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Get Your Free Samples Of Asian Carp At Taste Of Chicago

By Samantha Abernethy in Food on Jul 10, 2012 9:40PM

In 1729, Jonathan Swift jokingly suggested in "A Modest Proposal" that the Irish should eat their children to prevent them from "being a burden to their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the public." He said a one-year-old is "a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.”

He was kidding, of course, but these folks aren't. Perhaps eating the invasive Asian carp threatening Lake Michigan will be just the thing to keep them from being a burden to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and for making them beneficial to the public.

The DNR and Dirk's Fish & Gourmet Seafood will be handing out free Asian carp sliders made with fish caught in the Illinois river at the Taste of Chicago. The Mediterranean-style patties will be topped "with a tomato-jalapeno chutney." They say Asian carp are not bottom feeders like regular carp, which "gives them the flavor of a whitefish or a tilapia but with a little richer fattier taste."

The Tribune writes:

"Guests will be able to sample this healthy, tasty fish free of charge near the Taste entrance at Congress Parkway," the department statement said. "The Shedd Aquarium and Army Corps of Engineers will also be there to show not only how good these can taste, but the important work that we are doing in terms of protecting the Great Lakes from these fish."

"The samples will be Asian carp sliders, like mini-burgers," said Chris McCloud of the IDNR adding that they will be serving about 750 burgers until supplies are gone.

Dirk's sells the Asian carp patties at the Lincoln Park store and says the sustainable seafood shop is trying to make the carp "unsustainable."