Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, welcoming foodies to discuss the dining scenes in Israel and abroad, along with all things related to kosher food.

Catfish On the Menu

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Daniel Rogov

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Catfish On the Menu

by Daniel Rogov » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:59 am

A man in North Carolina caught a record-breaking catfish while fishing with his grandaughter's toy rod and reel. Nice catch... See the article and a photo at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080822/ap_ ... ing_record

As to catfish, distinctly non-kosher for various reasons and once thought of as "po-poeople's food" but when caught small (up to 1.5 kilos) can be absolutely delicious. One of the few fish easy to find in the small rivers and streams of Israel, and in recent years becoming far more popular in the country both at fishmonger shops and in fine restaurants.

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Rogov
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Robin Garr

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Re: Catfish On the Menu

by Robin Garr » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:35 am

Although I was brought up in a city in the upper South where catfish is popular, and although there's just a touch of Dixie in my voice, I've never been particularly fond of catfish. That "muddy" taste does not appeal to me, and apparently it is much worse (because of a form of algae in farm ponds) in the farm-raised catfish that now make up a majority of the commercial genre in the US, or so I'm told.

I like fish and adore shellfish, but I'll generally pass my plate along to my neighbor if there's catfish on it.
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Re: Catfish On the Menu

by Daniel Rogov » Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:03 am

Robin, Hi.....

I thought much the same as you about catfish until an accidental meeting many moons ago. Was driving the Skyline Drive not far from Asheville, North Carolina and found a lovely lake for fishing. Took a break for a bit of fishing (in the USA and Europe, I always drive with my fishing gear). Caught several catfish at first and gave them to a young boy and his father who were fishing next to me when they saw I wanted to throw them back. Later, as we got to chatting, the boy asked why I was going to throw them back and I told him because of the "muddy taste". He and his father broke into laughter and the father told me that like most "Yankee White boys" I was wrong about catfish.

Between us we started a nice wood fire, he took a small grill holder from his car, showed me precisely how to clean the fish (puncture the innards and you get that muddy taste or worse..... learn to clean without puncturing and you're in fine shape) and then how to grill them. No wine available on that day but we did thoroughly enjoy cold beer.

Agreed that farmed catfish are not the most desirable. Here in Israel there are two-three places where one can catch them wild (the Jordan River where there is a crossing from the Galilee to the Golan Heights; the Yarkon river near its source; and the unnamed river that empties near the Caesaria power plant). Good fishing at the first for trout, bass, catfish, talipia (known here as St. Peter's Fish) and in the other two fine catfish.

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Robin Garr

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Re: Catfish On the Menu

by Robin Garr » Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:09 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote: tilapia (known here as St. Peter's Fish)

Interesting coincidence of names there, Rogov. As I expect you know, the French love a fine saltwater fish called "Saint Pierre" (and have a lovable old legend that the white spot on the side of the gray fish is Pete's thumb print). The Brits, inscrutably, call the same fish "John Dory."
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Re: Catfish On the Menu

by Daniel Rogov » Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:27 pm

Robin, Hi....


No relationship whatever between the French St. Pierre, the British John Dory and the Israeli St. Peter's fish, "ours" being entirely a fresh-water fish and the European versions originally at least from the sea.

To make it all more amusing, here in Israel a great many believe that because the St. Peter's fish is found primarily in the Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret in Hebrew), and that was where St. Peter fished, that this is the fish he was hunting for in his time. Alas, the fish in question could not possibly have beern part of the good saint's efforts as it was introduced to the water of the Sea of Galilee only in 1936 .. quite some while after the fact. The probability is that St. Peter was actually fishing for was probably kura barbel (Barbus lacerta) which today continues to be found in Syrian and Lebanese lakes and streams. * At times barbus lacerta can be found in the Jordan River but most people mistake them for catfish because of their barbs and "beard". Delicious!!!!!

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* As a tried and true curmudgeon, I adore shattering myths.

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