Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 87 - George Leonard & the Fish Business

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1995/8/1 (159 reads)

sometimes re-sold under cost. Oh, lots of times. (Why would that happen?) Markets would be changing in New York where your fillets in particular would be going fresh. And the guy said they're only worth so much money--16C a pound or some bloody thing. So you'd lose money on that partic? ular day's work. It could very easily hap? pen. Nobody got very rich in the fish business, basically, as far as.... (But I take it, whatever they brought to shore, you'd have to buy.) If the quality was there, they would expect you to buy it. There was never any question about that. Never any question. It provided a reasonable living for pretty well everybody that was involved. That's about the size of it. (But they could rely on you, that you would be there to buy. And you would buy.) Oh, absolutely. You couldn't ever say, "Well, I can't take your fish today, but I'll take it tomor? row" --they'd throw you overboard! Never even thought of that. If you were going to have that attitude, you wouldn't start. No, you had to take the good with the bad --they expected that. But there was a lot of competition on--as I say, swordfish is the first thing that comes to mind. But other than that. It was interesting. Those swordfish, they used to stand them up in a truck--they looked like dead men. Standing up, lean? ing, in these great big refrigerator trucks,, all covered with ice--boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Thirty thousand pounds of them. And Allan's Ice Company would come with those great big ice blowers, blow ice right over the whole load. We used to fillet a lot of those, too--two great big swordfish fillets. No bones in a swordfish--only the backbone. And you'd just take these two great big slabs. Lay the big fish wide open and just take the big backbone and just throw it away. And take the fillet and just trip it up a lit? tle bit. And it was frozen on a piece of metal or a flat board, about 6 feet long and about 2 1/2 feet wide. Then they were taken, after they were frozen--take about two days to freeze that--solid meat. And they were glazed with a chemical glaze to keep the moisture in. Then they were-- cheesecloth wrapped all over that, all over the frozen slab. And then jute was sewn on, a jute bag, was sewn right on the whole thing. Then it was stenciled on top of the jute bag, how many pounds, and what it was. That's the way they were shipped. And they would be taken to a meat market, wherever, and unwrapped, and just put right through the handsaw--boom, boom, boom, boom--you had swordfish steaks. Laughs. Beautiful. (We're not going to see that again for awhile.) Never. And these queer tuna that they send to Japan--I have to laugh. Twen? ty dollars a pound--babies and whatnot else, you know. We used to pay 50 a pound ??0MFgsrafff • h RESIDENTIAL -h COMMERCIAL If you don't like the weather...wait a minute. Fog, rain, and with fall, rapidly Changing temperatures that cause black ice • Nova Scotia's weather challenges drivers. Don't get caught when the weather changes • always drive carefully. CauticHi is critical >c Oepartment of Transportation and Communications 87
Cape Breton's Magazine
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