If you eat in a restaurant, shop in a local grocery, or dine in a hotel, banquet hall, or other food service venue, the chances are good that the fruits and vegetables in your meal passed through the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market. And, if you dined on fish, crabs, or other seafood, it was likely shipped to your plate via the Maryland Wholesale Seafood Market.
The two massive wholesale markets and an assortment of food and food-related businesses make up the Maryland Food Center in Jessup, MD. Covering approximately 400 acres, the Center was created in 1967 to consolidate smaller markets then operating at Camden Yards, Pulaski Highway, and Light Street. Choosing the site at the junction of Routes 1 and 175 put the new warehouse center on a convenient road network, along a train line, proximate to an airport, and midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC.
The Maryland Food Center Authority (MFCA) developed the Food Center as a public and private partnership. The tenants range from traditional, family-owned purveyors, renting a single, 3,300 square foot unit, up to Giant Food with its own 720,000 square foot distribution center, SYSCO Food Services of Baltimore, Lancaster Foods, and Terminal Corporation.
A growing consumer base and changing tastes have led a number of tenants to expand and update their facilities. “It will make our operation more efficient,” said Tim Sughrue, executive vice president of Congressional Seafood Company. Shugrue pointed to boxes of iced flounder, halibut from Alaska, Atlantic salmon, sacks of clams, crates of softshell crabs. “Our product comes in and we operate 24 hours a day. We cut everything to order; we have 60 employees and 10 fish cutters who will cut 15,000 pounds of fish. If orders are in by 1:00 am, they will be cut, packaged, invoiced, and out the doors by 6:30 am. If a fluke caught in New England is on a truck and into Boston by 1:00 in the afternoon, we can have it by 3:30. Forty percent of the stuff that comes in, goes out that same day. ”
Courtesy of Franks Fresh Seafood (800-287-5960, www.franksseafood.com)
1/2 pound preservative free sea scallops
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon oil
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon grated lime peel
Dash hot pepper sauce
Lime wedges for serving
Combine honey, oil, lime juice, lime peel, and hot pepper sauce and place in a one gallon Ziploc bag. Pat scallops dry on a paper towel and add to the marinade in the bag. Refrigerate, mixing occasionally, up to 24 hours. Preheat broiler. Arrange scallops and marinade in single layer in 2 individual broiler-proof dishes. Broil 4 inches from heat source, 4 to 7 minutes, depending on the size of the scallops, or until opaque throughout and lightly browned. Serve with lime wedges and, if desired, warm French bread to soak up the juices.
Reed Hellman is a freelance writer living in Alberton, Maryland. For more of his signature culinary escapades, read his articles in Recreation News, in print or online. Visit his Recipe for Adventure Website at www.reedhellmanwordsmith.com. You can find more recipes in The Recipe Box on his Website.