Monday, July 7, 2014

2014 Amanda - Local Fishsticks?!

Yes, they are real...just not in stores (yet!).

Kids loved 'em...and so did their parents!
In an attempt to open up new markets for local fishermen and processors, a team here at NH Sea Grant has been working on a NH Fresh & Local Seafood Value Added Project. This trial is currently being held by Damon Frampton of Portsmouth Lobster Company and Peter Kendall of Yankee Fishermen's Cooperative. Damon is working on fresh, cooked lobster meat but packaging only the claw and knuckle meat in order to lower the price typically driven by tail meat. This could bring fresh lobster meat to those who may not want to pay top dollar for the tail meat. It is also a convenient way for consumers to cook with lobster without the hassle of large pots of boiling water! Peter Kendall has been busy coordinating with a Boston processor to create breaded fishsticks using Atlantic Pollock. Most major brands of fish sticks you will find in the frozen section use Alaskan Pollock. But hey, why would we be eating Pollock from the other side of the country if we have fresh Atlantic Pollock right here?! Hopefully this trial will create a viable opportunity for "local fishsticks".

Our first official tasting was held at Eastman's Corner in Kensington, NH at their annual Block Party. We set up a booth with NH Fresh & Local information and had sheets of fish sticks (crisped up thanks to our handy little toaster oven) and lobster salad on crackers. All evening people passed through the tent excited to try these products. The only complaint seemed to be that these were only samples and not available in stores yet - a good sign! We provided surveys for those who cared to fill them out and collected information on taste and buying choices.
Damon and I getting ready to fill up the next tray of food!

We will be conducting a few more tastings this summer; some larger ones and other smaller focus groups. Once these are concluded and the market cost analysis on each product is complete, these products may soon be on the market! Until then...join us for a tasting. We will send out a notification on the Facebook page:

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