April 19, 2011

Eating A Skate May Be A Mistake

I had a lovely time with my friend Susan touring around the Mid-Hudson Valley last weekend.
We walked the trail around the Vanderbilt Mansion and got to sit out on the rocks by the Hudson River during the few cool but sunny hours. Later, when it rained, we toured the insides of the Mansion as well as the home of FDR. Susan and I also met up with my college roommate Barbara who lives in the area.

But the main attraction of the weekend was the time that Susan and I spent at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park. We had dinner at one of the CIA restaurants, American Bounty, and took a Gourmet Meals in Minutes cooking class.

I was going to write more about both the dining and class experience. But when I googled to find an image of what I ate on Friday night, I didn't find a good photo to post but instead found some disturbing information. This is what I wrote to the CIA just now on a comment form on their website:

When I was at American Bounty last Friday, I ordered the skate fish. I had talked generally with our servers about local and sustainable foods but did not ask a specific question about this only fish on the menu. Although I had seen skates on beaches, I had never eaten one nor knew about them as edible (I have since seen the 1980 Julia Child video on cooking skate).When I returned home, I googled Skate and was dismayed to find that:
 "In 2010, Greenpeace International has added the barndoor skate, bottlenose skate, spotback skate, and maltese skate to its seafood red list. "The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries." wikipedia
Could you please tell me what kind of skate was served and where and how it was caught? Any other comments about why it was chosen to be on the menu would be appreciated.
Will the CIA respond?
Have you ever eaten skate?

Next time I'll share more about the wonderful cooking class...
And dear readers -- just click on this link if you would like to view Julia Child's Skate cooking demonstration:


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