Yadao Inong, Traditional Foods

Eel is one of my favorite foods from our region — but I wasn’t always a fan.  If you’ve ever seen lamprey eel you will know it is isn’t one of the most glamorous looking foods — in fact I’m sure there have been many horror movies that have used the idea of the lamprey to create a monster that would terrify us.  It has a mouth that seems like just a sucking hole lined with teeth — and really…does it have eyeballs?  I never got past the mouth.

Lucky for me one of the Humboldt Del Norte County Master Food Preservers brought some smoked and canned eel to one of our meetings to share.  What I discovered for myself is that eel is a comfort food for me.  With that smoky flavor and oily delicious flesh, I think eel hits a part of me that is satisfied no other way.  If you ever get a chance to taste eel, I suggest you do yourself a favor and try it.  I’ve also had it deep fried and, well — I’ve never met a deep fried food I didn’t like…but still smoked is my favorite.

I was very happy to have the opportunity to talk with a young man who grew up along the river and fished for eel and has been enjoying it all his life — Yadao Inong. I learned about fishing for eel and also about other traditional foods he grew up with.

Part 1 listen here, Part 2 listen here

This program was supported in part by the Northwest California Tribal Communities Extension Program, a USDA funded project through UC Cooperative Extension of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

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