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Mar 31, 2008 11:25 AM

Overheard... and outraged!

I was having a dinner at a seafood place in Hilton Head when I hear the couple behind me telling the table next to them that they are from Boston. The Wisconsineers at that table say, "You must get a lot of fresh seafood in Boston" and the man from Boston says, "Not really, it is mostly flown in from somewhere else and frozen." So one of the Wisconsineers says, "What about Lobster?" and Boston guy says "True, but I'm more of a crab leg guy myself so I always eat them when I come down south."

I lived in Boston for 10 years and couldn't believe what I'd heard... not only was I outraged that someone would say that there's not fresh seafood in Boston but to then to say that he eats crab legs when he's down south made me want to interrupt the conversation- doesn't he know that crab legs are always frozen since they are caught, and must travel, from Alaska?

So, can you name other types of seafood that can be found "fresh" from the waters in New England? Or am I an idiot that doesn't know fresh from "previously frozen"?

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    1. re: southernitalian

      What is scrod, exactly? I've heard some say it's baby cod; others have said it's a fish unto itself. Can you clarify for me?

      1. re: CindyJ

        I have no idea! I've only seen it on menus and stores in Boston. Who knows? It was a joke amongst my friends in college. And of course it's pronounced "scrawd" up there. Can someone enlighten us?

        1. re: CindyJ

          According to the MIT student handbook, IIRC, scrod has at least 2 definitions.
          1 - a food fish - "I got scrod by the cafeteria."
          2 - what happens when you eat there (past participle) - "I got scrod by the cafeteria."

          1. re: CindyJ

            Cod and Scrod are one in the same. Sizing is the difference. The term Cod comes from Boston, from the late 1800s. It means "Catch of the Day" where as Scrod means or meant "Special catch of the day".

            1. re: Lenox637

              Utter and complete hogwash. The name codfish dates back centuries before the founding of Boston, and we find references to the variation "cotfish" dating back to the 13th century. See http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?t...

              1. re: BobB

                Well, for what it's worth here's the Wikipedia article on scrod...

                "Scrod (or schrod) is a generic term for a young (2-lb or less) cod or, less frequently, haddock, split and boned. It is a staple in many coastal New England and Atlantic Canada seafood and fish. markets.

                A dubious folk etymology holds that the term comes from the acronym "Small Cod [or Haddock] Remaining On Dock", but it more likely comes from the obsolete Dutch schrood, piece cut off. Another dubious folk etymology holds that "scrod" is cod and "schrod" is haddock.

                Others claim the term comes from either a sign on a wharf in Boston or a restaurant that advertised this kind of generic whitefish as "Special Catch Recorded (sometimes 'Right') On Day."

                Others still claim that the term was coined by Guy Perry, the maƮtre d' for many years at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, to describe the hotel restaurant's "fresh catch" even before the chef returned from the fish market."

                From Merriam-Webster 'online'...

                Main Entry: scrod
                Variant(s): also schrod
                Function: noun
                Etymology: probably from British dialect (Cornwall) scrawed, past participle of scraw, scrawl to split, salt, and lightly dry (young fish)
                Date: 1841
                : a young fish (as a cod or haddock); especially : one split and boned for cooking

        2. Without giving it a lot of thought, New Bedford and Gloucester have large fishing fleets... bring in cod, haddock, various sole, scallops, tuna, swordfish..Oysters and clams..soft and hard shell are harvested inshore. Maine has a short shrimp season.

          OT, but I hope you had the chance to try some local SC shrimp.


          4 Replies
          1. re: 9lives

            Whew! I knew someone would set my mind to ease...

            I'll have to check out your recommendation the next time I'm in HH.

            1. re: 9lives

              Thanks for the link to Benny Hudsons I will be making a stop there in June.

              1. re: swsidejim

                just a heads up -- I am a resident of HHI - no one local actually eats at Benny Hudsons restaurant. Buy the fish at the Hudson store - take it home and cook it, and u will be a lot happier. The restaurant itself is nothing more than a tourist trap with average food and service.

                1. re: dibob817

                  thanks that was my plan to get some of their product @ the store, and fire up the grill by the pool at the house we are renting.

                  thanks for the tip though.

            2. So, can you name other types of seafood that can be found "fresh" from the waters in New England?
              Scallops. Clams. Haddock. Atlantic salmon. Yellowfin tuna, if they're lucky. :-)

              2 Replies
              1. re: LindaWhit

                It is my understanding, based on what I've read lately, that there are no wild Atlantic salmon left in the U.S. All Atlantic salmon in this hemisphere (and most in Europe) is farmed.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  I did read that several days after I had posted. I'll keep ordering the wild Alaskan salmon in June of every year so I know what it tastes like.

              2. I'd be the one who, on my way out of the restaurant, would .....ever so politely....say, "Well. I've lived in Boston all my life and have always been able to find fresh native New England seafood in Boston!"

                1. He may have meant "Stone Crabs" they do have large claws! Miami Beach made them famous.(Joe's Stone Crabs..and I believe they are caught relatively locally...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ChowFun_derek

                    Or Blue Crab in the Chesapeake Bay area in MD/Del/VA.