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What’s on the menu? SIU students to serve up copi at Du Quoin State Fair

Fish and Chips
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Fish and Chips

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Visitors to the Du Quoin State Fair on Saturday, Aug. 27, will have the chance to taste copi — formerly Asian carp — prepared by students in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s hospitality, tourism and event management and nutrition and dietetics programs.

Students will help prepare about 20 pounds of the fish on Aug. 26, with a demonstration and taste tests at 2 p.m. Aug. 27 in the fairgrounds’ Exhibition Hall. The demonstration lasts until 3 p.m., said Sylvia Smith, a professor in the hospitality, tourism and event management program.

The state recently began a rebranding campaign in an effort to make the invasive fish more attractive as an edible option. James Garvey, director of SIU’s Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, has been a proponent of the commercial possibilities for the fish.

“My hope is that our culinary students will learn what a versatile and delicious protein that copi is,” Garvey said. “For the fairgoers, I hope that they discover that we have an opportunity to control a nuisance invasive species in Southern Illinois lakes and rivers in a positive and healthful way.”

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