ShopFreshSeafood.com, Online Seafood Site Hooks You Up (With Fresh Fish Delivered To Your Door)

Home cooks who are seafood fans are faced with the daunting task of discerning just how fresh the fish at their local fishmonger or supermarket is. The solution to that problem is ShopFreshSeafood.com, which takes the guesswork out of fish buying through overnight shipping of freshly caught seafood to customers within one day of harvest.

We visited owner Megan Grippa at the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx where ShopFreshSeafood.com is based. Here’s what she had to say.

“With more than fifty years of experience in the seafood business under my family’s belt, my goal in creating ShopFreshSeafood.com was to give consumers access to the freshest fish with a few clicks or phone call,” said Megan Grippa, owner of ShopFreshSeafood.com. “Going online with a business that offers consumers top quality fresh fish with the convenience of next day home delivery was a natural. We are serving the entire US with next day shipping and have found that busy New Yorkers in particular are using us for delivery to their weekend homes and as thank you gifts for hosts when they are guests. We have even had requests for a fish of the month gift package for newlyweds. There’s no beating the flavor, texture, aroma and appearance of freshly caught fish.”

With three varieties of salmon, plus tilapia, bass, lobster, and crab among other offerings, ShopFreshSeafood.com sources directly from its family-operated Universal Seafood at the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, thus avoiding costly middlemen. Universal Seafood is one of the biggest salmon importers on the East Coast.

Grippa’s favorite way to prepare seafood is with multiple family members. “In my large Italian family, there can never be too many cooks in the kitchen,” explained Grippa. “Cooking together is a great way to bond, share a passion for food and its preparation, share family stories and enjoy one of the most basic human pleasures – the savory of good food cooked with love together with family.” Grippa, her father Anthony and Uncle Joe Sr. The Grippa family has roots in Calabria and Sicily, Italy and came to America in the early 1900s.

We spoke with Megan to learn about ShopFreshSeafood and the ins and outs of buying fresh fish and proper handling:

RWAF:  You are a 4th generation fish business owner in a male-dominated industry. What’s that like, considering you were formerly a fashionista in the shoe-buying department at Macy’s and you’re now a fishionista?

MG:  I loved working for Macy’s – I was proud to be a part of that team and its rich history in NYC. And now I’m proud to be a part of my family’s rich history. Americans spend so much of our lives at work – and I now am blessed to work with my family, learn more about seafood than I ever imagined and continue the legacy my family started, but with a new twist in eCommerce. What could be better than that?

RWAF:  What’s a typical day like for you? What time do you wake up and go to sleep?

MG:  Lol – It’s a long day. The market is open from midnight to 8 am. I’m up at 3 checking emails and orders from my phone and I call in what fish I need, this way when I get to the market I know what I have to start with. What came in. what might be in tomorrow. We try very hard to get all orders out with 24 hours. But a lot depends on what is in the Market. We picked species for the website that we have on a very regular basis but sometimes there are still issues you cannot control, weather for instance.   Most of the morning is spent packing boxes and fish. Then I head up to the office to do all the paperwork. At noon it’s time to head back home and from there I handle customer service phone calls and emails. Until it’s time to call it a day, which in the summer is around 9:30. In the winter it’s easier to go to bed earlier.

RWAF:  ShopFreshSeafood.com offers multiple types of salmon. What are the differences between them and what’s your favorite?

MG:  All salmon has omega 3 fatty acids – that is a great reason alone to eat it besides it tastes so good! Omega fatty acids help maintain healthy heart function. Also maintains healthy brain activity. Fresh salmon that is simply prepared is simply unbeatable in terms of flavor, texture and versatility.

RWAF:  What’s the biggest myth about seafood?

MG:  Seafood is difficult to prepare is the biggest myth.  It is so easy to prepare seafood, especially if you have a good, fresh piece of fish. We have lots of easy recipes on our site, www.ShopFreshSeafood.com, but remember, less is more with fish. Let the natural flavors shine through by using simple preparations like grilling with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and squeeze of fresh lemon. Minced herbs and a drizzle of oil are ideal for some fish and other fish welcome an assertive salsa on the side. Our website has several inspirational recipes and tips to check out.

RWAF:  What makes fish smell “fishy?”

MG:  Bacteria is the culprit.  Every food smells with age. Bacteria gets in and decays protein. What about old milk – yuck!  Have you ever smelled old chicken? That’s 10x worse than fish. Fresh fish has very little aroma before and after it’s cooked. The scent is distinctive but good quality, fresh fish does not have an offensive aroma.

RWAF:  Is the smell of old fish a primary reason people don’t want to try or prepare seafood at home or in restaurants?

MG:  I think a good answer to that question is that people should eat at restaurants that smell good when you walk in. Even a seafood restaurant should not have an overpowering seafood smell. At home, people who aren’t buying fresh seafood will experience a strong aroma when handling or after cooking the fish. I wouldn’t eat at a restaurant that had smelly anything. Buying fresh seafood ensures your home will not smell fishy when you prepare the fish promptly after it’s purchased.

RWAF:  What are the biggest mistakes people make when they prepare seafood?

MG:  They overcook it and dry it out. Seafood is the original fast food – it doesn’t take long to cook.

RWAF:  What is your favorite seafood and how do you prepare it? MG:  I like everything we carry. Our Barnegat dry scallops are especially good.  We like to bake them oreganata style, with a little lemon squeezed over.

RWAF:  Will ShopFreshSeafood offer other types of fish and seafood in the future? If so, when and what kind?

MG:  Yes, we are slowly expanding our offerings. I’m working on adding oysters to our offerings next! Check our website regularly for updates and know that we customize orders upon request. We have had customers request our fish of the month club for a bridal gift. We also offer seasonal packages, like our incredible Feast of the Seven Fishes offerings which will be offered during the holiday and are hugely popular. We sell this package in three varieties so people can make as much or little as they like for their entertaining purposes.

RWAF:  Do you plan on expanding your business to Canada and other countries?

MG:  No, not at this time- The US is a big place.

RWAF:  How is your fish packaged to ensure it stays fresh from the time it is packaged to the time it is delivered?

MG:  Our shipping containers are made of Styrofoam and put into a corrugated cardboard box. Reusable Cold packs are included and your order is packed in a 38 degree environment to ensure freshness. We used recycled materials when available

RWAF:  Once a customer receives their order, what is the expected shelf life of the fresh fish?

MG:  Your fresh fish can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. We recommend putting it in the coldest place, usually the crisper. If you want to save it for longer, you can absolutely store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Do not run the fish under water as that may inadvertently start cooking the fish.

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Canadian salmon packed for delivery

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Megan Grippa placing fresh Barnegat dry scallops into special packaging to maintain proper temperature before fed ex delivery

  Grippa encourages home cooks to enjoy the benefits of preparing fresh caught seafood with the following grilling tips:

  • Try Planking: In the grilling world, “planking” uses aromatic planks of wood, typically cedar or oak, to infuse the protein with a smoky perfume reflecting the wood’s nuances. In between the fish and soaked plank can be a combination of oils, salts, spices or herbs. Start with the basics – salt, pepper, and olive oil – or create a different concoction based on fresh garden herbs like basil, chervil, chives, parsley or dill.
  • Go Fresh: Fresh caught seafood, whether uncooked and cooked, has a soft, delicate aroma. When fish has a strong “fishy” smell, it’s past its prime. Buying direct from fishermen or ShopFreshSeafood.com eliminates any question about freshness.   
  • Add Some Zest:     What goes better with grilled fish than citrus? Lemons, limes, or oranges pair well with fish and grilled fare. Wash lemons and limes, cut into thin slices and place slices on top and underneath fish during grilling, or simply squeeze the juice on after grilling. The bright citrus flavors will add a pleasant lightness and acidic balance to seafood.
  • Eat Dinner on a Stick:       Not only are kabobs convenient for eating and clean up, they allow for endless combinations. For an easy summer staple, sandwich shrimp between summer vegetables (peppers, onions, cherry tomato, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant) or fruit (nectarine, peach, pineapple are good choices) and place on the grill. Scallops and firmer flesh fish like swordfish and salmon work well for kabob threading.
  • Fish Tacos:  The individual customization of fish taco creation is good for large groups. Grill a few different types of seafood like tilapia and shrimp, put out bowls of toppings (think basil and mint leaves, baby lettuces, pepper strips, guacamole, homemade tartar, tahini etc.) and set out taco shells for a delicious way to please everyone. 

“My family’s long legacy in the seafood industry is too important to not use. I wanted to create something different that would allow me to nurture my love for fish and educating people about fish as a nutritious, delicious and easy to prepare protein. Shopfreshseafood.com makes the best fish available to people with a few clicks or a phone call,” explained Grippa.  I want people to look at fish as an integral part of their diets and the perfect center of family gatherings, like it always has been in our family.”

About ShopFreshSeafood.com

ShopFreshSeafood.com is the premier online source for supremely fresh seafood delivered direct to the consumer within hours of being caught. Operating out of the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, ShopFreshSeafood.com contracts with fishermen using sustainable methods to harvest the most delicious, nutritious seasonal offerings from U.S. and Canadian waters. A family-run business for four generations at the Fulton Fish Market, ShopFreshSeafood.com offers varieties of salmon, scallops, crab, shrimp, and branzini along with lobster. The company offers custom orders for special sizes, cut or species. For more information, seasonal charts, how-to preparation guides and recipes, visit www.ShopFreshSeafood.com.

Call 718-842-8850 to reach ShopFreshSeafood and to place an order. First time online orders receive 10% off.

http://www.shopfreshseafood.com/

Farmers Markets Open: Northern Bergen NJ and Southern Rockland NY Top Picks

Warm weather is here and with it comes New Jersey and New York’s spring bounties. Find locally sourced produce at farmers markets, the farms that grow and sell or hubs which carry local, seasonal produce.

Here are some local favorites:

Demarest Farms grows a variety of fruits and vegetables and locally sources what it doesn’t. For hubcap-sized potato pancakes, fresh donuts or their Thursday night all-you-can-eat BBQs (chicken, ribs, burgers, hot dogs, corn, salad and watermelon slices) with live music. The farm also offers hayrides and peach picking from their own orchard, which begins in Mid-July.

When: Mon-Sun, 8AM-7PM
Where: 244 Wierimus RD, Hillsdale, NJ 07642

Piermont farmers market, with a beautiful view of the Hudson River in quaint Piermont, offers specialty items such as pickles, sauces, chocolate, spreads, frozen soups and chutneys along with NY, NJ and CT sourced fruits, vegetables, meat, beverages, seafood, dairy products. Notable vendors include: Dr. Pickle, Bread Alone, Migliorelli Farm, Valley Shepherd Creamery, Bombay Emerald Chutney Co., Eden Farms Greenhouse, John D Madura Farms, Kontoulis Family Olive Oil, Meredith’s Bread, Naturally Sweet Desserts,Rockland Farm Alliance and Tierra Farm.

When: Sundays, 9:30AM – 3PM, 05/26 – 11/24
Where: M & T Bank Parking Lot Piermont Ave & Ash St, Piermont, NY

Nyack farmers market is one of the oldest tri-state farmers markets and attracts almost 1,000 people every Thursday. The market offers organic produce, handmade cheese made from sheep’s milk, local wines and ciders, homemade marshmallows, hot sauce and BBQ sauce and various types of soap, oil, and wax sets. Some of the weekly vendors include: DOC Pickles, Taliaferro Farms, Valley Shepherd, Warwick Valley Winery and fabulous pies, muffins and cookies from The Pie Lady and Son.

When: Thursdays, 8 AM- 2 PM,
Where: 119 Main Street, Nyack, NY

Stokes farmers market is a 6th generation family farm with the freshest veggies and herbs (Hydroponic lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, greenhouse tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, garlic, spring onions). Shoppers can purchase herb and bedding plants, hanging baskets and vegetable plants.

When: July 3rd – October 26th, Tues & Fri, 11AM– 6PM
Where: 23 Dewolf Rd, Old Tappan, NJ

D’Amico Flower Farm market was established in 1987 and has a variety of lettuce, cucumbers, red and green peppers and locally sold mozzarella. D’Amico supplies their produce from farms in the lower Hudson valley and South Jersey. The market also carries McCutcheon’s preserves and locally sourced organic eggs. Owner John D’Amico carries either lightly or non-sprayed produce only.

When: Sunday 8:30 AM- 6 PM, Mon – Sat 8:30 am- 6:30 pm
Where: 460 Demarest Avenue, Closter, NJ

Garden-Fresh Lettuce
Garden-Fresh Lettuce
Assortment of Peppers
Assortment of Peppers
Bushels of Basil
Bushels of Basil
Heirloom Tomatoes
Heirloom Tomatoes

4th Annual Green Screen Environmental Film Series, NNJ’s 1st, Kicks Off at Bibi’z, Westwood, January 31

DearGovernorCuomo[POSTER]Westwood’s 4th Annual “Green Screen” Brings Educational and Entertaining Environmental Films to Bergen County

Northern New Jersey’s First & Only Environmental Film Series Kicks Off With Reception at Bibi’z Restaurant, January 31

Westwood’s Fourth Annual “Green Screen” — a week-long festival of fascinating and informative environmental films — will kick off on Thursday, January 31, 2013 and run through February 6, 2013 at the Westwood Cinema, 182 Center Avenue, Westwood, NJ and at the Westwood Public Library, 49 Park Avenue, Westwood, NJ. The Green Screen film series is Northern New Jersey’s only environmental film festival and features six award-winning, widely acclaimed films not shown in local theaters. As the festival’s premiere event, the new Sundance-winning documentary, Chasing Ice, will be shown for the first time in Northern New Jersey. Other films in the series, PLANEAT and FRESH, focus on healthy eating and sustainable farming; the latter’s free screening featuring a talk from Ramsey native and Blooming Hills organic farmer Guy Jones.

This year, in addition to the outstanding films, the Green Screen invites filmgoers to attend a pre-festival reception on Thursday, January 31st at 6:00 p.m. at Bibi’z Restaurant, 284 Center Avenue, Westwood, NJ where organic and sustainably produced hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and wines will be served. The pre-festival reception is tickets-only. The price of all six films plus the Pre-Film Reception at Bibi’z Restaurant is $35. All films are priced separately or are free. For a full schedule and pricing information, or to purchase tickets, go to: http://westwoodpubliclibrary.weebly.com/4th-annual-green-screen.html.

Organized by the Westwood Public Library and Westwood Cinema along with the non-profit groups United for Earth and Pascack Sustainability, the 4th Annual Green Screen brings to Bergen County an outstanding lineup of award-winning documentaries focused on key environmental issues, from the undeniable evidence of climate change in the melting Arctic glaciers, to an emerging global sustainable food movement, to the hazards of automobile idling and plastics in our environment. Co-sponsors to the festival include: ClimateMama, Food & Water Watch NJ, and 350.orgNJ. The festival’s media sponsor is Community Life.

Chasing Ice tells the story of National Geographic photographer and former climate skeptic James Balog, who uses time-lapse cameras to capture glaciers in motion as they disappear at an astonishing rate. The film earned Best Cinematography at Sundance Film Festival and Best Documentary by the Environmental Media Association and will be shown at Westwood Cinema at 8:00 p.m. on January 31st. Co-sponsors Harriet Shugarman of ClimateMama, Aditi Sen of United for Earth, and Rosemary Dreger Carey of Pascack Sustainability & 350.orgNJ will lead a discussion after the film. Tickets for the screening are $10.

PLANEAT (72 mins.) — The story of a search for a diet that is good for our health and good for the future of the planet. Through personal interviews with a top scientist, a leading physician, world class chefs and farmers, the film explores the link between diet and disease, and how our food choices contribute to global warming, land use and oceanic dead zones. PLANEAT will be shown on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm at Westwood Cinema. Tickets are $10.

Dear Governor Cuomo (75 mins.) — This award-winning documentary uses music and cautionary narrative to explain the threats of the controversial energy drilling process known as “fracking” and to motivate people to rise up against the practice. With music-direction by Natalie Merchant, the film features actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, environmental biologist Sandra Steingraber, and musicians Joan Osborne, Citizen Cope, Medeski Martin and Wood and The Felice Brothers. Dear Governor Cuomo will be shown on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 7:30 pm at Westwood Cinema. Tickets: $10. Co-sponsor Matt Smith of Food & Water Watch NJ will provide information before and after the film.

In addition to the films shown at Westwood Cinema, the Green Screen Film Festival will feature free documentary films and opportunities for discussion at the Westwood Public Library, 49 Park Ave., Westwood NJ:

Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic? (78 mins.) What started as a documentary about plastic bags evolved into a wholesale investigation into plastics and their effect on our waterways, oceans, and even our bodies. Discussion after film will include an invitation to join the Bag It movement and decide for yourself how plastic your life will be. The film will be show on Saturday, Saturday, February 2 at 2:00 p.m. Westwood Public Library. Admission is free. Co-sponsors Pascack Sustainability & 350.orgNJ will lead a discussion after the film.

FRESH (72 mins.) celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system by forging healthier, sustainable alternatives. The film will be shown Sunday February 3 at 3:00 p.m. at Westwood Public Library. Co-sponsor Pascack Sustainability and local farmer Guy Jones of Blooming Hill Farm, Blooming Grove, NJ will lead a discussion after the film. Admission to the film is free.

IDLE THREAT (60 mins.) is an inspiring documentary film about one man’s resilient struggle with the NYPD to enforce a 38 year-old anti-engine idling law in order to reduce air pollution and battle global warming. Against all odds, he succeeds and in the process, gets worldwide recognition, and improves the quality of life in New York. The film will be shown Monday, February 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Westwood Public Library. Admission to the film is free.

Pascack Sustainability Group is a non-profit with a mission to raise environmental awareness and promote sustainable practices in the Pascack Valley towns of Northern New Jersey. For more information, visit http://www.pascacksustainabilitygroup.org.

United for Earth is a non-profit organization which with its subsidiary Kids for Earth offers workshops, earth fairs, and kids scouting programs that are designed to enable both young and old to embrace sustainable living habits. For more information, visit http://www.unitedforearth.org and http://www.kidsforearth.org.