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Smoked Bluefish

skippy66 Oct 20, 2009 04:00 PM

Where's the nearest place to buy smoked bluefish retail? I've asked at Whole Foods several times with no luck. I never see it anywhere in the local grocery stores. The last stuff I got was in September in Wellfleet at Hatch's. That's way too far a drive and Hatch's is closed for the season. Any suggestions?

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    9lives RE: skippy66 Oct 20, 2009 04:15 PM

    I think I've seen it at Trader Joe's and Mercato de Mare..North End

    or you can make it yourself..:)


    8 Replies
    1. re: 9lives
      Spike RE: 9lives Oct 21, 2009 07:52 PM

      I would if I could find any bluefish...they didn't seem to be around much this year :-P
      Sort of caught a tuna this year finally (on a charter but another guy reeled in the one hit for the day)...sashimi/tartare city for days ;-)

      1. re: Spike
        9lives RE: Spike Oct 22, 2009 04:45 AM

        We got a nice tuna yesterday and a lot of cod. Making some toro tartare and baiting lobster traps this AM

        Hopefully you can get out on Stellwagen again this year. Still plenty of activity.

        1. re: Spike
          PinchOfSalt RE: Spike Oct 22, 2009 06:43 PM

          There was some nice bluefish at H-Mart today. It passed the visual test at least - clear eyes, not at all sunken...

          Me, I indulged in the $4.49/pound lobster special that ended today. It's why I made the trip!

          1. re: PinchOfSalt
            Spike RE: PinchOfSalt Oct 23, 2009 09:50 AM

            I wouldn't eat bluefish unless it's less than two days old and bled properly after being caught...

            1. re: Spike
              PinchOfSalt RE: Spike Oct 23, 2009 11:44 AM

              I have eaten a lot of bluefish, some that I caught myself, others store-bought, and never had a problem. Bluefish is not a mild fish, but neither is mackeral, and I enjoy them both. I have never heard that bluefish is more perishable than other fish. Could you please explain the reason for your concern?

              1. re: PinchOfSalt
                9lives RE: PinchOfSalt Oct 24, 2009 05:39 AM

                Oilier fish like bluefish, mackeral, tuna are more perishable than leaner fish. Their meat deteriorates in quality rapidly if not treated properly.

                When I catch these fish, I quickly bleed them, and keep them completely iced down. The ice slows the downhill process.

                Economics plays a role in this. Tuna sells for $20+/lb and is worth spending time/$ to keep in prime condition. I've held tuna on ice for a week with no change in quality; even improves in texture with a few days.

                While I personally enjoy eating them, mackeral and bluefish do not command the same high prices as tuna..and often aren't treated with the same TLC...so they tend to decline in quality quickly, from the time that someone catches 1 to when it gets to your fish mongers showcase.

                I don't know about "2 days" but if I catch a bluefish or mackeral, I'll use it in the first or 2nd day; always well iced. I'm not saying that it can't taste good and be fresh longer than that if properly cared for; just that I find it doesn't hold up as well as a fish like striped bass, ex. which I'll give a few days longer.

                I have the luxury of catching a lot of my own fish; and can determine when I eat it..but If I have a craving for swordfish or halibut, I buy it and it's probably a week old or more, but it's been properly cared for. That's the key to eating good fish.

                All fish is very perishable;but it affects the oilier fish more dramatically.

                1. re: PinchOfSalt
                  Spike RE: PinchOfSalt Oct 24, 2009 07:42 PM

                  Ditto what 9lives said below. It gets stranger tasting because of the high oil content.

                  Also, FWIW, I tried mackeral for the first time this year hours after being caught...it had that cool irridescent gleam you just don't see in store mackeral. Fresh mackeral tastes nowhere near the pickled stuff (sold as sashimi) you get at sushi restaurants which I find quite fishy :-P Freshly caught has a certain sweetness but the taste is good. Some people are ok w/ the fishyness when they get a few days old and hate it. I don't mind it that much, but greatly prefer the within 2 days rule and have noticed a big change in taste afterwards.

                  Tuna on the other hand tastes better (smoother if that makes sense) after being on ice a few days...fresh off the dock was somewhat mushy and stronger tasting (not that bad but not as good as a few days later) because of the blood.

                  1. re: Spike
                    galleygirl RE: Spike Oct 25, 2009 07:22 AM

                    Yeah, I got some fresh off the boat mackeral in my CAFC share a few weeks ago, and was amazed at the range of colors, especially some gorgeous greens, across the back of the skin as I cleaned them..Soo pretty...And, of course, SOOOOO good!

        2. b
          bear RE: skippy66 Oct 20, 2009 04:19 PM

          I get it at Courthouse Seafood in East Cambridge. It's house made.... absolutely delicious. just the right amount of seasoning, just the right amount of smoke, not dry at all. It's sold on the fish market side, not the restaurant side. Pick up some of the outstanding Acoreana brand Portuguese sausage while you're there for $4.99/lb.

          1. steinpilz RE: skippy66 Oct 20, 2009 04:58 PM

            Have you checked at Whole Foods on River Street in Cambridge? They smoke in the store and might even do bluefish if you want.

            8 Replies
            1. re: steinpilz
              galleygirl RE: steinpilz Oct 20, 2009 05:16 PM

              They oversmoke their bluefish; the pieces are too small.
              The new WF in Dedham is doing some great smoked fish, but I don't know f they have bluefish...
              Right now, I'd buy the packaged smoked bluefish from Spence and Co (local!) before I'd buy the others...Even the one from Courthouse didn't really blow my dress up. The best smoked blue I've ever had was from Wolff's in Brookline, but that was a LOONNNNGGG time ago. The rest of their fish has gone so far down hill I haven't been their in ages...

              BTW, just got some fresh blue at Courthouse today...reminded me why bluefish is pretty much my favorite fish...Simply broiled on a searing grill pan, I could snarf up an indecent amount.

              1. re: galleygirl
                StriperGuy RE: galleygirl Oct 21, 2009 06:27 AM

                Wait, I thought mackeral was your favorite. ;-)

                Honestly have not gotten into a really good mackeral run in the last 2-3 years. Onesies and twosies, but not buckets full...

                1. re: StriperGuy
                  galleygirl RE: StriperGuy Oct 21, 2009 06:39 AM

                  Oh right, I forgot! But there was no mackeral today; a girl's got to cope...

                  1. re: galleygirl
                    steinpilz RE: galleygirl Oct 22, 2009 05:58 PM

                    Agreed, bluefish and mackerel are both fabulous. Trout is quite delicate by comparison.

                    I don't like the smoked whole mackerel I've had from some of the Russian shops in Brookline though, it seems under-smoked to me -- not quite cured. Maybe I just prefer the fillet style smoked fish?

                    1. re: steinpilz
                      galleygirl RE: steinpilz Oct 22, 2009 06:04 PM

                      Hmm, I haven't had enough of the whole smoked mackeral to pass judgement...I'm going to have to try them,now that you mention it, but I have to admit to an addiction to the fillets they have from Ducktrap Farms at Trader Joe's, and everywhere else...So rich and fatty!

                      1. re: galleygirl
                        steinpilz RE: galleygirl Oct 22, 2009 06:07 PM

                        Those are great, I always get the pepper style. Also the trout when I'm feeling refined. ;-)

                        1. re: steinpilz
                          galleygirl RE: steinpilz Oct 22, 2009 06:18 PM

                          Me too! It's so hard to stop at just one...

                2. re: galleygirl
                  madoc RE: galleygirl Sep 29, 2010 10:06 AM

                  Strongly disagree with the comment about wulff's in brookline----have been a regular (2-3 times a week) for 20 years because of the consistently high quality of the fish there....despite the recent change in ownership.

              2. typhoonfish RE: skippy66 Oct 21, 2009 05:00 AM

                Spence & Co in Brockton has it at their retail shop. They also have a mean smoked bluefish pate.

                1 Reply
                1. re: typhoonfish
                  elcaminogirl RE: typhoonfish Oct 30, 2009 07:40 AM

                  Is the retail shop just attached to their plant on Campanelli Industrial Dr? Their website didn't hint about retail or hours...

                2. a
                  AGM_Cape_Cod RE: skippy66 Oct 21, 2009 05:46 AM

                  The Nantucket Smokehouse has a stand at the Copley Square market and also sells at various locations per their website.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
                    Parsnipity RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Oct 21, 2009 06:11 AM

                    They'll be at the Davis Square farmer's market today (Wed 12-6) as well. I absolutely love their smoked bluefish spread.

                    1. re: Parsnipity
                      Science Chick RE: Parsnipity Oct 21, 2009 08:52 AM

                      I agree about the Nantucket Smoked fishes and spreads....insanely delicious, but also insanely expensive. I made an equally wonderful spread from smoked bluefish I got at Hatch's last summer.....I wish they were closer to Boston and open year round :(

                      1. re: Parsnipity
                        joth68 RE: Parsnipity Oct 21, 2009 12:08 PM

                        Stopped by the farmers market because i was in Davis for lunch. That Bluefish spread is the real deal. The other ones were excellent as well.

                    2. e
                      emilief RE: skippy66 Oct 21, 2009 10:08 AM

                      I have not been, but reviews of Baza, on Needham street in Newton, say that they have an amazing assortment of smoked fish. Baza is easily reached from Route 128.
                      You can by bluefish pate at the Legal Seafood Market inside the Chestnut Hill Legal.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: emilief
                        galleygirl RE: emilief Oct 21, 2009 10:21 AM

                        Bluefish is not a traditional eastern European variety, and I have never seen it at Baza or any of the Russian delis....

                        1. re: galleygirl
                          Cork RE: galleygirl Oct 23, 2009 10:40 AM

                          True - but try their smoked butterfish - that'll "blow your dress up" to quote you above

                          1. re: Cork
                            galleygirl RE: Cork Oct 23, 2009 10:57 AM

                            Will do as told!

                            1. re: Cork
                              9lives RE: Cork Oct 23, 2009 10:58 AM

                              The smoked butterfish is great. The oiliness really takes well to smoking..nice silky texture. If you can find it raw, it broils well too.

                              Butterfish is also called sable fish and black cod..as in Nobu's Miso Cod..different than NE cod.

                        2. v
                          veggielover RE: skippy66 Oct 23, 2009 11:10 AM

                          I bought some excellent smoked bluefish last Sunday at the Whole Foods in Newton. It was not smoked in-house and they sold it from the fish counter.

                          1. s
                            Splendid Spatula RE: skippy66 Oct 26, 2009 09:24 AM

                            I've bought it at River Street and Fresh Pond Whole Foods, both the in-house (at River Street) and pre-packaged.

                            1. franksnbeans RE: skippy66 Oct 26, 2009 10:06 AM

                              There's a guy who sells smoked fish at the Davis Sq farmer's market, including bluefish. I assume he still has it. Only a few weeks left for the farmer's mkt though.

                              1. m
                                mammals RE: skippy66 Oct 29, 2009 06:36 AM

                                If you happen to be in Souther Rhode Island... Smoked Bluefish (and anyother kind of smoked seafood) can be found at the fish counter at McQuaide's Marketplace downtown on Rt 1A in Westerly, RI. FANTASTIC QUALITY AND SELECTION :)

                                1. p
                                  phatchris RE: skippy66 Oct 29, 2009 02:05 PM

                                  Mercado De Mare has it for 17.99 lb.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: phatchris
                                    ipsofatso RE: phatchris Sep 28, 2010 11:46 AM

                                    Connolly's has it on and off throughout the local season.

                                  2. Science Chick RE: skippy66 Sep 28, 2010 12:44 PM

                                    Wholefoods in Newton (Walnut Street) had some in the fresh fish case a couple of weeks ago. They also had some wonderful smoked mackerel fillets which I purchased and served on top of scrambled eggs.....I'm not sure of their source, or whether they may be in-house smoked (which I doubt).

                                    1. StriperGuy RE: skippy66 Sep 29, 2010 10:15 AM

                                      One rather decent alternative is to check out the hot smoked (not cold) mackeral that many of the Russian places sell. Baza, Bazaar, etc.

                                      30 Tower Road, Newton, MA 02464

                                      1. p
                                        pariss RE: skippy66 Sep 29, 2010 10:42 AM

                                        Many years ago you could get it at the FISH MONGER on Huron Ave in Cambridge. Don't know if they still have it - or for that fact if the store is still there. I think it is. Actually, it might have been a smoked bluefish pate. But it was really good.

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