‘Local’ May Not Be What You Think It Is When It Comes To Seafood
By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When it comes to dining out down the shore, was your fresh seafood caught locally — or did it come from someplace else?
Samuels & Son Seafood out of Philadelphia primarily distributes fish to restaurants in a 300 mile radius of the city — including the Jersey Shore.
“I would say about 25 percent of the products that we have are from local waters — and when I say local waters, I’ll say between North Carolina and Maine,” Joseph Lasprogata, vice president of New Product Development and Food Safety, said. “So what’s going down to the shore depends on the individual restaurant’s menu.”
The image of restaurants fishing in front of their restaurants for the catch of the day isn’t necessarily accurate.
“I’m not quite sure what people think, but sometimes when people order flounder they may be surprised as to where it comes from,” he said. “Of course we have a wonderful local fluke that’s produced here out of Cape May that we sell a tremendous amount, but you might see some products in the flounder category that might be coming from Alaska or the West Coast.”
“Number one fish on the menu’s gonna be farm raised Atlantic salmon and that’s something that’s raised worldwide.”
Fish caught as far up as Maine is considered local down the shore.
“I consider it local because fish migrate. You know, fish that are here in April may be off of Maine two months later. So you have to remember it’s about the fish and the species and where they are during the certain times of the year and during their migration.”
He says if you’re curious about where your food comes from, ask your server; and If you’re particular about eating local fish, he says ask for a recommendation before you order.