Bell Aquaculture Announces Breaded Yellow Perch Product

March 17, 2010 09:11

Yellow perch - the sweet, mild tasting fish that everyone loves, especially at Friday Night Fish Fries - is now officially back in time to kickoff the Lenten season, reports with reference to Bell Aquaculture. 

Bell Aquaculture, owner and operator of the nation's largest yellow perch (Perca flavescens) farm, is rolling out its breaded yellow perch line and concurrently launching the Bell PerchTM Online Ordering System. The announcement is made by Norman McCowan, President & CEO, who says for the past year, as the farm has been building out, Bell Perch has only been available through restaurant partners and various public sales and special events, such as the annual Purdue University Ag Alumni Fish Fry.

Bell will continue to form restaurant partnerships as it grows and participate in special events, but now the public will be able to purchase both the breaded yellow perch fillets and Cajun nuggets online.

Bell Perch breaded products are now available in orders of either five or 20 pounds (unbreaded fillets will be available in the near future):

Frozen Breaded Fillets

Bell's breaded yellow perch fillets, with a slightly lemon pepper taste, are just like what we used to have in the days of yesteryear - and maybe better, before overfishing of lakes and environmental perils. Further, Bell's panko breading is just the right balance of tangy and mild, and the fillets cook best in canola oil in just under 3 minutes. (see recipes at the Web site for specific cooking instructions).

Cajun Nuggets

Yellow perch has always been a Cajun seafood favorite, and now a new southern dream come true: the spicy kick of Cajun seasoning paired with the sweet taste of Bell Perch. Perfect for appetizers or even as a whole meal, these Bell Perch Cajun Nuggets will be your favorite Bayou seafood. The newly harvested fish only travel 5 miles to be processed and are quickly frozen to maintain flavor and freshness. It's unique that Bell processes its own harvested fish, thereby maintaining vertical integration and control over every step of the process from ‘farm to fork.

"The greatest difficulty in recent years has been the availability of yellow perch out of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie - the two predominant lakes for the supply of wild‐caught yellow perch," explains McCowan. "Which means restaurants that were typically serving customers who enjoy the taste of yellow perch and individual consumers, just couldn't get the supply. Or, in some cases, they are getting lesser quality fish and selling it as yellow perch."

Further, McCowan says: "The yellow perch that we're raising, the Bell Perch, is a higher quality product from the

standpoint that there is no real possibility of contaminants entering into their food chain during their growth. We have absolute control over our water supply, since they are raised in‐house there is no opportunity for bird predation, pesticides or herbicides to get into the flesh of the fish that you and I might sit down to eat."

Yellow perch is one of the most popular of all North American pan fish. It has a mild, sweet flavor with firm white flesh and low fat levels, making it a favorite in residential and commercial kitchens alike. There's no taste difference from wild‐caught like some other farmed species. In years past, yellow perch was the fish typically served at Friday Night Fish Fries in the Great Lakes region, particularly during Lent (the period prior to Easter).

The vision for a yellow perch farm was born when Chairman & Founder Michael Miller became personally interested in aquaculture in 1994. After studying this science and becoming involved in the Indiana Aquaculture Association, Inc.

(IAAI), he developed a dream to bring the local and personal favorite, yellow perch, back to the area. Miller has been involved with the IAAI for 12 years, including holding the position of secretary/treasurer until recently.

As Miller says, "What started out as an idea on a Post‐it note, ended up being 17 file cabinets of information." So after more than 12 years of research, consulting fish experts and a lot of hard work, Bell Aquaculture was formed in 2005.

Bell Aquaculture is committed to these four guiding principles in producing its fish:

1) Controlled indoor environment

2) Toxin & mercury free - no hormones used

3) Healthy growth

4) Gentle to the environment

About Bell Aquaculture

Bell Aquaculture, headquartered in Redkey, IN, is a producer and processor of farm‐raised fish for restaurants and consumer use. Initial production facilities, dedicated to yellow perch, are located in Albany, IN, and comprise the nation's largest yellow perch farm.

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