Sunday, March 26, 2017

Do Your Taste Buds And The Environment A Favor

One of the first things I saw on-line this morning was a Facebook page for Key West Shrimp Co Mad Beach. The ad read: "Lots of fresh lionfish in today! $26.99/ lb filleted and cleaned." The ad could just as easily said, "Git your crusty old butt down here ASAP and git some of these delights while the gittin' is good!"

The Belle of Gulf Boulevard and I hopped in our trusty Chevy and hightailed it down to Key West Shrimp Co Mad Beach arriving a tad past their 10 o'clock opening. The charming Cory greeted us as we walked in to this compact seafood grocery. Almost immediately we spied the target of our desires in the ample display case.

Lionfish is similar in taste to hogfish, sweet, mild with a light buttery taste. We have been wanting to try lionfish for some time now, but since they have been considered trash fish there are very few venues that offer this delicacy. Also, there are not many commercial fishermen who target this fish. They can be caught with hook and line, but are most often speared by divers.

Lionfish are characterized by conspicuous warning coloration with red, white, creamy, or black bands, showy pectoral fins, and venomous spiky fin rays. This is an invasive species capable of reducing the number of juvenile native fish on any given reef by approximately 79% in just 5 weeks.

The Belle and I decided to do our part in eradicating this aquatic menace by requesting a couple of pounds of lionfish fillets. Cory invited us to join her at the back room cleaning station as she deftly dealt with these devils of the briny deep.

As I mentioned, Key West Shrimp Co Mad Beach is a relatively small store, but they have a very impressive selection of seafood choices, many of which were harvested by Cory or her brothers depending on whose turn it was to watch the shop or go diving. Cory drew the short straw on this day while her brothers were out on and in the water.

Key West Shrimp Co Mad Beach has now become our source for seafood. If you are in the vicinity of 215 150th Avenue, Madeira Beach, stop in and give them a try.

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