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Pompano (fish) Available Wild in the (formerly) Great State of Indiana and Along Florida’s Atlantic Coast

Pampano!

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There are several fish species in the genera Trachinotus that are marketed as pompano. The name pompano has long been used broadly to refer to many different species within this large family of fish called jacks (Carangidae). Pompano became popular in the United States primarily because of the domestic sport and commercial fishery along the coast of Florida for Trachinotus carolinus. This species is the most expensive and preferred due to its wonderful flavor, texture and fat content. This species of pompano is highly valued as a food fish both commercially and recreationally.

Note: Good Music to eat fish . . .

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Today much of our domestic demand for this species is met by whole frozen Golden Pompano, Trachinotus auratus/blochii, (sometimes referred to as Golden Permit) which is imported from Asia where it is farm raised in sea cages. This imported Pompano is a close match to the eating quality of the much sought after native U.S. pompano carolinus species. Most of the domestic pompano is sold in the fresh market at much higher prices than this imported whole frozen Golden Pompano which primarily comes from China. However, the availability of this imported pompano satisfies a demand for frozen product that the domestic pompano fishery simply cannot meet.

Both Trachinotus species are thin, silver-colored fish with gold on the belly and a deep body. Their flesh is white, delicate, and has pleasing oil content. These two pompano species grow to about two pounds and 18 inches long.
Domestically, larger fish are filleted while smaller fish are usually offered in whole cleaned pan ready form. Smaller fish are better eating than the larger ones. The imported Golden Pompano helps fill the demand for these smaller 1-2# sized whole fish when domestic fresh pompano is unavailable or too high in price. There has, and continues to be, significant restrictions on both the commercial and recreational harvests of pompano in order to protect the U.S. domestic resource. Sea Port’s imported farmed raised Golden Pompano assists in lessening the pressure on this popular U.S. wild fishery

Within the diverse pompano (jack) family, there is a very large species (Trachinotus falcatus) that gets as large as fifty pounds. Its scientific common name is Permit. Whenever two pound or larger fillets or whole pompano over three pounds are offered in the marketplace, they are most likely from this much larger pompano (Permit) and should be priced much lower than the smaller pompano due its lower quality of meat (drier/coarser).
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Pompano are excellent broiled, oven baked, or pan fried, but there is a substantial tradition of cooking them in pouches by baking them and using complex sauces. It is highly esteemed as a food fish. The delicacy and quality of the flesh, however, should be able to stand on its own with simple preparation and cooking.

As a broad general rule of thumb, always choose whole pompano that are two pounds or less in size. This will help assure you are most likely getting the most desirable pompanos from this large and diverse family of jacks (Carangidae).

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Excerpt from Cookbook: Confessions of An Oenophile

Cookbook available for purchase through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Outskirts Press.

Phorward

This cookbook has been in the oven for over 100 years.

My family has a tradition of eating well no matter what.

My Grandma was born in June 1903.

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There are too many people for me to thank for everything. I’ll start with my Grandmothers, my mother who passed away in the 90’s, and my dad who died in his sleep in the 80’s. I’d also like to publicly thank my mother-in-law, too. Grandmother Baker raised five bright healthy children. Grandma Bruggner had eleven grandkids and Grandma Dailey had five of us. Special thanks to my daughter Anessa, older brother Dan, and sister Christine! Also, you know who you are in Healdsburg, California.

If you are shopping for recipes to barbeque or microwave, this is not the book for you.

If you have food allergies, I can appreciate those. Me, myself, and I am deathly allergic to nuts, mustard, and some strawberries. So these All-American recipes can be embellished with these ingredients if you wish. Just do not expect me to touch the nuts.

Thank heavens that few nuts are grown where I was born and raised in Indiana.

Unlike the Pottowatomie Indians, my school chums and I never ate tree nuts or grown acorns from oak trees. We spent more time playing in poison ivy.

I truly believe that eating American food is good for us. All that obesity talk is heavy. I used to weigh 328 pounds. In the three years since my gastric bypass surgery, I have lost 122 pounds. So eating is one of my problems. Thus a series of dinner parties and one “coast-to-coast virtual dinner was held on 9-1-07. Recipes from India, mushrooms, some strawberries and shrimp were some of my favorites but unfortunately I cannot digest some things without sad symptoms. So what I chose to eat is important principally because I must not overeat too much food, few fast foods or drink a lot of liquids.

Speaking of liquids, I highly recommend all kinds of wine! For over eleven months, I have immersed myself in the Northern California wine culture by living right in the center of it. Talking with chefs along the Wine Country. Learning from them, winemakers and specialists in wine tasting rooms. Gratitude is due to everyone I met along the wine roads of Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Monterey Counties in California. Prior to moving to Wine Country, I lived about 20 years in California’s beautiful San Mateo County and seven years in San Francisco. Personally, I remain a Hoosier but believe I am a Californian that you can trust your stomachs to.

Preface

 

This cookbook has been in the works for decades. As a “latchkey kid” long before the term was popularized, I was preparing meals for myself from age ten or so. I would like to be able to claim that I learned the kitchen basics at my mother’s elbow, but the truth is I found my way reading cookbooks and through trial-and-error.

 

When I inherited my mother’s and grandmother’s recipes on index cards, I took it upon myself to reconstruct my family’s kitchen legacy which had previously only been preserved in the hearts and memories of our family and friends.

 

Thus, a fair amount of contemporary thought and planning has gone into this cookbook, and it has been shaped by my own tastes and interests. For example, it has been my goal to put together a practical family cookbook using wine as an important ingredient in a wide variety of menus. I live in the wine country of northern California, where wine is an important influence in the whole culture. I have therefore taken our old family meals and embellished them accordingly.

 

I have also tended to focus on “comfort foods” which, though some people accuse this use of food as being inherently unhealthy, can be made increasingly beneficial if only the cook will think about how home-grown produce and local ingredients can be integrated and experiment with them. I therefore have included recipes which use those foods and ingredients that are available, not only to us in California, but in the Midwestern, Southern and the Atlantic states.

 

We are entering an era in which rising transportation costs and food safety concerns will likely change our ways with food.  These recipes limit the mandatory use of gourmet, exotic, and hard-to-find ingredients. I have, in fact, organized the book according to the seasons of the year when local ingredients are more likely to be “in season.”

 

I can recall during college that my dear future wife tried baking homemade wheat bread. Too bad she got confused between baking powder and baking soda; we ended up using the loaves as doorstops. Remember to have a sense of humor in the kitchen – no matter what may happen.

 

 

Fall 2007