Taking Stock in Fish Markets: Block Island and Seattle

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I’m always up for a challenge, particularly when it comes to food. My mission this summer (and I chose to accept it) was to visit two fish markets in regions of the country renowned for their seafood: New England and the Northwest.

My first stop was Block Island, Rhode Island—a tiny isle with tons of charm. A local fish market had everything (and more) you’d expect to find in a place called the Ocean State. But what would I get? I was told the smoked Bluefish pate was a local favorite and who was I to argue. It didn’t disappoint.

Smoked Bluefish pate

Bluefish are nicknamed the “marine piranha” for their hostile feeding habits. When humans feed on them, however, there is nothing to be mad about. Most importantly, they’re delicious. Secondly, like other oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna, bluefish are packed with heart healthy omega-3 fats.

Next up, Seattle, Washington. It was time for my first glimpse of the world famous Pike Place Market and the legendary fish throwers. They were as entertaining and talented as advertised. Russell Wilson has nothing on these guys!

While visiting the great Northwest, I wasn’t able to purchase and prepare any of the local fare like I did in Block Island. I was simply a tourist enjoying Seattle’s sights, sounds and smells. I was ready for the sounds and smells of the fish market, but I was unprepared for the impressive sights. This place had it all: HUGE Rock Lobster tails, octopus, Pacific oysters, shrimp, prawns, crab and rockfish…just to name a few. They even had salmon jerky. That’s right, jerky—made from salmon! I couldn’t resist a sample. It was delicious.

Rock Lobster tails, octopus, Pacific oysters, shrimp, prawns, crab and rockfish

My favorite fish sighting of all was one I’ve had before, but never seen—monkfish. Check out this close up. Easy to see why monkfish are sometimes called “allmouth” isn’t it?


Monkfish is also referred to as “poor man’s lobster” due to its meaty texture. When eating it, however, you’ll get your money’s worth of nutrition. It’s rich in protein and selenium, as well as a good source of vitamins (B6 and B12) and minerals (potassium and phosphorous). But you’ll want to get your healthy fats elsewhere, because monkfish is very low in fat.

Maybe next time I have monkfish, I’ll have smoked bluefish pate as an appetizer. Can’t think of a better way to relive my summer travels taking stock in fish markets.