By Bao Ong | December 7, 2015 | Food & Drink
The 40-foot counters of fresh seafood at Citarella have long been New York’s go-to source for everything from local oysters to swordfish from the faraway coast of South Africa. But in mid-September, access to that fresh seafood became available to everyone in the continental U.S. with Citarella’s new seafood shipping service, which allows consumers to order world-class seafood and have it delivered to their doorsteps—overnight. The source for all this quality seafood can be traced back to the world-famous Fulton Fish Market, situated right in Citarella’s New York City backyard.
Citarella owner Joe Gurrera at the Fulton Fish Market.
For generations, fishmongers from around the world have made the Fulton Fish Market one of the largest around. It’s where everyone from chefs to seafood retailers comes to find the best seafood with no middleman. The 400,000-square-foot market now located in the Bronx at the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center is now the second largest seafood market in the world.
For over 35 years, Citarella owner Joe Gurrera has trekked to the Fulton Fish Market daily to seek out the best products. He says he’s self-taught and garnered most of his knowledge about seafood from fishermen and restaurateurs. This allows him to discern the freshest, most desirable seafood—for example, in early November, Joe spotted plump Nantucket bay scallops that were just in season. To further solidify its commitment to incredibly fresh seafood, Citarella also opened Meat Without Feet, which supplies seafood to restaurants, in 2007.
Inside the Fulton Fish Market.
Joe goes to the market around midnight and can spend three to four hours in the sprawling warehouse-like space, where boxes, palates, and bins show off the latest catch. This unrivaled access means Citarella sources some of the best seafood available. Joe also purchased the wholesale seafood company Lockwood & Winant in 1984. This has allowed Citarella stores to feature an even wider selection of seafood.
The Fulton Fish Market offers something from all over the world, Joe says. “The fact that you have this hub and that everything comes into it, you get seafood from every place,” he explains. “There’s no place like it. We’re very fortunate.”
All the pristine seafood that Citarella sources can be traced back to Joe, who ensures Citarella uses the same detailed care in handling its seafood as it does in carefully selecting it. Fishmongers cut the seafood by hand for each order and every delivery is carefully hand-packed with ice. Citarella’s experts use refrigerated rooms and copious amounts of ice to store the seafood, and your order arrives—fresh and delicious—overnight.
Exclusive offer: Readers will receive $25 off their order ($75 minimum) through January 15, 2016 using code NM25.