Tag Archives: Whiting



WHITING; NEW ENGLAND HAKE (Merluccius bilinearis).  Differs from true hakes (genus Urophycis)  Drawing by H. L. Todd

Silver hake are strong swift swimmers, well armed and extremely voracious.  Probably a complete diet list would include the young of practically all the Gulf of Maine Fishes. A 23¼ inch silver hake, taken at Orient, N. Y., had 75 herring, 3 inches long, in its stomach. And it is probable that the silver hake that frequent Georges Bank feed chiefly on young haddock.  As sweet a fish as one could ask, if eaten fresh or if slack salted overnight and used for breakfast the next morning.  Soften so fast they must be frozen quickly.

From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder, 1953.  Online courtesy of MBL/WHOI.  http://www.gma.org/fogm/Merluccius_bilinearis.htm


Massachusetts landings of silver hake reached a peak in the 1950s with a high of 108 million pounds in 1957.  From 2010 to 2016 landings have been in the range of 7 to 9 million pounds.  (NOAA)



A wonderful celebration of locally caught fish and fisherman, local produce and farmers, and top notch local chefs



Mayor Sefatia teaching Lt. Governor Karyn Polito about Sicilian eggplant, with Angela Sanfilippo

Who Fishes Matters

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Cape Ann Farmer’s Market and Seafood Throwdown and last night’s competition did not disappoint. Local chefs Eric Lorden, owner of Passports Restaurant, and Danielle Glantz of Pastaio Via Corta joined forces (dubbing themselves the Center Street Chefs) to compete against David Gauvin of Addison Gilbert Hospital and Todd Shopkowski of SnapChef.

The mystery fish, revealed moments before the competition began, was caught by Al Cottone, Captain of the Sabrina Maria. Fresh, whole, beautiful and fabulous whiting, alternately named Silver Hake, was presented to the chefs and off they went through the market shopping for farm fresh local ingredients. With only fifteen minutes to shop and an hour to prepare, the race was on!

Celebrity and very special guests included Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, Gloucester Fisherman’s Wives Association President Angela Sanfilippo, former Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk (now the Deputy Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office), lobsterman Mark Ring, author and Gloucester Times food writer Heather Atwood, and Maria and Sal DiStefano. DSCF0277

DSCF0247Throwdown Judges 


Judge Beatrix Brosnihan and Lara Lepionka

Seafood Throwdown Gloucester 2016 Al cottone Mark Ring copyright Kim SmithLobsterman Mark Ring and Fisherman Al Cottone

Seafood Throwdown Gloucester 2016 -Karyn Polito Carolyn Kirk copyright Kim Smith

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Carolyn Kirk
DSCF0172Daniele chopping squash blossoms for the pasta

DSCF0406Mayor Sefatia and Angela Sanfilippo frying whiting for their cooking demonstration

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Merluzzi- If the old timers were still alive they’d be having a field day.

Guys like Mickey Red, Leo The Flounder, they’d be going crazy for the whiting that’s been coming in.  Fried, in a broodu, you name it- Whiting, my favorite fish to eat.

Let the Menagani Babu eat 30 day old swordfish, I’ll eat a mess of fried whiting any day over that crap.


When we were in Ravello, Italy we saw the Merluzzi at a Farmer’s Market. Same fish in the Mediterranean that we’re landing here in Gloucester.

Gloucester Seafood Display Auction- Grey Sole

Here’s some grey sole at the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction.

Within the first couple of years with my wife we were sitting at her parents house and somehow the topic of fish came up.  My mother in law told me she didn’t like flounder, but she loved sole.  I told her that sole is a flounder.  There’s a lot of people who don’t really know their fish.  I must admit as much fish as I’ve eaten in my lifetime if someone fried a fresh haddock or a cod fillet I’d have a hard time distinguishing the difference (and I’ve eaten tons).
My personal favorite types of fish in order of preference- fried whiting, baked haddock with the breadcrumbs, raw tuna, fried grey sole or yellowtail flounder, sockeye salmon.
Favorite shellfish- The Mrs’ Lobsterolls, steamed lobster with bernaise dipping sauce, baked stuffed littlenecks with my mothers’ stuffing recipe, Mexican Campeche brand shrimp with cocktail sauce, fried clams, mussels fra diavolo (extra spicy).
Look for part two of the video from the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction at 8AM

Whiting Up Close and Personal

Whiting looks almost prehistoric, straight out of Jurassic Park.

It happens to be my very favorite fish to eat. Headed and scaled and fried up.  The flaky white meat falls right off its bone and you eat it like smelt, as if you were eating corn on the cob.

Whiting Up Close and Personal, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

This fish was a big part of our family’s business where many local people were employed.  With the big increases in water and sewer rates, it just didn’t make financial sense to process fish in Gloucester so we started shipping the whiting to New York back in the eighties and nineties.