This Salmon CSA Is Off the Hook

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May to-do list:

Plant basil, check.

Eat my weight in asparagus, check.

Order salmon CSA, check.

As I’ve mentioned, Brooklyn is home to an off-the-hook salmon CSA (or CSF, as some call the community-supported fishery). It’s the succulent, flash-frozen baby of Christopher Nicolson, a third-generation fisherman who grew up catching spectacular wild salmon in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.

Now a Brooklynite who ferments grape juice at Red Hook Winery, he still returns home, like a spawning salmon, to net sockeye for two months each summer. And while other fishing families sell to processors and see their catch land in a can, Christopher and his family built an alternative, sealing and selling the sparkling sockeye directly to top chefs like Dan Barber.

And through the CSA, they’ll sell it to you, too. Sign up for their sixth-annual Iliamna Salmon CSA and this fall you’ll be swimming in salmon. Each share costs $208 and contains 12 pounds of the sockeye Christopher and his family will catch this summer on little boats in the Kvichak and Naknek section of Bristol Bay. And when it comes to sustainability, this stuff boasts the triple crown: an EDF “best choice” fishery, a Monterey Bay Aquarium “best choice” fish and a Marine Stewardship Council certified fishery.

Shareholders will pick up the succulent, flash-frozen, vacuum-sealed, scarlet-hued catch in September or October at one of the three locations: the Brooklyn Kitchen in Greenpoint, the Red Hook Winery in south Brooklyn or at the Lexington Avenue CSA on the Upper East Side. Each shareholder receives six to seven whole sashimi-grade fillets of wild Alaskan sockeye. Roast it, broil it, poach it or eat it raw with only the finest flaky sea salt and a dot of precious tamari or brilliant-green olive oil — which may also be bought at Brooklyn Kitchen.

“Christopher and Emily Nicolson are true pioneers,” raves Brooklyn Kitchen co-owner Taylor Erkkinen. “They bring us the best salmon direct from Alaska, home-school their kids, make wine and are fantastic people all around. Support them, their family and their fishery!”

This will be my third year as a customer and the salmon bests anything  you can buy in New York — exactly like the stuff I grew up eating in Alaska. But that’s another story.

Sales close on June 1st. Don’t let this salmon share be the one that got away.

Photo credit: Corey Arnold

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