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Kuperus Helps Showcase Fast Meals from the Sea at Jersey Seafood Tailgate Party

New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus donned an apron Saturday, October 23, 2004 to help local chefs make quick, grilled seafood recipes at the Collingswood Farmers Market’s “Jersey Seafood Tailgate Party.”

“Seafood is the perfect meal for fall events, such as tailgate parties before a big game,” said Secretary Kuperus. “Seafood is quick and easy to prepare, nutritious, and delicious, especially when it’s Jersey Seafood.”

Three New Jersey chefs, Nunzio Petruno of Nunzio Ristorante Rustico, Mark Smith of The Tortilla Press, and Vincenzo of Villa Barone -- all in Collingswood -- demonstrated a variety of quick, easy and delicious ways to prepare New Jersey’s bounty of fish, shellfish and Jersey Fresh produce for informal entertaining.

“When you come to an event like this and experience the richness of the Garden State’s seafood bounty, you realize just how much our fishing and aquaculture industry adds to the quality of life in New Jersey,” said Secretary Kuperus. “The industry provides a delicious supply of fresh, local seafood, creates employment and income for many of our residents and contributes to the state’s identity as a producer of quality food.”

Among the aquaculture featured at the event was a tank of farm-raised tilapia -- a fast-growing, mild-flavored fish. The fish were part of the first tilapia crop grown at Cumberland County College in Vineland, the site of the state’s first commercial scale recirculating aquaculture system. The facility, a demonstration project for prospective fish farmers, will produce about 100,000 pounds of tilapia annually. Recirculating systems are environmentally sound, self-contained processes that filter and reuse water, replacing only a small percentage of water each day.

“New Jersey’s aquaculture industry is important to the state’s $64 billion food and agriculture complex,” said Secretary Kuperus. “Through events such as the ‘Jersey Seafood Tailgate Party,’ residents can taste farm-raised Jersey Seafood for themselves and gain a better understanding of fishing and aquaculture.”

George Saridakis of Seaburst Farms, a Woodbury, New Jersey producer and marketer of aquaculture products, one of the few seafood vendors at community farmers markets in the state, is a regular vendor at the Collingswood Market. He offered farm-raised clams and oysters, in addition to boneless, skinless tilapia fillets. For more information about Seaburst Farms, log on to

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