WHAT IS TROLL CAUGHT?
Trolling is a method of fishing popular in Southeast Alaska for its ability to target specific species, reducing the amount of damaging bycatch, and for the great degree of care it allows for each individual fish caught. Trolling is a hook-and-line fishery, every fish is caught with baited hooks and brought into the boat by hand, meaning there is no damage or stress to the meat from being crushed in large nets or dropped onto the deck.
WHAT IS FROZEN-AT-SEA?
Frozen-at-Sea (FAS) is a modern method of off shore processing designed to remove any delay between the catching, processing and preserving of the fish. We demand that each fish is cleaned and moved to the freezer within forty-five minutes of being landed. Once in the freezer there is a detailed procedure which maintains the fish at sub-zero temperatures.
Once a fish is landed it is headed and gutted on the boat. We then use a pressurized washing system to fully evacuate all blood from the fish's circulatory system. There are two reasons for making sure the fish is entirely blood free before being frozen. The first is that the blood is the prime location for fostering bacterial growth. By removing all blood the chances of decay occurring during thawing are greatly reduced. Secondly, the presence of blood in the meat gives that distinctly "fishy" flavor which is not, in fact, something which should be present in a prime fillet.
After the fish has been thoroughly cleaned it is given a secondary rinse and scrubbed to remove any clinging blood or processing matter. The fish are then laid out on metal trays and placed in the fish-hold. Rather than the traditional tubs filled with ice, this fish-hold is an insulated blast-freezer kept between twenty and thirty degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Once the core temperature of the fish are stable they are moved on to the glazing process.
Glazing is the way we protect a frozen fish from the damaging effects of very low temperatures. The benefits of blast freezing are that - unlike chilling on ice, which only slows the process of decay - it thoroughly kills and prevents the presence of any bacteria or microbes. The drawback is that it gradually dehydrates the fish through a process similar to freeze drying, resulting in freezer burn after enough time. Glazing is the way we correct for this dehydration. Each frozen fish is dipped in a saltwater brine. The glaze is effectively a cryogenic chamber which protects the cell structure of the meat from damage until it is ready to be thawed and prepared. Once the fish is thawed the glaze will melt and can be easily rinsed off before cooking or any final processing.