PescAgri estimates over EUR 1 billion in spending on fish delicacies between Christmas and Epiphany
29, Dec 2022
The fishing sector is recovering after the two-year pandemic. This is supported by Cia-Agricoltori Italiani and PescAgri, its association of fishermen according to which fish is not lacking on holiday tables, including New Year's Eve. On the other hand, as the organizations point out, Italy is among the main importers in the world and, with an average annual consumption per family of 21 kilos per year, the expenditure for fish-based gastronomic delicacies from Christmas Eve to Epiphany. Furthermore, according to Cia, the prices of this Christmas do not differ significantly from past years, while consumption soars: +20% compared to the same period of 2022.
However, the association recommends the choice of local fish products with a "short supply chain", as they always offer a guarantee of higher quality, with compliance with high standards of safety and environmental protection. In fact, Cia points out that the counters of traditional fishmongers or supermarkets must always include the origin of the fish on sale on the label: whether it is farmed in aquaculture or caught, as well as the areas of production and capture, both in the case of sea and sweets. According to Cia and PescAgri, for about 17 million families, the choice of the fish menu will be oriented towards traditional recipes: the cornerstones of fish consumption during the holidays are molluscs and crustaceans. We ascribe the so-called tentacled ones to the mollusc family, i.e. octopus, cuttlefish and squid. If the former can currently be found on the counters between 20 and 24 Euros per kilo, cuttlefish fluctuate between 12 and 15 Euros per kilo, while local squid can cost 35 Euros per kilo (those of foreign origin and lower quality cost less , on 20 Euros per kilo).
Another shellfish that is the star of the holidays is the clam, which thanks to its variety can satisfy the needs of all budgets: according to experts, the prices range from 12 and 15 Euros per kilo of lupins, to the slightly more expensive cockles (up to 17 Euros per kilo), to get to the sea truffles (30 Euros per kilo), up to the clams that reach even 40 Euros per kilo. And if baby octopus, usually stewed or boiled, cost 30 Euros per kilo, the classic mussels are around 5 Euros per kilo.
Again according to the indications of the experts, imported frozen scampi have a price that fluctuates between 30 and 40 Euros per kilo, while the fresh local ones cost about double. The many varieties of prawns satisfy every need: from 70 Euros per kilo of the prized Mazara red prawns, up to 35 Euros per kilo of second choice product, to then arrive at the prawns, which have a variable cost between 22 and 25 Euros per kilo. The mantis shrimp, to be eaten fried or boiled, costs 18 Euros per kilo, while the American imported lobster reaches a price of 25-30 Euros / kilo and the lobster fluctuates between 100 and 120 Euros per kilo.
As regards other types of fish consumed during the holidays, the price of salmon, the most sought-after for starters, is between 15 and 18 Euros per kilo, according to the CIA, while the seasonal mix for a good fried fish is found on the counters at 10-12 Euros per kilo. Imported sea bass and sea bream are the least expensive products: those imported from Greece and Turkey cost between 8 and 10 Euros per kilo, while domestic ones are around 18-20 Euros per kilo. Going up in price you get to 26 Euros per kilo of turbot, up to 30 Euros per kilo of sole and swordfish, which can go up to a maximum of 35 Euros per kilo.