Scattered bits from Boston
You usually see something new and always something familiar at the International Boston Seafood Show, the annual three-day gathering of suppliers and buyers, marketers and trade liaisons, chefs and shuckers and everyone else in between. Here's a quick sampling from another whirlwind week in The Hub:
I really missed my 20-minute walk from the Hyatt Regency - my usual hotel - each morning, but the free shuttle buses are a nice way to go if hoofing it to the convention center isn't feasible. You walk plenty anyhow once you're inside. The looping video on the bus about CleanFish's Loch Duart Scottish Salmon was a surprisingly nice touch.
Good luck on Capitol Hill today, Susan Jackson. The president of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, which launched at the show, will testify about illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) tuna fishing, a practice that undermines progress the seafood industry is making toward ensuring a sustainable future. IUU fishing was a hot topic at the show. Now that former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens no longer holds public office, those seeking to clean up high seas fishing need all the friends they can get.
What a product that Gold Bar raw king crab is - that is, if you were one of the lucky ones to get a private-tasting invitation. Harbor Crown Seafoods of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, has struck gold with its raw crabmeat extracted by high-pressure processing, a technique perfected by Louisiana's Motivatit Seafoods (Gold Band Oysters) and Shucks Maine Lobster. The fresh taste and appearance of this crab, including a fully intact shoulder section, makes you feel like you're in Alaska.
I was impressed by what Global Food Technologies of Hanford, Calif., is doing. Its iPura food-safety system, the "first ever food-safety brand," as company CEO Keith Meeks put it, fits right in with the prevention-is-better-than-inspection solution to ensuring the safety of imported food, which I support. I bet you'll be seeing more of the oval blue iPura label in the future.
What would the Annual Shrimp Forum be without Morton J. Nussbaum, chairman of shrimp importer International Marketing Specialists of West Newton, Mass.? I hope to never find out. Morty's blend of passion, insight and humor is worth the price of admission.
Think you can beat Chopper Young? Better bring a sharp knife and your "A" game - or hope he gets lost on his way to the oyster-shucking contest. With his third win at IBSS, the defending world champion oyster shucker is building a dynasty similar to his (and mine) beloved New England Patriots.
National Fisheries Institute Future Leaders alumni: Our time together was too brief. But it was great to finally meet or reconnect with the numerous folks the editors of SeafoodSource and SeaFood Business call for information. Thank you all for sharing your passion for seafood with us.
And is there a better way to end a long day than slurping a few pristine Duxbury oysters from the fellas at Island Creek Oysters? The rowboat full of freshly shucked halfshells is reason enough to come back each year. Mark March 14 to 16, 2010, on your calendars. See you at next year's show.