Photo Tour: Seafood Expo In Boston

Take a trip to the largest international seafood exposition in North America.

Earlier this week I attended The Seafood Expo in Boston, MA. It’s the largest international seafood exposition in North America. The trade-only expo features over 1,000 exhibitors from more than 40 countries. For a seafood lover like myself, it was a mind-blowing experience.

The expo hosts miles of booths

The expo hosts miles of booths and displays featured a dizzying array of seafood from around the world.

The expo hosts miles of booths and displays featured a dizzying array of seafood from around the world.

I was very much intrigued by the wide variety of exotic species. Fish of every size, shape and color were displayed in artistic presentations.

Boston Seafood Expo exotic species Boston Seafood Expo had a huge variety of exotic species giant prawns Ribbon Fish crab exotic fish spanner crabs variety of unusual species

Perhaps the best part was the free samples. Hundreds of booths had chefs on hand, cooking up tasty delights from the sea.

Hundreds of booths had chefs on hand

There must have been 20 booths selling smoked salmon. I sampled more than I should have. Next time I’m bringing a gallon of water.

booths selling smoked salmon

I had the opportunity to try a lot of things I’ve never had before. I was intrigued but this barramundi. It’s a farm-raised freshwater fish. It was not bad, but not as good as I hoped.

Prepared farm-raised barramundi

There must have been 100 booths selling tilapia, another freshwater farm-raised fish. It had been at least 10 years since I last tried tilapia. I figured I’d give it a try again. It was just as bad as I remembered. I’ve yet to try a farm-raised freshwater fish that tastes anywhere near as good as any of the saltwater fish we catch locally.

tilapia

Smoked whole herring from Norway. These might have been the worst thing I sampled. Overly-salty, dry, fishy and full of pin bones.

smoked herring

And this was the best thing I tried. Squid breakfast sausage. Sounds weird, right? But I’ll try anything. It was one of best breakfast sausages I’ve ever eaten. It tasted just like pork, but with just a quarter of the fat and calories. I asked nicely for the recipe, but got denied. But I did get the nutritional data sheet for it, which lists the ingredients. I will try my best to replicate it this spring, when the squid return to our local waters.

Squid breakfast sausage

These conch fritters were also very tasty. The next conch I find is destined for some fritters.

conch fritters

Dungeness crabs from Oregon. I was very impressed with their flavor, very close to lobster, but with a softer texture.

Dungeness crabs

Much to my delight, I also sampled a lot of octopus, which is one of my new favorites. Properly prepared octopus is a culinary marvel. Tender, succulent and mild, it has quit a bit of fat and is reminiscent of good pork belly. I could eat octopus every day.

octopus sample dish octopus

I was looking forward to trying sea cucumber for the first time, but sadly, I couldn’t find anyone giving away free samples.

sea cucumber fresh sea cucumber

I did, however, try seaweed for the first time. I’m not exactly sure what kind it was. It was from China. Not as good as I hoped, but not bad either.

seaweed salad

I also tried sea urchin roe for the first time. It was pretty good; rich, creamy, sweet and briny.

sea urchin

There was also an impressive amount of oysters from around the globe. I had no idea there are so many different varieties of oysters. The locally-grown Wianno oysters were my favorite.

oysters

This lobster-cycle was a big crowd-pleaser.

lobster-cycle

If I ever catch a giant squid, I will keep one tentacle, and sell the rest to this guy.

giant squid

It was nice getting the chance to talk with some of the local vendors. Boston-based Red’s Best was on hand showing off their local shellfish. I also had an enlightening conversation with the folks at The Town Dock, which is a major player in the New England squid fishery.

local razor clams conch

I was also fascinated by the industrial processing equipment at the show. I have no idea what this machine does, but I bet it gets the job done quick.

industrial processing equipment

I bet I could fillet scup a lot faster if I had a Curio C-2031 skinning machine in my back yard.

C-2031 skinning machine

But there was also, to my surprise, a lot of bad-looking seafood on display. Some of the stuff I wouldn’t even consider using for bait.

bad looking ribbon fish and lobsters carp

Nope.

not fresh fish

There didn’t appear to be much activity at the pike monger’s booth.

pike

It made me realize how lucky I am, and how spoiled I’ve become by eating mostly seafood I catch or gather myself. If you really want to enjoy seafood at it’s finest, catch it yourself. The odds are good that it will be much fresher than what you’ll find at even the best restaurants and seafood markets.

  1. John-Paul Andree

    Can anyone clarify.The sixth photo down from the top.Are those Prawns or slipper lobsters?…

    Reply

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