It’s easy to believe all of the seafood served around Jacksonville is fresh and locally sourced. Contrary to popular opinion, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the fish you crave can’t be found in the Atlantic or Intracoastal, while sometimes your seafood source may be cutting costs. You’re in luck! We’re here to help you navigate the world of summer seafood.
How to Spot Fresh Fish at the Grocery Store
Not only will the fish selection likely be labeled fresh or previously frozen, but fresh fish demonstrates obvious signs of its age. Use your senses to identify the freshest fish in the window next time you’re at the supermarket.
Sight: Just look at the fish in front of you. Whole fresh fish should have bulging bright eyeballs and bright red or pink gills. If you purchase frozen yet fresh filets, the plastic packaging should be tight with no evidence of ice or blood.
Smell: If a fish has gone bad, you’ll certainly be able to identify a foul odor. Fresh fish has a mild scent that resembles an ocean, lake or bay. Spoiled fish, on the other hand, is pungent and incredibly undesirable.
Touch: The texture of desirable fish is a quick indication of its freshness. Push your finger into the flesh of the filet. If the fish lacks firmness and your finger indentation remains, the fish likely isn’t a recent catch.
Local Fish to Look for on Menus in Jacksonville
Restaurant all over Jacksonville and the beaches feature fresh catches all season long. If you’re unsure if that grouper or redfish is from a local waterway, we’re here with the knowledge you need. Take a look at the most common fish you’ll find on menus this summer.
Red drum: An elongated, spotted version of the common black drum. Red drums used to be victims of overfishing but now flourish on casual and gourmet restaurant menus alike.
Snapper: Fishermen catch this tasty favorite in offshore areas of Florida. Red snapper is pinkish in color and features some of the best flavors of any local seafood.
Grouper: A grouper is actually an umbrella name for several deepwater fish species. These bottom feeders are a great flaky white fish staple (especially in tacos). Black grouper, red grouper, and gag are the most commonly fished variations.
Mahi Mahi: Another name for this fan-favorite is Dolphin, although that name can quickly turn diners off. Mahi mahi boasts some of the most versatile flavor profiles, making it the perfect feature for meals of all kinds.
Swing by Julington Creek for Locally Sourced Fish this Summer
We work with local fishmongers to source the highest quality local fish found on this side of the Mississippi. Whether you crave a five-course gourmet meal or a casual taco lunch, we’ve got ‘ya covered at the Fish Camps. Make a reservation to snag your favorite table with a view this season.