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Warning: Watch out for "Butterfish" in the Hawaiian Islands...


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Warning: Watch out for "Butterfish" in the Hawaiian Islands...

RWCFoodie | Feb 11, 2009 02:11 PM

This has been discussed on Chowhound many times but I don't recall seeing it mentioned specifically about Hawaii...

I bought some fish the other day that was labeled "Butterfish" in the counter display at a highly praised fish market in the Honokowai area of West Maui. It didn't look like the "Butterfish" I buy at home in Northern California. I asked the counter person about it and he said it's the same thing.... We had a bit more conversation but never did he say that what he was selling was actually Escolar!

In case you're not familiar with Escolar, it is delicious but belongs to a family of fish that are very rich and actually contain a type of fat that is not digestible - in fact, it causes gastric difficulties much like Olestra... Basically, it gives you diarrhea and can really mess up your khakis - and this can go on for a couple of days! Not what anyone wants while on vacation (or any other time for that matter).

I'm very familiar with the gastric complications one can have from eating Escolar and if I had known that was what he was selling me, I never would have bought it.

BEWARE - look out for "Butterfish", "Oil Fish", "White Tuna" or "Walu" which all seem to be names that are used for this fish. It's really a shame because it is delicious...

Here are a couple of links to the subject:

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