Times are hard. Food is expensive. Re-naming a beastly, invasive fish is cheap. That’s why the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is using the new, hip name “Silverfin” for their latest menu item for the Target Hunger Now! campaign. The other item? Whitetail deer, a.k.a. venison.
Silverfin is actually the invasive Asian Carp, a species of fish so hardy it’s destroying many ecosystems around the U.S., and so jumpy it’s easier to catch them in mid-air than under water (see: Redneck Fishing Tournament).
Target Hunger Now! is a state effort that “works with sportsmen and meat processors to provide donated venison–and with commercial fishermen and processors to provide donated fish–funneling this ‘bounty of the outdoors’ through the Illinois food bank network to put healthy meals on the tables of struggling Illinois families.” The program claims it could process up to 40,000 pounds of Silverfin a day!
Luckily the program isn’t without help from the foodie community. THN hosted a successful cooking demonstration last week, and brought up Baton Rouge carp-master chef Philippe Parola for the occasion. Parola has his own proprietary method for boning the extremely bloody beasts, and has a line of frozen products under the name Silverfin Craze.