Seattle prepares for Alaska Herring Week 2017

While the month of May saw the start to Alaska’s salmon summer harvest season, June is shaping up to be all about a far less famous species for the prominent U.S. seafood region: herring.

During the week of 19 to 25 June, almost 60 restaurants throughout the city of Seattle, Washington will whip up dishes featuring herring for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s third annual Alaska Herring Week. The event is just one way ASMI is broadening its scope to engage consumers and their palettes beyond what is typically expected from the Alaskan seafood industry, according to ASMI Sustainability Director Susan Marks.

“Alaska is well known for its iconic species like king salmon and king crab legs, but in a couple of weeks, here in Seattle, we’re going to be giving some love to a lesser-talked about species,” explained Marks during a plenary held at this year’s SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Seattle, Washington.

“The purpose of this is to try and develop a market for an abundant and inexpensive protein source, and introducing people and their pallets to a seafood that they may not have thought of trying or even had a desire to try,” Marks added.

The concept of Alaska Herring Week was first rolled out in 2015, with seven restaurants agreeing to participate by cooking herring appetizers and main course offerings for patrons to consider. By its second year, participation for the initiative had climbed to 30 restaurants, and in 2017, that number has doubled, Marks confirmed. 

As the initiative matures, ASMI is looking to take Alaska Herring Week outside of Seattle.

“We hope to see this event take place in other venues, maybe Portland [Oregon] or San Francisco and Vancouver in the future,” Marks said. 


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