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Dish was ‘Key West grouper’ in name only

A fish described by T.G.I. Friday’s as Key West grouper on the menu at hundreds of restaurants across the country was later found to be Vietnamese catfish. A fish described by T.G.I. Friday’s as Key West grouper on the menu at hundreds of restaurants across the country was later found to be Vietnamese catfish. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
By Jenn Abelson and Beth Daley
Globe Staff / October 24, 2011

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Tom Katz was scrambling for a cover story. The Burlington fish broker faced tough questions from executives at T.G.I. Friday’s. Why was the grouper they received from Katz rubbery and pink, rather than the typical firm white fish? The story of how Katz passed off lower-quality Vietnamese catfish as grouper provides a glimpse into the murky world of the international fish trade. It is a business where species and countries of origin can be easily switched by greedy entrepreneurs.

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