Upper Midwestern Fish Fry: The Walleye

Walleye.

Walleye.

While in Michigan, I had a chance to try a locally-famous freshwater fish, the Walleye. One finds it only in the upper midwestern states near where its fished, in the Great Lakes. It’s a whitefish, and mine was served with a preztel crust, on a bed of asparagus and spinach risotto. Like all whitefish, its flavor-ability seems to be as much a matter of the trimmings and seasoning its cooked in, and served with, as much as the meat itself.

A larger fish than its cousin, the yellow Lake Perch, the Walleye has been extremely popular with Great Lakes fishermen for over a century. Harvested with some restriction from the state fisheries commission, the Walleye is now threatened less by overfishing than by some new terror of the lakes called the goby, a water-living non-fish creature. The poor victim I ate for lunch was caught in Lake Michigan’s Green Bay, according to the chef.

Walleye fry…terrifically regional and not soon to be seen at Red Lobster’s across the land.


Categories: Regional Food, Regionality

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