Europeans eat jellyfish as Mediterranean population spikes
Scientists are partnering with chefs around the world to encourage people to eat jellyfish. This follows an unprecedented explosion of the jellyfish population in the Mediterranean. The scientists are currently working with a team of Michelin-star chefs to put jellyfish pasta, salads, and soups on the menus.
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According to scientists, the population boom of the fish calls for immediate solutions. One of the proposed solutions is encouraging more people to adopt it as a delicacy. Their primary targets are restaurants across Europe, where jellyfish consumption is still minimal.
According to some scientists, European restaurants have so far mastered appetizers, starters, and even main courses. Some of the dishes that they are championing include jellyfish with caviar, Mediterranean jellyfish soup, and cuttlefish tagliatelle, among others.
The scientists have already collaborated with chefs to publish a cookbook with detailed jellyfish recipes. Most of the recipes follow traditional fish cooking methods, underpinning the fact that jellyfish are similar to other types of fish when it comes to the culinary space.
Alan Deidun, researcher, marine biologist, and university professor told the Times of Malta that the fish will make its way to the menus of world-class hotels owing to the fact that it is very similar to other types of fish.
“I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is no different from other fish and it could soon make its way onto the menus of some high-class restaurants, and in time, even in our families’ homes,” said Deidun.
The European Union through the Blue Growth Strategy is now funding research to find the benefits of jellyfish to humans. The union hopes to lure more fish eaters to take up jellyfish. The continent is also working on modalities to start exporting the fish.
For decades, jellyfish have been consumed widely in Southeast Asia but are rarely used in Europe. According to Deidun, the lack of interest in jellyfish in Europe has got nothing to do with its taste. He argues that most Europeans avoid the fish due to perception.
“In 2015, a group of chefs walked around the Milan Expo with dishes of cooked jellyfish, asking people to taste it without telling them what it was. Around 90 percent of people liked it and said they would order it again if it were on a restaurant menu, thinking that is was cuttlefish (),” Deidun explained. “The chefs then repeated the experiment, but this time they told people that they were serving jellyfish. Half of them refused to even try it.”
Via Times Malta