Atlantic Halibut

Atlantic Halibut By: Deborah Reid Hippoglossus hippoglossus On our counter, the pristine meaty flesh has a porcelain-white, translucent appearance. The fillets are from the largest flatfish species in the world, averaging 92 to 130 cm (3 to 4 ft.) in length and weighing less than 100 kg (220 lbs.). The meat has a firm texture, large moist flakes when cooked and a delicate, sweet flavour. Versatility is one of its many attributes. It doesn’t require chef credentials to prepare—sliced thin and eaten raw for sashimi or crudo, pan roasted in butter, or steamed with aromatics in a parchment pouch—it pairs perfectly with a world of flavours. The bones make an excellent, gelatin-rich, stock. A lean, low-fat fish, it’s high in protein, B-vitamins and is a moderate source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Atlantic halibut is native to the temperate and arctic waters of the northern Atlantic and is found off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Nova Scotia. A...

Steelhead Trout/ Salmon

Steelhead Trout / Salmon By: Deborah Reid Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus Coastal rainbow trout If you like Atlantic salmon, we’re sure you’ll like steelhead. It’s one of our top selling fish. A member of the salmonoid family, it genetically bears some resemblance to rainbow trout. They are typically larger, with a torpedo-shaped body. Whole on our counter they have a silvery sheen with speckles and a lateral rainbow stripe, and average 38 cm (15 in.) in length, and weigh a little over 2 kg (5 lbs.). The flesh is orange like salmon, from a diet high in crustaceans. When cooked, the flavour is sweet and mild, like a cross between salmon and trout, and the meat is tender and succulent with medium flakes. A great fish to roast or grill whole for a small dinner party. Dredge fillets in flour and pan-fry in bacon fat or butter and finish with plenty of chopped garlic. A good fish for poaching whole and serving cold with malt or herb mayonnaise or a pungent vinaigrette. Like salmon, it’s high...

Albacore Tuna

Albacore Tuna By: Deborah Reid Thunnus alalunga Longfin Tuna, Tombo Tuna We like B.C./Canadian albacore for its flavour, texture, and sustainability. On our counter, you’ll find pink loins to cut into steaks for grilling or to slice thin for sashimi. Whole, the fish averages 1 m (3 ft.) and weighs 5 to 13 kg (10 to 30 lbs.). The elongated, fusiform body has a pointy snout, large eyes, and long pectoral fins that run a third of the body length. The upper body is a deep blue that turns to silvery-white on the belly. Eaten raw the meat is soft and buttery with a mild flavour. Cooked it has a steak-like texture and turns ivory or cream white. The meat is rich because of its high-fat content. Albacore is the only species marketed as white meat tuna and in the past has been called “chicken of the sea.” Poach in olive oil and serve with white bean and grilled vegetable salad, or cube raw and add to rice or grain bowls. The meat is high in protein, omega-3 fat, and the antioxidant selenium,...

Skrei Cod

Skrei Cod By: Deborah Reid Gadus morhua Arcto-Norwegian Cod We’re thrilled when Skrei cod, a culinary delicacy, turns up on our counter between January and April. It’s a premium fish, and the fillets have pristine white flesh that’s lean and firm. Whole, they average 100 cm (40 in.) in length and weigh 5 to 11 kg (11 to 24 lbs.), and are a greenish-brown colour with spots and a silvery underside. When cooked the meat has a clean, fresh sea flavour and a firm texture with large, succulent flakes. Bake it simply with cherry tomatoes, olives, fresh herbs, and extra-virgin olive oil. Marinate with coriander, chillies, and garlic and pan-fry for tacos. It’s delicious in a creamy chowder with shellfish and salt pork. Because it stores surplus fat in the liver and not in the muscles, it’s one of the leanest fish and is high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Each January, after having spent five years or more in the Barents Sea in the Norwegian Arctic, Skrei cod swim south for 1000...

Caviar

Caviar By: Deborah Reid Huso Acipenser American Osetra A glistening mound of caviar elicits an automatic response in food lovers; their taste buds begin to water. The buttery, nutty, delicate flavour and the salty ocean spray when eggs burst on the palate, is a sublime pleasure. Purists love it unadorned, eating it straight from a mother of pearl spoon, or off the back of the hand. Others prefer it with classic garnish like toast points, small yeasted blini pancakes, sieved egg yolks and whites, brunoise of shallot, sour cream, or a sprinkle of chopped chives. Caviar is the cornerstone of any celebratory occasion and requires minimal fuss to serve. For too long it’s been synonymous with beluga, an endangered species whose caviar garners astronomical prices. But innovation in the market has changed that, and we’re proud to carry one of the most sustainable caviars in the world. Even better, it’s from Canada. Northern Divine caviar is sold in small tins ranging in size from 12 g...

Lobster

Lobster By: Deborah Reid Nephropidae Homaris (North Atlantic) American lobster Lobsters were once so prolific on the East Coast of North America they were considered lowly food for the poor. Fast forward a couple of hundred years, and now they enjoy luxury status. Live they run 25 to 50 cm (10–20 in.) in length, and weigh 450 g to 1.4 kg (1 to 3 lbs.). Their colour varies from olive to bluish-green with orange patches and black spots, and the two claws differ in size—the crusher is big and powerful, and the pincer is smaller. When buying live, allow 450 to 700 g (1 to 1-1/2 lbs.) per person and use immediately, or store in an open container in the refrigerator under a moist layer of damp paper towel or newspaper, ideally for no more than 24 hours. Before cooking, carefully remove the rubber bands around the claws, so the rubber flavour doesn’t permeate the delicate meat. When cooked the lobster shell turns a bright reddish-orange, and the shucked red and white meat is tender,...

Hokkaido Scallops

HOKKAIDO SCALLOPS By: Deborah Reid Patinopecten yessoensis Giant Ezo scallop, Yesso scallop, Japanese scallop Considered the best in the world, these premium scallops are prized for their fresh, sweet ocean flavour and firm yet meltingly tender texture. Hand-graded to ensure consistency in size, they are classified as a dry scallop and have a natural 83% moisture content. (Poorer quality scallops are injected or plumped with preservatives or water to get a better price.) Their shells are mottled greyish-beige with pink hues, and must be a minimum 82 mm (3 in.) or more in length to harvest. We sell them by count on our counter, indicating the number of scallops per pound. Master sushi chefs worldwide prefer U10s (under 10 per pound), and their sweet, succulent flavour and creamy texture is ideal for sashimi or ceviche. In Japan they are traditionally eaten in curried soups or cooked on the half shell over a charcoal brazier. Skewer and grill over charcoal, and lightly baste with...

Ruisseau Oysters

Ruisseau Oysters By: Deborah Reid Crassostrea virginica Eastern oyster, Wellfleet oyster, Atlantic oyster, Virginia oyster, American oyster A highly prized oyster in Canada and considered one of the finest produced on the East Coast. The meat is plump, has a medium-firm texture, and ivory colour, with an excellent briny flavour with mineral notes, and a sweet, grassy finish. The shell is thick, flat, and varies in shape from round to oval with concentric rings, averaging 6 to 7.5 cm (2.5 to 3 in.). The colour is dirty white to grey while the interior is bright white with a deep purple or red-brown muscle scar. Available year round, but particularly delicious in the cold months. It’s the perfect oyster for serving on the half shell with a classic sauce mignonette, lemon wedges, or grated fresh horseradish. They’re just as delicious cooked on the grill and topped with compound herb butter, baked for Oysters Rockefeller, or shucked, breaded and deep fried with sauce...

Ōra King Salmon

Ōra King Salmon By: Deborah Reid Ora King salmon is thought to be the wagyu of the sea because of its high-fat content and the marbled fat lines that contrast beautifully with the bright orange flesh. It’s hard to believe this is a farmed fish, but it’s raised and processed to meet exceptional culinary standards. Whole on the counter it averages 4 to 7 kg (9 to 15 lbs.) and has bright silver-blue skin with black spots above the lateral line, and a rounder midsection than the somewhat flattened Atlantic salmon. The flesh is moderately firm with large, delicate flakes and the naturally high oil content gives it a silky, buttery texture and rich, sweet, umami flavour. It also keeps the salmon moist, greatly reducing the risk of over-cooking. It’s a versatile fish ideal for sashimi and sushi, cured for gravlax, or cold smoked. Bake it with asparagus and ripe cherry tomatoes, or pan-fry in butter with garlic and lemon. The Omega-3 content is the highest of any salmon, and it’s also high...

Flying Squid

Flying Squid By: Deborah Reid Ommastrephes bartramii Neon flying squid, Red flying squid, Akaika If fish soup or seafood salad is on the menu, squid should be on your shopping list. On our counter, whole squid is purple with a glossy sheen and has two fins on the upper body, large eyes, ten arms and two feeding tentacles. The tubular body alone measures 15 to 23 cm (6 to 9 in.) and weighs 115 to 170 g (4 to 6 oz.). Once cleaned, the body can be left whole for stuffing, baking or braising, sliced into rings for deep-frying, or cut into strips for stir-frying. Squid needs to cook either very quick at high temperature or very slow at low heat. When cooked, the white flesh has an appealing firm yet tender texture and sweet sea flavour. We like it grilled over charcoal yakitori-style or finished with chilli oil and herbs. Toss with pasta or serve raw as sushi. It’s low in calories, high in protein, and a good source of potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. Flying squid are found in ocean...