Get off the beaten path to taste new varieties from the St. Lawrence

There are many species of St. Lawrence that are not well known and that would benefit from becoming known to increase local consumption in Quebec and Eastern Quebec. These species are edible in sufficient quantities and are caught in fisheries that respect the seabed. Black sheep asked Sandra Gauthier, director of Exploramer and initiator of Fourchette bleue, what advice she would give to consumers in Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine who want to discover new species from Saint-Lawrence. His answer is addressed to fishermen, consumers and hunters of the region.

The Fourchette bleue program is aimed at the rational management of marine resources of St. Lawrence. It encourages consumers, restaurants and fishmongers in Quebec to incorporate St. Lawrence’s many edible but little-known species into their habits for sustainable development and biodiversity protection.

Sandra Gauthier, the program’s initiator, offers three tips for starting to include more types of St. Lawrence on your plate.

  1. Catching sea fish

Despite its appearance, the turtle is a tasty fish, Sandra Gauthier tells us. She explains that the culture is to throw it back into the sea because of its appearance. However, without realizing it, people will miss the fish, which has the consistency of a scallop with the taste of cod.

“We must make it a point to taste at least a cup, so I suggest to the people of Bas-Saint-Laurent in the Gaspesie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine: next time they cast their line into the Waters, when they get a toad at the end row, do not throw it back into the sea (…), but take it and taste it. Culturally, we’ve always shunned this too-disgusting fish, but honestly, if people are willing to try it once, they’ll want to try it again and again. Instead of catching mackerel, go fishing. Chaboisseau has the texture of a scallop with a cod flavor, it’s incredibly delicious! It’s an amazing discovery that people are going to make.” represented by Ms. Gauthier.

  1. In August, look for a stone crab

Snow crab has been hard to come by this year because of its price, and this may be an opportunity to discover another species of crab that is more difficult to work with, but whose labor will pay off, as its meat is somewhere between this snow crab and lobster. That’s why Sandra Gauthier is inviting people in Eastern Quebec to ask their fishmonger to introduce them to stone crab in August.

“We saw a snow crab, which is a crab that is quite expensive now, but there is another crab, which is a stone crab. Fishing will begin soon in August. Ask your fishmonger to order a stone crab for you to taste. Seriously, stone crab meat is between snow crab and lobster meat: the meat is a little denser, sweeter. It is more difficult to work with, but honestly, the taste is worth the effort. The work is worth it”– describes the director of Explorer.

  1. Hunters can also turn to the river

Hunters can add to the seal hunting season and discover it “This is a type of meat that is extremely tasty”according to Sandra Gauthier, especially when you know how to handle seal meat.

In order to better equip hunters for seal hunting, the Fourchette bleue program provides comprehensive training that includes all elements of plate hunting, such as a section on rules, safety, cutting techniques and even cooking workshops.

Therefore, Sandra Gauthier invites hunters: “For those who are hunters, because we know there are a lot of hunters in our areas, get trained to get a license to hunt seals. In the fall we’ll hunt elk, we’ll hunt small game, we’ll hunt deer, but we could also add a new species to our hunting season, which would be seal hunting. With a license to hunt seals, hunters will be able to kill six seals a year.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.