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Oct 20, 2009 04:00 PM

Smoked Bluefish

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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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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

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

            1. re: Spike

              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

                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 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

                  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 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

                    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. 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. 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

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: galleygirl

                    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

                      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

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

                        1. re: steinpilz

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

                2. re: galleygirl

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

                1 Reply
                1. re: typhoonfish

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

                2. 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

                    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

                      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

                        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.