The Boston Globe’s article this past weekend, On the Menu, But Not On Your Plate, sheds light on the rampant mislabeling of fish in local restaurants and fish markets. It’s a good read, for a biased rag of a newspaper (Bear in mind that I hate everything). I was especially impressed by the owner of a Jamaica plain establishment called El Oriental de Cuba, Nobel Garcia. When asked about serving Ocean Perch under the guise of being red Snapper his response was:
“They are completely different fish, I’m not going to lie to you. The flavor is pretty good, and I’ve never received any complaints.”
See how easy that was? Just come clean. Hell, I lie all the time (not for profit, for sport). But when you’re busted, you’re busted. And calling one thing another to increase your profits is just that: a lie. Garcia cleaned up his act, and his menu by changing the dish to its proper name.
As more and more attention is paid to mislabeled seafood, it will be interesting to see where the finger-pointing stops. Restaurants will blame their wholesaler; wholesalers will blame the fish houses; fish houses will blame…In the mean time, I’m going to be selling fresh caught Alaskan King Crab right off of the boat in Gloucester this week. I’m running a special: purchase two king Crabs at $20 a pound, and I’ll throw in five pounds of fresh caught Bahamian conch for free. Got a special anniversary coming up? Give her crabs.