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Markets & Stores 4

San Jose - L & F Fish Market – Amazing Salted Fish

Krys | Mar 17, 200511:29 PM

This little fish market usually has about a dozen of varieties of salted fish that they make themselves. From huge slabs of salted fish to tiny fish buried in diamond-like crystals of salt.

On my visit yesterday, the salted fish they had included:
Azemona Pretas
Cavecas e Chicharros
Carras de Bachalua

One variety was available in medium, large and extra large fish sizes.

I have no clue what all the above means or how it is used, but it was truly impressive to behold.

They also have some nice fresh fish like huge red rock cod, pretty tiny white perch, catfish and buffalo fish. They had a whole tray of fish heads for sale. You can also buy baby goat.

I guess this shop is well known as I have read that this shop ships orders all over the US.

L & F Fish serves the local Portuguese community and is right across the street from the Portuguese church. There are Portuguese breads, groceries, wines, beer and dairy products. They have Azorean cheese, butter and chocolates.

There are three types (hot, extra hot and dynamite) of the Portuguese version of Tabasco sauce called piri-piri which is made from an African hot pepper. There are baskets of potatoes, taro and dried fava beans.

I guess there is secret stuff in the back locker. I had an encounter with a horrifying looking tuber in a bakery that was called a Portuguese sweet potato. What it really turned out to be was a cooked Taro root. I asked about this and was told he had some in the back.

The taro I had was about the size of a baseball. I considered buying one to bring to the Portuguese chow dinner to show the group. However, the taro root brought out from the cooler was the size of a large cantaloupe. I passed.

In retrospective, probably a good thing. Would have been difficult to cut this up and stuff in cellophane bags for hounds to take home with them. I DO hope people realize I'm saying that tongue in cheek. I really wouldn't make people take home boiled taro root.

I’m not sure how the Portuguese use these cooked taro roots. I haven’t seen them on menus or in cookbooks. I wonder why they are bought pre-cooked. To me it seems like having someone boil your potatoes for you. In anyplace I’ve seen these the English skills weren’t good enough to inquire more.

The also have baked goods from all the five Portuguese bakeries. To my mock despair, that was I found out there were FIVE Portuguese bakeries and not three. There are only so many little cookies you can eat.

On my visit, a nice Portuguese woman was waiting for her salt cod which the fish monger was slicing into small pieces using some sort of saw. She bought a huge box of the fish that the fish vendor hauled to the car. Should have asked her about the salt cod, but got distracted talking about Portuguese cheese with her. It seems neither she or the fish vendor knew that a St. George cheese was made locally. The type they sell is imported from the Azores.

And a few steps away is Kumar's Island Market. Still no kielbasa.

L & F Fish Market
1448 E. Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA
(408) 998-4021


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