Exploring our outer edges

Hello John
Thanks very much for taking the time to give us all this feedback.
It's always a pleasure to answer a well informed fishlover...
Alistair

On Sun, 3 Oct 2021 at 10:24, John wrote:
Hi there, I complained about an item in my first order. The cod milts
were quite chewy, and resembled cod cheeks rather than milts. I have
since found John West milts at my local supermarket, and they have the
expected soft silky texture, as well as being much cheaper!
 
The John West milts are a rather different product from ours. Cannning always imprints its own identity. Think John West tuna or salmon compared with fresh/frozen tuna salmon. Our cod milts are, I believe, unique in the UK and are very popular with customers who want this particular item. One orders 20 packs at a time!  I don't think they are like cod cheeks. Have you tried our cheeks?

I have ordered a few more things, and here is my feedback:

MAATJES: Brilliant! I can get them much cheaper from the Polish section
of the supermarket, but these are very oily and far too salty. O course
one can drain off the oil and soak them in milk, but that's a hassle.
Your ones are perfect, the best I have ever had, and worth the money.
 
 
Yes - we can get those oily ones too. But we wouldn't call them proper maatjes.
 

MULLET LIVER: Absolutely WONDERFUL!!! One of the tastiest fish products
I have ever had. Unfortunately out of stock at the moment...
 
 
It is, isn't it? We're out because it's not that popular and so managing the stock is a bit of a challenge. But if you sign up for "email me when back in stock, that should work. "
 

SEA URCHINS: Quite nice, better than any other urchin product I have
been able to source in the UK. But this is the sort of thing which
shouldn't really be frozen. The subtle flavour gets lost. One of my top
gastronomic experiences is sitting on a beach in Greece, picking urchins
straight out of the sea and opening them with a penknife. Nothing frozen
can ever match this. And these large urchin roes are in any case not
quite as good as the tiny Mediterranean ones. Sea urchins are actually
my favourite food, but not sure I will order them again.
 
 
I'd like to be in a position to argue with you about freezing materially hurting the flavour. But will have to wait until I try them fresh.  I would however point out that eating them fresh from the sea on a sundrenched Greek beach has a few accompanying ingredients that may have enhanced your experience.  But even if I give way on this, it is not possible to distribute this product in the UK unless frozen: the turnover is too low and the origin (British Columbia) too distant. Perhaps the difference in your experience is because your Greek urchins are a different species form our Canadian urchins. I've been offered urchins from various sources, but never from Greece.
 

RED MULLET fillets: excellent. These do correspond to your mantra that
fish frozen straight after being caught is better than fish which has
been dragging around in the supply chain for a week. Red mullet is very
perishable and the ones fish shops in the UK have are not fresh enough
to my taste.
 
 
I certainly agree our red mullet is top class.
 

MARINATED HERRINGS: not a good buy. I can get these Orkney jars FAR
cheaper at my local fish shop!
 
 
I looked into this and agree our price is a bit ambitious. I have asked for these prices to be reduced meaningfully. However, pls note that ours are 500g (gross) and your fishmonger may be selling the 280g pots, which look identical unless side by side.
 

GOOSENECK BARNACLES: Absolutely WONDERFUL!!! I was expecting to be
disappointed, because this is the sort of elusive, delicate flavour
which can get lost in freezing. But they were absolutely delicious and
worth every penny. Maybe you should mention in the instructions that
there is actually no need to cook them at all...
 
 
THx for the suggestion. I will try to get our product label amended
 

Two questions: 1) Garfish appears in your vertical A-Z of fish, but if
you click it, nothing comes up! That is definitely something I would
order if available.
 
 
Me too!. But as we discovered when we stocked it, you and me and about 3 other people are the total UK demand base for garfish.  Being not only impossible to fillet but also having green bones... you can imagine UK consumers were simply aghast. I have removed it from that list so as not to disappoint anyone else.
 

2) Apart from sea urchins, another top favourite of mine is SEA VIOLETS.
These are rare everywhere, but they are delicious. If you can ever
source them, I would pay a lot for them!
 
 
Rare hardly covers it. But I have asked our guy in Sicily, who specialises in weird. I looked this up on Wikipedia. Do you know how strunsi di mare translates? ha ha!
 

BW

John
#Thefishsociety