Clay County Extension group to sample catfish

By: 
DONNA SUMMMERALL
Staff Writer

The Mississippi State University Clay County Extension Service's Cooking and Baking group will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, to learn about Mississippi Farm Raised Catfish. The meetings are open to the public, but as a courtesy, please call the MSU Extension Service office by noon, Oct. 23, to reserve a spot.

"We've been trying to have this catfish class since August," said Natalie Ray, Clay County Agent for the MSU Extension Service. "August was official catfish month but there was no way to do this class during that month and I'm happy to finally be able to offer it to those who are interested."

Ray said there will be a short presentation about Mississippi Farm Raised Catfish, and they will discuss farm raised catfish and wild caught catfish.
"I'll be grilling the catfish we'll be sampling," Ray said. "I didn't want to fry it, we try to create more healthy dishes here, so I'm getting away from the traditional preparation. I'll be preparing grilled catfish with citrus and rosemary. I'll be giving out more recipes for baked and grilled catfish."

She said she will be stressing buying only U.S. Farm Raised Catfish. Restaurants are required by law to post where the catfish they sell originates from.
"A lot of what comes from overseas isn't even catfish," Ray said. "It's some other species entirely. American catfish is very low in mercury, and high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It is brain food. Other types of fish such as, tuna can be very high in mercury."

Ray said most of the locally-produced catfish comes from Lowndes and Noxubee counties. She said the largest producer of catfish is the Delta area.
"Mississippi is the largest producer of catfish in the U.S." Ray said. "That's something we can be proud of. It is an extremely healthy fish to eat. It's one of Mississippi's largest commodities and is shipped all over the U.S."

The Cooking and Baking Group, sponsored by the MSU Clay County Extension Service, meet at 10 a.m. one Tuesday a month at the Extension Service on Broad Street.
"We send out a newsletter to those who come and provide us with a mailing address," Ray said. "I never know which Tuesday is going to be open for the meeting, so that's why the newsletter is important."
For more information visit the MSUES website at extension.msstate.edu/msu-extension-clay-county or to reserve a spot for the Cooking and Baking Class, call 494-5371.

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