Foods & Culinary

How America’s Only Farmed Glass Eels are raised in Maine

In this episode of Dan does |, Hosted Daniel Geneen American unagi, the only glass eel farm in the country. Founder Sara Rademaker started her business when she learned that there wasn’t a single eel farm in the United States. Prior to American Unagi, glass eels eaten in America were locally caught as babies, flown internationally to be reared in overseas facilities, and then flown back to be served in American restaurants. Your institution wants to change that.

“The first eels I raised were in my cellar,” says Rademaker. “I hear all the good startups are there.” The operation began when it discovered that the glass eel fishery in Maine is one of the most valuable fisheries in the United States. Sacks of eels can sell for up to $ 2,000 a pound, so she knew there was a market.

Once a year, Maine’s fishermen set up nets to catch the tiny transparent eels that migrate along the coast. They filter, weigh, clean and sell them to Rademaker who puts them in their tanks and begins the long process of growing them to sell across the country, live or smoked.

In Maine, it can take a wild eel five to 30 years to mature, but the eels in American Unagi’s tanks can mature from just seven months to two years thanks to their special care and care for their habitat. “Our eels are hpy; This is how they grow best and taste best. “

Once they get close to market size, the larger eels move to a room with larger tanks and larger feed. They are then sorted and sorted by hand, and those that take time to grow are put back into the tanks. The mature eels are shipped live to restaurants and chefs when they’re done, or they’re shipped two hours south to Community Shellfish in Bremen, Maine, where owner Charlie Walsh processes them and prepares them for smoking. After buttering, cleaning, and boning the eels, he seals some to sell as they are and smokes the rest for those who want to buy them ready to eat.

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