B is For Blowfish
Do you remember blowfish? They use to be abundant in the Great South Bay on the south shore of Long Island. They were everywhere—along the piers, in the seaweed grassland, and in a million secrete fishing holes. Blowfishing was an easy way to get kids fishing. My dad would fasten a small hook at the end of a string for each little kid in our tremendous brood. Dad taught us to wrap a piece of clam on the hook. Over the dock or boat railing we would throw the hook. The first big lesson was to remember to hold onto the other end of the string. In no time, (it must have been within seconds because I do not remember any of my siblings or cousins with an attention span that lasted more than a minute), a tiny reverberation, a tug, and finally a pull brought up a buck-tooth blowfish.
My daughters were always game for an hour or so of fishing for blowfish. “Petting” the belly was a favorite activity.
Besides being fun to fish, blowfish are delicious. Blowfish tails are the only edible part of the fish. Rinse the tails, sprinkle seasoned breadcrumbs on them, drizzle oil, and bake. Mix up a little mayonnaise and relish to dip the tails. Ketchup works just as well depending on your palate’s preferences.
Sadly, blowfish are now rarely seen or caught here on the Great South Bay. Their numbers have fallen drastically as had starfish, eelgrass, and clams. Blame is put on pesticide run-off, climate change, overfishing and such. There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed. In the meantime, memories have to suffice.
Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’ kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure. If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk. Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.
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Our fishing experiences were never without a lot of waiting. I haven’t encountered a fish like the blowfish you describe
Thanks for visiting
fellow A to Z-er
Blowfish are such fascinating fish. Didn’t know that people ate them or that the tail is the only edible part. Glad I stopped by from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge…I learned something new today!
I love the picture of the little girls (maybe your daughters) with the Blowfish. Their expressions are priceless. I’ve never seen a blowfish outside of a fish tank.
Yes, they are my daughters some 20 years ago. 😊
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I didn’t know you could eat blowfish! It must have been fun to fish where you didn’t have to wait. I’ve always waited a long time whenever fishing.
Once Upon a Time
My uncle lived in Long Island and was a weekend fisherman. When he returned from an early morning fishing trip, he would always have at least one blow fish to entertain the children. I had forgotten about the blow fish. Thanks for resurrecting a great childhood memory.
Wow one can eat the puffer fish or the blow fish?? That’s news to me. Very interesting piece of trivia here.
I’ve found a few on my scuba diving expedition and it was fascinating to hold them as they puffed balloon size.
Enjoying your posts.
I’m amazed you can eat blow fish too. I did a bit of research and found the Australian ones are toxic but the Long Island ones are safe to eat. Just as well not to get them confused. Whenever I caught one as a child I would recoil in horror as they had spikes. We couldn’t wait to get it back over the side.
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Learned something new – didn’t know you could eat them! If I’ve seen one it’s been a long time, guess I’ll be taking the granddaughters to Mystic this summer and look for them! And never knew they could’ve eaten – and I’m looking forward to petting it’s belly! Love the pic of your daughters in the boat!!!
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