SHAD ROE

Shad Roe is a highly seasonal product and only available at the onset of spring when the shad swims up river to spawn.Shad roe has been a part of the Virginia and Carolina coastal diet since pre-Colonial time.This delicious delicacy is the actual egg sack set of the shad fish.Shad roe is very fragile to handle and to cook.Historically, shad roe was served for breakfast with eggs, bacon and potatoes.Since Colonial time shad roe has become a rare culinary delicacy that is served poached in butter or pan fried in butter or bacon fat and often served with crispy sautéed capers.The raw egg sac resembles raw liver, once cooked it firms up so its texture is more like a buttery fine ground sausage.Its elegant flavor pairs well with other spring culinary treasures such as morel mushrooms and fiddle head ferns.Make sure to cook shad roe on a medium-low heat, too high a heat will cause the egg sac to pop.Treat it ever so gently while it’s still raw as it is extremely delicate.If purchased frozen, defrost until completely slacked out before handling.My favorite cooking technique for shad roe is to pan fry it (without flour) in good bacon fat and serve it sliced thinly with crispy fried capers deglazing the pan drippings with orange juice & good pepper. One delicious bite and you’ll become a shad roe groupie too. Enjoy it while you can – the season is fleeting and only lasts a few weeks.