Traditional Fish Boil

Nothing fishy about this traditional boil

September 10, 2009 // 0 Comments

Dating back to the late 1800s, fish boils were a tradition of Scandinavian immigrants to Door County, Wis. Nowadays there is not a respectable Wisconsin “Supper Club” in Door County worth its salt that does not feature a fish boil on Friday or Saturday evenings, summer through fall. In 2000, Barbara Bull, owner of Cherry Point Farm, traveled to Door County, Wis. for a cherry growers meeting and while there experienced, for the first time, one of the area’s famous fish boils. “Eureka,” she said, “I had found the perfect ingredient to compliment the 600 acres of orchards, gardens, vineyards and woodlands where more than 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs are produced and harvested on Cherry Point Farm.” Thus began a new tradition at Cherry Point Farm, the Friday and Saturday evening fish boils during the months of June, July, August and September. “Fish boils are gatherings.” says Bull. “Area locals, out-of-state tourists, and resorters gather and make new friends while partaking in, many for the first time, a unique culinary experience.” It has been said by some that the worst winter they had ever spent “was a summer in Michigan.” This past summer in Michigan was one such summer, being one of the coolest on record. This particular Friday was no exception. It had rained off and on all day and it was 60 degrees when we arrived at Cherry Point Farm, but we were cheered by the sight of 5,000 blooming red petunias planted at the entrance of the farm market building. Previously, along with 77 others, we had made the required reservations for the evening’s fish boil. Our concerns about no-shows were laid to rest as the parking lot soon filled with the evening’s entire roster. The weather cooperated, the rain stopped, and outside over a stone lined fire pit Ven Martinez, the “boil master,” had already stoked a fire under and around a water- filled specially crafted 30-gallon pot. Martinez’s vital responsibility was to establish and maintain a rolling boil in the pot. Tonight it proved to be a difficult task because of the damp wood, but he succeeded admirably. Promptly at 6 p.m., Barb Bull announced that the fish boil was about to commence. Holding cups of […]