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Thread: Eating Barracuda

  1. #1
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    Eating Barracuda

    Hello everyone! My husband and I will be heading down to Aruba next month, and one of the items I want him to try is Barracuda. Being raised on the Gulf Coast, he has heard horror stories of Ciguartera poisoning. I remember fishing for, and eating barracuda all the time when I was a child on the island, but he's still not convinced he should try this delicious fish. Being Aruba experts, what do you think of this? Is it really an issue with the larger reef fish surrounding the island? If so, how do the restaurants get away with serving it? What restaurants would you recommend for his first intro to barracuda? I remember it being a pretty bony fish, and would hate for him to get a bone stuck in his throat (he'd never listen to me again!). Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    NO concerns!

    we have eaten barracuda often in aruba

    we have had it at wacky wahoo, driftwood and buccaneer.

    it is a non issue, the fish is mild and white and it is no more bony that grouper, haddock, cod filets.

    i am unsure what you mean by "how do restaurants get away with serving it?"

    maybe as a young person on aruba, you were not eating filets of barracuda, but whole fried or baked and you had to pick through it?

    that is not how it is served in the 3 restaurants that i mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by hmitchell_travelplanner View Post
    Hello everyone! My husband and I will be heading down to Aruba next month, and one of the items I want him to try is Barracuda. Being raised on the Gulf Coast, he has heard horror stories of Ciguartera poisoning. I remember fishing for, and eating barracuda all the time when I was a child on the island, but he's still not convinced he should try this delicious fish. Being Aruba experts, what do you think of this? Is it really an issue with the larger reef fish surrounding the island? If so, how do the restaurants get away with serving it? What restaurants would you recommend for his first intro to barracuda? I remember it being a pretty bony fish, and would hate for him to get a bone stuck in his throat (he'd never listen to me again!). Thanks for your input!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    NO concerns!

    we have eaten barracuda often in aruba

    we have had it at wacky wahoo, driftwood and buccaneer.

    it is a non issue, the fish is mild and white and it is no more bony that grouper, haddock, cod filets.

    i am unsure what you mean by "how do restaurants get away with serving it?"

    maybe as a young person on aruba, you were not eating filets of barracuda, but whole fried or baked and you had to pick through it?

    that is not how it is served in the 3 restaurants that i mentioned.

    My father would prepare and cook it at home, so chances are he didn't know how to properly filet it, lol (not surprising since he grew up in the midwest). I asked about the restaurants because I have heard anecdotal stories of small restaurants in the Florida Keys and I believe Cozumel being shut down for serving bad fish... Again, it's all hearsay, he said she said stories, but my normally food adventurous husband is having second thoughts.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    This article gives additional information, including:
    Prevention
    Avoid eating reef fish over 2.7 kg / 6 lbs or filets of large fish.
    Do not eat the liver, intestines, heads, and roe of smaller reef fish

    https://www.iamat.org/risks/ciguatera-fish-poisoning

  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    aw heck, the head and guts are my favorite parts!
    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyd14 View Post
    This article gives additional information, including:
    Prevention
    Avoid eating reef fish over 2.7 kg / 6 lbs or filets of large fish.
    Do not eat the liver, intestines, heads, and roe of smaller reef fish

    https://www.iamat.org/risks/ciguatera-fish-poisoning

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyd14 View Post
    This article gives additional information, including:
    Prevention
    Avoid eating reef fish over 2.7 kg / 6 lbs or filets of large fish.
    Do not eat the liver, intestines, heads, and roe of smaller reef fish

    https://www.iamat.org/risks/ciguatera-fish-poisoning
    Yep, I'm good with NOT eating their assorts "innards"...

  7. #7
    Senior Member LeaveTheKidsWithMom's Avatar
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    I wouldn't eat it, that disease can mess you up big time. Its not worth the risk but it does make great bait.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyd14 View Post
    This article gives additional information, including:
    Prevention
    Avoid eating reef fish over 2.7 kg / 6 lbs or filets of large fish.
    Do not eat the liver, intestines, heads, and roe of smaller reef fish

    https://www.iamat.org/risks/ciguatera-fish-poisoning
    I'll stick with a good steak....!

  9. #9
    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
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    After reading Tracey's link, we might be eating a lot less grouper and other fish from now on in Aruba. At least shellfish doesn't seem to be affected.

  10. #10
    Senior Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    I ate quite a large portion of barracuda in one meal, about the quantity more appropriate for about four adults. This was 7 months ago and I am fine, I hope. But now Iím developing hypochondriasis over this topic.

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