Professor Fish Heads Wants to Give You an Education

P.J. Stoops at his old booth in the Bayou City Farmers Market.
P.J. Stoops at his old booth in the Bayou City Farmers Market.
Photo by Robb Walsh

P.J. Stoops, also known by his blogging name as "Professor Fish Heads," wants to educate you about fish. And not just the same old salmon, tuna and tilapia you see at the store, either.

Stoops once had an independent fishmonger booth at the Bayou City Farmers Market, but that was before he started working full-time for Jim Gossen at Lousiana Foods. He's now found a way to combine his old and new gigs into one fine fish market -- now going into its third week -- that reminds me of the concept at the equally new Revival Market.

Every Saturday morning starting at 9 a.m., Stoops is hosting the Louisiana Foods Total Catch Market at the seafood distributor's storefront on 4410 W. 12th, in an industrial office park that's tucked away near the intersection of 610 and the Katy Freeway. Stoops is selling fish and seafood that may seem unusual, but is actually found in abundance along the Gulf Coast. He's encouraging people to ask questions about the fish. He's encouraging people to broaden their horizons.

On the market's site, Stoops writes, "The Gulf of Mexico has some amazing things to eat, and our little part of it, encompassing Texas and Louisiana, has more than enough for a lifetime of new tastes. Unfortunately, most of these fish and other water-borne creatures are seldom available outside of certain very small and localized markets."

So what can you expect to find at the weekly Total Catch Market?

Earlier today, an excited Stoops Tweeted that "biganos, Texas finger squid, bigano meat, and LA softshell crab" are among the offerings that will be for sale this Saturday morning. You may remember biganos as those wicked little buggers that are eating Gulf oysters; you can eat them, too.

Between Stoops's fish market, the still-bustling farmers markets at City Hall and Eastside and the bounty of local meats and produce at Revival Market, it's a damn good time to be a hungry locavore in Houston.

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