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Fishing Gulf Shores Alabama: Tasting Northern Red Snapper

“A fishing rod is a stick with a hook at one end and a fool at the other.”

~ Samuel Johnson



Red Snapper

Introduction

Sitting at dinner with friends a few weeks back, I learned that people eat deep-fried Red Snapper Throats. I couldn’t help but think about what it meant to eat throat meat?!?!?! Like, why are we even ordering this delicacy? I had never heard of eating throat meat and wondered what a Snapper Throat looked like on the plate. So, we ordered a taste for the table, and when it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised! How does a fisherman/woman take advantage of harvesting such great-tasting meat from such an unsuspecting fish? Is this how fish stock is made - waste not - want not? How do they prepare such a great-tasting bit of the sea? Who came up with throat meat as an appetizer?



Snapper Throats

Featured Fish - Northern Red Snapper

Northern Red Snapper is a spiny-finned fish found along the Gulf of Mexico. The average size of a Snapper is five to ten pounds. The largest on record ever caught is somewhere near 50 pounds. When grilled or fried, it has a briney yet mild flavor with a flaky consistency. The raw flesh is pinkish with yellow streaks, while the back is deeper red. Once fileted, chefs will cut out the throat region and prepare it for an appetizer. It's some of the best meat I have ever tasted! Perdido Bay Seafood does an excellent job of showcasing how to effectively filet, cut out the throat meat, and prepare the Snapper. First, filet both sides of the fish, skin on. Then, come back in with your filet knife to cut around the gills and their membrane to grab the throat bones and meat. It takes four to five cuts to remove the bones of meat and to clean the flesh for cooking. It's worth all the effort!




Gulf Shores Fisheries, Ports, and Processing

Bon Secour is an essential port for Alabama commercial fishing. Fishermen and anglers can access over 21 fish species along The Gulf of Mexico. As a newbie to the area, I began to think about who these fishermen & women were out catching fish and who was bringing them into port. What local fish markets are selling these high-profile catches? Which restaurants are bringing in some of the least common catches? How are chefs preparing the fish? I am certainly learning a lot about the fresh fish market and how to prepare it myself. Northern Red Snapper throats are a worthwhile project for me in the future.



Fishing Boats

Wrapping it Up

The Sea Grant research states that Gulf Fishermen landed over 1.5B pounds of commercially harvestable fish and shellfish in the last seven years - totaling over $900M annually. Over the next 16 weeks, I will cover Gulf Shores, Alabama fisheries, and the people bringing us the most deliciously tasting fresh fish daily, featuring local restaurants where I have dined to enjoy these beauties while exploring fish markets, ports, and watering holes.





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