Yesterday's issue of the New York Times magazine was devoted to food, and tucked amid the many (now de rigeur for any discussion of eating, I guess) pieces on sustainable farming and local, seasonal eating was an interesting piece of news. The humble catfish - the South's favorite fried bottom-feeder - is getting a bit of a PR makeover.
In a campaign spearheaded by the Jackson, Mississippi-based Catfish Institute and endorsed by Iron Chef Cat Cora, some of the very best farmed North American catfish (almost all U.S. catfish are farm-raised now, and eat corn and soy while floating in well water, instead of Mississippi mud) will now be referred to as "Delacata." The article goes on to discuss the finer points of fish-naming and farming, with an interesting focus on a Vietnamese farmed fish, the Pangasius, that for a time threatened the market share of the U.S. whiskered swimmers.
Who's up for a Delacata plate with fries and coleslaw?