What do we mean when we say…

General     Fish Terms     Shellfish Terms     Sourcing     Aquaculture/Sustainability     Texture     Taste     Fat/Oil Content     Health     Cooking Terms


Meet your friendly fish guru! Get to know him well, because he’s your go-to guy on all things seafood, from filleting a fish to cooking suggestions. Our fishmongers also oversee handling and shipping seafood, making sure it arrives to you as fresh as an ocean breeze!

Fresh Prepared Foods:
Here’s your next delicious, no-hassle meal! When the 8-hour workday feels like a 12-hour one, it’s comforting to know you can always rely on our fresh chef-prepared foods to feed you and your family, giving you more time for everything else!

This is our one-word mantra. We take freshness VERY seriously, so you can always expect that our products have met our standard of excellence in cleanliness and safety. Did you know we curate our produce? For every shipment of fruits and vegetables that comes into our store, we handpick the best ones for you to enjoy.

Ice Packs / Coolant:
To maintain freshness and quality, we use ice packs (coolants) to keep your food fresh, whether it’s shipped nationwide, a grab n’ go or an at-home delivery.

Flex those creative culinary muscles by experimenting with different cooking methods, such as baking, grilling, sautéing or braising. Which is your favorite?

When we talk quality, we’re talking about providing you with the freshest, tastiest food you’ll find anywhere. In fact, our chefs use the same fabulous ingredients for our prepared foods that YOU buy in our store!

This is our promise that when you shop with us, you’re getting top-notch gourmet food every single time.

Fish Terms

Boned Whole (Butterflied) "B":Butchering

Make your life a little easier and let us do the ‘dirty work.’ We’ll scale a fish and remove all those pieces you don’t want to eat, including the center bone. This cut is excellent for stuffing a fish. We take care to remove the pin bones, but if one gets by, just press your tongue to the roof of your mouth to remove it.

Butchering Options:
You get to choose how you want your whole fish cut. Steak or fillet? Extra parts for stock? You decide.

Butterflied Head and Tail Off "C":
A whole fish, bones removed, with the head and tail removed. Available only for local deliveries and pickup orders.

Butterflied Head On–Tail Off:
A whole fish, bones removed, with the head left on. Available only for local deliveries and pickup orders.

Butterflied Head Off–Tail On:
A whole fish, bones removed, with the tail left on. Available only for local deliveries and pickup orders.

Fillet "D":
Saute, pan fry or bake this slender cut of fish. We cut vertically from head to tail, removing the large bone, leaving you with a perfect, cleaned fillet.

Just Cleaned, Head and Tail Off:
A cleaned whole fish with both its head and tail removed.

Just Cleaned, Head and Tail On (Whole Fish Just Cleaned):
Our fishmonger guts and scales the whole fish, giving it a gentle rinse. It’s ready to be seasoned and cooked!

Just Cleaned, Head Off–Tail On:
This cleaned whole fish has the tail on, but the head has been removed. Available only for local deliveries and pickup orders.

Just Cleaned, Head On–Tail Off:
This cleaned whole fish has the head on, but the tail has been removed. Available only for local deliveries and pickup orders.

A cut of seafood that is based on personal preference. You decide the size, weight and number of pieces you want. For example, a whole salmon can be cut into pieces according to your specifications.

Pin Bones Removed:
We’ll remove a fish’s slippery, needle-like bones for you.  *This is not available for delicate fish, and only for local deliveries and pickup orders.

We recommend the following:

Whole Fish

      - 3/4 to 1 lbs of raw fish per person

Fillets and Steaks

      - 8-10 ounces raw weight per person


      - 8-10 ounces per person

Cooked Mussels and Clams

      - 3-6 pieces for appetizer or 8-12 pieces as main course

Raw Oysters and Clams

      - 6 pieces for appetizer or 12 pieces as main course


    - 3 pieces for appetizer or 6 as main course

Skin Off:Steaks-glossary
We’ll take the skin off most fillets, free of charge.

Steak "E":

Broil, grill or even pan fry this meaty cut of fish. We cut across the backbone, horizontally, leaving a thick round piece with the skin still on.
In some the bone remains and others are boneless.

Whole Fish "A":
We like to give you the option to prepare your fish any way you please, so we sell these whole fish not yet cleaned, with the head and tail on.


Shellfish Terms

Cleaned & Cooked Shrimp:
Cooked shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. Ready to serve, and perfect for shrimp cocktail.

Cleaned & Raw Shrimp:
Uncooked shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. Ready to cook!


We cook and crack open lobsters or crabs so that you have easy access to the meat inside. Great for parties! Only available for local delivery and in-store pickup, no shipping.

Cracked & Split:
We cook lobsters, crack the claws, and split the body and tail.

Half Shell "G":Glossary-shucked
We’ll open oyster or clams and leave the meat sitting on the bottom shell. These tasty morsels are eaten raw. Only available for local delivery and in-store pickup, no shipping.

Shells on the Side:
After we’ve shucked clams or oysters, we set the shells to the side. Sometimes the shells are used to decorate, or for baking oysters and clams.

Shucked "F":
We open oyster or clamshells and save the meaty morsels for you to eat.

Soft Shell Crabs:
Crispy and succulent, soft shell crabs are generally blue crabs that recently molted and have new shells that are still soft and edible. Our fishmongers will clean them for you so just coat them in flour and spices for a lovely fry-up!

This refers mainly to lobsters. We’ll cook and cut them in half for you. On request, we’ll also split open raw lobsters. Only available for local delivery and in-store pickup, no shipping.

Steamed Lobsters:
Cooked lobsters are available for next-day shipment. Arrives fresh and cold-packed, ready to eat.

These popular soft-shell clams have thin, elongated shells and are often steamed and served with a delicious broth.



Our seafood that has been caught or raised in the United States.

Fresh Water:
We catch and raise seafood that lives in freshwater, such as lakes, rivers and streams.

Our seafood that has been caught or raised outside the United States.

We catch and raise seafood that lives in saltwater, such as seas, bays and oceans.


Aquaculture / Sustainability

Also known as aquaculture, farmers culture wild stock in controlled areas for a consistent product. These can range from in-land pens to open ocean, depending on the species. The benefit is control over feed type, environment, even the end weight of the fish.

Kosher Friendly:
We have a great selection of kosher friendly fish—such as halibut, salmon or herring—so that our observant friends can enjoy fresh seafood all year round, including during the Jewish holidays.

Modified-Wild Culture:
This refers to shellfish that have been seeded in the wild, instead of farmed or caught wild. It can also apply to game fish, such as pike, which can be farmed to replenish wild stocks. Professionals have been using this method to restock lakes and oceans, or clean out water that has been polluted.

We offer fish that were fed organic, natural ingredients in safe enclosures and are free of genetically modified products.

We have a wide variety of seafood that has been caught in the open waters. Wild seafood is less consistent, but often have a more nuanced flavor. You will find all these items throughout the site identified as “Wild”.



Big Flakes:
Large, leafy pieces of cooked fish that break off delicately.

Rich, smooth and creamy.

A supple, vigorous texture that’s usually full of flavor.

A soft and fluffy consistency with very fine flakes.

Very fine flesh that breaks off delicately in small pieces.

A full-bodied texture that resembles steak.

Meaty morsels that are supple, full and juicy.

Melts in the mouth! Juicy, moist and rich.

Soft and juicy, comes apart with ease.

Downright decadent! Like satin on the tongue. Silky smooth and creamy.



A distinct, rich ocean flavor for the more adventurous palate.

Bright, savory and clean like a fresh ocean breeze.


Mineral / Metallic:
A bright, clean taste, reminiscent of copper or fresh spring water filtered through stones.

Pronounced / Mildly Pronounced:
A pleasant, distinct flavor. Nothing quite like it.

Full-bodied, luxurious, bursting with flavor.

Upfront and unapologetic. Usually imbued with natural oils, it’s savory and juicy. Stands up to strongly flavored sauces or garnishes.

Satisfying, hits all the right places. Usually associated with salt or comfort foods like homemade soup.

Sea Flavor:
A clean, inspired flavor of the surf and tides. A siren call of sweet and salt.

An ethereal taste on the tip of the tongue, worth savoring for longer to parse out the nuances.

Delicate and pure. A wholesome impression of blue oceans, a wafting sea breeze.

A basic taste along with sweet, sour, salty and bitter that’s often overlooked. Pleasantly savory, brothy or meaty. Foods that are strong in umami are rare and often treasured.


Fat/Oil Content

Fish with a robust texture that doesn’t dry out much with intense cooking like grilling, like Swordfish.

Fish that is low in fat but high in protein. Because of lower fat, they tend to be milder in taste. Halibut is a great example.

Fish with a satisfying mouthfeel, but not too heavy or cloying, such as Snapper.

Oily fish such as Mackerel are juicy, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and often bursting with flavor! They’re also a great source of Vitamins A and D.

A consistency that is velvety-soft, rich and occasionally feathery, such as Cod.



Heart Healthy:
We carefully curate our gourmet selection with foods proven to keep your heart in top form. Items with this label contain vital nutrients like niacin, calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids that revitalize your arteries and protect against heart disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
This is the good stuff! Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oil and contain essential nutrients for great health. These nutrients help control blood clots and builds cell membranes in the brain. They also protect against heart disease. Since our bodies can’t make Omega-3s, we need to get them through food…like fish!


Cooking Terms

Cook using an oven or other type of dry heat, like hot stones or coals. Generally refers to cakes, pastries, tarts, and also savory items like bread, quiche or meat pies. Interchangeable with “roasting.”

An excellent way to add a caramelized, delicious browning to any dish. Cook under a high-heat source like a salamander, or “upside down grilling.”

A raw dish of seafood and flavorful ingredients such as lime, cilantro, and hot peppers. Plentiful in Central and South America.

Literally “raw” in the Italian, “pesce crudo” refers to many different recipes of raw fish. Dressing the bite-sized item in flavorful olive oils, herbs, and other seasonings highlights the freshness and natural flavor of fish. Be sure to use seafood from a reputable supplier like Citarella, preferably at the peak of season.

An ancient method of preserving meats and fish. Treat with salt and flavorful seasonings to flavor and preserve food. The dish is considered cooked, but may be improved by additional preparation.

Cook immersed in hot oil or fat. This is usually done with a breaded item, because the air pockets in the breading protect the food from too much heat in the oil.

Cook over a high heat source, usually to produce some charring or “grill marks.” Do not move food immediately after placing on the grill, because the grill will stick. Give it time, and the grill marks will protect the rest of the food from the hot metal, and add a great flavor.

Mise en Place:
A French term meaning “Everything in its Place.” This is a philosophy of serious chefs and home cooks alike: to have all your ingredients prepared, cut, or dressed before attempting a cooking procedure. This extends to the placement of those items, within easy reach for the right moment to add to a dish. Reduces stress, keeps cooks safe and makes better-tasting food!

This method creates a flavorful browned surface, and is suitable to thin, delicate fish like flounder. Cook large pieces of food, such as fillets, in a pan with very little oil, flipping once or twice.

Start an item in the pan as if pan-frying, then finish in an oven. The ambient heat of an oven can cook a thicker, more robust item like steak or swordfish without burning, and creates a lovely caramelized exterior.

A great way to cook any fish, but especially catfish and salmon! Cook an item immersed in a flavorful liquid, generally at lower temperatures. Some options include milk, stock, or the classic court bouillon.

Interchangeable with bake, usually for proteins like meats or poultry. Cooking in a hot, dry space produces a flavorful, browned crust and an easily gauged doneness.

Cook in a pan quickly at high heat, with very little oil, generally with medium-sized pieces of food like shrimp. A good sauté cook will cut and prepare everything before even touching a pan; this is known as mise-en-place in a professional kitchen.

Engulf in smoke (.i.e. hardwood, tea, peat) to flavor and preserve an item. The gentle heat from the smoke is enough to cook the item slowly, as in the case of barbecue.

A healthy way to prepare fish and vegetables! Cook with the vapor from continuously boiling water or flavored liquid. This method tends to preserve the innate nutrients of any food for your benefit. Prop up a metal dish over boiling water in a pan, or cover an item together with flavorful liquids to go in the oven.

To slowly simmer in a stock or broth for a rich, deep flavor. Fish stews like Bouillabaisse are the perfect comfort food.

Fry small pieces of food at very high heat, very quickly, generally in a wok for Asian dishes. Mise-en-place is critical here, so prepare all your garnishes, sauces and plates beforehand!

Good stock is the difference between a three-star restaurant and a four-star one. A flavorful liquid made with animal bones/parts and/or aromatic vegetable, and a vital part of any sauce or soup.

A raw dish, usually seafood, expertly cut and served with condiments like wasabi, preserved ginger and soy. Sushi is a similar dish, but the focus is on the rice, with the seafood or other garnish serving to highlight. Be sure to use seafood from a reputable supplier like Citarella, preferably at the peak of season.