Test Your Seafood IQ!

Friday, October 01, 2010 | 0 comments »

October is National Seafood Month. How well versed are you in these facts about our finny friends and food?
  1. What is another name for mahimahi? Mahimahi is the Hawaiian word for the dorado, or dolphinfish. But fear not, Flipper fans, mahimahi is no relation to our mammalian friend, the dolphin. Mahimahi are a popular game fish, weighing up to 30 pounds. Pole-caught mahimahi are considered a good seafood choice by Seafood Watch, an initiative by the Monterey Bay Aquarium to encourage sustainability of ocean species. Longline-caught mahimahi, like most longline catches, are discouraged because of the additional species (many endangered) caught and killed in the process.
  2. What is the most popular seafood in the U.S.? Shrimp overtook tuna as the most popular seafood in 2001. Shrimp, salmon, and swordfish, in that order, are the most popular seafood served in restaurants. The average American eats about 15 pounds of seafood a year. That's pretty good, but it's nothing compared to the Chinese, who eat 45 pounds a year. Shrimp is high in protein and calcium (although also fairly high in dietary cholesterol).
  3. What is surimi? Surimi is the Japanese word for "ground meat," although it is used to refer to ground fish. It is typically ground-up whitefish (pollock, tilapia, and cod are popular sources) that is washed and pressed into new shapes. In America, it serves as imitation crab or is used in fish sticks.
  4. What fish is often referred to as "poor man's lobster"? The monkfish, one of the least visually appetizing fish, is one of the tastiest. It can grow to be almost 5 feet in length, and it has a flavor and texture similar to lobster tail. Ironically, according to Seafood Watch, monkfish is on its way to becoming the rich man's lobster, as the species is dwindling, and the sustainability-minded are advised to avoid its consumption. Lobster itself was so plentiful that poor children on the East Coast would be mocked for eating it for lunch and farmers would often grind them up for fertilizer.
  5. What red wine goes best with fish? While gourmets and gourmands would often shudder to think of serving anything but white wine with fish, there is a red wine that goes quite well with fish—pinot noir. Red wine is usually not eaten with fish because of the high level of tannins in red wine, which give it the musty, bitter taste that pairs better with meats. But pinot noir contains lower levels of tannins, making it a tasty addition to a seafood meal. And for the heart-smart, pinot noir still contains high levels of resveratrol, the chemical which is touted for heart health and anticarcinogenic properties. Combine that with the healthy omega-3s in your fish, and you have an incredibly heart-healthy meal. Can't stand fish? You might consider a good omega-3 supplement.