Alaskan Leader Seafoods: Meet The Captain

Meet Alaskan Leader Seafoods, Hy-Vee’s newest Alaska cod supplier. Alaskan Leader has grown to be one of the largest and most productive longline businesses through the construction of new fishing vessels, the acquisition of additional Alaskan fishing rights, and the development of both commodity and value-added initiatives that increase the economic value to the company’s sustainable resources.

Longline fishing—one hook, one fish—produces some of the world’s most delicious seafood through the careful handling of individually hooked fish. Lovers of great Alaskan seafood can enjoy Wild Alaska Cod, available now at Hy-Vee.

Bristol Bay Wild Salmon = Sustainability At Its Finest

 

Hy-Vee is committed to the sustainability of seafood to ensure that future generations have access to the salmon we enjoy today. We proudly partner with the fishermen of Bristol Bay who not only practice this, but live it each day. These fishermen take great pride in harvesting one of the world’s best salmon.

The Nushagak and Kvichak river drainages comprise a pristine environment that creates one of the most ideal habitats on Earth. The Yupik and Dena’ina people are some of the last salmon- based cultures; salmon is essential to their daily lives, both as a food source and as an income producer.

This bay has been fished for more than 130 years, and this last summer was its largest run ever – more than 44 million salmon. This is truly a testament to sustainability. The Bristol Bay Salmon Management Plan administered by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is the most effective and comprehensive resource management regime in the world. Alaska is the only state to have sustainability written in its state constitution.

Traceability is very important to the fishermen of Bristol Bay. They use coding, sorting and inventory technology that tracks each case from harvest to your store. Each case of the wild sockeye salmon is marked with the name of the fishing district where it was harvested, giving you unprecedented traceability.

There are more 1,400 ships that commercially fish Bristol Bay, and Hy-Vee partners with a select group of these – fewer than 100. We ensure that these fishermen are committed to providing the highest quality of wild sockeye salmon in all of Bristol Bay. Each fish is bled immediately after being removed from the gill net and then submerged in 33-degree circulating seawater. This guarantees unblemished, rich-tasting, firm flesh for the finest wild sockeye salmon.

At Hy-Vee we are proud of our commitment to seafood sustainability and even prouder to work side-by-side with the fishermen of Bristol Bay who live this every day.

 

Responsible Choice Lobster Tails

When it comes to sourcing Responsible Choice spiny lobster tails, Hy-Vee looks to the mecca of the Caribbean – the Bahamas. The Bahamas are known for their breathtaking beaches and crystal clear waters, but in these waters lies a rich, environmentally responsible source of spiny lobsters. These creatures play a huge role in the economy of the Bahamas and they rely on a strict management process to maintain this resource for future generations to enjoy.

Unlike American lobsters, spiny lobsters have a spiny hard shell for protection and lack large front claws. These warm-water lobster tails are smooth and have a spotted, greenish shell. Their soft texture and delicate flavor make them a favorite among chefs and foodies around the world.

In the Bahamas’ spiny lobster fishery, “condominiums” – or “casitas” – are placed by fisherman on the sea floor. Spiny lobsters seek shelter beneath this protective enclosure. Over time these man-made structures have become a permanent habitat for marine life, including the spiny lobsters. Divers from skiff boats dive down and lift up these condos and harvest lobsters that have a carapace length of at least 3.25 inches. Hooks are used to pull the lobsters out from under the condo. The lobsters are then carried to the surface where they are immediately placed in ice holds on the skiff. Once aboard the skiff, the tails are removed and they’re delivered to the mother-ship. Once full, the ship heads back to the mainland where they are processed, tested, cleaned, graded, frozen and then packed into 10-pound cases for delivery to the United States.

Upon arrival in the U.S., Hy-Vee requires that the lobsters are U.S.D.C. inspected to ensure that they are of the best quality before selling them to our customers to enjoy.

If you’re still in need of a dinner that will “wow” your valentine, stop at your local Hy-Vee seafood counter and ask for these fresh and delicious tails from Bahamas lobsters, which are featured in this week’s ad. You can even share the lobster’s story with your sweetheart and tell him or her that you made a Responsible Choice for them.

The Perfect Shrimp. The Perfect Partner.

When the PDI Seafood Buying Team is sourcing seafood for Hy-Vee, quality comes first. The team demands perfection when looking for a supplier. And that’s what the team found in Paul Piazza and Son and Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice wild shrimp program: the perfect shrimp with the perfect supplier.

Since Paul Piazza began selling fresh seafood from New Orleans’ famous French Market 120 years ago, the fourth-generation family-owned and operated business has been driven by passion and commitment to supplying the country with the freshest, best-tasting and highest quality Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp that the nutrient-rich in-shore waters of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico have to offer.

Paul Piazza and Son is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. Premium Gulf of Mexico Domestic Shrimp is its only business. It is one of the largest processors in the domestic industry and has the capacity to offer over 25 million pounds of Gulf Domestic Shrimp from its state-of-the-art USDC plants in Louisiana and Texas.

Renewed Standard of Excellence

Like much of the New Orleans region, Paul Piazza and Son’s business was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Owners and managers looked at the situation as an opportunity to not only rebuild, but also reinvent their company, increase their capabilities and achieve their goal of becoming the source for premium Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp.

Re-energized, they opened a state-of-the-art processing facility in Delcambre, Louisiana, and modernized their New Orleans plant using cutting edge technology. They also expanded their distribution and product mix.

This expansion and innovation has helped Paul Piazza and Son become the shrimp sourcing, processing and national distribution powerhouse that it is today.

Premium Process

Paul Piazza and Son’s vertically integrated shrimp processing business keeps it as close to its products as possible and allows it total quality control — from the moment the shrimp is harvested from the nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf until it’s delivered to your Hy-Vee store.

Paul Piazza and Son contracts the Gulf’s top shrimp boat captains to work exclusively with its company. The committed boats then unload their catch of wild-caught white and brown shrimp in the company’s state-of-the-art processing facilities. The product is next sorted and packed to Hy-Vee specifications and then delivered to the PDI warehouse where it is ready to ship to your Hy-Vee store.

Paul Piazza and Son and Hy-Vee/PDI have plans to grow our partnership and look forward to expanding the Responsible Choice wild shrimp program in Hy-Vee stores, making it readily available for Hy-Vee customers’ dinner tables.

Great Tasting, Sustainable Tilapia Begins With A Pure Water Source

Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Rainforest Tilapia is raised in the pristine rainforest waters of Costa Rica. Rainforest Tilapia is a light, complete and sustainable protein. The fish are fed by mineral-rich reservoirs high in the volcanoes of Costa Rica, and the ponds breed pure, nutrient-rich tilapia that are luscious in flavor and free of impurities, additives, growth hormones and antibiotics.

In addition, the fish is socially responsible. Rainforest Tilapia go to work for Costa Rican ecologies — from the sustainable aquaculture practices that raise them, to reforestation projects and community enrichment programs for the elderly that they fund. A purchase of Rainforest Tilapia does more than just bring smiles to the faces of your family; it nurtures the plant, animal and human ecosystems of Central America.

Stop into your local Hy-Vee this week to sample Responsible Choice Rainforest Tilapia.

Hy-Vee’s Alaska Crab Sale Tradition Continues

It’s time for Hy-Vee’s annual crab and seafood sale, a tradition we’ve had since 2012. It’s the absolute best time of the year to pick up some of Alaska’s most prized and sustainable resources. All Wild Alaska crab sold by Hy-Vee is labeled with our Responsible Choice logo because Alaska crab fisheries are some of the best-managed wild fisheries in the world.

No other shellfish in the world offers such widespread appeal than Alaska Crab. Harvested from the icy waters off Alaska, this shellfish is always sweet, succulent and flavorful. It is also nutritious, low in fat and is unmatched for its natural rich flavor and tender texture. Wild Alaska Crab lends itself to a variety of attractive plate presentations from appetizers, chowders and soups to main course entries.

The tradition in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest is to always serve Wild Caught Alaska Seafood during the Holidays to honor the fishermen and women that risk their lives bringing the bounty of the sea to our tables.

All of Hy-Vee’s Alaska King Crab & Bairdi Snow Crab is fully cooked and ready to eat; just heat and eat. Pre-score the legs with a butter knife before heating to make the cracking a lot easier. Melt butter, add little garlic powder and enjoy! If you have any questions on how to prepare it, just ask your local Hy-Vee seafood team.

Celebrate the holidays this year with Responsible Choice Wild Alaska King Crab & Bairdi Snow Crab. You and your guests will love it!

Selecting Perfect Mussels

Hy-Vee is constantly striving to do business in a manner that promotes the well-being of our customers, employees, communities, and the global environment. That’s why we offer Responsible Choice seafood at our Hy-Vee Seafood counters.

Our partners at J.P.’s Shellfish source Prince Edward Island (PEI) Mussels, which are rope-grown and farmed by dedicated mussel farmers who love what they do. Like any farmer, PEI Mussel farmers are the caretakers of their surrounding natural elements that provide them the opportunity to produce safe and healthy food.

Farming mussels is a detailed process that requires year-round commitment, knowledge, and patience. The farmers collect mussel seeds in the wild, sort them, grade them, place them into socks, and then bring the mussels back to the water. Farmers maintain their mussels for over a year or so until they’ve grown to market size. Once harvested, they are stripped from their socks, de-clumped, cleaned, have their beards removed, and are visually inspected. All of this is done very gently to protect this live seafood.

For more in-depth information about PEI’s rope grown blue mussels, click here.

Learn more about how to select mussels at your local Hy-Vee: