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week's catch


Mahi Mahi

Hook and line caught, Ecuador

Mahi mahi, also called dolphinfish or "dorado," shouldn't be confused with dolphin (which as you know is a mammal, not a fish). Its Hawaiian name, referring to its swimming ability, means "extra strong." They live in all tropical and subtropical oceans around the world. Mahi are able to reproduce at the age of 5 months, females can produce up to a million eggs each time they spawn, and they are fast growers. These factors keep their population stable and sustainable.

Their pinkish translucent flesh has a sweet, delicate flavor, moderately firm texture, and large, moist flakes. Seafood Watch rates mahi mahi a "Good Alternative.” Moderate mercury level. Kosher.
1 lb. for $14.50

-- Pesto Crusted Mahi Mahi with Blistered Tomatoes and Lemon Butter (from Life as a Strawberry)
-- Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos with Chipotle Mayo (from That Oven Feelin’)

Black Bass

Pot trap or handline caught, Atlantic coast

There are lots of fish that are called sea bass. Unlike most of them, black sea bass are actual members of the bass family who inhabit reefs along the East Coast. Their sexuality is like something out of a story by Ursula K. Le Guin. They are born female, and once they reach a certain size they become male.

Their flesh is moderately firm and lean with a mild, delicate taste. Seafood Watch rates it a "Best Choice" or "Good Alternative," depending on how it is caught.
1 lb. for $24.00

-- Pan Roasted Seabass with Mushrooms and Marsala (The Reluctant Gourmet)
-- Braised Black Sea Bass (Fine Cooking)

Frozen Fair Trade Shrimp

Supera net caught, Mexico

Finally a shrimp you can feel good about eating! We just might have been the first in Chicago to feature certified Fair Trade shrimp, and we are pleased to report that they are delicious! We are going against our standard here by offering a frozen product. Here's why: Instead of dealing with giant gas-powered trawlers to catch their shrimp Del Pacifico works with artisanal fishermen in Mexico who use small sail-powered boats called pandas, which are slightly larger than a rowboat and have a spectacular sail. (Score one.)

The wind and tide guide the net. Because they operate on such a small scale the fishermen can remove bycatch and return it to the water alive resulting in the lowest bycatch in the shrimping industry! (Score two.) 

Because the boats are small and have little storage area they can't be out at sea for long periods meaning that the shrimp are blast-frozen within hours of capture. What is more, Fair Trade certification guarantees that there are no human rights abuses and that a percentage of the profit is returned to the community that caught the shrimp. (Score three and four.) 

Keep in mind that these shrimp are peeled and deveined FROZEN shrimp. US Fair Trade certified.
1 lb. (about 26 to 30 per pound) for $16.00)

-- Provençal Wheat Berry Salad with Shrimp and Mustard-Caper Vinaigrette ( Susie Middleton / Fine Cooking)

-- Cuttlefish Spaccatelli with Shrimp, Fresh Tomatoes, Green Onions and Chili (Food 52)

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