Catching Mountain Trout in the High Country
By John M. Aydlett, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
The trout has been mythicized and immortalized by innumerable writers, outdoor sports editors and most fly-fishing storytellers. There are those who believe the only way to enjoy the gastronomical pleasures of trout is to pull one fresh from a mountain stream, clean it immediately and cook it in a hot skillet over an open fire. Another image many hold is one of elegance—a table beautifully dressed, an impeccable waiter serving a magnificent “gourmet” dish such as Trout Amandine, Trout Grand Mariner or Trout Provencal.
The broad range of these two scenes—from mountain stream to gourmet restaurant—illustrates the uniqueness of trout, its versatility and its adaptability.
A recent report revealed that Americans are eating 22 percent more fish and seafood today than they did ten years ago. And why? Fish and seafood have been described as “the quintessential low-fat, low-sodium food,” thereby appealing to our nation’s increasing concern about health and nutrition. It’s a wonderful source of protein and low in calories. Organizations such as the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association suggest that eating fish and other lean meats is an excellent way to lower fat intake.
Trout is naturally low in sodium and calories. It also has high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to lower blood triglycerides and cholesterol levels, reduce risk of death from coronary and cardiovascular disease, reduce blood pressure and relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.
Trout Don’t Need to be Scaled
Removal of the tiny scales also removes the thin coats of natural jelly around the scales that allows the trout to be breaded without using any type of liquid.
Use Mild Flavored Oils
Best fats include butter, hydrogenated shortening, peanut or corn oils.
Hot and Quick
Trout fried at a low temperature absorbs too much fat. The best temperature is 325–350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Trout should be moist and fork-tender. Trout is done when it flakes easily when probed with a fork.
To find retailers and restaurants that support NC Mountain Trout producers, go to NC-Seafood.org. Ask for NC Mountain Trout.