Monday, May 28, 2007

Niche Food Industries For Humboldt

I've lived up here over 30 years and I believe this is the first I've ever heard of hagfish. But this is pretty neat. One of those niche industries that some in Humboldt will be able to take part and profit in. Hopefully this will continue to work out.

Reminds me of a suggestion I heard maybe 25 or 30 years ago during a national guard drill. I believe it came from Steve Gallant (does he still work at the veterans affairs office in the courthouse?).

He was hanging around the armory smoking and joking and suggested that banana slugs might be the perfect food export. After all, the folks in asia might just love them. Of course, he was just having fun at the time.

Maybe he was actually on to something though? After all, the Koreans apparently like hagfish, something I don't know of any Americans having an interest in. Maybe someone could come up with a delicacy- type recipe, or two, for banana slugs? We've got millions of them here in Humboldt.

I don't know: Fried... boiled...raw? Not something I'd want to try but those on the pacific rim aren't as intimidated by strange food ideas as so many of us are. They might really fall for them.

I think it would be worth a try. Who wants to take the first shot at this? No need to consult with me about it, unless you want to. Just make it happen.


At 8:54 AM, Blogger Heraldo Riviera said...

There is a Humboldt County cookbook with a recipe for banana slugs. I'll post it if it turns up.

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing about snails- a guy I know has a Vietnamese wife, and she apparently loves eating snails. Growing up I remember hearing that the snails around here are the good ones for eating, apparently brought here by the chinese(?). Anyhow, I wonder what the would fetch per pound?
Happy Memorial Day all.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Cool. Heraldo. Work on it and maybe cook up a few and see if any of them go over at our local oriental eateries. You might make a fortune.

"a guy I know has a Vietnamese wife, and she apparently loves eating snails.".

The French are famous for eating snails. What do they call them; Escargo?

Seems to me I actually saw some canned snails, including dry shells packed with them at some local supermarket deli section.

We've got tons of snails around here, too. Maybe we should try and enter that market? It would be a natural.

Hmmm...wonder how many snails it would take to fill a cargo ship? If we could get enough, maybe we could add one more ship a month to the local shipping industry? That would be a 33% increase!

Heck, between hagfish, banana slugs and snails, we should be able to fill one ship a month. But would there be market for them?

At 9:42 AM, Anonymous mresquan said...

Isn't abalone a mollusk?Down in the city,a 2.5 ounce plate of that stuff will cost you around 80 bucks.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Well, they are mollusks, but you can't harvest them commercially in California.

There are places down south where they farm abalone, though. Saw one such place down in Mendocino County(?) on a TV show. Not sure how profitable that is, or whether that would work up here, but it might be fun to try.

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous mresquan said...

I just found out from my mothers boyfriend who heads the volunteer fir dept. in Shelter Cove,that you can get one abalone per outing,per person.There isn't enough around to do so commercially even if you wanted to.
As far as slugs and snails go,my chickens and 3 ducks go nuts over that stuff,so I'd imagine that you could find a farm in the midwest,or overseas somewhere who'd take boxes of them off of your hands,I don't know.

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous mresquan said...

Ooops, fire dept.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Several years ago in S.F. Chronicle someone had plenty of snails in her garden and decided she would find out what was necessary to eat them. Turned out it was a mess. Have to feed them grain or something like that for a week then boil them. Decided canned would be the thing or order in restaurant.

Our snails are the "French" type that is the kind that can be food. I don't know what other types there are as I am too busy putting snail bait out.

Gave up on beer in a container since the cat wanted to drink it and then all the drowned snails.

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've probably all had worse things in your mouths and down your throats if you stop and think about it.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Heraldo Riviera said...

Ok, Fred, I found it.

Best of luck to whoever starts this new Humboldt industry. If Tomo adds it to the menu they have you to thank, Fred.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Well done, Heraldo! Now who's going to step up to the plate(pun intended), if you will, and make this happen?

At 1:48 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Isn't there an event over near Crescent City that has/had annual banana slug races? Some excitement could be added to the event by shipping off the losers to southeast asian gourmands. Not only that, but a paramutual betting system could generate additional cash. First thing you know enterprising folks would be breeding the slugs for racing/eating. One of the abandoned sawmills could be used as a venue if OSHA and CALOSHA approve. The problems as I see it will be with the PETA crowd, local enviros and the various governments that will require permits. These hurdles could be overcome by cutting one or more of the local tribes in on the action and donating a percentage of the "loot" to the urban outdoorsman shelter in Arcata. Just a thought:o)

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Carol said...

"Hag fish"? Now isn't there a nicer name for this critter? It just goes to prove that if you have enough garlic and jalapenos, one can eat just about anything.

I tried to feed collected french snails cornmeal for a week and it just made a stinky mess.

I've eaten escargot served in lots of garlic butter at Castignolia's Italian Restaurant in Santa Cruz. It was chewy.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Carol said...

By the way everyone, Greg and I met Fred today in person at Happy Dog in Eureka! Pleased to meet you, fellow blogger!

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Heraldo Riviera said...

I've eaten escargot served in lots of garlic butter at Castignolia's Italian Restaurant in Santa Cruz. It was chewy.

Ugh. I'm sure it was.

Butter is also a key ingredient in the banana slug recipe.

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred you're a fucking racist. Go to hell!

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're thinking of Eric.


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