As Taste of Chicago got under way Wednesday, people lined up by the dozen for free Asian Carp. The fish is a pest in the Illinois River, but if people try it and like it, the problem will be reduced, says Marc Miller, head of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “I can’t imagine one fish stock that hasn’t been over-fished by man once it has a commercial value, and our hope is to create a commercial value for this fish, and we know that’ll reduce it from the Illinois River,” he said.
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The DNR put on the giveaway. The fish were served as burgers with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil, on a bun with tomato, jalapeno and cheddar sauce. “It’s great. Tastes just like a salmon sandwich, or fish sandwich of some sort,” said Karen Most of Darien, who characterized the taste as “mild.” Ground carp sells for $8 a pound at the fish specialty store that served the mini-burgers today at its Taste of Chicago tent. If and when it will be widely available at supermarkets is not known.