December 7, 2015
This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Serve up your seafood and compete in Alaska’s biggest seafood Soiree. I’ll tell you how after this…
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Alaska seafood products are needed for the 23rd annual seafood celebration- The Symphony of Seafoods. Each year the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation brings a variety of new seafood products to the table, entered by small mom and pop shops to major companies. The event has helped showcase hundreds of seafood products from black cod tips and salmon burgers to pet treats.
“Traditionally we had four different categories, and last year we added a category called Beyond the Plate. It was intended to be a broad category for new products made from certain nontraditional parts of the fish.”
Julie Decker is the executive director of AFDF. She says that the Beyond the Plate category was a success, with a good number of entries.
“It was a little bit tricky to do the judging, because we had several gourmet pet treats and since the people participating in the people’s choice judging couldn’t taste those, so they evaluated the products on the presentation, the packaging, and the ability for that product to compete in the market place.” So the byproducts can score well in these different categories, even though they may or may not be taste testing that.”
Decker says it can be a variety of items from fish skin wallets to fish oil supplements; anything that is a result of a seafood byproduct. The 2015 Beyond the Plate winner was Yummy Chummies Pet Treats, made since 1998 by Arctic Paws of Anchorage.
This year AFDF is dishing up another product category.
“This year we have decided to add a new category called Beyond the Egg. With this we are trying to bring attention not only to the value of roe, but also the nutritional benefits that the roe presents.”
It could include products such as herring roe on kelp, salmon caviar, or uni.
“I think a wider variety of people are starting to eat products like sushi and roe. So we want to further encourage product development. And what that does is diversifies the markets available to companies selling Alaska seafood.”
The deadline to enter the 2016 Seafood of Symphony is January 8. Three gala events will be held in Seattle, Juneau, and the final tasting and the revealing of winners in Anchorage. The top winners in each category get to display their products in March at Seafood Expo North America in Boston, one of the world’s largest trade shows. Find entry forms and more information at www.afdf.org/symphony-of-seafood/.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini.