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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

fresh lawyers in door county

I just had fresh lawyers for dinner.

Like much of what's found on menus here on Washington Island, lawyers are fish. They have other names in other places — burbot in other Great Lakes states, lingfiske in Scandinavian countries, mush fish in Ontario.

"They're considered a junk fish by lots of fishermen," said Ken Koyen, a fifth generation Washington Islander whose KK Fiske Restaurant puts up a sign touting Fresh Lawyers when its among the catch he brings in on his Sea Diver fishing boat. ( Fiske is fish in Danish.) It's a fish that must be skinned instead of scaled and Koyen brags he can skin a lawyer in 30 seconds.

Lawyer turns rubbery when its frozen and must be prepared within hours of being caught, so it's not considered a marketable fish. But when Koyen has it on the menu, people love to order it.

That's because its has a firm, almost sweet and nutty taste. Folks call it fresh water lobster. Because Koyen didn't catch a lot today, it was available only on the Captain's Platter at dinner tonight served alongside perch and whitefish. I thought it was delicious.

Why is it called a lawyer? I asked.

"Because it's heart is in its rear end," Koyen replied.


Blogger Ms.Rebecca said...

I really love the last comment ;) "Why is it called a lawyer"

August 26, 2008 at 3:11 PM 

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