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Question of the day

Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020

* Press release…

With a mission to expand local food options and continue efforts to remove Asian carp from Illinois waterways, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), together with Sorce Freshwater Company and the Midwest Fish Co-op, and with continued support from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, this Saturday will offer free Asian carp meals at nine locations across the state.

The events, which have been made possible with help from local partners including regional planning commissions, universities, food distribution companies and restaurants, will showcase the versatility and nutritional benefits of Asian carp.

“Removing Asian carp from our waterways has long been one of our best and most well-known tactics when it comes to keeping these invasive fish from the Great Lakes,” said Colleen Callahan, director, IDNR. “But what is lesser known when it comes to Asian carp is the overwhelming benefit as both a food source and potential menu item for restaurants. To showcase its nutritional benefits and adaptability as protein source, we’re partnering with businesses to provide free meals across the state.”

Locations include:

    • Chicago, Logan Square: Unity Park, 2636 N. Kimball Ave. from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Asian carp tacos will be prepared by El Rancherito Restaurant
    • Chicago, Lincoln Park: Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop, 2070 N. Clybourn Ave. from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Asian carp burgers will be prepared and served by owner Dirk Fucik.
    • Chicago, Pilsen: Open Books Chicago, 905 W 19th St. from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Asian carp tacos will be prepared by Mole Village Mexican Restaurant.
    • Peoria: Kelleher’s Restaurant, 619 SW Water St. from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. In partnership with the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and Distillery Labs, Kelleher’s will serve a chef’s choice of regular Asian carp daily specials.
    • East Peoria: Levee District, 370 W Washington St. (tent near Target parking lot) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. In partnership with the City of East Peoria, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Greater Peoria Economic Develop Council and Distillery Labs, a chef provided by Sorce Enterprises will prepare and serve Asian carp.
    • Springfield: Carter’s Fish Market, 1900 S. Grand Ave. East from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Owner Clint Carter will prepare and serve Louisiana style Asian carp hush puppies drizzled with a Remoulade sauce. Beginning Oct. 21, customers can enjoy a fish taco special at The Barn located at 1501 Wabash Ave.
    • Quincy: Red Light Bar & Grill, 428 Maine St. from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Red Light Bar & Grill will prepare and serve Asian carp sliders; the sliders also will serve as a daily special for the week following the Asian carp cookout.
    • Carbondale: Giant City State Park Visitors Center (tent in parking lot), 235 Giant City Rd., Makanda, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Chefs from Cristaudo’s Café, Bakery and Catering will prepare and serve a Jamaican Escovitch fish taco filling for park visitors to pick up and consumer at their leisure. Cristaudo’s also will serve this dish at upcoming Southern Illinois Collaborative Kitchen events in the coming weeks.
    • Carterville: Walker’s Bluff Vineyard, 326 Vermont Rd. from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Chefs from Walker’s Bluff Vineyard prepare and serve the Asian carp in the winery’s tasting room.

Additionally, students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale also will have the opportunity to taste Asian carp creations at select dining hall locations.

“You know that old expression, ‘Take lemons and make lemonade?’ Well, that’s what we’re doing here,” Callahan said. “We’re just taking fish and making fish tacos, sliders, and a host of other food items Illinoisans love. It’s a win-win.”

* The Question: Would you try Asian carp? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…

bike trails

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Inverted Pyramid - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    I have. Fried. Tasted good. Just like fried fish.

  2. - Morningstar - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:08 pm:

    Voted yes because - I’m not sure that I haven’t already…

  3. - Gooner - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:09 pm:

    Yes, but.
    Aren’t carp bottom feeders? My concern would be safety of consuming the fish given the pollution levels and how the pollution settles into lake and river beds.

  4. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:09 pm:

    Voted yes…right spices make anything edible

  5. - Universal DH - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:10 pm:

    Voted yes.

    Dude, you have no idea how low you’d have to set that bar to get a no out of me.

  6. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:11 pm:

    No thanks. I’ll eat perch and catfish on occasion, but no tilapia or carp for me.

    I am pulling for them to find a way to efficiently and effective eradicate these monsters from our waters. Wish I could help by eating some.

    If Rich demanded that I try it, based on the menus above, I’d take a bite of the hush puppies in Springfield. But fish tacos? Not on a dare.

  7. - Jibba - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:14 pm:

    Anything is edible fried or in a taco, preferably both.

  8. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:16 pm:

    Voted yes. Fried any kind of fish is yes.

  9. - SouthSide Markie - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    I’ve had fried Asian Carp, too. It was very good. I’m told that in the Pacific Rim countries, Asian Carp that is grown in the wild (not farm raised) is highly sought. I believe the biggest problem with the fish is not the taste. It’s that cleaning it is very labor intensive because of the many small bones.

  10. - Been There - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    === Aren’t carp bottom feeders?===
    I definitely would. But if they could change the name to something like Asian Catfish I think it would be more appealing

  11. - anonamoose - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    Yep. And this is something they should’ve done years ago.

  12. - AnonymousFool - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:20 pm:

    Nope, I only eat salmon once in a while and it has to be caught that day.

  13. - Rutger Hauer - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:20 pm:

    Have had it twice. Fried. Flat out amazing fish. Light white fish with a similar taste to crab/scallops. If widely available, Asian Carp would strongly compete with catfish and tilapia on most dinner tables.

  14. - Al - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:21 pm:

    I would try it but not if it comes from the Illinois river.

  15. - anonamoose - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:22 pm:

    And they need better marketing. Chilean Sea Bass used to be known as “Patagonian Toothfish.” Not as appealing.

  16. - Huh? - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:25 pm:

    No. Can’t stand eating fish.

    That being said, they need to rebrand the Asian carp to something more pleasing. For example, Patagonian toothfish was renamed as Chilean sea bass. Apparently, the tooth fish is a real ugly looking fish. The sea bass moniker made it into a sought-after delicacy.

  17. - Benjamin - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:28 pm:

    Voted yes. I’ve heard it has a very mild taste, which makes in amenable to frying. Like SouthSide Markie, I’ve also heard that the real problem are the bones, which are a hassle to remove (though edible, if you like that sort of thing).

    I’ve wondered if maybe the state ought to offer a bounty on Asian carp. Just $1 or $2 per fresh carp head would cover your beer on a day of fishing. And if there’s one thing humans have proved really good at, it’s overhunting/overfishing to extinction.

  18. - L.A. - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    Yes. There probably isn’t a fish alive that I wouldn’t consider eating.

    Am I missing something? I don’t see a date when this is supposed to take place.

  19. - bhartbanjo - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:33 pm:

    Why not? Fried fish is fried fish

  20. - bogey golfer - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:35 pm:

    Voted no. When I used to fish, we would always avoid lakes where carp and bullheads would populate.

  21. - Red Ketcher - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:36 pm:

    1950s Kankakee River Anti-Carp bias lives on
    But over in Calhoun Co, it’s “River Fish”& Sells

  22. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:39 pm:

    Several years ago, they were giving away free Asian Carp sliders one day at Taste of Chicago, made by Dirk’s. Absolutely delicious, a very mild flavor, would recommend without hesitation.

  23. - John Patterson - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:48 pm:

    Yes. I’ve had it fried with hot sauce.
    I’ve had grilled fillets with lemon.
    It’s great.
    A very clean white fish.

    My favorite is to go to Mason County and catch my own out of the river … by the hundreds.

  24. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:48 pm:

    I like fish tacos, and I’ve heard Asian carp tacos are really good.

    Rather bummed that no one in the Champaign-Urbana area is participating in this. (Dorms don’t count; you can’t access them if you aren’t a student.)

    Heck, I’d be willing to pay a dollar a taco to help the restaurants defray the cost of this promotion.

    Sigh… maybe next year…

  25. - Club J - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:49 pm:

    I say yes. If Carter’s is fixing it I’ll give it a try. It’s fried and a taco. How can you go wrong?

  26. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    Serve it with Garlic Mustard to get rid of two invasive species

  27. - Northsider - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:54 pm:

    Yes, because … why not?

  28. - Barnaby Wilde - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 2:58 pm:

    It’s great. A local store sells it frozen, from a processor in Kentucky, and I cook it often. Reminds me of mahi mahi.

  29. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 3:01 pm:

    I wouldn’t eat it all of the time given what ends up in the river, but like catfish, I’d have it occasionally.

  30. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 3:06 pm:

    I’ve heard it’s good - wish there was a north or northwest burb location.

  31. - BB - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 3:29 pm:

    I’ve had it on a few occasions. Asian Silver Carp that is. It’s a good tasting fish it’s just tough to clean. Lots of bones.

  32. - JoanP - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 3:31 pm:

    =Am I missing something? I don’t see a date when this is supposed to take place. =

    It says “this Saturday”, which is 10/17.

  33. - Dysfunction Junction - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 3:37 pm:

    Voted Yes. I have eaten it, and it’s delicious, as others have stated. Very light and delicate. And it already has a euphemistic name: try Googling “Silverfin fish.” AFAIK, they filter plankton out of the water, and are not “bottom feeders” like the carp, catfish, etc. The fact that they compete for the same plankton as more desirable fish is why experts are so worried about them getting into the Great Lakes.

  34. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 3:42 pm:

    Yes, I have in the past. it is ok, wouldn’t go out of my way for it.

    Most of us that have had fish in breaded form have already had carp and not known it especially if you have ordered breaded “catfish”.

  35. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 3:51 pm:

    ===Serve it with Garlic Mustard to get rid of two invasive species===

    Might I suggest you begin with an appetizer of steamed Zebra mussels?

  36. - L.A. - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 3:51 pm:

    I saw that JoanP, thanks. It was a little hidden in the article.

  37. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 3:53 pm:

    ===appetizer of steamed Zebra mussels?===

    I am so grossed out by this entire post. And I’ll try just about anything and it’s my own post. lol

    Maybe it’s because I got banned from Bath.

  38. - sulla - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:01 pm:

    My wife and I did the “Original Redneck Fishing Tournament” in Bath, IL a few years back and she sampled an asian carp dish as part of the experience.

    Her take: “I’d eat that over catfish any day.”

    Rich - how in the heck did you get banned from Bath???

  39. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:18 pm:

    ===how in the heck did you get banned from Bath?===

    Got on the wrong side of a town bigshot.

  40. - Siriusly - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:19 pm:

    I voted yes. Here is my explanation:
    it’s fried fish, duh!

  41. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:21 pm:

    No. I’m from Michigan and I guess I was spoiled on Whitefish, Trout, Bluegill, etc. Never developed a taste for Carp.

  42. - Siriusly - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:21 pm:

    We know municipal law is confusing to some, but getting kicked out of both bars is not the same thing as getting kicked out of an entire town.

  43. - Collinsville Kevin - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:23 pm:

    Should be fine if it tastes like regular carp. However I voted no since I’ve been a vegetarian for the last decade.

  44. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:28 pm:

    === Got on the wrong side of a town bigshot.===

    All great stories start this way.

    To the post,

    Yeah, I’d try it, haven’t yet. I’d like to try it in a gourmet type of presentation, restaurant quality, not just a “fry it up and eat” kinda deal. Not being snooty about it, but I’m not sold on the taste being enough, need some good zest… then I’ll eat it.

  45. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:31 pm:

    ===but getting kicked out of both bars===

    I didn’t get kicked out of both bars. lol

  46. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:32 pm:

    Are we steaming the zebra mussels with garlic, white wine, and some butter? And a large glass of a good chardonnay on the side?

    What’s so different between zebra mussels and regular mussels? The zebra mussels are another invasive species.

  47. - yinn - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:37 pm:

    ==Most of us that have had fish in breaded form have already had carp==

    Yep, fish fraud is a thing.

    I’ll eat any kind of non-poisonous fish as long as it’s cooked.

  48. - Don't Bloc Me In - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:41 pm:

    Yes, I’ve tried it, and it was good. Nasty invasive species I wish we could get rid of. So, if we can’t beat it, let’s eat it.

  49. - walker - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 4:46 pm:

    Yes — “Louisiana style… with Remoulade sauce” hooked me.

  50. - the working poor - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 5:00 pm:

    voted no. there’s no chance i’m eating a bottom feeder that was originally introduced as a form of sewage treatment.

  51. - Leslie K - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 6:16 pm:

    Yes, and I’m already making plans for Saturday (probably at Open Books–donate books for literacy, eat fish tacos–not a bad Saturday). I’ll try just about any kind of fish, although I wouldn’t eat fish from Illinois rivers every day (fear of pollutants).

    And really, haven’t we hunted plenty of species into extinction? This might work. (slight snark, just this paragraph. I’m actually planning to try the fish.)

  52. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 7:14 pm:

    =Got on the wrong side of a town bigshot.=

    Bath has a town bigshot??

  53. - DownSouth - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 7:51 pm:

    Couple of important points - Asian Carp aren’t bottom feeders. Silvers and Bigehads are filter feeders so they don’t have the muddy taste that common carp can have, nor do they have the contaminants. It’s also super in omega 3 - it’s very healthy option.
    We’ve been eating silver and big head carp for at least 15 years (we bowfish). It’s a very mild not fishy tasting meat that lends itself well to most any flavor profile. We eat it smoked, fried, minced/ground, and I also can it. Canned it’s way better than commercial canned tuna or salmon. I have pickled it - but alas I am not a pickled fish fan period. However the pickled was quite popular with dear husbands crew at the local bar.
    Seriously - it’s a good eating fish.
    I think what puts people off is the whole “carp” thing and folks think it will be like common carp. It’s not.
    It’s also highly likely that you’ve eaten it when dining out under the general name “whitefish”.
    I’ll be at the Giant City event Saturday.
    and Rich I’m still gob smacked that you got banned from Bath.
    For real folks - consider trying it- I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

  54. - Angry Chicagoan - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 8:08 pm:

    If we’re stuck with it, we may as well try it, and there’s quite the smokehouse out near Fulton that I think would do something fantastic with any river fish.

  55. - Lynn - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 9:00 pm:

    I never thought that I would try it but hearing it was a top feeder, mild and good for you,I did. It was really good!!! Now, this is coming from someone who does not like fish!

  56. - Soxfan - Wednesday, Oct 14, 20 @ 11:05 pm:

    I can’t stand fish, but I figured I’d give Asian carp a shot at a recent tasting event. Lo and behold, the slider that was prepared didn’t taste or smell like fish, and it was delicious. Plus, I learned it’s very healthy, too, so everyone needs to at least try it.

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