Sunday, April 5, 2009

Trout everywhere, but not a one to eat

We attended the open house Saturday at the Pequest Trout Hatchery in Oxford, where the state of New Jersey raises more than 750,000 trout a year to stock lakes and rivers. My son caught a beautiful rainbow trout (and released it), I fired a shotgun for the very first time in my life (at a target), and we bought a small trout made out of wood (in of all places, Chile).

But we were disappointed that state and hatchery officials didn't know of a restaurant in New Jersey that serve these trout, which are raised in pure water from the Pequest aquifer, the reason the hatchery was built there. Many years ago, I recall eating lunch at restaurant in New York State that served trout more than a dozen ways and had a pond out back where you could try your luck at catching one.

Here's another fish story: The other night, we bought whole, cleaned whiting from a Korean supermarket, seasoned them and baked them for 15 to 20 minutes. The flesh was firm and sweet.

Some Korean restaurants in northern New Jersey used to serve small whiting among their side dishes. Yong Su San, a restaurant in Englewood Cliffs that was replaced by the glitzy Mama Mexico, served as many as 10 complimentary side dishes with every meal, something you never see these days. One of them was a small, whole whiting that you would gnaw right down to the bones.

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