Locally caught fish are swimming into UNH dining halls this month, thanks to a six-week pilot project that is introducing students to new tastes while providing local fishermen with a reliable market for their catch.
And on Wednesday, April 16 a Sustainable Seafood Dinner Wednesday will highlight locally caught seafood and New England’s fishing community with dishes like skate wing tacos, seafood ceviche, and locally grown kelp. The dinner, from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Holloway Commons dining hall, is free to anyone with a UNH dining plan and open to the public for a charge ($22.95 for adults; $11.50 for children under the age of 10).
“Bringing more local seafood to our diners is a natural extension of UNH Dining’s Local Harvest commitment to connect with our region’s producers and source locally as much as possible,” says David Hill, UNH Dining assistant director, culinary operations. “And educating our customers about local fisheries and undiscovered seafood supports the university’s education mission, as well.”
On the April 16, menu will be hake, scallops, lobster dishes, and oysters from regional waters. The dinner aims to underscore efforts to alleviate pressure on overfished species by introducing diners to underloved but abundant local seafood.
For the pilot project, UNH Dining is working with Red’s Best, a Boston-based seafood processor, to bring more locally caught seafood to the dining halls. Sourcing seafood locally not only provides fisherman with a reliable market but also provides student with access to and education about local seafood.
“It’s been great working with UNH Dining Services as they respond to student demand for more local seafood,” says Spencer Montgomery ‘14, a nutritional sciences major at UNH and an organizer of UNH’s Slow Fish campaign, which builds upon the principals of Slow Food. “As one of the largest food purchasers in the state, this commitment from UNH could help revitalize conditions for the local fleet.”
Since 2005, UNH Dining and the Sustainability Institute have hosted a wildly acclaimed Local Harvest Dinner. The pilot and dinner represent a collaboration between UNH Dining, Slow Food UNH, the Sustainability Institute, NH Sea Grant, and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance to increase local seafood availability in the dining halls.
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