On my recent trip to the Great Lakes, I asked my friend, Dave Spratt, if he ever ate a shad.
"What do I look like, a salmon?" he replied.
Dave is the consummate outdoorsman. He recently left the Detroit News to start a website, Great Northern Outdoors.
Every year, he hunts a couple of bucks and he and his family eat venison all winter, saving a lot of money on chicken and the like. He has fished all the Great Lakes, camped out all over Michigan and endured some winters that would surely be my undoing. And he cooks everything. So it's not as though he's squeamish about his food.
I asked another friend, an avid bay fisherman. He told me that, in Virginia, they roast the shad on a plank. And you can't tell the difference between the fish and its wooden base. Ouch!
As it turns out, Spratt's reaction was not that uncommon. The Bay is one of the only places where human beings eat shad, a favorite meal of stripers, hardhead, and, yes, salmon. There's good reason for that, as Michelle Gienow explains in her Urbanite article this month.
Shad, she writes, can have as many as 1300 bones in them. Their roe, she says, taste like beef liver and styrofoam - and this is coming from a gal who actually likes our Founding Fish.
To find a fan of shad, you'd have to go to one of those old-school restaurants frequented by the over-65 crowd - Gienow chose Lutherville's The Peppermill - or a retirement home.
And not for much longer, either. The article says that the Atlantic States Maine Fisheries Commission is getting ready to ban harvest of shad in most places.
Before it's gone, I'd like to try it - plank or no plank.
- Category: Energy
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