The 'Gill to Fin' Trend: TED Author Maria Finn on Eating the Whole Fish
How to eat fish from gill to fin, from Maria Finn's new TED book, The Whole Fish
The whole "hoof to snout" trend has been big in foodie land for a few years now, but a similar trend in seafood has been slower to take hold. With her new TED book, The Whole Fish, commercial fisherwoman-turned-food writer Maria Finn hopes to change that. In addition to championing the consumption of so-called "forage fish," such as sardines and herring, Finn espouses the benefits of eating fish "gill to adipose fin,"as a way to combat the impacts of overfishing and poor aquaculture practices. Finn saw first-hand how indigenous tribes in Alaska used every part of the salmon and began wondering when Americans lost our taste for "fishy" fish. From there she embarked on a journey that included everything from "fish bacon" (dried salmon skin) to the herring abundant near her Bay Area home. The result is a great guide to sustainable seafood consumption that's equal parts fish tale and cookbook. Finn talked to us about her adventures in fishing from her houseboat in Sausalito.
GOOD: What is your favorite forage fish?
Maria Finn: I have become a big fan of sardines over the past few years. I remember the turning point well. I was at an event where they were grilled over a wood fire and then served with preserved lemons and pickled fennel. A local restaurant, Poggio Trattoria, always has a sardine bruschetta. The sardines are pan roasted, then served with a seasonal spread, like sweet pea and mint, or white beans on grilled toast. I’ve started imitating this at home. I buy tins of Wild Planet sardines in olive oil and make a sardine on toast with whatever I have—goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes, or hummus and lemon. These fish really do make your skin glow and your hair thicker and shinier. They are delicious, sustainable, and inexpensive.
Which part of the fish that you see people often throwing away is the most valuable in terms of either taste or number of things that can be done with it?\n