Mr. here…. I had to jump in on this one, as it’s kind of near and dear to my heart. You see, as a kid a loved sharks. I had about a hundred books all about sharks (back when I used to read) and could rattle off facts to you about them for hours. I used to root for Jaws in the movies. They are scary, exciting, beautiful, and amazing creatures.
How many of you have heard that theme song from Jaws playing in the back of your head even though you were in a fresh water lake with a better chance of being struck by lightning while winning the lottery than having a shark eat you? You still have about a thousand percent better chance of getting into a car accident and dying on the way to the beach than you do being bit by a shark in the ocean. Still it’s hard to not think about it when you are out there and can’t touch the bottom, ain’t it??
Over the last 20 years we have come a long way in our relationship with sharks. With the popularity of “Shark Week” on Discovery, and other documentaries it seems that there is a growing appreciation and fascination for these misunderstood and awesome predators. It’s at the top of my bucket list is to see a Great White in the wild, in the water, in a cage of course…. One of heroes is a guy named Mike Rutzen. The guy grabs 15 foot Great Whites on the dorsal fin and swims with them. And he puts 7 foot reef sharks in “tonic” while balancing them in his hand straight up and down by their nose like a baseball bat. Not joking, google it, it’s seriously amazing. You might think crazy, I say genius. Probably won’t live too long though, just not much room for error there, you really can’t have a “bad day” in that occupation.
Even stranger to some, and somewhat taboo, is that for the last 2 years or so, in my supermarkets shark has been frequently available and surprisingly very cheap. You can pick it up on sale for $3.99 per pound, on average it’s around $7 to $9, which in comparison to $20+ for some Ahi Tuna or Sea Bass, it’s a crazy good deal. And it kind of hurts me to say…. delicious. I have a totally different infatuation with sharks now… eating them. Kind of weird at first, but I’m over it now. It is probably my favorite fish to grill because you can treat it like red meat. It will also do really well braised in the oven with some white wine and capers. It takes fantastically well to a good marinade with herbs and the right amount of acid, citrus, vinegar, or both. It’s fork tender, and when cooked properly is one of the most juicy delicious cuts of protein you can eat. And healthy! There is very little to no fat, compared to salmon. So as a life long admirer of the shark and an avid culinary enthusiast I feel the best way I can pay tribute to this apex predator is to cook it on an open flame with some fresh ingredients and really good booze. This is my ode to shark, here’s to you Jaws!