Surfing the Seafood Show – Boston 2012
March 13, 2012
I was already scheduled to be in Boston for an Aikido seminar, so when Richard Auffrey, The Passionate Foodie, reminded me that the big show was on, I decided that I should try to tag along, as he attempts to win another writing prize, for coverage of the event. Having never attended the double header – the International Boston Seafood Show & the New England Food Show – I had absolutely no idea what I was in for.
Arrived just after noon, and never caught up to Richard until about 4pm, as I was swept into the sea of people, and got totally schooled by the surrounding fishes. 24 aisles of booths on the Seafood side, with about 100 booth slots in each aisle, another dozen aisles on the Food Show side. Housed inside the Boston Convention Center on Summer St, down by the wharves, “Enormous” is the only simple word to describe. I wandered around in a daze for about an hour or so before I even started availing myself of the many tasty samples on offer. Big Kudos to Pickled Willy’s [Pickled salmon, king crab tail, and Ling Cod from Alaska], a delicious snack. If you like fish, and you like pickles, you should reel some in. Crab cakes, Misty Point high-salinity oysters fresh shucked, Turkish Sea Bass, purple wakame seaweed salad…I tasted only a mere fraction of a percent, of what was available.
Mostly overwhelmed, I shot only a few clips:
This event draws salespeople and customers from all over the planet, and it is clear the New England has an important place in the business sectors concerned with fisheries and aquaculture. Sustainability and green practices were prevalent marketing concepts this year. The New England Food show provides a place for local food and beverage producers to show off their wares, as well as vendors looking to supply our restaurant kitchens.
Over 900 vendors set up, with their crews, and thousands of people swirling throughout made me think it was an adult version of Sea World meets Epcot’s Food Court.
North Country Coincidence, and the VT Two Degrees of Separation Effect did exert gravity upon the tidal pool about an hour in, when the first attendee that I randomly spoke to, while trying some Thai Catfish, turned out to be none other than Becky Sue Epstein,wine writer, consultant, Palate Press Editor and author of “Champagne: A Global History” We had a very nice chat about the fruits of the sea, Vermont wine and food culture, as well as wine growing in the cold climate zones. Adding to the serendipity, we also determined that she had attended high school with a member of my extended family. A good reminder, that as with all of the waters on earth, we are all somehow connected.
The $30 entrance fee ( pre-registration) is well worth the entertainment, swag, and samples at this event, and next year, I think I’ll return with a plan to cast a wider net.