Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tasty Samples at the Boston Seafood Convention


Blue Island Shellfish Farms, a Long Island Company, has been selling "Naked Cowboy Oysters" which are pulled right out the Long Island Sound since spring 2010. It started locally with orders from restaurants in New York (of course!), New Jersey, and Connecticut and has spread across the United States with a high demand of repeat orders. Chris Quartuccio, the owner brought Naked Cowboy and myself to Boston this past weekend to promote the oysters at the Boston Seafood Convention.
We stayed in the Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common which was very nice and in a great location 2 miles from the convention center. There was a Chinese restaurant we had lunch at around the block that looked like it must have been a big ballroom at one time, filled with a bunch of round tables like a cafeteria. There were workers walking around with carts of different dishes that we could just take and eat, rather than ordering a meal. I though the woman said the one item was "tofu" so I took it and ate one of the 3 wrapped "things". I had a very strong feeling that not only was it NOT tofu, but that I must have just eaten meat of some sort. Being vegetarian for over 2 years, that didn't sit well with me. I'm sure it was probably psychosomatic, but my stomach didn't feel well after that.
Since I was just a guest at the convention, I got to walk around and sample a few things. Although I love fish, the only fish I now eat are the ones with no central nervous systems such as Oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops, so it was definitely a bit of a tease for me. I took a recipe card for "Oyster Milk Soup" from the Louisiana Seafood stand. I figured I could substitute the milk with soy milk and see how it turns out, and of course get my oysters from Blue Island Shellfish Farms. I sampled some mussels from Prince Edward Aqua Farms, Inc, and also some type of "seafood sausage" made with scallops from Poissonnerie PRO-MER Seafood...very interesting.
At the other end of the building was a Food Networking Convention...that's when it got really tempting for me to walk around! with all of the yummy deserts, cheeses, and other foods a vegan doesn't eat, I was glad that there were a few things I do eat. One vendor called "edibles by jack" (Boston,MA)had these very unique flavored crackers shaped as spoons so you can "scoop" any kind of spread and eat the spoon with it. I tried a lime-flavored one...yummy! Those we go great with the hummus or salsa I eat most nights.
Another vendor called "DON'S Salads" (Schwenksville, PA)had some fantastic salads, especially the Morocccan Couscous, and Wheatberry Salad. I can eat that stuff everyday! There were also some great coffee vendors and several alcohol distributors with tables. I'm not a beer drinker, but I did sample a few that I thought were pretty good...for beer. Two beers I liked were Rasberry Wheat made by Woodstock Inn Brewery and the other was Brown Dog Ale made by Smuttynose Brewing Company. I also tried a DonQ Gold Strawberry Daiquiri which is great for anyone who likes sweeter, fruity drinks. TriMark Foodservice Design, Equipment, and Supplies had a person drawing caricature of people passing by. It was my lucky day...not! Joking aside, it was a great weekend in Boston.
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