What We’re Reading: Field Guide to Seafood

What are sea cucumbers are prized for? Why does skate tastes better when it’s several days old?  Who does most of the picking of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs?

Field Guide to Seafood by Aliza Green has the answers to these and other musings about sea creatures. This encyclopedia of fish, complete with color photos, is full of the sort of esoterica you’d find in, say, a field guide to Eastern trees and makes for good kitchen and bedtime reading for those who love to eat and cook seafood.    

Green, a James Beard award-winning cookbook author, demystifies with descriptions of how each fish looks and tastes, where it's found, and how to choose, store, and cook more than 100 kinds of fish and shellfish.

In case you're wondering: Sea cucumbers are prized for their supposed aphrodisiac qualities. Skate tastes better when the odor of ammonia has dwindled. And women pick most the Chesapeake blue crabs because they have smaller hands.

Field Guide to Seafood, Quirk Books, $15.95.