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Answers to Common Porgy Questions

For many years porgy, also known as scup, was largely ignored by local fish catchers on the east coast. Much more similar to snapper than anything else, porgy has since become a favorite selection for its ability to adapt to most flavor profiles and its current large and wild population.

7 Things You Should Know About Porgy

There are still a lot of questions many have about porgy however. Because it has become the catch-of-the-day so recently, many of the cooking facts we know about salmon, halibut, tuna, snapper, and other seafood are not commonly understood about this east coast fish. Thankfully, those answers are easily found here:

  • What is the Flavor of Porgy? – Porgy, also called scup, has a mild and sweet flavor with white, tender meat. The skin easily crisps and flakes with a delicious finish, and the fish overall is commonly compared to snapper in terms of flavor and quality.
  • Does Porgy Have a Lot of Bones? – It is important to know that porgy does have a lot of small bones. When choosing your fish, it is good to try and buy larger porgy. This will result in a better meat to bone ratio, and make the bones much easier to remove when preparing.
  • Is Porgy Good for You? – Rich in vitamins B6 and B12, as well as niacin and phosphorus, porgy has quite a bit of nutritional value. As a lean fish it is also low in sodium, while a great source of low-fat protein.
  • Is Porgy a Red Snapper? – While commonly referred to as white snapper along the gulf coast, porgy itself is not a true snapper. Despite having many similarities to red snapper, porgy is part of over 100 species of fish called seabream, while snappers are part of an inland variation referred to as bream.
  • How Long is Porgy Good For? –Cooked porgy can be stored for roughly three days in most household refrigerators. However, if you want to freeze your porgy, it will last a little over a month before the texture and flavor are affected by the cold.
  • Where are Porgy found? – Abundant from Massachusetts and Long Island down to Cape Canaveral in the Florida Keys, porgy is a populous east coast fish. They prefer reef habitats, ranging from 100 to 240 feet deep.
  • How Do You Cook Porgy? – Any way you want to, honestly. We have a great recipe guide here that covers some of the more classic uses of scup, but truly if there is a seafood dish you enjoy, porgy can most likely be used in the recipe with minimal tweaking.
  • Is Porgy Hallucinogenic? – Salema porgy can contain hallucinogenic toxins. Native to the African east coast, these are not the porgy or scup we are discussing in this article, but they are commonly mistaken for our porgy in conversation, so we feel it is important to make the distinction. Scientists have equated the effect of these toxins to the same as taking LSD, causing days of potentially scary and vivid hallucinations. Salema porgy is not a fish you will ever be served, but it is important to know the difference.

So, as the food industry pursues new flavor profiles and recipes based upon the once overlooked but always delicious porgy, it is important that we understand the seafood we are working with. Our friendly scup makes a delightful substitution when snapper or tilapia is unavailable or overpriced. We hope you find many ways to enjoy this slightly sweet finish as it makes its way to your fish markets, restaurants, home kitchens, and plate.

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