The pros: Trader Joe's Dover Sole is an item I've only noticed a handful of times at Trader Joe's, but it is one that is worth of reaching for especially if you like a delicate fish.
The cons: Can be hard to find at times or at least my Trader Joe's did not carry it often.
The verdict: Fish is one of the hardest things to tell anything about unless you have a reliable fish monger. Unless you are buying whole fish, it is hard to tell what the fillets are without a trained eye. Even the New York Times wrote about the fact that fish are frequently mislabelled. As a consumer, the best I can do is hope that everything here is labelled correctly so I can make the best decision possible.
Now, I happened to have spent some time binge watching Good Eats and in a random cosmic occurrence, one of the episodes I watched was called "Flat is Beautiful III." They spent some time discussing Dover Sole. They said, "and for those of you who are actually curious about real Dover Sole, here he is straight from England. Very expensive, very perishable, and most of what comes to the United States ends up in restaurants. But if you ever get a chance to try one, ooooh, it's good."
So I started questioning both this packaging and what the show mentioned. Because this package is very clear, it's wild caught from the USA. So either Alton Brown's discussion was off or I was losing my mind. Well, according to FishWatch.gov Dover Sole is actually a sustainable fish from the USA. It's a funny looking fish, but sustainable.
As for the very expensive, clearly this wasn't at $5.10 for my package or $6.99 per pound. But as for that last part this was some really, really good fish. Most of the fish I consume tends to me flounder. There was a big difference here. It was noticeable. It was delicious.
Even though this was frozen, once defrosted it was superb. Even though my package was under a pound, there were five lovely fillets in the one pack. They were everything the package says to expect: mild, sweet and almost buttery. These are delicate fillets so be somewhat ready some of them to be fall apart tender.
I went the path of pan frying these. This package was gone in a day. There was nothing I did not enjoy about these. I'll enjoy them a bit more now that I know they are sustainable, tasty, and well, Lent and the meatless Fridays are almost upon us. Worth picking up if you enjoy fish. This sole is special.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The package of Trader Joe's Dover Sole:
The nutritional information and the ingredients:
How to prepare (from the card in the package):
After being cooked you get:
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Dover Sole again. It is a delicious fish, reasonably priced with a lovely flavor.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
Pacific Dover sole is a flounder that was renamed due to the superficial similarity to true Dover sole. The original name is slime sole. It is a very good, but expensive fish. However it pales in comparison to true Dover sole, which is a true sole, not a flounder and one of the best fish I've ever tried. My local TJ's has this but it was in the freezer so long the fillets were cracked and broken.
I'm so glad you stopped by to shed some light on this. I don't think I'm any more well versed in buying fish than the average consumer. Do you have any articles from your blog on this that you could share?