Caviar Dreams

Years ago – I probably was about sixteen, give or take a year, so literally half my life ago – I went fishing with my Dad, and – much to my shock – caught a catfish.

Now. I am not particularly fond of catfish. The texture is… weird… (Maybe that’s just the one I caught, or maybe it has to do with the body makeup of cartilage fish versus that of boned fish like the bass and trout and similar that I was used to) and I understand why then get done up in Cajun spice at the grocery store. :-\

However. The catfish I caught had a belly full of gleaming orange eggs (to this day, when I imagine what “orange” would taste or smell like, the fishy scent of those eggs rises in my mind – way more than tangerines or clemintines do, funilly enough…).
I felt slightly terrible, having caught a girl and, thus, kept her from bringing more catfish into the world. Like I’d just wasted a few thousand fish right there. At the same time, though, I wondered if you could eat them.

I didn’t eat them. Not then. But it’s a question that’s come back to me many times over the years – even more-so after I discovered Sushi and the Masago and tobiko that decorate maki like little red and orange jewels, popping so perfectly on your tongue. (Love ’em!)

So, with fishing season Actually Here (fishing license, er, still to be obtained, mind you…), and having just read a couple of posts about trout caviar over at Starving Off the Land, I thought I’d do some poking around.

What I turned up were the following how-to posts on brining your own fisheggs:

Curing Salmon Roe (from The Homebrew Chef)
How to Make Caviar (from Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook)

So. Now I know. If, over the coming summer, I somehow manage to catch myself a brown trout full of eggs, I’ll know what to do with the eggs. 🙂

Meliad the Birch Maiden.

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