A simple sandwich of a roll, two pieces of Tezukuri® Tempura Shrimp, lettuce, tomato, and onion will leave your patrons full and happy.

If you’re interested in adding dumplings to your menu, take a look at Passport Cuisine® Gyoza. Passport Cuisine® makes Shrimp, Pork, and Vegetable Gyoza dumplings that are easy for you to prepare. Already pre-steamed and quick frozen to retain natural flavoring, simply open the package and they’re ready for steaming, boiling, or frying. Made using an original Japanese recipe with only fresh ingredients, Shrimp, Pork, and Vegetable Gyoza will treat your guests to a burst of flavors from the spices and sauces used in creating each dumpling.

Gyoza dumplings are a premium item and have long been served as a side item to Ramen in Japan and in various soups in China – where an earlier version of Gyoza originated. Shrimp, Pork, and Vegetable Gyoza are great appetizers or side items to serve with soup, with the Vegetable Gyoza going particularly well with chicken noodle soup. Gyoza can also be used similarly to their distant dumpling cousin: the pierogi. Both are prepared and cooked in similar ways and are used in similar fashion. With their natural, slight garlic flavor, try frying Gyoza in butter as you would a pierogi or melt a little butter over the Gyoza for a new complimentary flavor.

Passport Shrimp® Shumai is another delicious traditional dumpling found in Japanese cuisine. Little delights of wild shrimp are used to make a luscious and creamy shrimp filling, enrobed in a light, delicate flour wrapper. They are pre-streamed then individually quick frozen to keep their natural flavor. Another excellent choice for a quick appetizer, Shrimp Shumai are a great way to start a meal. They are most often enjoyed steamed and piping hot, but for a treat, try deep frying them. Deep frying adds a delightfully crispy texture sure to put a smile on your guests’ faces.

Thanks to DNI Group providing premium Japanese products, it’s now easier than ever to creatively use the staples of Japanese cuisine. Each and every product from DNI Group is made using only fresh ingredients and by individually quick freezing each product, that freshness is locked in until you decide to cook them. With a little ingenuity, the staples of Japanese Cuisine (Tempura Shrimp, Gyoza, and Shumai) can be incorporated into any menu.


Wild Isles Salmon: Where Happy Fish

Are Delicious Fish

By: Nick Iannucci

It takes a special kind of dedication to raise an outstanding tasting fish. At Wild Isles Salmon, they’re using best aquaculture practices to raise some of the best tasting Atlantic Salmon on the market.

Wild Isles Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) is a beautiful example of aquaculture. Pen-raised in the wild ocean waters off the western coastline of Scotland’s Shetland Islands, their salmon are a beautiful silver-blue color with deep black dots along the top of the body. Their eye-catching beauty makes them an excellent option for a fish display.

The orange-pink meat of Wild Isles Salmon has a firm texture with lean flesh, and a sweet buttery flavor that really ‘pops’ when eaten. Their high fat content makes them an excellent option for sashimi preparations as well as a variety of cooking preparations. Wild Isles Salmon is excellent poached, grilled, broiled, baked, sautéed, or smoked. In fact, thanks to their fat content, they taste more like Wild King (Chinook) Salmon than standard farm-raised Atlantic Salmon. How Wild Isles achieves this taste is truly remarkable.

Wild Isles Salmon is certified organic in the European Union (EU) and they operate with the belief that a happy fish is a delicious fish. To them, this means raising salmon in an environment that closely mimics their natural habitat and using feed that is similar to wild salmon diets. By replicating both their natural habitat and diet, Wild Isles is able to produce a farm-raised salmon that tastes similarly to their wild counterparts.

To imitate the salmon’s natural habitat, Wild Isles needed to choose an optimal location for their pens. Instead of traditional locals, such as lochs, bays, or sounds, they are at sea where the North Sea and the North Atlantic Sea converge. Here their salmon are swimming against ocean currents moving at 5 to 15 knots. This forces the salmon to swim harder and exert more energy, thus producing a fattier, healthier, and tastier fish. They also have some of the lowest stocking densities in aquaculture, with a salmon to water ratio of 1% fish to 99% water.

The next step for Wild Isles was to provide their growing salmon with excellent feed. The feed Wild Isles uses is EU certified organic and contains no land animal based proteins or oils. The fish meal and oil they use are from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries with 100% of the trimmings from fish caught for human consumption. In other words, rather than catching wild fish to feed their salmon, Wild Isles is using high-quality by-product. This is part of their zero waste policy and equates to a Fish in Fish Out (FIFO) ratio of 0:1 under Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch standards. The EU certified organic feed also gives Wild Isles Salmon a higher oil content, which makes them richer in omega-3s.

Their EU organic feed also contains shrimp meal. Part of wild salmon’s natural diet, shrimp gives salmon flesh its pinkish-orange coloring. It does this because shrimp contain astaxanthin, a keto-carotenoid providing shrimp their red own coloring. Shrimp is a major contributing factor to the sweet, buttery flavor of salmon. Astaxanthin is also a powerful antioxidant that may be beneficial in helping with cardiovascular, immune, and inflammatory diseases in humans. This makes Wild Isles Salmon both a great tasting fish and a healthy meal.

Through an unwavering dedication to raising happy fish, Wild Isles has produced a farm-raised salmon with the delectable taste of wild salmon. Through their efforts, you can have a taste of the wild all year long with Wild Isles open ocean raised Atlantic Salmon.
For more information visit: wild-isles.com


Superior Artisanal Products from Canterbury Cure

By: Nick Iannucci

Canterbury Cure is an artisanal seafood line with many high-quality seafood offerings. Each and every product is meticulously cared for through every step of the process by people who are passionate about the products they stand behind. Their premium offerings are a delectable treat for the senses and highly versatile in the kitchen.

Canterbury Cure Trout Roe is a very impressive caviar. Sustainably harvested from Rainbow Trout in France, each pearl is firm, large, and well-defined. They are a beautiful light orange color that glistens when examined closely. When chewed, Canterbury Cure Trout Roe has an explosive pop that excites the taste buds. Ones palette is filled with a succulent, fresh flavor that is full-bodied yet still mildly sweet with earthy undertones. Add Canterbury Cure Trout Roe to Scrambled Eggs for a lively taste infusion for breakfast or add them to a seared fish dish as a complimentary flavor.

Cold smoked with an exquisite balance of apple and oak woods, Canterbury Cure Smoked Trout Roe is an incredible taste sensation. They have an initial burst of succulent flavor that is fresh with a hint of smokiness. The pearls are firm with a translucent orange color. When you inspect them closer, you can see a deep orange ‘eye’ within each pearl. Add them to Deviled Eggs or include them with a Trout dish for an added layer of flavor.

Canterbury Cure Salmon Roe, also known as Ikura and Ketta, is a fantastically rich roe erupting with flavor. Using traditional Russian Methods to ensure quality, this Salmon Roe is harvested fresh in Alaska. Each large pearl is a striking red-orange color with a delightfully refreshing salmon flavor. Hugely popular in raw preparations, particularly sashimi, Salmon Roe is also excellent in preparations such as Sunny-Side Eggs or any recipe using Salmon as the primary protein.

The bright color, fresh scent, and uniform eggs make Canterbury Cure Premium Paddlefish Caviar one of the world’s best Caviars. Each egg has a subtle ‘pop’ when you bite into it, releasing the eggs’ light, salty flavor. Made from wild-caught Paddlefish, Canterbury Cure maintains close relationships with the fishermen who supply the Caviar to ensure it is of the highest quality. Add them to Poached Oysters or to a Baked Potato dish to elevate the flavor from good to sensational!

Great Caviar starts with great fish and Canterbury Cure makes no compromises when it comes to their Top Grade California Sturgeon Caviar. Made from farm-raised premium White Sturgeon in California, their perfectly sized eggs are salt and pepper in color with a buttery, nut-like flavor and clean finish. For an interesting treat, add White Sturgeon Caviar to a Mozzarella Grilled Cheese Sandwich or use a White Sturgeon Caviar and Crème Fraiche mix instead of mayonnaise on a Chicken Sandwich.

Canterbury Cure has premium offerings beyond high-quality Caviars, such as their Premium Smoked California White Sturgeon and Scottish Salmon. Canterbury Cure Premium Smoked Sturgeon has a sweet, smoky flavor, and is perfect for use in salads. Prepared weekly in small, artisanal batches and sliced by hand, Canterbury Cure Premium Scottish Smoked Salmon is delectable, with a light, buttery texture, and a delicate smoke flavor. Pan-frying it brings out its natural saltiness without losing its tenderness.

In addition to premium Caviars and Smoked fish, Canterbury Cure also offers the highest quality Sundried Tomatoes on the market. Imported from Turkey, their Sundried Tomatoes are made from premium vine ripened Tomatoes that are naturally sundried, giving them a sweet, slightly tart flavor. Canterbury Cure Sundried Tomatoes are perfect for use in Sauces, Salsas, and Salad dressings.

The Canterbury Cure Team is meticulous, thoughtful, and devoted to providing high-quality, premium seafood products. All of these traits become evident within the delicious Canterbury Cure product line. Whether it’s their Caviars, Smoked Salmon, or Sundried Tomatoes, you know you are buying only the best from Canterbury Cure.