Fourteen of Alaska’s newest value added seafood products are being judged this week at the 25th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood event in Seattle. An expert panel will evaluate packaging and overall presentation from four different categories; Foodservice, Retail, Beyond the Egg and Beyond the plate.
“We have some products that definitely peak interest. We have a few black cod products, and those are always very competitive. An interesting one in retail that we don’t see very often is a flounder product, Alaska flounder parmesan with marinara from Orca Bay Seafoods.”
Julie Decker is the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundations director and host of the Symphony. She says she is seeing a few firsts in this year’s lineup. One is the Kelp Salsa by Barnacle Foods in Juneau.
“I think that it is cool that it is the first year we have seen commercial products harvested and that we are already seeing a kelp product entered into the Symphony. I’ve tried the kelp salsa. I’ve actually tried all of their products and they are all really good. I think that it will also be a competitive product.”
Another first and the only entry in the Beyond the Egg category is a squeeze tube style Pollock roe by Trident seafood. Trident also entered a Pollock fish sandwich and skillet cuts. Decker says Trident is working hard to up the market for Pollock.
“This is a good thing. The market and prices are down, so diversifying markets when prices are down is important to the industry in general, so again it is a healthy thing for the industry.”
Their Beyond the Plate category showcases what can be made out of fish byproducts. Seattle based business Alaska leaders Seafood’s Cod Crunchies pet treats are up against three crab shell based products by Tidal Vision from Juneau.
“It’s a completely different form of chitosan which is very cool and creative. But then these cod crunchies pet treats, I tried them a few months ago, I actually ate them myself and they are surprisingly not bad. So it will be interesting to see how that goes as a competing product.”
In honor of their anniversary, AFDF is displaying 25 years of winning products along with a panel presentation discussing the importance of product development for seafood and will end with the announcement of the Symphony winners.