Friday, March 27, 2009

Halibut Season

Alaska Halibut
"America's favorite fish"

Halibut are among the largest fish in the sea and the largest of all the flatfish. They can grow to more than 8 ft long and 700 lbs. Halibut weighing in at more than 100 pounds are often called "Whales", "Soakers", or even "Barn Doors", while smaller halibut, less than 20 pounds, are often called "Chickens". The largest halibut ever caught while sport fishing was 459 lbs. in Unalaska Bay.

Halibut is prized for its delicate sweet flavor, snow-white color and firm flaky meat. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein and minerals, low in sodium, fat and calories and contains a minimum of bones.

Halibut is very versatile in the kitchen, as well, with many recipes for baking, broiling, pan-frying, deep-frying, poaching or barbecuing.

A fletch refers to a large halibut fillet. One halibut will yield four fletches. Halibut also yield roundish cheeks which are extracted from their head area. Halibut cheeks are sweet flavored and are considered a delicacy.

The season started Saturday and those of us in the lower 48 started seeing it on Wednesday. It was questionable when we would see it. Evidently there was a volcano erupting in Alaska that was keeping the fresh halibut on the ground. How frustrating is that. Tons of fresh fish waiting for a flight.