Fish, crustaceans and shellfish
Wallonia, a land of pure rivers and springs, is ideally suited to fish farming. The demanding trout prospers there, gaining in weight and flavour, and is the star performer. But other species also feel « like fish in water »: carp, perch, salmon, pike and more recently the giant catfish from the east. Not forgetting even more exotic varieties such as Tilapia. Gourmets be warned!
Just take a walk in Wallonia and you will soon understand why the region, with its greenery, clear springs and temperate climate, is a perfect sport for environmentally friendly fish farming, for fish... and for gourmets. Fish farming is constantly expanding. In Wallonia, fish farmers have found an ideal location for their activities: as near as possible to sources for the natural oxygenation of the water, and as far away as possible from possible sources of pollution. The Chimay region, for example, is a preserved wooded site where the most sensitive indigenous trout find farmers who are capable of breeding them.
The king of fish in Wallonia is the trout, caught by anglers throughout the country and now, thanks to fish farming, increasingly gracing the tables of gourmets with dietary concerns. Although the indigenous trout, the « Fario » with its reddish hue, has a special place in our hearts, the American rainbow trout is now appearing on our plates. Around forty professional fish farmers produce trout. Most of these are rainbow trout for the table and Fario to repopulate the rivers. Originally from Africa, the Tilapia is attracting growing interest amongst health-conscious consumers who are increasingly turning to fish. Rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and oligo-elements, this species provide a rich source of food that is low in calories. It is also exquisitely flavoured: fresh, smoked, stewed, baked or on the barbecue... it tempts us in a thousand forms. And you absolutely must not miss « Truite en Escavèche »: the fish is roasted on a bed of onions, covered with simmering vinegar then preserved in pots. A marvel!
Exquisite and decorative, the pretty orange trout egg pearls deserve their nickname of « Walloon caviar ». However, gourmands of Wallonia also know and appreciate good things, and how to process, transform and artfully distribute products from other countries and regions. So « long live the remarkable caviar, crustaceans, shellfish and mollusks... from Wallonia ».