Now add another reason: We don't freeze the sashimi. At least, I hope not. I'm pretty sure the fish we buy from pickup trucks by the side of the road have not been frozen, especially not at minus-83 degrees:
“We purposely deep-freeze at negative 83 degrees, and we use one of those medical cryogenic freezers,” said Yuta Suzuki, vice president of Sushi Zen, a popular Times Square restaurant.So Suzuki-san is not affected by a new regulation that requires most raw fish sold in New York restaurants to be frozen for at least 15 hours.
Probably our supermarket poke has been frozen. Now that the auction is in Honolulu, on Maui we aren't any closer to the fishermen than we would be in Iowa. But some rstaurants are still buying fish caught locally and sold -- one at a time -- by the boatmen; who are not, however, leather-skinned sons of the sea but more likely tour boat captains who troll a line and hope to score a mahi for an extra hundred bucks. The marlin in our stores was most likely caught by a charter captain or his customer and not frozen, though.
Now that the collectors and gill-netters have wiped out the reef fish, you don't hear much about ciguatera poisoning. I've never known anybody who got a parasite from poke; not that they admitted to, anyway.
So now if you want a really fresh fish, you'll have to catch it yourself.
“I’m pretty sure our customers are not able to tell,” Mr. Suzuki said