Acme to launch Bering cisco in New York


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
November 8, 2009

Kwik'pak Fisheries and Acme Smoked fish will partner with famed restaurateur Eli Zabar to hold a Bering cisco launch party in New York next month. The party will be held 9 December at E.A.T., a Zabar-owned property.

The event celebrates a partnership that started a few years ago between the two companies. Kwik'Pak's Jack Schultheis has worked with Acme Smoked Fish Corp.'s Buzz Billik, VP of sales, to find a replacement for the dwindling Great Lakes chub.

Acme sells smoked seafood products to ethnic and Kosher markets across the United States. Schultheis was able to supply Acme with whitefish from the Bering Sea known as Bering cisco. In 2008, the state of Alaska gave the Yup'ik Eskimos a 10,000-pound test quota. The Eskimos sell their fish to Kwik'pak, which in turn supplied product to Acme.

"We were more than pleasantly surprised with everything about this fish — the flavor, the texture, the size — Bering cisco had all of the characteristics we look for in a smoked whole fish," said Billick. "Our clientele favors the Great Lakes chub, but they really could not tell the difference, mostly because these fish are larger like the early days when there were larger and even tastier chubs available. These fish are reminding an entire generation of years past."

Schultheis said that, if last year's success with the test harvest of Bering cisco is any indication, restaurants, delis and retail outlets will be competing for the "limited edition" smoked delicacy from Acme. 

"This is an important fishery for the people whose livelihoods depend upon the fishery resource on the Lower Yukon," said Schultheis. "We plan to work with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game to develop this fishery into a commercial operation, so that consumers can enjoy this unique, high-fat fish and so that our fishermen can reap the economic value of a unique, value-added product."

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