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Feb 21, 2013 11:52 AM

Fake Fish On Shelves and Restaurant Tables

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  1. I'd avoid fish on shelves as a general rule, fake or otherwise.

    5 Replies
      1. re: Uncle Bob

        Sure, but in a refrigerated display unit, never a store shelf.

        1. re: ferret

          I understand. ~ I understood "shelves" as refrigerated display units/cases...Not actually canned, tuna, sardines, salmon, etc on dry grocery shelves. ~~ No telling what's actually in those that i think about it.

          1. re: Uncle Bob

            Don't knock canned fish products, some are pretty good. Like anything else, if it's not available locally then sometimes getting it canned (while it's at its freshest state) is a good alternative.

            These guys have some exotic stuff (at equally exotic prices):


            1. re: ferret

              Not knockin it! Just wondering if the "fraud" that seems to exist in the fresh market extends into canned products or not.

    1. Nice story, though I am not surprised.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Nor was I. ~~ Tip of the iceberg maybe.

        1. re: Uncle Bob

          I think I wasn't surprised because one time I was at a sushi bar, and the owner recommended me to get "white tuna", and I asked, "What is white tuna?", and he replied, "Well, this isn't really white tuna. It is really escolar....etc...etc", and then he told me that most sushi restaurants do not serve real white tuna anyway.

          I am surprised the retailers also do this (according to your article).

          Thanks for the article.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Hard to say where the fraud begins. At the dock? At the wholesaler? retailer? restaurant? ~

            Once had a lady describing some fried catfish she ate at a world renown, famous New Orleans restaurant. Just so happened I was gonna be in NO the next day. Went in for lunch and ordered the fish just to see....Nope, twernt catfish...It was Swai/Tra imported from the sewage lagoons of SE Asia. In my younger days I would have made a scene. I just left, never to return.

            1. re: Uncle Bob

              That is surprising considering that (1) this happened at a famous New Orleans restaurant, and (2) catfish isn't that expensive -- is it?

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Not really. It's currently around $5.50 Lb. retail. ~ Down from $6-$7-$8 right after the Spring 2011 Flood. ~ Swai/Tra is dirt cheap. ~ I rarely see it at retail however....but it's out there.

            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

              It's really an outrage, in my opinion as a serious sush eater. "White tuna" has always meant albacore on the west coast (of NA) and everywhere else I have had sushi, until fairly recently. I have been eating sushi for 30 years, and only first heard about escolar a couple of years ago. I first encountered it in a sushi bar (as "super white tuna") in Oakland only a few weeks ago. Escolar is not even tuna. All the species we normally eat as tuna (albacore, bluefin, yellowfin) are in the same genus, Thunnas. Escolar is not even in the same family. Sushi bars ought not to be permitted to call it any kind of tuna, in my opinion.

              Fortunately, any experienced sushi eater can easily tell the difference between albacore and escolar.

              1. re: GH1618

                After a friend got really sick on escolar I've never wanted to try it, and I'd be upset if it was slipped into my food by another name. Many people can not (pardon me) stomach the stuff.

        2. There are some here who seem to think it's just media hype trying to fit someone's agenda (oh brother).

            1. Thank you for this. My current soap box is that we shouldn't be buying some species of fish because of dwindling supplies and poor fishing methods. I was prepared to cite the Boston Globe's efforts to expose fish fraud, but this is much more condemning.