We may not have an ocean nearby, but that doesn’t have to stop Atlantans from enjoying a great seafood lunch or dinner.
Seafood cocktail sauce from Bowens Island
The Bowen family opened Bowens Island Restaurant on South Carolina’s Folly Beach in 1946. Around that time, May Bowen created the restaurant’s signature cocktail sauce and her grandson, Robert Barber, makes sure it’s made with the same recipe to this day. We can understand why. Everyone who’s tried it says it’s the best cocktail sauce they’ve ever tasted. There’s plenty of horseradish for flavor but it’s not one of those pungent sinus-clearing sauces. There’s vinegar for tang, sugar for sweet and hot sauce for a bit of kick. We liked it the first time we tried it and we like it to this day. We don’t limit its use to fried shrimp or oysters. We like it everywhere we’d use ketchup (on meatloaf, to dip French fries, or turned into sweet-and-sour sauce with a bit of jam and used in a stir fry). It’s not just seafood cocktail sauce, it’s all purpose sauce.
$5.99 per 12-ounce bottle. Available at https://bowensisland.com/.
She-crab soup mix from 82 Queen
Steve Kish and partners opened 82 Queen in Charleston in, yes, 1982. Almost 40 years later, the restaurant is still going strong, winning awards and attracting diners from around the country. She-Crab Soup has been a menu mainstay since day one, available at brunch, lunch and dinner. Since a trip to Charleston is probably out of the question right now, 82 Queen makes it possible for you to prepare this soup at home. The soup mix includes everything you need except milk, cream and crab. The result is creamy and rich, with light notes of onion and celery. We enjoyed it as soup, but we had leftover soup which we turned into a creamy sauce for pasta. Two uses for a delicious product.
$6 per 6-ounce container. Available online at https://www.82queen.com/.
Tuna, sardines and salmon from Safe Catch
Canned seafood is getting lots of good press these days. High in protein, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, seafood is recommended as an important part of a healthy diet, and canned seafood is one of the most convenient ways to eat your fill. Sausalito, California-based Safe Catch produces artisan-level seafood products including canned sardines, tuna, and salmon as well as individual-sized pouches of flavored tuna and salmon. What makes their canned products different from others is that they test every tuna or salmon in their products to be sure its mercury level is safe before it’s processed. That’s particularly important for kids and pregnant women. We sampled their Chili Lime Wild Tuna and Citrus Dill Wild Pacific Pink Salmon, both in pouches. Both were delicious and make perfect individual servings to pack in a lunch bag or tear open and toss into a salad. The sardines (a great source of calcium) made a great nibble arranged on a toasted slice of sourdough, but they are also a new favorite for tossing with fresh pasta. And the canned tuna products, which include seasoned varieties, albacore tuna, and ahi tuna in water, avocado oil and olive oil were all rich and flavorful.
Prices range from $2.99 per 2.6-ounce pouch of seasoned tuna to $4.49 per 5-ounce can of albacore tuna. A variety of Safe Catch products are available at Sprouts, Kroger and Publix and all products are available online at https://safecatch.com/.
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