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The Life Cycle of the Blue Crab:

As we look forward to the warm summer months, we will be entering one of the most productive months for Blue Crabs. Typically, Blue Crab season runs from May through September. This is marked by the first full moon in May, when the Blue Crab begins its molting season to accommodate summer growth.

The average life cycle of a Blue Crab takes about two years. Continue reading to learn about the life cycle:

By February in the lower Chesapeake Bay, mature female Blue Crabs bury themselves in the sediment, awaiting summer when they will hatch their eggs.

Once summer arrives and an immature female is about to become an adult, she will release chemicals to attract males. After she attracts a male, he will cradle her for a few months until she sheds hers exoskeleton, otherwise known as molting. After her molt they will mate and interestingly, a female will only molt once during this short period in her lifetime.

After mating, a fertilized female Blue Crab will feed in a tributary until fall comes around where she will then migrate to saltier waters in the lower bay. During this time, she will hold the male’s sperm in a special organ, fertilizing her eggs. Males on the other hand do not migrate.

To wait out the cold months, adult and juvenile Blue Crabs bury themselves in the sediment. Scientists will often use this time to conduct a winter dredge survey which will ultimately examine the Crab population.

By the time summer rolls back around, the females are now in the lower bay of the ocean. Beneath them, they carry a spongy mass, containing nearly three million eggs which are released. Of the tens of millions of eggs the females produce throughout her lifetime, only about two eggs will become mature Crabs. The eggs she released hatch into larvae that are called zoea. This larvae floats in and out of the mouth of the bay for over a month, feeding on zooplankton and molting seven times as they grow.

During the peak of summer, the zoea develops into a more advanced larval stage, called megalopa that lasts for about one week. By using flood tides, the larval can drift into the bay and then will eventually settle in sea grass.

Throughout the end of summer, into the fall, the megalopa molts into a tiny juvenile Crab that can swim or walk on the bottom of the bay. Once the Crab grows to about ¾ inch, it will ride flood tides into a shallow nursery, molting sixteen to twenty times before maturing and mating the following summer.

Blue Crab season is in full swing, so be sure to speak with your Sales Representative about availability!

Wild Alaskan Halibut Season is Back!

Wild Halibut season is upon us! In early March, wild Alaskan Halibut season commenced off the West Coast.

Otherwise known as Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) Alaskan Halibut migrate during the winter months from coastal waters to the edge of the continental shelf, in depths of 600 to 1,500 feet. Once a female Halibut reaches spawning age, which could take between eight to twelve years, they can produce up to four million eggs. Furthermore, it can take fertilized Halibut eggs up to two weeks to hatch. At this point, for about six months, its larvae will float in the water hundreds of miles throughout the North Pacific Ocean.

Interestingly, larval Alaskan Halibut are not born with their eyes placed evenly side by side on top of their head. In fact, during the six months they are floating within the currents, their left eye will eventually move to be in line with their right eye on the upper side of their flat, diamond shaped bodies.

At only six months old, a young Halibut is considered an adult and will start experiencing life as a bottom dweller. Known as the largest bottom-dwelling flatfish, Alaskan Halibut use their olive and brownish color to disguise itself when nestled into the sandy seafloor.

Young Alaskan Halibut will spend their first five to seven years as adults moving around the shallow nursery grounds in a clockwise fashion through the northern Pacific waters. The older the Halibut become, the less they move around, but when they do, it’s in a clockwise direction.

Alaskan Halibut thrive in water temperatures that range from 38 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit, as they are a cold water fish. The majority of Alaskan Halibut can be found in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, right near Kodiak Island. Smaller groups of Halibut live in more southern Pacific regions of the United States such as Oregon, California, and Washington State.

To ensure high quality Alaskan Halibut, Samuels offers hook and line caught Halibut. By using a hook and line method, it reduces stress on the fish and minimally impacts the environment. These bottom longlines have baited hooks which are attached to a line that runs along the ocean floor where these bottom-dwelling Halibut live.

Alaskan Halibut have a firm, yet tender texture, with a mild flavor and large flakes. It’s thick, succulent meat holds together well for traditional dishes like fish and chips, but also lends itself to a variety of dishes to showcase its rich flavor and distinct sweetness.

We all look forward to Alaskan Halibut season, but a true delicacy are Halibut Cheeks. Halibut Cheeks are the tiny pocket of meat just below the eye and are similar to Sea Scallops in both taste and shape. These beautiful, large medallions of meat have a sweet, buttery flavor with a tender texture.

Samuels is excited to offer a variety of wild Alaskan Halibut. From whole fish to skin on fillets, and Halibut cheeks, we are happy to serve you! Check with your Sales Representative for availability on these items and more.

King Salmon from Big Glory Bay

King Salmon, Chinook, Spring Salmon
(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

AVAILABILITY:  Fresh
SEASONAL AVAILABILITY: Year-Round Availability

CATCH and COUNTRY of ORIGIN:
Sustainably Farm Raised, Big Glory Bay, Stewart Island, New Zealand

SIZING:
Gilled and gutted whole salmon ranging in size from 7.7 to 14.3 pounds

FLAVOR PROFILE:
Rich, smooth flavor with melt-in the-mouth texture. High fat content with bright orange flesh.

COOKING TECHNIQUES:
Grilling, Roasting, Broiling, Pan Searing, Frying, Steaming, Poaching, Smoking, Ceviche, Sashimi

From one of the most stunning and remote locations in the world, discover Big Glory Bay in Stewart Island, New Zealand where world renowned Big Glory Bay King Salmon are nurtured in glorious isolation.

Farmed at Big Glory Bay, bordering a national park, conditions couldn’t be more perfect for raising New Zealand King Salmon, also known as Chinook. The pure waters of the bay are constantly refreshed by cold currents, keeping the temperature at a chilly 57.2°F.

This means the salmon grow slowly and are harvested at the peak of their condition to deliver a rich, smooth flavor, with a buttery melt-in-mouth texture. Higher fat levels can be seen in the clear, thick marbled lines and gives the flesh a smoother, softer texture. A highly versatile protein, Big Glory Bay King Salmon is perfect for sashimi or can be pan fried, baked, grilled or barbecued.

Farmed Sustainably and with Care

A lot of time, effort and energy goes into breeding, raising, and growing the perfect salmon and we have actively taken steps to protect the environment and monitor the salmon wellbeing.

This is to ensure it reaches you in optimal condition. King Salmon are challenging to grow and as a result, we have less fish per pen than most other salmon farms. We are 100% committed to sustainable salmon farming and our efforts have been recognized by the highest authority in Aquaculture. We have been awarded the green rating from the Seafood Watch at Monterey Bay Aquarium–indicating King Salmon farmed in New Zealand is a ‘best choice’ for consumers. Big Glory Bay’s salmon farming and processing operations also meet the rigorous Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)certification standards. Within the pristine waters of Big Glory Bay, our King Salmon have been disease and lice free since our farm was first developed. As a result, we have never had to treat our King Salmon with antibiotics. We also monitor the environmental impact of our farms annually and move our farm every 2 years to minimize the impact on the ocean floor and we rest the farmed area for 5 years.

You can be sure that every step from ‘sea to service’ is a testament to our commitment to animal wellbeing, the environment, social integrity, and the health of our customers and consumers. The care we show ensure our Big Glory Bay King Salmon are delivered to you at the peak of their condition to deliver a rich, smooth flavor, with a tender melt-in-mouth texture that your customers will love every time.

Kurobuta

Black Pig, Berkshire Pork
(Sus scrofa domesticus)

Availability: Year-Round

Catch and Country of Origin:
Sustainable Farm Raised, USA

Items:
Bacon, Boneless Belly, Bone In Loin, Boneless Loin, French Rack, Baby Back Ribs

Flavor Profile:
Tender, Juicy, Flavorful, Rich Ruby Color, Consistent, Depth of Flavor, Exquisite Marbling

Cooking Preparations:
Grilling, Broiling, Baking, Braising, Sautéing, Roasting, or Smoking

Never settle for a pale imitation when you can have the real thing Berkwood Farms Certified Kurobuta – Berkshire Pork is distinctive for its rich ruby color, exquisite marbling, supreme tenderness and its depth of flavor.

The structure of the meat fibers is very unique. They are finer and more constricted allowing the meat to hold more moisture and be more tender to the bite which offers a more enjoyable eating
experience.

In a nationwide scientific study, conducted by the National Pork Board based on consumer taste tests, Kurobuta – Berkshire Pork won massive praise. Kurobuta – Berkshire Pork took top honors in
19 of 20 traits including: loin color, loin marbling, superior cook, moisture content, and best tasting in all test categories.

America’s top chefs take pride in the entrées they present to their clientele, which is why we work to provide the best quality pork to our customers.

Each week, Berkwood Farms’ staff hand inspect each Certified Berkshire Loin before shipping the fresh-chilled product to our customers. Hand inspection guarantees the quality of each cut,
its visual consistency, and above all, ensures consistent flavor.

At Berkwood Farms, we take pride in ensuring that you receive 100% Pure Kurobuta – Berkshire Pork every time. We don’t allow cross-breeding, just 100% Pure Kurobutas descended from Kurobutas that have been pure for hundreds of years.

The History of Traditional Caviar:

When it comes to making your dish standout, we can’t help but fantasize about the fizzy bubbles in a glass of champagne and the glistening, onyx pearls of Canterbury Cure Caviar.

We love Caviar on everything from sushi and the classic blini, to deviled eggs and pizza, but the early Russians and Europeans often enjoyed this treat alone or on top of a baked potato.

Caviar, prized for its rarity, was found in parts of the Pacific Northwest and South Atlantic in America, however, Sturgeon was mainly found in the Caspian Sea, between Russia and Iran, and the Black Sea, between Russia and Turkey. Russian Tsars and British Kings dubbed the Sturgeon the “Royal Fish, “and reserved it for themselves, but eventually Persia set claim. The Persians were the first to widely enjoy the eggs, and even named them “K h a v – y a r” (“cake- of-strength,”) because of their supposed healing properties.

From there, the tradition spread to China where they were salted and cured for the first time. Eventually, this method was popularized throughout Europe, but Russia still remained king of Caviar. And one jar of Caviar equaled one hundred sheep in the second century B.C., making it exclusive to the upper echelon of society.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if we flash forward to the early nineteenth century in the United States, Caviar was sold regularly in bars for just a nickel. This was an excellent way to entice customers to spend a bit more to wet their whistles and at that time, America’s waters were so rich with Sturgeon that we were actually exporting Caviar to Russia. Although, by the middle of the twentieth century that all changed due to overfishing.

Today, we gather Caviar from multiple countries and multiple species of Sturgeon. We also tend to rely on roe from other fish like Trout and Salmon. But no matter the variety, Canterbury Cure is the best choice. This premium brand features products that are artisan made in small batches to preserve the best quality and flavor.

This New Year, try our long line of Canterbury Cure Caviar. To name a few: California White Sturgeon Royale, Bulgarian Osetra, Kaluga Hybrid, Paddlefish, Wild Salmon Roe, and more!

Your Guide to Caviar:

November is upon us, which means the most festive time of the year will be here before we know it. What a better way to ring in the holiday season than with Canterbury Cure Caviar!

Canterbury Cure Caviar and Smoked products can be found exclusively at Samuels. This premium brand takes a sustainable approach and features products that are artisan-made in small batches to preserve the best quality and flavor – you can truly taste the difference!

Continue reading to find out more about Canterbury Cure Caviar:

California White Sturgeon Royale: The large, glistening, salt and pepper colored pearls offer a rich buttery flavor with a clean finish and smooth texture. 

Available in 1 oz Tins.

Bulgarian Osetra: Once reserved for royalty, it’s prized for its golden color and smooth texture. The flavor is abundant, boasting with traditional Caspian character and notes of nut and fruit.

Available in 1 oz Tins.

Wild American Bowfin: Similar in size and appearance to Sturgeon Caviar, this black velvet to dark brown Caviar’s claim to fame is the alluring and mildly tangy flavor.

Available in 8 oz Tins.

Kaluga Hybrid: Due to the ban on Beluga Caviar, this innovative delicacy is harvested from a hybrid between two species of Sturgeon. The dark amber pearls are a true delight with a smooth nutty flavor.

Available in 1 oz Tins.

Paddlefish: A truly luxurious experience, this Caviar is extremely rich and creamy with notes of earthy, briny goodness. The soft greyish-brown pearls have a natural glistening shine that is sure to impress.

Available in 30 Gram and 200 Gram Tins.

Premium Sturgeon/Hackleback: Harvested from 100% pure wild American Hackleback Sturgeon, this Caviar has the utmost quality and flavor. This glistening black Caviar has a rich nutty taste that is unparalleled.

Available in 1 oz and 8 oz Tins.

Siberian Osetra: Siberian Ostera provides a medium-dark pearl that is creamy in texture and follows through with a crisp and nutty taste with a mild, fresh finish.

Available in 1 oz Tins.

Italian Osetra: Only 30% of the White Sturgeon we grade classifies for our “Royale” distinction. Italian Osetra is made from the creamiest, smoothest pearls, ensuring an exquisite flavor that is rich, nutty, buttery, and luscious.

Available in 1 oz Tins.

Wild Salmon Roe: The select roe of the Keta Salmon has very bright red/orange large eggs. It’s very mild yet rich and succulent with a firm texture and a crisp, buttery Salmon flavor with a sea salt finish.

Available in 2 oz and 8 oz Tins.

Smoked Trout Roe: Made from the highest grade of Trout pearls, our roe is smoked with a combination of Hickory and Oak. This Roe bursts with freshness and a clean ocean brine highlighted by smoky notes.

Available in 2 oz Tins.

French Trout Roe: These medium to large jewels have a bright translucent pink color and a tiny orange “eye” in the center. The firm texture and bold flavor make for a wonderful popping sensation.

Available in 2 oz Tins.

Oishii Shrimp

Since the debut of Oishii Shrimp in 2019, this unique product has been flying off the shelves. Chefs choose Oishii Shrimp because of their distinctive flavor, color, and texture, setting the bar for how premium Shrimp should taste.

Oishii Shrimp have reached an impressive standard as they are the first Shrimp to ever be processed immediately after harvest. Oishii Shrimp go from swimming to frozen and on their way to you, within four hours, resulting in an unbelievable freshness, straight from the water.

Through dedicated small-batch sustainable Shrimp farming methods, propriety pond construction, cutting-edge farming techniques, and strict water quality monitoring, Oishii produces an excellent, clean eating Shrimp that does not compare to other Shrimp.

The exceptional quality of the Shrimp comes from premium aquaculture and harvest methods.

Whereas typical Shrimp operations can be located many hours away, Oishii’s production facilities are located strategically within minutes of their aquaculture ponds. The Shrimp take a very short ride to the facilities in one-of-a-kind, aerated vessels that keep the Shrimp alive and swimming until they are ready for processing. Raising them “close to the source” allows for pristine, healthy live Shrimp to be transported quickly and efficiently, ensuring freshness from the pond to the package.

Once the Shrimp arrive live at the plant, they are processed immediately, by hand, to preserve the quality, radiant color, and flawless presentation of each and every Shrimp. Oishii Shrimp is an environmentally friendly choice that is 3-Star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certified. As this ensures the top standard for sustainability, encompassing all quality assurance and control through every stage of the Shrimp’s life cycle.

There is no moisture absorption by transporting the Shrimp alive, and the Shrimp maintain the highest standard of quality and freshness. With no moisture soaking into the Shrimp, Oishii do not shrink as much when they are cooked. Transporting live Shrimp is unheard of and unlike any other frozen seafood product on the market.

Oishii Shrimp are raised without any chemicals, added hormones, phosphates, antibiotics, or other artificial preservatives, which means Oishii Shrimp consistently have a sweet flavor, firm texture, and a satisfying snap with every bite. The ingredients are simply Shrimp, water, and salt, resulting in an entirely all-natural product.

Oishii gets its name from the Japanese word for delicious, which is only fitting. These Shrimp have a flavor you can both see and taste, allowing for stunning plate presentations that continue to impress guests with their vibrant, bright color. Whether Oishii is added to ceviches, salads, or cocktails for the perfect crunch or added to soups, stews, and pasta for that delectable clean buttery flavor, Oishii Shrimp is the ideal addition to any menu.

Oishii Shrimp is available in many popular sizes, including U8, U10, 8/12, 13/15, 16/20, 21/25, and 26/30 counts, packed in 1 lb and 2 lb units. Additional sizes are in development and will be coming soon. Prepare for summer grilling season in style with Oishii Shrimp in U/12 and U/15 count, which will be on sale for the entire month of June at Samuels!

Hawaiian Kanpachi: Now ASC Certified

As we move into spring and the weather becomes warmer, it’s time to say Aloha (Hello) to the distinctly delicious Hawaiian Kanpachi. As a premier member of the Amberjack family, Hawaiian Kanpachi is a premium white fish with a smooth flaky texture. Prized for its clean ocean flavor with the perfect balance of sweetness and rich nutty notes, Hawaiian Kanpachi is perfect served raw or cooked.

Hawaiian Kanpachi (Seriola rivoliana) is responsibly raised in the open ocean current off the Kona coast, provided to you exclusively by Blue Ocean Mariculture.

Blue Ocean’s facility is fully integrated to mimic and optimize the fish’s natural life cycle from hatch to harvest, and each step of the process is carefully monitored and controlled. The fish are hatched from native, locally, and sustainably caught brood fish. The juvenile fish from the hatchery are then transferred to offshore ocean pens where they are fed only the best feed from certified sustainable fisheries. The sea pens are fully submerged in the deep, open oceans powerful currents to minimize the impact on water quality and maximize fish health.

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) works to recognize responsible aquaculture through their certification program. The ASC promotes the best environmental and social choices when buying seafood, and in doing so, they contribute to transforming seafood markets towards sustainability. Additionally, the ASC ensures that employees working on certified farms have fair and safe working conditions.

Blue Ocean is proud to announce that they have achieved the prestigious ASC certification for their sashimi quality Hawaiian Kanpachi. Currently, Blue Ocean is the only U.S. Company recognized as achieving this impressive standard, propagating and raising a Yellowtail variety native to Kona and all the Hawaiian Islands.

“Our Hawaiian Kanpachi is grown in the spirit of Aloha’ Āina, which respects all living things. Our audit to the ASC standard reinforces our commitment to the highest level of performance at our farm. When combined with the unparalleled quality and freshness of our fish, we can only deliver the best eating experience possible to our discerning customers.” says Dick Jones, CEO of Blue Ocean.

Achieving ASC certification shows Blue Ocean’s commitment. It aligns with the ASC’s mission to raise and harvest fish in their natural ocean habitat responsibly and sustainably while honoring and protecting the sensitive ocean ecosystems, respecting the farmworkers and the community.

“Achieving this key certification marks a major milestone for the State of Hawaii, the U.S. Aquaculture industry, our workers, and our customers,” said David Valleau, Vice President of Sales for Blue Ocean

Hawaiian Kanpachi is a versatile fish. Many chefs use Kanpachi for sushi or raw applications. Whether grilled, roasted, broiled, fried, steamed, poached, or smoked, cooked Kanpachi brings sizzle to any chef’s kitchen. When served crudo style, the fresh, bold flavor, and delicate flesh shine. However, when cooked, it takes your dish to another level. Hawaiian Kanpachi is steak-y, versatile, and rich in natural oils, so it stays succulent in any cooking application.

Blue Ocean Mariculture harvests Hawaiian Kanpachi multiple times per week, ensuring the freshest product possible. They also offer point-of-production processing to add convenience for their North American seafood supply chain partners. Hawaiian Kanpachi is available now in many quality and sustainability-minded restaurants, sushi bars, home delivery purveyors, and grocery stores. Hawaiian Kanpachi is available in 4-6 lb whole fish or 1-2 lb collar on or off fillets. Speak with your Samuels Sales Representative for more information.