Chuck and Jenny Anderson started raising freshwater fish at their Artesian Trout Farm back in 1981, and are longtime vendors at the Dane County Farmers' Market. Based north of Westfield, the farm is home to an artesian well that offers a year-round supply of cool water for raising rainbow trout.
Fed an all-natural diet, the fish are sold both fresh and smoked. For the latter, the Andersons brine the fish overnight in brown sugar, maple sugar and seasonings, and then smoke them for eight hours with hickory chips. Available at the Saturday market from the farm's booth on North Carroll Street, the trout can also be found at grocery stores and restaurants around Madison, including Woodman's West, Metcalfe's Sentry, the Seafood Center on Whitney Way, L'Etoile, Bradbury's, and the Madison Club.
Jenny Anderson spoke to The Daily Page about Artesian Trout Farm and the market.
The Daily Page: How did you become a farmers' market vendor?
Anderson: Chuck and I were selling all of our trout wholesale to restaurants and grocery stores, and customers had no idea they were raised right here in Wisconsin. We needed to find a venue where we could educate our customers about the quality and freshness of our fish, so we decided to try the Dane County Farmers' Market. We were able to establish our own clientele one customer at a time, beginning with our first day at the market. Once customers tried our trout, they keep coming back.
What else do you offer through the summer season?
Fresh rainbow trout fillets, hickory-smoked fillets and whole boneless trout.
What's your most popular product?
What's your favorite product elsewhere at the market?
Renaissance Farms Cinnamon Rolls.
What's your pre-packaged, supermarket-shelved guilty pleasure?
Sushi at Sentry Hilldale.
If you were to make a meal incorporating your products, what would you make?
Marinated Grilled Trout Fillets.
The recipe is:
1.5 lbs. trout fillets
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. water
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon rind
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Ground pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Salt to taste
Season trout fillets with pepper, garlic powder and salt. In a small bowl, stir together lemon, soy sauce, brown sugar, water and vegetable oil until sugar dissolves. Place fish in a large re-sealable bag with the soy sauce mixture and seal. Refrigerate one to four hours.
Preheat grill for medium high heat. Oil heavy foil. Place trout on foil skin-side down. Cook trout four to five minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Garnish with grilled lemon slices.