As trees begin to wake up and the sap starts flowing, so does the creatures gifted to us from our Creator!! After a long winter living off from dried whitefish, dried waawaashkeshi (deer), and whatever we preserved greens/foraging wise we sought fresh meat. It was then that the sucker volunteered to be our first fresh meat of the year. With his gift we we're able to have fresh food for spring!
Now, white sucker is what is native to our rivers and one of the first fish to still run as Aki begins to awaken. Our more modern way of eating this fish is to can it with a vinegar so the many, many bones dissolve leaving the meat! It's nutritious but can often be an acquired taste. I tried to fry it but quickly learned why the elders told me to can it! It is a very bone ladled fish!
Want to know the nutritional breakdown? Here it is!
Saturated Fat: 0.4g
Vitamin A: 43.35 mcg
Calcium: 59.50 mg
Potassium: 323 mg
While people see saturated fat and cholesterol as bad, after long, often harsh, winters we needed those nutrients quite badly! The amount of iron, calcium and potassium makes this fish very refreshing in that aspect. Now we can get those things easily but it's always good to know that in the spring, the white sucker fish volunteered to give us strength after those long, dark, cold winters!