The 33rd edition of the Flemish Fish of the Year will celebrate the bottomfeeder skate in an effort to promote the overlooked fish.
Despite being the third most-caught fish by Flemish fishermen each year, the Flemish Centre for Agriculture and Fisheries (VLAM) says the white fish remains relatively unknown to many people in Flanders.
“No longer in the shadow of our sole and plaice, but now in the spotlight for a year. Versatile, easy to prepare and above all, ‘ours’,” Flemish Minister of Agriculture Hilde Crevits announced on Twitter.
En de vis van het jaar is (?)… de Rog! Niet langer in de schaduw van onze tong en pladijs, maar nu een jaar lang volop in de schijnwerpers. Veelzijdig, makkelijk te bereiden en vooral ‘van bij ons’. Rog smaakt naar nog! @VLAM_be #visvanhetjaar #lekkervanbijons pic.twitter.com/9S1tNdPCPJ
— Hilde Crevits (@crevits) August 24, 2021
The vast majority of skate caught in Belgium is sold in speciality stores with the fish an uncommon sight in supermarkets that favour more commonplace varieties.
“Since 2018, sales of skate have been gradually increasing, but there is still a lot of potential and the Fish of the Year can help with this. Some 1,400 tons of skate are landed annually,” Crevits added.
To better promote skate, the VLAM has come up with several recipes to show off what can be done with the fish. The brochure will be distributed free of charge by fish speciality stores and fishmongers.
So, how do you prepare it? The most common method remains to fry it in brown butter but otherwise keeping things simple. Some recipes add capers, some lemon, but ultimately the focus remains on the fish.
Where can you get it? Following the promotion of skate as Fish of the Year, wholesalers and supermarkets have been encouraged to put it in the spotlight. Otherwise, it will be available at fishmongers.