Wahoo, which is also known as ono in Hawaii, is a white-fleshed fish related to king mackerel. In the Caribbean and in Central America, it's known as peto. Recently, a reader asked where he could find wahoo since he had enjoyed this fish during a dinner at his neighbor's house. That neighbor, a fisherman, had caught the fish.
Wahoo is a highly prized game fish, but this fast-swimming fish often travels alone or in small schools, making it more difficult to find. Additionally, wahoo is not a seasonal fish. Buying a specific fish, especially a game fish, can be tricky in Charlotte. But here's a tip: Inland Seafood. Although Inland is a wholesale facility, they also sell directly to customers.
Inland Seafood's Jeremy Harwell tells me that they typically have fish, such as cobia, that cannot be found elsewhere — except in restaurants. Although Inland have had wahoo this summer, they currently do not. They may again soon, though. You will need to call to find out availability.
Inland does have other fish you won't find at grocery store fish counters. One is the North Carolina triggerfish. This is a disk-shaped fish, as well as an aquarium fish that can't be scaled. A skinless filet of triggerfish is $11.99/lb. Inland also has tripletail, a warm water bass-like marine fish found this time of year off the southern Atlantic coastline. Harwell describes this as a "steak" fish, like grouper; it sells for $9.60/lb for a skinless filet and is sold as a two-pound side.
Where to find Wahoo: Inland Seafood, 3725 N. Davidson St. 704-332-3474. Cash only.
Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the QC? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-522-8334, ext 136.