American Seafood: Heritage, Culture & Cookery from Sea to Shining Sea

from Public Radio International with audio, transcript and photos:

Barton Seaver is a chef with a mission: to rekindle America’s taste for abundant seafood. His new book catalogues more than 500 species of seafood interspersed with recipes, photographs, and an extensive history of America’s relationship with food from the sea. Host Steve Curwood joins Seaver at a dockside fish market in Portland, Maine to scope out the freshest, most sustainable fish and shellfish – and then, they shuck oysters and cook up some tasty, fishery-friendly mackerel in his kitchen.

Photo below:
Oysters reflect their local “merroir”, taking on a particular flavor based on the environment in which they grew. Their looks are also borne of their origins: above, Nonesuch oysters – so named for the Maine river estuary where they’re cultivated – are naturally green with harmless algae and stand out among twenty or so varieties. (Photo: Steve Curwood)

link to website of author Barton Seaver:


This comment, “But what we do when we walk into a grocery store, really into any retail scenario, and we say, “My recipe says red snapper,” we are making demands not only of this business, we are making demands of fisherman beyond that service business, and ultimately of the ecosystem. And, when we act with such hubris to think that it’s our place to tell ecosystems and fishermen only what we’re willing to eat rather than ask of them what they are able to supply, we are creating inherently unsustainable systems.” really resonates with me.

I had not thought about shopping in these terms, but it makes sense.

Thanks for the link.


from the transcript:

So, our species preference in America is really very limited. Americans love shrimp, tuna, and salmon. Over 65 percent of our total consumption of seafood in this country is just those three varieties

There are other articles talking about training consumers to consume a wider variety of seafood.


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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2