February Local Wild Harvest of the Month – Jumbo Fluke

 

This fish meat has been brought to you directly from the neighboring bodies of water consisting of Narragansett Bay of local Rhode Island. This flat fish species was caught this past weekend and loaded off the fishing vessel at Narragansett Bay Lobsters Co.’s dock. Directly after being loaded off the vessel, the fish was then filleted Sunday (2/18/2018) at the facility of Narragansett Bay Lobsters Co.; at this facility the whole fish product was then filleted, cleaned, and packaged to then be shipped to our Dining Services Warehouse this Monday (2/19/2018).

Once delivered to our warehouse it was stored on ice and in refrigeration until it was then brought to both Mainfare and Butterfield dining halls. It was then prepared on Wednesday of this week to be served at both of our dining halls that same night (2/21/2018).

Fluke is a very tasty and light fish to eat, and can be prepared many ways some of which are simple and some that are not. This is our first time sourcing local Fluke as it is just starting to be harvested in some more deeper waters off Narragansett Bay, and because this year being the first year of the Local, Wild Harvested Fish Meals dining is executing.

This fish meat is fresh from the sea and most importantly never frozen because of the short supply chain in which the fish was captured and then distributed on. This meal is a sustainable meal because its sourcing came locally from within the state of Rhode Island, and even more locally so because it was unloaded at a dock in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This meal can also take a label of sustainable because of the reasoning that Fluke was a locally abundant fish during this time of the year for this current year, which means that we are not reducing stock populations of this fish and hurting its future growth in generations to come. Collaborating with local fish harvesters is a goal of URI Dining Services to source fish that is abundant, in season, fresh, and sustainable for our customers here at URI.

Fluke is an interesting fish because it is also a Flounder! “ALL FLUKE ARE FLOUNDER, BUT NOT ALL FLOUNDER ARE FLUKE!” Both Fluke and Flounder are both fish that are categorized within the flat-fish species, because their face is on one side of the fish. Flounder are more abundant and frequently caught because simply there are more species of flat-fish that are categorized as Flounder. What makes a Fluke a Fluke is the aspect that they develop during the larval stages of their lives with their faces laying left-side up. Flukes also have teeth to hunt their prey, whereas Flounders do not have teeth. Flounders are different from Flukes because their faces lie right-side up in larval development. Typically, Flukes are more abundant closer to and during the warmer summer months of the year, which allows them to be labeled and identified as a “Summer Flounder.” Flounders are often found during more cold and wintery months, which allows them to to be labeled and identified as a “Winter Flounder”. There are many different types of Flat Fish species of fish, but only a small percentage of them can be considered Fluke. So always remember to, “Flounder if it’s a Fluke!!!”

We hope to increase the percentage of our locally sourced seafood as much as possible because seafood is one of Rhode Island’s best niches! We also want to provide great tasting fish that the population of URI’s campus can try and enjoy. We are working on executing meals such as these more frequently as we move from year to year. This will greatly increase the percentage our locally sourced seafood products we serve, as well as our total sustainable food purchasing power. If there are any suggestions please provide feedback on these local meals, and somethings we can do better while this sustainable seafood harvesting initiative grows!

This fish is also in season and extremely abundant during this time of year which also makes it a sustainable meal because we are not compromising the ecosystem in which these fish live in and came from. This year we will be doing locally sourced fish meals every month in order to begin to source more local and fresh foods to be served to the faculty and student body here at URI. These meals will be fresh and deliciously prepared, so please come down and try out the fish meat that will be present at these monthly dinners. And remember EAT LOCAL URI!!