This Sunday, the Itoigawa Monkfish Festival came to a close at Oyashirazu Pier Park in the Oyashirazu Geosite.
Every year, Itoigawa holds the Itoigawa Monkfish Festival. At this festival, members of the community and visitors alike can enjoy a taste of winter in Itoigawa.
I’ve talked about monkfish before. A variety of anglerfish, monkfish live mostly sedentary lives on the seabed. They are indolence made flesh, spending most of their time slightly buried in the sand where they lay in wait for unsuspecting prey to pass by. When a tasty morsel should stray too closely to the monkfish’s antenna-like lure, it extends its massive jaws to swallow the meal whole. It’s fins are not adapted for swimming, rather they act as feet, allowing the monkfish to “walk” along the surface of the water.
It may very well be this sedentary lifestyle that gives monkfish its delicious flavor and favorable texture. The meat is a highly prized ingredient in soups and stews and the liver has been likened in flavor and texture to fine foie gras.
For three weeks every winter, the city of Itoigawa holds a monkfish festival each Sunday. The first is held in front of Itoigawa Station, the second at Marine Dream Nou, and the third at Oyashirazu Geopark. This year, over 7500 community members and visitors came to enjoy monkfish stew, a monkfish cleaning demonstration, and other fun activities.
Thank you to everyone who came even despite the chilly weather! If you are in Itoigawa next year, we hope to see you at the next Monkfish Festival!