Sunday, June 08, 2008

More Fishy Business Going On

The average American would be just as happy if he never ate fish. Maybe a tuna salad sandwich once in awhile. Our Moms always told us "Fish is good for you!" and called it "brain food". "It'll make you smart!" they told us. Compared to meat fish was cheap. The Catholic Church for years said that you couldn't eat meat on Fridays. The schools served tuna glop over rice or the reviled tuna salad sandwich for lunch. Mom would follow up with frozen fish sticks for dinner. Yuck!

The average American wants white meat bland tasting fish. Neighborhood fish markets closed up as the first generation European immigrants died off and their daughters discovered canned tuna and frozen fish sticks. They didn't have to go in a smelly market and see all those glazed-over eyes staring back at them out of the bins of crushed ice, no watching the guy eviscerating their cold little bodies, cutting off their heads, slicing the remains crosswise into steaks, or perhaps cutting the meat from the bones, trimming off the skin, and ending up with a nice pair of boneless fillets. Best of all they didn't have to do all this yucky stuff themselves. Supermarkets took over the fresh fish trade, but it was rarely really fresh, certainly not caught that morning, and likely not caught any more recently than three or four days ago. Fresh fish doesn't taste fishy. Supermarket fish tastes fishy.

You could always drive over to the Haulover Marina docks when the charter boats and head boats come in and buy fresh fish. Some days, of course, the fishing was lousy and there were no fish. A wasted trip!

North Miami was getting an increasing percentange of new residents, mostly from the Carribean, and Captain Jim Hanson saw opportunity knocking. Thousands of families were moving into the area with a tradition of eating fish, not beef. He opened his Seafood Market on West Dixie Highway. Fresh fish were back. Really fresh fish.

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