One man’s garbage…

For lovers of all things fishy, there’s a new culinary trend in town that you won’t want to miss. We’re talking about diving into a plate of sea slugs – unless perhaps tuna spines are more up your alley? Well, fortunately, both of these tantalizing treats are now items you’ll find on the menu at Incanto, a San Franciscan restaurant headed by Chef Chris Cosentino. Alongside other restaurant operators and creative chefs, Cosentino has taken to cooking with “trash fish”, otherwise known as rejects of the sea. Sound a little fishy to you? Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Here’s what you need to know about the trend that is slowly turning the face of foodservice a little greener.

Waste not, want not

Trash fish dining is, apparently, the latest way for chefs to engage in the sustainable sourcing of seafood. According to sources like the Huffington Post and Yahoo, a number of chefs are asking fishermen to keep fish on board their boats that would normally be considered trash, offering a fair price in return for their efforts. “Eat some butter-poached scorpion fish and you’ll swear it’s lobster,” says James Clark, Executive Chef at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C. True? Who knows, but the idea seems to be gaining momentum among chefs, and customers alike.

Customers love it and the oceans will thank you

In fact, customers don’t just like it – they love it. Sales at Caroline Crossroads have increased 45% since the inclusion of unusual menu items like Humboldt squad and roasted fish heads. The best part? By indulging in local delicacies, the energy spent on importing popular varieties of seafood from oceans away is being cut dramatically; a win-win situation for all involved, except maybe those poor slugs that will henceforth be much more likely to wind up on somebody’s dinner plate.

What do you think about the “trash fish” revolution? Is it here to stay or just swimming on through? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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image credit: Burnt Umber