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Bends in rivers

Posted by jgoodman 
Re: Bends in rivers
January 07, 2018 04:36PM
Jim, you are correct, Buffalo is bony. The lateral ribs (intermuscular bones) are thin and pointed. If the fillet is removed correctly, the muscle above the lateral septum is free of bones, and can be prepared as for any fish fillet. The bony portions, especially for large individuals, my mother used to pressure can and we used them like canned salmon, making fish cakes of them. Also, if a whole fish is baked, the fillet will lift from the bones like any other fish fillet. Trout and salmon have these bones, also, and the same principles apply to their preparation.

Both smallmouth and largemouth buffalo are farmed, typically in mixed culture with catfish. The primary market for them fresh has generally been to African Americans. If you have eaten frozen fish products like "fish sticks," there is a good probability that you have eaten buffalo, along with carp, goldfish (yes, the same species as commonly kept as pets), and other so called "rough fish." Most of the harvest for processing, especially before aquaculture, has been from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

Dave McNeely
Re: Bends in rivers
January 08, 2018 10:34AM
Chuck, if you want to take a chance on those, I think you'll find that they are (if actually buffalo) quite mild and tasty, though as Jim said, they are bony. It sounds like what is offered is filleted. If so, and if the purveyers are honest merchants, they might tell you if the fillets are bony or boneless. If boneless, they should also have bony portions for sale at a lesser price perhaps.

Many kinds of fish that have a reputation as not being good to eat are in fact quite good. Before aquaculture became the major source of much of America's commercially offered fish, northerners generally would not eat catfish, calling it a "scavenger" and contending that that made it poor table fare. Even today, some feel that way, though they've never tasted it. The same applies to carp, gar, and most suckers including buffalo. Carpsucker, however, I can attest is very strong tasting though not oily.

Dave McNeely
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