True dat on the Velveta grills.
Nice and thick and oozy.
That's not mud you're tasting. It's what catfish taste like. Farm-raised is bland. Ever eat buffalo (fish) ribs? Give'em a try sometime. They're good, but will get your attention if you're not used to eating them.
About the catfish...the mud cat tastes a little muddy, but just a little. Ever get the chance, try flat-heads or blues. My favorite is channel catfish.
I also wouldn't eat too many from the Hudson River, if that's where you hail from. Or any from around Three-Mile-Island or Chernoble, for that matter.
FWIW, bluegill is the best tasting fish on the planet. Fried whole in cornmeal, pull dorsal off, eat it like you're playing a harmonica.
Bluegill is the antithesis of Tilapia. I'd rather eat year-old sushi than tilapia. Ugh!
And perch. As a young fisherman we'd go out to various lakes in Michigan and Indiana and catch bluegill and perch. I cooked tilapia once.
Hehe, strong smell is all it takes with a lot of bottom feeders, hence the cheese for barbel, too. Proper catfish (european Wels) isn't that common were I generally fish, I'd probably have to try the Danube river for that. It's fished professionally there, too. Never had a problem with muddy taste on the wild-caught ones myself. Can't be sure, since I never caught catfish myself, but with other bottomfeeders, it is helpful to keep them in clear aerated water for a day or two before slaughtering them. People round here used to keep their traditional christmas carp in the bathtub for this purpose :)
Never had the pleasure, bluegills do not live around here. My favourite when it comes to freshwater is the Renke or Felchen, a species that just exists in the alpine lakes. Hard but fun to catch, since they tend to swim deep, the guys who seriously go after them often do sonar mappings of their territorry to find underwater hillsides where they tend to congregate. Then you hand a special line, the "Hegene" with multiple baited hooks to up to 30-40 meters depth and let em go for it.
One thing about catfish, the older they are the stronger they seem to taste. Which is fine with me, but you might want to keep yours to ten pounds or below, live weight. Really good, too, are the small ones, a pound or so live weight, fried whole. We eat a lot of catfish with live weights 20 lbs. or more. They are still "good eats".
Most of what we have is from the White River and the Mississippi and Mississippi-made lakes, such as Lake Chicot, Grand Lake, Reelfoot Lake, etc. Some of these types of lakes were formed when the Mississippi overflowed way back when (the time it changed course and ran uphill) after the New Madrid earthquake back in 1811-1812.
If you happen to be interested in this sort of stuff, check out:
At the bottom, notice the projected affected area as compared to the California San Andreas .
From reading the posts from you folks, let me make a suggestion. If you ever get the chance, try these (in my order of preference).
Bluegill or any freshwater perch.
Largemouth or smallmouth bass, fileted or whole small ones.
Folks tickle me talking about things such as Chilean Sea Bass and some others. Of course the sea bass is nothing more than the Patagonian Toothfish renamed for marketing. And boy, did that work! Went from trash fish to delicacy in one easy step.
I enjoy your posts about fish. I really prefer the predator fish who eat other fish which is why I lean towards salt waster. I am a fisherman so I am familiar with some freshwater species. Large bluegills are wonderful and so sweet. Now the Black bass (largemouth), crappie are very seasonal. Winter crappie are on top of my list. The meat is sturdy. Ya know what I mean. Summer fish is merely recreational for me, personally. Mushy.
We live for cats here in TX. I like channel or blue. 3 pounders.
Catfish of all kids have fat under the skin that can taste bad, and the dark line down the side that can be very strong. I remove both before cooking. And flathead(blues are a subspecies of flathead) are the best tasting catfish on the planet. Meaty but flakey when cooked right.
For me the best tasting fish are northern pike, then walleye/perch(related species), sunfish/crappies, catfish.... most saltwater fish is to strong tasting to me but I am also a long ways from any ocean in MN. Cod is okay, haddock too. Tilapia are farmed near me, they eat the crap(literally) from a chicken egg barn to help purify the water used to flush out the barn. They also have a funky sweet taste that is just wrong to me, like almost spoiled...
For some reason I cannot find the little @ thingee on my PC (ipad and smartie phones no problem) so I will address this to the forum at large (you will know who you are) !
Have eaten almost all of the fresh water swimmers mentioned and do love them... some more some less.
My pleasure is usually directly proportional to who lands it .
Meaning in the old days my kids and their friends.
Now I am cleaning and scaling , seasoning, dusting with flour and frying in butter/oil in the camping skillet the catch all the Grands make (8 at last count) (Grands not fish) and if it were not for having to separate those tiny, soft bones from the rich sweet flesh I would eat many more of the creatures lol.
That said.... nothing tastes as sweet as an almost legal size flounder (bleeding to death so I rationalize not tossing back for next year ;) with the 2 smallish fillets dredged in my house concoction and fried in hot oil....
That's when it is line caught.
Working the flats on a dark Texas nite with a lantern and gig is a different story.
I make sure to keep it legal (and keep it flounder not ray lol).
Trout is second on my food chain... the fat winter ones if I can bear the cold, wading waist deep after a blue norther has passed thru and the wind speed has settled down ...
Even with a layer of long handles and sweat pants under waders I get chilled and no fish is worth that my friends .
A nice heavy Red Snapper, cleaned but leaving the head and scales then scored a couple of times.
The limit is 2 per person per day , if I cannot do some heavy trading at the cleaning tables (or hitch a ride offshore with friends...heck I would brave the offshore waters with a stranger if I felt comfy around the captain) it is NO SNAPPER FOR ME!
Stuff with fresh dill weed, butter, lemon wheels, S&P.
Cover with foil, bake and then hip check my way to the front of the line when it comes from the oven.
So moist and falling off bones and scales in huge flaky chunks.
More lemon plz!
A heck of a fighter ('specially when standing thigh deep and casting up into the salt grass on an outgoing tide) a red on the line is great entertainment!
If I can get it cleaned and the blood line removed while still "present and active" it will keep body and soul together.... but like most large fighters the meat can be tough and a bit gamey IMO.
The exception to that rule would be the throat and cheeks.
The cooks treat lol.
So while I am partial to all fish (and have added several varieties to the ole bucket list, thank friends! ) but like Mary pointed out, the less amt of time from the kill zone to the table the better.
Maybe a trip way up north some winter soon is in my cards?
edit for spell check
I had the pleasure of fly fishing the Laguna Madre with my son almost every season. We fished with Capt. Scott Sparrow and his wife Capt. Kathy Sparrow at the Kingfisher.
Kathy wrote a book "on the Mother Lagoon" I think you would really enjoy it. If you can't find it I probably have a few copies.
I am jealous, pan, but in a good way lol.
Have been been in that area many times (spring break in Texas whohoo!) but was way before I knew what treasures those flats concealed.
What style of fisherman would be willing to shuffle thru water for sometimes hours before getting that little snap that signals the beginning of a (hopehope) great fight with a "keeper" red?
One who is most likely there for more reasons than catching supper.
One who has some thinking and meditating to do and knows the place to get'er done happens to be in the cathedral God provided for those of us willing to work a bit to get there.
The Kingfisher experience is one I have read about in a few magazines as well as the few forums devoted to fishing Texas waters.
I read a bit of Kathy's book as well as Scott's blog.
Both left me with the desire to not only read more but maybe rob the "cookie jar" stash and experience it myself.
My husband's father was basically orphaned during the depression/oil boom before WW2.
Somehow he came under the care of "this old fisherman" who made his home in the back bays between Surfside and San Luis pass.
We don't hear many of these stories anymore.
My fisherman (hubs) loved to listen to them and is now passing them along to his son (who will pass them along in turn.)
We need to go wet a line someday.
I think it was on our 2-3rd trip. Storm at night. Wading at sunup. My son looks over at me and whispers, "dad, they're tailing to your left"
I couldn't move. The sky, the water. Something came over me, I just stared. I finally understood what nature was. Funny thing, the next season my son did the same thing, we became brothers out there.
Kirschwasser. Not the sweet kind of cherry brandy, but a high-percentage distillate. Can be somewhat harsh, indeed, depending on the brand. Good ones go down quite mellow, though, and often some of it is added to the fondue itself. Damn, I need to bake some decent bread now and have a cheese fondue....
First off....I step away for a couple days and the discussion about queso balloons! It's really enjoyable to watch a good conversation unfold and watch where it will go next.........Too funny.
Back to the quote.......I gotta say, the second I read Pan's post about cherry liquor I thought about kirschwasser. Gene and I were on the same wave-lenth but just a couple days apart.
That said.........I have no intention of changing the subject but just wanted to say I really love the brandies and those like Kirschwasser (and grappa) are my favorites. I guess it's the down-home almost peasant style youth I enjoyed and learning there's something about how many family based, town and regional recipes can be found. Like cheeses (or queso in this case) the depth in flavor profiles can seem endless.
Topic? Change away. I think European fish probably like fondue, whereas American fish probably bite on Velvetta
PS It wasn't kirschwasser, it was some type of home brew. Almost a Schnappsy flavor. Is that a word?
food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all Harriet Van Horne
food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all Harriet Van Horne