Let me start by saying I am an active salt water fisherman fishing mostly LI Sound in the Norwalk area and also New England when on vacation. I also actively shellfish for both soft and hard shell calms and oysters. I know fresh fish.
This past Saturday my girlfriend and I decided to drive down to Chinatown to check out that new large market on Mott St. among other things and to have a Vietnamese dinner.
Being a fisherman I love viewing fish markets wherever I go. I've seen the ones in Venice and Genoa, Paris and Provence as well as some of the better ones in New England. I have not seen the new Hunts point market but I used to go down to the old Fulton market all the time for Xmas eve. Arthur Ave markets are among the best. Some day I hope to visit the Tokyo market.
I was appalled by the condition of the fish offered for sale in every Chinatown market I was in on Saturday. I went into at least 6 along Mott and Canal Streets. In all of them filleted fish had ice on the cut side. Just about every whole fish looked like it had been sitting there for days, sunken cloudy eyes, brown gills and mushy flesh. I saw one large (15lb?) red snapper that had started to putrefy, it's skin was turning yellowish white blotches.
The most depressing thing though were the tanks of "live" fish. Mostly the looked like undersized blackfish (currently a 15" limit), a few had dead fish in them and one poor fish was on his last legs, just slowly rolling belly up and trying to right himself.
I can appreciate a different culture having different standards but truthfully it seemed everyone was staring and no one was buying.
I've read about the great bargains to be had in Chinatown's fish markets but I just don't see it. I was disgusted and can't see how anyone could by "fresh" fish at one of these markets.
Edited by Recoil Rob, 07 February 2012 - 09:18 AM.