If you love seafood, listen up: Here are a few things you should know about seafood restaurants:
- First: It’s our fault that their prices are rising. Why? Because we love it so much. Seafood is so popular, that one-third of the world’s wild fish populations have been depleted. To the point, that some species are dying out. So, governments have instituted “catch limits” for everything from Atlantic cod in New England, to blue king crab in the North Pacific. And tighter limits, mean higher prices.
- Another seafood restaurant fact: They don’t have to tell you where their fish comes from. 85% of the seafood in restaurants is imported. And that’s a problem because imported seafood is more likely to be contaminated with salmonella.
- Also: You don’t always get what you pay for. It’s almost impossible to tell the difference between, say, Florida grouper and cheaper Asian catfish without a DNA test, and about half of the fish served at restaurants is mislabeled, including popular entrees, like red snapper, Atlantic cod and wild salmon.
- Another seafood restaurant fact: A fish by any other name may not taste as sweet. Face it, some fish have an image problem. For instance, would you eat sautéed slimehead? That’s why it was rebranded orange roughy. And you may have eaten Patagonian toothfish. Its new-and-improved name is Chilean sea bass. And would you eat flipper? You have, if you ate mahi-mahi. It’s a type of bony fish called dolphin that nobody would order until they changed the name.
- Finally: Don’t go out for seafood on Mondays. To prep for the weekend rush, some restaurants take big deliveries on Thursday. As a result, Monday’s “catch of the day” may have been sitting around since Thursday. The fix: Go where the crowds are. The more people they serve, the fresher the food.