Tuesday, March 16, 2010
For The Health Of It
A taste of the Yukon River came to Boston last week when Kwik'Pak Fisheries of Emmonak, Alaska, provided a sneak peek at one of the world's most nutritious seafood: Wild Yukon River Salmon. The seminar and tasting was dubbed FOR THE HEALTH OF IT and served to kick off the new initiative OLDWAYS TRADITIONAL AMERICAN TABLE by our friends over at Oldways. Nutritious, sustainable and delicious food is the focus so they decided to feature what is perhaps the last truly wild food brought to market in America.
The setting was the elegant Harvard Faculty Club, with a menu featuring salmon (my favorite food) and the chance to meet some really interesting people. The event was hosted by Oldways, the organization we like so much and have written about before, and it brought together food writers, doctors, dietitians, chefs and even some local fishermen from Emmonak, Alaska, a small, remote village on the Yukon River. The event was sponsored by Kwik'pak Fisheries.
The first speaker was Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, cardiologist and a leading researcher in the field of seafood and nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, who presented on the amazing facts of omega 3 fatty acids. He spoke for nearly an hour citing study after study that confirms the heart-healthy benefits of eating seafood, especially salmon. "Seafood," the Doctor says, "is likely the single most important food one can consume for good health." One of the most amazing facts he brought to light was that fifty percent of people who have heart disease are unaware of it until they have a fatal heart attack! Just two servings of salmon will reduce the risk dramatically.
After tasting some samples of smoked salmon we watched a cooking demonstration and heard what life is actually like in the small fishing village where most of the residents live totally off the land. It was fascinating to hear of their simple lifestyle which focuses around the Yukon. The Yup'ik Eskimo natives we met with spoke of the growing difficulty of living off the land but the great rewards of the natural beauty of the area. It was unimaginable to me just how rustic and challenging the living is.
Peter Doire, Senior Chef and Jeff Tenner, Executive Director of Culinary Operations, Legal Sea Foods.
The Chefs whipped up an amazing Salmon Ceviche, the recipe for which we will feature in an upcoming post, along with a recipe we developed on our own. Then, of course, we had more salmon and a taste of champagne. Yukon River salmon is unique as it is the most potent source of Omega-3 oils, giving the fish its extraordinarily rich, buttery flavor.
Yukon River salmon will be available in our area beginning this Spring, just in time for grilling season.