[Photo: STUFF Boston]
Chef and Iron chef contestant Ming Tsai responded via Facebook to the Globe's accusation that he mislabels fish at Blue Ginger as reported by Grub Street. The chef admits to selling sablefish as butterfish but says that he does so because "butter" sounds more like something you want to eat than "sable." Plus, he says, even the FDA approves of the linguistic switcheroo.
"If you have read the article, the salient point that was made is that restaurants and supermarkets are substituting fish of lesser cost and quality for a more expensive fish, tricking the consumer into paying more for an inferior product.
Technically, there is a butterfish, but that is a small, flat fish, typically used for bait and costs $2 to $3 per pound. I pay upwards of $20 per pound for my sablefish. Why would I want to call an expensive fish like sablefish by the name of a much lesser quality bait fish?"
The Globe conducted a five month study including DNA tests of 83 restaurant fish: a whopping (flopping?) 48% turned out to be different fish than what their menus had claimed. Or did they?