Photo by Fran Sanhueza. Text by Naomi Scher.
The Bushwick Food Co-op now carries Otolith frozen fish. Otolith’s sustainable business practices, and the excellent quality of their products make us extra excited to carry their products. We’ve received halibut, rockfish, salmon, sablefish (also known as black cod), and shrimp.
Otolith is a family-owned small business founded in 1999 by marine biology-enthusiast Amanda Bossard and expert fisherman Murat Aritan. By prioritizing environmental soundness and combining expertise in fishing practices with knowledge of the biological sciences, Otolith distinguishes itself among seafood distributors. Otolith encourages responsible harvesting techniques, and rewards harvesters who demonstrate strict adherence to the company’s sustainability standards. They publish free to access, transparent and unbiased evaluations of seafood resource management. Otolith actively encourages customers to ask hard questions about mercury and PCB levels, harvesting practices, and more. These practices align with the BFC’s policy of only sourcing food from ethical businesses.
All Otolith products are wild-caught. Wild-caught fish are leaner, and generally higher in essential trace minerals than farmed fish. Furthermore, wild-caught fish have developed natural resistance to certain diseases by means of adaptation. Unfortunately, farmed fish don’t develop this capacity. To control disease, fish farmers use antiviral and antibiotic medications that result in drug-resistant strains of bacteria.
Otolith recommends that you ‘always puncture, cut or release vacuum seal of fresh/frozen Otolith sustainable seafood before thawing. Thaw your seafood while in its specifically designed pouch. Use a sharp knife to make a very small puncture in the top corner of the pouch.’ For the quickest thaw, place the package in clean, warm water. Make sure not to make the puncture too big, so as not to allow water to get into the pouch. Replace the water after 10 minutes. Most Otolith filets take 20+ minutes to thaw completely. Alternatively, you can thaw the package in the refrigerator. Fish can be eaten up to 7 days after thawing.
Fran made this recipe for sablefish tips. Otolith posts many other recipes featuring their products on their blog.
So, if you’re lamenting the end of summer and locally-caught seafood, you’re in luck. Stop by the co-op and pick up some Otolith seafood while it lasts! Prices per pound range from $13.64 – $31.00 for members, and $19.25-$43.75 for non-members.