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Is That Fish Really Red Snapper?

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Red snapper is a very popular fish, and for good reason. It's full-flavored without being too fishy, firm-fleshed, and a really pretty fish to look at. It also lends itself to a variety of cuisines and ways of preparation.

There are a couple problems with red snapper, however. One is that it is very expensive; worth it for a special meal, but for many of us a little too steep to include in our weekly meal plans. This leads pretty much directly into the other two problems:

It's over-fished, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, which is where most domestic red snapper is caught, are working under a recovery plan. Stocks are not expected to rebound until 2033, though. The Monterey Bay Aquarium suggests ruby snapper, pink snapper, and squirrelfish snapper as good alternatives.

And because of the expense and high demand for the fish, "fish fraud" is a huge problem with red snapper. Other, less expensive fish like rockfish are often sold as red snapper. In some states it's legal to do so, but there's only one true red snapper and it commands its premium price for a reason.

If you're up for a special treat and can find the real thing (try a real fish market, if you have one in your town) red snapper is worth it; otherwise, there are plenty of other delish fish.

Have you tried red snapper?

Image via Monterey Bay Aquarium.

by on Mar. 15, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
by Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 9:46 PM
I thought I've had it but I got it at the grocery store. I liked what I had though. Not as much as tilapia though.
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by Bronze Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 10:13 PM

We don't eat fish.  

by Bronze Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 10:14 PM
yep. my dad lives on the water with his boat behind his house. he's always fishing
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by Ticia on Mar. 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM

No, I haven't.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM

I don't think that I've had it before.

by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 12:41 AM

never even heard of it. lol. I don't care for seafood though

by Bronze Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 10:36 AM
I love going to some of the beaches here in CA... I love fresh caught, hasn't been frozen fish. Two years ago we went to Redondo beach, I loved the fish store... Last year we went to San Diego, and found an amazing sushi place.... Yum.
I hate buying fish in stores, the quality is lacking.
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by New Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 4:03 PM

I have I prefer orange roughy

by New Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM

I find it hard to get at the grocery store. Sometimes I can find it in the frozen section. Grouper is a good substitute. I like variety and since we are eating fish at least 2 or 3 times a week, I like changing up  the fish I use use in recipes. Tonight we are having Swai.

by Margaret on Mar. 19, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I'm dying to get to the store and try red snapper now!

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