New in Portland: Saucy Fish Co.

Portland, Maine is known for its seafood industry. Millions of tourists visit a year and atop their list of goals to accomplish while here is to eat lobster. They want to walk on the working waterfront, sniff the low-tide smell, see seagulls waiting for bait scraps, and watch lobster and fishing boats romantically steam out into the ocean for the day's work. 

But people haven't been that good to the ocean, and the once-thriving New England fishery is on the decline. There's still plenty of lobsters, to the relief of all those tourists, but small populations of the groundfish that people associate with New England like cod and haddock.

Of course, there's cool stuff going on in Maine to help boost the fisheries, both from the research and conservation angle, and on the market side. Maine is the coolest! The community-supported fishery, Salt + Sea delivers shares of locally caught, sustainable fish weekly. (Or rather, they did and they will again after the owner's maternity leave.)

I always assumed Gulf of Maine Research Institute educated schoolkids and then housed a bunch of scientists and interns working in labs, but it turns out they also work to increase demand for sustainable Gulf of Maine fish species. Their sustainable seafood project manager, Jen Levin, helped all of the Delhaize Group's supermarkets create a sustainable seafood policy, which includes our local Hannaford. 

Are you a little bit surprised to learn the local supermarket serves all sustainable seafood - everything from the fresh fish counter to the canned fish to the sushi bar? Again, Maine is the coolest. 

All of this brings me to Saucy Fish Co. When their PR rep emailed to say that Hannaford now carries Saucy Fish and would I like samples, I didn't hesitate to say yes. (Well, I did hesitate a little, because while I like receiving free things, I don't necessarily like reviewing things on el blog.)

But I knew that because Hannaford was carrying Saucy Fish Co. it meant they were sustainable (they also work with the Sustainable Seafood Coalition). It doesn't always mean the fish is local at Hannaford - although it can be - and this is a UK company. So it's probably not coming from the Gulf of Maine. For that, head down to Commercial St. to Harbor Fish Market, Browne Trading Co. or Free Range Fish & Lobster

But if you're at the grocery store looking for a good, but not junky, last-minute meal, grab a Saucy Fish. The Saucy Fish is 2 fillets, sold fresh in the refrigerator section by the fresh seafood case. At $7.99-8.99, they're priced about the same as a pound of fish. The fish No preservatives, additives or flavorings. And with it, comes a little packet of sauce that is made out of recognizable, real ingredients. 

And I don't know why, but that little packet of sauce makes all the difference. If you pick up some fresh fish, you're like, sigh, now what... but with Saucy Fish, you're going salmon with chili, lime, and ginger; tilapia with mango chili; cod with tomato. Just add some rice and a veggie, and voila. No thinking, delicious dinner. 

I baked some Saucy Fish, I pan fried some, and even went en papillote. They were all delicious. They froze well, thawed quickly, and were a great quick weeknight meal. Thanks to the Saucy Fish Co. for the samples, and I recommend you seek them out the next time you're at Hannaford. 

Plus, Saucy Fish! is fun to shout when discussing dinner ideas.

Salmon with chili, lime, ginger, over baby bok choi en papillote