HUGE smoked whitefish news today. I again have a reason to live: Costco in Richmond, CA, is carrying 2-pound tubs of Acme Fish Corporation’s smoked whitefish salad. It was all about serendipity this afternoon as I sampled some kind of nonsense close to where they stock the smoked trout and Copper River salmon. I eyed white square containers of something out of the corner of my eye, making out only the words “Blue Hill Bay.” Oh my God! — in a flash I connected those words to the Costco in Long Island City, where my parents lived — where we bought tubs of whitefish salad from Acme sold under that name, enough to see Steve, Matt and myself through the next six months in San Francisco, a place far from the natural habitat of decent smoked fish products. I made my way to the white containers in slow motion, with arms outstretched as if greeting a lover, thinking, “Oh, please let this be what I think it is. I’ve waited since 1995 for this day, checking the fish area regularly, always to be disappointed. This would redeem even the bitter disappointment of that salty, lame-ass, whole smoked whitefish that showed up for two weeks in 2007.” I quickly grabbed one and did a scan akin to a doctor looking for ten fingers and ten toes, seeking out the words “smoked” “whitefish” “salad” and “Acme.” Then I could breathe again. I was on the horn to Steve in seconds flat, almost yelling into my mouthpiece that this costs $7.95. Seven friggin’ ninety five for two pounds! When you are even able find it in these parts it costs upwards of $12 per pound. I took two home. This is especially pleasing because my bagel monger, Berkeley Bagels (1281 Gilman Street), used to sell this for $8 a pound, but they got greedy and it now costs way more than that. This is notice to everyone that you no longer have to be held hostage by Berkeley Bagels and Manhattan Bagels (1789 4th Street, Berkeley) in order to get a little smoked whitefish salad for your bagels. Note that this salad is not chunky, rather very smooth, with no preservative aftertaste that almost all other commercially prepared smoked fish salads have.
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