Monday, May 5, 2014

Beautiful, Toxic and Delicious....

......the Lionfish
Photo: Wikimedia Commons 
The Lionfish is a truly spectacular fish to look at. Hard to imagine that hidden in those beautiful fin rays are toxins that can kill other fish, and cause great pain and harmful side effects to humans.

Aquarium owners began turning these lovely fish into the wild as they grew too big for home tanks.  Now the nonnative fish is consuming native species, damaging Florida reefs and massively growing in population, with no natural predator.

With so many species being overfished and the Lionfish population on the rise, conservationists are trying to educate the public about their flavorful meat, in hopes of creating a demand.

This was the idea behind the weekend Lionfish Fest in Fort Myers. It began with a fishing roundup on Saturday, the catch divided among eight chefs who put their culinary skills to work for a food competition on Sunday. It was the first time they had cooked Lionfish and the first time eating it for most of the attendees; everyone seemed pleased.

The chef's created some amazing dishes, showcasing the delicate seafood. No, it doesn't taste like chicken, more like a mild Hogfish.  The only downside is the amount of meat you get from each one. If you get a chance to catch, cook or eat a Lionfish, give it a shot. I think you will be pleased.

ginab2u's Lionfish Fest 2014 album on Photobucket
The Lionfish Fest was a benefit for the Heights Foundation and Lee Reefs

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