Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Great fish, two complaints

I've written before about our love for salmon, and how we avoid farm-raised for reasons of taste, health and sustainability.  So we were pleased to discover several sources of frozen wild-caught fish and decided to buy several and check them out.  I've gotten spoiled with our fresh fish counter at the grocery and have gotten out of the habit of buying frozen, but it's always nice to have something in the freezer for last-minute meals.

So last week we were checking out sockeye from Trader Joe's.  The first thing I noticed was the sheer quantity of food -- almost 14 ounces of fish, in two pieces clearly meant as dinner for two.  Nutritionists recommend a 3-ounce serving of meat or fish, reminding us that we eat way too much protein when left to our own devices.  So this package should really be dinner for four.

Fat chance, when you defrost two pieces of fish for your two-person family.  Of course you're going to eat it all.  It's probably too much to ask that the grocer should package fish in 3-ounce chunks -- Americans are too used to larger portions to go along with that size.  But perhaps they could try for five or six ounces?

The second thing I noticed, after the fish was thawed and I opened the package, was that the two pieces of fish didn't match.

One was a thick cut from the center of the fish, the other was a thin cut from the tail.  No matter how you cook it, the tail piece is going to be done a couple of minutes before the center cut.  I debated starting the fat piece first and adding the thin piece after a while, but that would have required another plate to hold the thin cut while it waited, and it seemed like too much trouble.  So one piece was a bit rare and the other a bit dry.

You know that this fish was processed at a huge facility with hundreds of fish on the cutting table at the same time.  So why couldn't a worker choose two tail pieces to put together, and two center pieces?  Maybe that would take two seconds more per package -- at $10 bucks an hour, you're talking more than a half-cent worth of labor!!!  I'd be willing to pay it.

By the way, the fish was excellent.


  1. We're spoiled in the NW with wild sockeye salmon, and we eat it 3-4 days a week. I like to buy 1 lb. for the two of us and cook it all at once, but we save half to eat the next day in a big salad for dinner or have a few bites at breakfast. The first night we always have it with plenty of steamed or grilled veggies. Happy Eating.

    1. you're my kind of people!!! I am delighted to eat a favorite food several nights in a row, but my husband balks. I also love to have some fish (or other leftover protein) for breakfast.