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Nov 20, 2009 07:09 AM

I lost a bet re: CT rivers. Now I have to eat shad roe this Spring. Need advice.

What is shad roe- shad eggs? Why does it look so, well, gross? How do you cook it? I don't think I even know what sort of fish a shad is, but I've heard it's got lots of tiny bones, and it can taste muddy. Unfortunately, I have to eat this meal come spring, and I thought I'd plan ahead. Is this dish a spring-only thing, or can I order it in a restaurant? What does the prepared roe taste like? Should I get my "friend" back and double-dog-dare-them to avoid this punishment?! I'm usually up for a culinary challenge, but I'm hesitant to take the plunge here. And who knew there was a "main" river in CT called the Thames? I thought it was in England, so now I am forced to eat shad. And review my CT facts.

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    1. Hysterical. My mother, an old 83yo Yankee through and through, loves shad roe. Every year during a certain time a friend of hers would call her to say shad roe was in season. I remember Scribners in Milford used to serve it when it is in season and they would go there together--perhaps you could call and ask Scribner himself to tell you when it is and if they still serve it and what time of year. Even my local Shop Rite in Milford gets it in. Dave (the fish man there) used to own his Dave's Seafood, so he knows his stuff and stocks it. My mom pan sears it in butter very simply--like a sack of eggs that looks like organ meat. I think it looks disgusting too and don't know how she can eat it but she loves the stuff, but she loves all gross things like liver, pigs feet, kidneys, etc. She's from the depression you know and grew up on a lake from a family of fisherman. Good Luck!

      4 Replies
      1. re: cheereeo

        In Maine, when the wild plum or shad bush is in flower, the shad are running in the rivers, is an old saying.
        I love it floured and fried in butter.
        Stuck, if you can suck crawdad heads, what's the problem?

        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Hey 'keg: Here's an old Nawlins saying: Shuck me Suck me Eat me raw! Ha ha- referring, of course, to crawdad heads (or shrimp). You have a point-it's a pretty disgusting and potentially "dangerous" food practice. I think my revulsion w/shad roe (and the reason this is my punishment) is that it looks so darn gross- I mean a raw oyster looks gross, too, but it's small. You can eat them w/o chewing if you like. Those shad must be mutants, judging by the size of their row sacs, and I rue the day I shared this revulsion w/my friend. Anyway, most of these posters seem to think it's a tasty treat, and now I have some great ideas about how to prepare it. Can't wait for Spring!

          1. re: stuck in Hartford County

            I used to catch a lot of cod when I lived in Norway. I felt like I won an extra prize when the cod was filled w/ roe; loved the tongues and cheeks too.
            I'd be worried if I lost a bet and had to eat a mess of Pop Tarts or Big Macs!

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          1. Sounds like you won the bet. You get to eat a great delicacy and look at it as punishment???

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              stuck wins on two fronts: gets to eat shad roe AND learns a little about our great rivers. I've sailed the major ones and they are beautiful. Living along Long Island Sound is very cool.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Well put Sam! This is one of my favorite spring time treats. Served with shad as well as roe it is a feast. I think the roe is delicate and easily dried out or over powered. I've read recipes warning against frying it in bacon fat or even butter, as they can over power the subtle flavor. Shad can be boned, although it is tricky. Most fans prefer to pick around the bones as the bones add more flavor. I live somewhat near the Delaware River and there was a time when the river was too polluted for the shad to do well. People in our area are very proud that the shad have come back. There is a shad festival in Lambertville NJ every year to celebrate the return of the shad each spring!