seas are always gutted, because the FDA only allows them into the country with their entrails already removed.
Just to get some background information before we explore selling fish before Pesach, can you tell us from where fish stores get their supply of fish all year? Most fish stores purchase their fish from a heimishe supplier in Brooklyn, who sells most varieties of fish. Then there’s the Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, which is one of the largest fish markets in the world. (Opened in 1822, the Fulton Fish Market has been around for almost 200 years and is known for its history of mafia affiliation, though today the city has got that under control. The Fulton Fish Market was covered in depth in Issue 61 of The Monsey View.) While some fish stores purchase all of their fish at the market (open from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. each morning — the early bird catches the fish!), others go to the market only when they’re looking for specific varieties of fish.
Are the fish whole at the time of purchase? Most fish displayed at the market or sold through other avenues come gutted, though not clean. Fish that come from over-
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What changes during the Erev Pesach season? How do minhagim and kashrus concerns come into play? The reasoning behind most Pesach minhagim in regard to fish goes back to how fish was processed back “in der heim.” In Europe, the usual method of ensuring that fish remained fresh until they were purchased for consumption involved smearing alcohol over the fish to preserve it. That, of course, presented a problem vis-à-vis chometz. Nowadays, this mesorah of fish presenting a chashash chometz is the reason a fair percent of the heimish population eat falshe fish on Pesach, or eat fish under the condition that it was seen alive at the time of purchase.
The Monsey View