October is SlowFish month in Canada. As part of SlowFood, SlowFish champions all that is Good, Clean, and Fair in FISH. Fishing has a huge role in Canadian culture and SlowFish will highlight this and help to inform people in making sustainable decisions about the type of fish they choose to eat.
“We hope to support, discover, and celebrate Canada’s small scale, sustainable fisheries by connecting people who eat seafood to the people who catch it, harvest it, and grow it.” – Dave Adler, from the slowfood canada website here.
Here are some ways you can celebrate good, clean, fair fish this month and EVERY month. (thanks to Dan and Kristin at Hooked for this great list and being fantastic SlowFish Abassadors and organizers):
- Each time you go out to eat ask: where did this fish come from?
- Share a local fish dinner at home with friends
- Watch a documentary to help inform
- Buy a whole fish and learn how to cook it
- Choose a lesser known/bycatch fish for dinner
- *(this one is added by me) Talk to a knowledgable fish monger about fish, how it’s caught and which ones are sustainable to eat. You’ll be surprised by what you learn I’m sure.
You can also refer to the “Sustainable Fish Switch” graphic that they collaborated with us on in a previous issue of Edible Toronto for inspiration on new types of fish to ask about.
As part of the #Slowfish2013 Canadian Campaign, Hooked has been championing some great events around Toronto (Dan is a judge at the upcoming Oceanwise Chowder Chowdown) and organizing a FREE screening of the documentary Red Gold at the Ryerson University library on October 28, including a $5 fish fry before the movie! More info Here.
*Lucky Me…. I got to spend an amazing monday morning a couple of weeks ago at Hooked with some of Toronto’s most talented chefs, watching them get creative with preserving whitefish roe and making ‘Caviar’ as part of the #Slowfish2013 #Roedown. Basically, the chefs were invited to spend their day off learning to make Caviar and experimenting with various ingredients to make it all their own. Dan and Kristin wanted to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and experimentation and it worked. I saw (and tasted) caviar made with beer, chili salt, pickle juice, sake and dashi broth!
Kristin told me that there are complicated regulations around selling caviar in Canada, plus there’s lots of competition for international producers. So Canadian Caviar producers are leaving the business which leaves our fisherfolk with a very limited number of people who want/need the roe. So then it becomes a biproduct of fishing and is either thrown away or sold to pet food companies. By helping the chefs learn how to work with the raw ingredient they are helping to create a new market for the roe that helps keep it as part of our own food system. Preserving fish roe (like most types of preserving) is a tradition that has been around for centuries…and something that is being lost in our country.
For the RoeDown each Chef will submit 3 different creations for tasting by the #Roedown Judges at an event on October 29th (judges include Christine Cushing and James Chatto). In the weeks leading up to the event they will be provided different types of fish roe to experiment with (from Hooked suppliers so all are small, well managed fisheries). Including: Coho Salmon, pickerel, trout, whitefish and more. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with. Everyone seemed to be having so much fun experimenting in the Hooked kitchen.
Here’s a kindof FishFollowFriday of some of the chefs that were there. Keep an eye on the hashtag #slowfish2013 and #roedown on the 29th for the results. I’ll be posting some pictures and tweeting.
Sunny Stone, Hooked @iamsunnystone
Grant Van Gameren, Bar Isabel @grantvangameren @barisabel797
Chris McDonald, Cava Restaurant @cavachef
Daniel Muia, Mogette Bistro, @mogettebistro
Carolyn Reid, Scaramouche
Rob Gentile, Buca @Robb_Gentile @BucaToronto
Rebekka Hutton, Alchemy Pickle Co. @alchemypickle
Giacomo Pasquini, Vertical @verticalTO
Charlotte Langley, Catch @charlotke @catch_to
Guillermo Russo, Arcadian Court
Andrew Poulsen, Hooked @northanders
Marc St.Jaques, Auberge de Pomier
Have you ever made caviar? We’re looking forward to trying to make our own in the coming weeks. stay tuned!