Chincoteague Seafood – Atlantic Puffer Fish


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Chesapeake Bay, VA


Chincoteague Seafood

Atlantic Puffer Fish


There is always an initial worry when someone mentions puffer fish, but you have nothing to fear when indulging in the delicious Atlantic variety of these tiny, tasty little fish.  Locally known as sugar toads due to their succulent flavor, the Atlantic puffer fish migrates along the coast during the fall and enters the local waters behind Chincoteague Island and into the Bay.  Commercial fishermen, who use crab pots baited with cooked crabs discarded by local crab picking houses, harvest them daily in water that is less than five feet deep.  You only eat the tail meat, which is firm, mild, and very sweet.  They can be eaten raw, fried, or sautéed, and due to their chicken-like flavor they make a healthy alternative to chicken wings.  While their Pacific cousin, the poisonous fugu of Japanese fame, may offer a deadly bite, the Atlantic sugar toad will only deliver a delicious meal and maybe a full belly.


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