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week's catch



Net pens, Vietnam

Barramundi, reportedly a name given to the fish by indigenous Australians means large-scaled silver fish. It is also called Passion Fish. In an Australian Aborigine Dreamtime legend, part creation story, the barramundi transforms itself into the moon.

Scientifically speaking, barramundi is comparable to wild sea bass. It is recommended for its sweet, buttery flavor and is packed with omega-3 fatty acids. This barramundi is farmed in Vietnam under strict conditions. Believe it or not, because of its low environmental impact—low use of chemicals, effluents monitoring, and transparency—Seafood Watch rates this Vietnamese farmed barramundi a "Best Choice." Low mercury.  Kosher.
1 lb. for $21.50

-- Mediterranean Barramundi Quinoa Bowls (Coley Cooks) includes a video)
-- New Orleans Style Barramundi Cakes (The Better Fish)

Skate Cheeks

Bottom gill net, Rhode Islan

Skate...cheeks? I still remember the first time I had skate wings. I overcame my reluctance to eat “wings”—actually exaggerated cartilaginous pectoral fins—at a French restaurant in Bucktown. What an eye-opener! In the same adventurous spirit we are offering skate cheeks. If we hadn’t tried them ourselves and fallen in love with them we wouldn't have dared to offer them. Somewhat similar in size shape and preparation to scallops, skate cheeks are flakier and sweeter.

Until recently cheeks were often discarded with the rest of the non-wing portions of the skate. But fishermen are now taking the time to remove the cheeks of skate (also monkfish, halibut, and many other fish) in order to reduce food waste. And we are happy they are. 

Because skate has a short shelf life, these cheeks have been frozen. You will be getting them refreshed and ready to cook. Just make sure that you eat them within a day or two of receiving them. We have tried them and we think you'll like them. Seafood Watch rates them a "Good Alternative.” Low mercury level.
1 lb for $12.50

-- Sautéed Skate Cheeks (HOF)
-- Cilantro Chilli Skate Cheeks (Cooking in Sens)

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 $14.00)

-- 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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