Next up will be a squid sloppy joe. Squid is another extremely common animal we find off New England’s shores, but it is rarely available fresh in our fish markets. Like herring, it is often used as bait. What we do eat directly comes to us through a truly bizarre transport system that makes my Tennessee-waylaid FedEx delivery seem downright direct. New England squid is typically caught off Massachusetts and Rhode Island, frozen whole, shipped to China, defrosted, cleaned and ringed, refrozen, and sent back to us as a twice-frozen product.
This is an article about making seafood sandwiches for friends in New England. My main(e?) takeaway isn’t the methods or recipes, though—it’s the frankly bizarre dance of imports and exports that sends locally sourced fish around the world and back again before it reaches consumers: