You may of met him when you answered your door that time and ordered your first delivery of fish from us, we know him as someone who brightens up any room he walks in, but after 17 years (in his estimation) with the company our Keith has called it a day and announced his retirement.
Before he rode off into the sunset, we managed to sit down with him and ask him a few questions.
Regal: How long have you been with Regal Fish?
Keith: Well records say that I started in 2003, but I’m sure I started in 2002 and I’m right, so I’ve been here 17 years!
Regal: What was your favourite part of the job?
Keith: Working with people I’ve come to respect, appreciate, befriend and in a weird way love.
Regal: What’s your fondest memory of your time with Regal Fish?
Keith: Just being able to see people realising their own potential and grow into who they are now.
Regal: And whats the plan now you’ve retired?
Keith: “Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll!”, you don’t know how long you have left so I plan on enjoying myself! But if you need a serious answer, I appreciate art from around the world, so I’d like to travel and experience it for myself.
Regal: Finally, what will you miss most?
Keith: The people! I’ve enjoyed working with everyone and meeting our customers, so that’s what I shall miss the most!
From everyone here at Regal Fish, we will miss him and hope he pops in occasionally in the future and we wish Keith the best with his retirement!
I’m sure you all already know the health benefits of fish. It’s a great source of protein, omega 3 and vitamin D, all believed to be helpful for our bones, skin, eyes and nerves.
The NHS recommends that we consume at least two portions (140g each) of fish a week, with at least one of them being oily fish such as salmon or mackerel
As mentioned fish are a brilliant source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid which has been linked with improved heart health. Oily fish in particular is a great source of omega 3 which is why it’s advised to be one of your two portions a week.
Vitamin D, which we get most of from our own cholesterol when our bodies are exposed to the sun, helps keep bones healthy, and vitamin B2, which is good for the skin, eyes, red blood cells and the nervous system, both of which we can get from consuming fish.
Fish in a Diabetic Diet
It’s common for people with diabetes to have low levels of vitamin D, so including fish in your diet is a great way to add to your vitamin D intake.
Fish also provides some of our energy needs through the protein it contains and as previously mentioned the omega 3 helps keep our hearts healthy.
Scientists and researchers have hypothesised that consumption of fish may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
However, it has not been clear whether fish can be isolated as having a preventative effect and higher fish intakes may instead be a reflection of a better all-round diet.
Here are some useful resources so you can find out how much and what types of fish are good for your specific requirements…
Established in 1984, Norfra A/S produces and exports about 12000 tons each year from the North of Norway. Norfra A/S, based in Troms, is owned by producers, fish farmers, fishermen and employees within the company and predominantly sells White Fish, fillets, king crab and salted fish.
Being one of the larger exporters in the North of Norway, they are constantly up to date with what’s happening on the market. Their dedicated sales team is standing by 24 hours a day to get the best quality for their customers. Buyers and Factory Managers in the factories are in continuous contact with the fishing vessels.
Norfra A/S has built itself upon the quality of the products that are landed by North-Norwegian fishermen, benefitting from a centuries-old tradition, with knowledge and expertise passed down from generation to generation. In addition they work with fishermen, producers and transporters to inform, teach and update them continuously of new regulations and quality standards.
We here at Regal fish are proud to have them as the supplier of our Cod and Haddock knowing that we can always rely on their quality and experience.
You may have seen Sunday’s episode of ‘The Honest Supermarket: What’s Really in our Food’ which followed dietitian Priya Tew and scientist Richard Chivers who is well known for his work within the seafood industry.
Originally aired in July and repeated last week, Richard explained that quite often the fish would be previously frozen and defrosted ready for the fish counter or chiller cabinets and that even the fresh fish can be up to 20 days old.
Whilst the foods standard agency does rule that the information regarding freezing should be provided, the information does not have to be prominent and is usually seen in small letters somewhere on the back of the packaging. Obviously as the fresh fish counters do not offer prepacked product this information isn’t usually supplied unless the customer specifically asks.
Monitoring the age of the fish is usually left to the supermarkets there is no rule or law which states how long the fish can be kept or how old it is. It is very unusual to get sick from eating even old fish as the fish would smell extremely bad before it would get to the point where it would cause harm therefore the supermarkets can usually put longer on the product and certainly if the fish has been ‘gas flushed’.
The general public associate fresh products as being healthier and will pay extra because we perceive the supermarket has had to rush the items from the boats and farms to their stores quickly before they deteriorate. However this isn’t always the case and quite often the fish will be 12-15 days old before the customer picks it up from the chiller..
With an eye on cost alone, and because supermarkets are inherently wasteful because they need to buy more than they expect to sell to keep shelves full, the fish sold at supermarkets is often disappointing. It needs to be asked if shoppers are getting true value for money from their weekly shop at their local chain supermarket.
Here at Regal the fresh seafood we supply is always bought fresh and sold fresh, never frozen and refreshed for the customer. We are in the fortunate position that we have orders in advance and therefore source only the amount that we need for the days deliveries meaning that we do not have ‘left over’ fish and there is no reason to hold frozen fish ready to defrost.
We believe that frozen fish has its advantages but we would argue that fish that has been frozen should be sold frozen giving the customer the best quality and texture. Freezing fish, especially at sea, locks in a lot of vitamins and minerals. But our frozen products are clearly labelled as frozen and we can supply full traceability on the fish and how quickly it was frozen after catch.
The Torry scale which Richard used in the programme for checking the quality and age of the fish is a systematic scoring system originally developed at the ‘Torry Research Station’ which was based at the Central Science Laboratory which is a part of DEFRA.
The Torry Assement can be used on the fresh raw fillets using a visual assessment and taking into account odour also. There is then the cooked fillet ‘Torry Assesment’ which uses the taste and texture along with the odour.
As the Torry assessment looks for certain characteristics it allows a grade for the fish between 10, which is the score given to the freshest fish usually achieved the day or two after catch, down to 3 or below which is where the fish would be spoiled. A torry of 9.5-10 may not be favoured by many as the fish will not taste of anything in particular and the flesh texture may not be favourable.
Here at regal we asses both the fresh and cooked fillets. Each member within our purchasing and technical department, are fully trained to Torry check our products and they taste every intake of fresh fish daily so that we can be assured that our customers will receive the very best seafood available.
The fish is delivered straight into us each day and we would accept a very minimum score of 8 with the majority of our fish achieving a torry score of 9. Many of our customers find that they have to leave our fish in the refrigerator for a day or 2 before the flavours develop.
With 30 years in the industry, we know that our customers value clarity, expertise, quality and value. Our customers are usually expecting to pay slightly more for a premium product so we will do everything we can to ensure that the fish meets with their expectations.
Coley, also known as Saithe, Coalfish, Black Jack and Black Cod, is a member of the cod family.
Typically black to dark green in colour with a white/silver belly, Coley can be found throughout the UK and Irish waters but are more commonly found in North East England and Scotland.
As for diet, they mostly survive on other fish, such as herring, small mackerel, and sand eel.
Their breeding time is in January to March, when they go into deeper water. They also grow fast, reaching 20 to 25 cm long in a year. They can grow up to 1.3 metres in length and live for up to 25 years.
Although the flavour and texture of Coley is comparable to Cod, it is much undervalued due to its grey pink flesh colour, however the flesh does whiten up when cooked. This inexpensive fish is also a more sustainable choice being available all year round, but not being at its best during summer months.
As with most fish, Coley is a great source of protein, a macronutrient you need for building muscle mass, digestion, and producing energy. It is also rich in other nutrients including selenium and vitamin B12. Selenium has antioxidant properties, which means that they can protect your cells from damage. Vitamin B12, which your body is not able to produce on its own, is essential for the formation of DNA and red blood cells and the maintenance of your nervous system.
Coley is available online on our website. It is great for fish pies because of its firm flakes. You can also have it poached, grilled, or fried like in this recipe from Fish is the Dish:
Find Coley on our website here:
Supplier of our traditional smoked Kippers and Mackerel fillets.
Only the best will do for our loyal customers, so here at Regal we bring together the finest fresh and frozen seafood from all over the world.
From PGI status Grimsby Smoked Haddock to East Coast of England Lobsters and Scottish Smoked Salmon from John Ross Junior, supplier to Her Majesty The Queen. Many of our ready prepared products are produced locally to our and using fresh fish taken from our stocks each day.
Those of you that have tried our traditionally smoked Kippers and Mackerel, will agree that Waveney Valley, our artisan producer based in Lowestoft, really do produce the finest products listed on our menu. If you are yet to try them, we particularly recommend the smoked Mackerel, which are pin boned leaving you to enjoy with minimal preparation.
Waveney Valley Smokehouse is the brainchild of Gerry & Glynis Skews who retired to the Suffolk coast 5 years ago in search of an easier life. Gerry had previously founded and run a medical imaging software business in Cambridge and Glynis, a former nurse, had worked for the NHS for many years in child health, which she always claimed was great training for living with Gerry. They came across a closed up smokehouse while out for a walk. The smokehouse was over 150 years old and was a few yards from Britain’s most Easterly place at Ness Point where the River Waveney enters the sea. Lowestoft has a great maritime heritage being connected with the fishing industry for many years. Red Herrings are mentioned in Thomas Nashe’s Lenten of 1599 and it’s a good bet that there was fishing and smoking long before that particular Elizabethan picked up his quill.
Gerry & Glynis thought it would be a great idea to “smoke a few kippers” for friends and family but just to subsidise the enterprise they thought they would sell a few to local fish traders, then to a few wholesalers then they hooked up with us here at Regal and things really started taking off. Now the smokehouse produces a wide range of smoked foods including many types of Herring, Mackerel, Salmon and all of the usual products you would expect from a smokehouse. Output runs to a couple of tons a week and business has grown such that they have acquired and converted the building next door to have the packing and shipping facilities necessary to support the business.
According to Gerry “the real challenge for a traditional business like ours is striving for consistency but the sooner you realise tradition and consistency are mutually incompatible your mind is in a better place. You see, when the wind blows from the North the smoke in the kilns does not vent as intended, and when there’s a sea fog the fish cure more slowly, and when the sun is beating down in the heat of the summer the smoking is different yet again, and when the fish are landed in October, they have a different oil content”. You get the idea!
So we have taken the view that a Kipper smoked in winter is different to the kipper smoked in the summer, and that’s the truth of it, difficult to say which is better, we use the same seasoned English Oak in the same kilns and the same cutting & curing techniques but the products are different. The French would call that a victory for food and come up with a classic Frenchism like “Vive la Difference” we call it traditional, and move on with our “easier life” that starts before dawn every day.
500-600g monkfish, filleted and skinned
8 sprigs of fresh rosemary (kept long for skewering)
100g tomatoes (plum, vine, cherry or a mixture) per person
2 x 125g buffalo mozzarellas
a handful of whole, fresh, bushy basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
a squeeze of lemon juice
Slice the monkfish thinly lengthways down each fillet and cut into 8 lengths. Thread a sprig of rosemary through each one until the whole strip is skewered.
Slice the tomatoes, leaving the smaller ones whole. Arrange on a serving plate with torn-up chunks of mozzarella. Scatter the fresh basil leaves on top and dress with the olive oil (lemon-flavoured oil works well too).
Get your grill or barbecue hot. Brush the monkfish with a little oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and grill for 2-3 minutes per side, allowing the fish to lightly sear and the rosemary to blacken.
Place the monkfish on top of the salad and finish with a further sprinkling of crunchy sea salt, a squeeze of lemon and a little more olive oil.
Courtesy of SeaFish
Halloween – Salmon and Pesto Filo Mummies Special Occasion
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Take Salmon Portions
Spread pesto or passata over the top
Take thin slices of filo pastry and roll around the fish, in ‘bandaged mummy’ style
Pop in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through
Allow to cool for a few minutes before squirting on the little mayo eyes and then Nigella seed eyeballs!
As we all know, some kids can go through phases of being picky eaters and turn their noses up at just about everything, so how do we get them to try and enjoy seafood? Here’s just a few tips:
● Start early…
It’s probably no surprise that
children who are introduced
to seafood at an early age
are more likely to enjoy fish
and eat it regularly. Fish can
be introduced as early as 6
months when the baby is
weaned. Visit www.nhs.uk for
more information and the best types to try.
● Start Simple…
Look for small portions of mild flavoured fish and cook very
simply, adding minimal flavours. See how much your child enjoys
fish in its purest form, especially if you point out the health
benefits. You may be surprised!
● Fish Twist…
Try and substitute the usual meat protein for fish where you can.
Taco Tuesday and Fajita Friday can just as easily include fish and
prawns rather than meat. For children who require a bit more
encouragement, introduce either marinated or breaded and
battered products. Make it exciting, a dip sometimes does the
● Get Hands On…
Children tend to engage more and
enjoy something that they have
helped to create. Why don’t you try
our fish pizza (p6) or even get your
child to help you make a fish pie for
the whole family!
● Be consistent…
Try and encourage seafood twice a week so that it becomes ‘the
norm’. The more familiar something is, the more likely your child
will eat it
If you have some tips on encouraging fussy eaters to give something a try we would love to hear about it, please share your experiences with us!