How The Mississippi River’s Nasty Carp is Getting a Rebrand
We know the invasive carp fish doesn't have a good reputation but the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has a plan to change that.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources are renaming the fish 'copi' (short for 'copious' because Asian carp fish are invasive and everywhere, there are literally hundreds of millions of these fish).
Their reason for doing so makes sense. They're encouraging people to eat the fish because it's "mild, clean-tasting fish with heart-healthy omega-3s and very low levels of mercury", according to a release from the organization.
Because What's In A Name?
Ordering 'copi' sounds better than ordering 'carp', right? 'Copi' is still carp. Same fish.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan says in the release:
Copi is a great name: Short, crisp and easy to say. What diner won’t be intrigued when they read Copi tacos or Copi burgers on a menu? It’s a tasty fish that’s easy to work with in the kitchen and it plates beautifully. Every time we’ve offered samples during the Illinois State Fair, people have walked away floored by how delicious it is.
Carp isn't the first fish to get a glow-up via a new name, according to the release.
Examples: an 'Orange roughy' was originally known as 'slimehead'. Chilean sea bass, which isn't actually a bass, was known as Patagonian toothfish. Peekytoe crab was once known as mud crab.
According to WQAD, this is an endeavor. It's a 5-year, $600,000 project by the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to rebrand the carp. There's over 2 dozen distributors, restaurants, processors, and retailers on board with it, most of which are in Illinois.
For more details on this, check out choosecopi.com.