In New Brunswick, I recently visited Breviro Caviar, the only captive breeding facility for Acipenser Brevirostrum sturgeon on the planet licensed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
One of the company reps netted a few feisty fishies for us from these holding tanks.
Here's what the sturgeon's caviar looks like. It's not yet available to the market so don't expect to find it on your table at Area 31 anytime soon.
The chefs got intimate with the prehistoric-looking sealife, some going so far as to express their admiration physically. (Gee, that Chef Reidt really digs seafood, huh?)
Later that night, at an event showcasing New Brunswick seafood products, we met Jesse Vergen (center), executive chef at the Saint John Ale House (SJAH) and all around cool guy. (We also met this drink called The Caesar [far right], a take on a bloody Mary typically made with vodka, Clamato, hot sauce and Worcestershire. It wouldn't surprise us if that showed up on a cocktail menu nearby sometime soon...)
The next morning we headed out to Passamaquoddy Bay and Bay of Fundy to watch lobster fisherman at work with their traps. Once they caught the clawed crustaceans they bring them back to the processing plant. Some are relegated to this pen for purgatory--the time between capture and shipping.
Thankfully, by the time we arrived the factory crew had finished ripping the tails off the lobsters while they were still alive, so all we saw were these gorgeous whole specimens chilling inside plastic tubs. Sensing they knew their fate had been sealed, we felt it was our duty to help soothe the creatures by putting them to sleep. (What? You don't know how to make a lobster sleep? You just rub that little space where their forehead would be and they go numb.)
We went to visit Chef Vergen the next day on our way to the airport and we spotted these fiddlehead ferns at SJAH being pickled for later consumption (and visual effect, we presume).
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Curiosity was nearly killing us, but then--ta da!--out came the chef with a breathtaking board of bounty, including those delicious fiddlehead ferns for us to try, along with home-cured meats and even seaweed, as a going-away present for our group. Au revoir, Canada!