Eat This Now: Cold-Weather Seafood

New Englanders have got it all wrong. We feast on fried clams, crabs, and oysters all summer, but barely touch the stuff this time of year. That’s a big mistake, says Chris Parsons of Winchester seafood mecca Catch, who swears native fish and shellfish are at their prime in winter waters. Best bets include Maine shrimp, bay scallops, oysters, and groundfish like monkfish and flounder, which thrive at low temps. The frigid air, too, boosts quality: When fresh-caught seafood stays cool through the entire transport process, Parsons explains, its delicate flavor is better preserved. "Sure, everything’s refrigerated during summer," he says, "but it just seems like the local fish that come in during the winter have more sparkle." So when swimmers stay ice-cold from the net to the pan (or the fryolator), you win.

34 Church St., Winchester, 781-729-1040,