This fall, I’m volunteering with Core Sound Seafood, our local CSF (community-supported fishery — kind of like a CSA, except with sea creatures instead of vegetables).
Yes, I live in a very foodie town. The foodiest, according to some.
On Thursday afternoons, I go to Guglhupf, set up my little table and giant cooler, and hand out bags of fish to shareholders. I greet people with a smile, mark their names off the list, ceremoniously present them with their weekly catch, and answer any questions they might have about the seafood, its origins, and the CSF program itself. Also, there’s swag — like magnets and stickers and suchlike.
It’s actually pretty fun. However, sometimes I feel like a QVC pitchman — for example, when customers bark, “What the hell is African Pompano?” and I’m forced to quickly improvise:
“You can grill it! You can broil it! You can pan fry it! You can marinade it and $#!+ (…or whatever!) It’s so shiny you can use it to wax your floors! Moist and meaty, it easily absorbs all your counter-top spills!* Why, there’s nothing this amazing fish can’t do! It’s got your vitamins, it’s got your minerals, it’s got your antioxidants! It’s like swordfish, only better! Pair it with bread and prepare to be amazed! EAT AFRICAN POMPANO: THE MIRACLE FISH!”
Obviously, this entire spiel is bull$#!+, because all I really know is that a.) it came from the ocean and b.) it is edible. But a surprising number of people seem to expect something more than “Here you go, enjoy your fish.” So I oblige.**
Anyway, it’s far more pleasant than most other service jobs I’ve held, where people yell at you or threaten you or hit on you or decide that you’re their confessor because you cannot physically leave the premises or are Canadian***
In exchange for my efforts, I receive a free half-share (about 2 lbs. of fresh, sustainably caught seafood). This week, I got paid in Vermillion Snapper, which I’m guessing is a more pretentious version of red snapper, as well as the notorious African Pompano.
Yep, that’s me. Bringing home the bacon of the sea.