10 hours ago
I learned about buying sea creatures in the late ’70s at the sides of two old-time New Haven fishmongers who ran competing markets with differing styles. One brought in every fish he could find, mostly by going (or sending his help) to the Fulton Fish Market, Boston and Point Judith, R.I.
The other relied more on the trucks that worked the East Coast, going from fleet to fleet and market to market: A driver would start in Portland, Me., for example, with lobsters and scallops, and drive to Boston, where he might drop off lobsters and pick up cod and quahogs, then move on to Providence or Point Judith, where he would drop off whatever was in demand and load squid and swordfish. In New Haven he might find flounder. From there, he would hit New York, Cape May, Maryland, right down to Virginia or even Georgia or Florida. Then, his northern load diminished, his southern load — pompano, porgies, spots, snapper — in full supply, he would reverse the trip.
This makes me nostalgic. I may have missed out on the nickel-a-flounder days in New Haven, but I got to shop, learn about and cook fish at a time when my selections were varied and mostly local.
(I read the caption that accompanies this photo after I chose the photo for this post. Oh. See, these things also should be remembered.)