When people ask me why I like selling seafood, I tell them it’s because it is the only wild thing in the store. There are no wild apples in the produce section, and no wild crackers in the grocery aisles. But more importantly: the men (and a few women) who bring you fish risked their life to feed their family. Can’t say that about many other things we eat…
Commercial fishing isn’t a job you go to school for. You’re born into the industry. I think about commercial fishing a lot at this time of the year, when excitement builds around the arrival of Copper River Salmon. It’s the first wild salmon of the year! Grocers all over the country dust off old vinyl signs announcing it, 2 weeks only! Marczyk’s does too because it is special. I could go on about the health benefits of the Omega 3’s and other fatty acids that make Copper River Salmon so good for you, or the unbelievable buttery taste that comes from the fat stores to protect the fish as it makes its final push back from the sea towards its birthplace to spawn, and then die, completing the great circle it was born for. But I won’t.
Because what I want to talk about are the other 50 weeks of the year.
We spend a great deal of time sourcing the best possible seafood for your table ALL YEAR LONG. Marczyk’s started the spring with fresh Alaskan halibut, we followed up with wild salmon from the Sitka Sound in Alaska, an area bordered by Baranof Island and the Pacific Ocean. Then came wild California troll king salmon.
I believe that selling seafood successfully - in a land locked state - is entirely about trust. The folks who shop at Marczyk Fine Foods have to trust that my crew and I will go to great lengths to provide a great selection of fresh seafood options every day, and sell those options in an honest way. We have to pay an honest price for it, and not load it up with a lot of gimmicks. When it comes to sustainability, seafood is the most fragile industry of all. There’s been plenty written about it:
Cod, by Mark Kurlansky, was voted one of the 25 best books of the year, and tells “a bitter ecological fable for our time.”
The Sunday NYT article spoke to the Gloucester fishermen’s recent plight. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/us/to-new-england-fishermen-another-bothersome-barrier.html?_r=1
Even Billy Joel had something to say in “Downeaster Alexa”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVlDSzbrH5M. (This is a kickass song.)
I am crazy about selling seafood, and so are Jeff, Karen, Joe, Kyle, and the rest of the crew. I like the traditions, the seasonality, the colors and flavors. I like the challenge, the integrity. I am proud to sell seafood at Marczyk Fine Foods. We have Copper River Salmon in the case and we think it’s delicious, we hope you take some home to your family. But two weeks from now we’ll have some other wild salmon and halibut from Alaska, and hopefully some beautiful West Coast cod, or moonfish from Hawaii.
But two weeks from now is a long time away in the seafood business; there are ice barriers that may not be thawed enough, storms that could keep fisherman from going out to sea. The moon going from full to just a sliver affects the tides which make the swordfish’s feeding unstable. These are the things that make sourcing great seafood challenging, but very fun. I hope Marczyk’s can help you enjoy a summer of wild seafood!Tags: copper river salmon at Marczyk's, denver, fresh fish, Marczyk Fine Foods | 2 Comments »