During an interview last year with Chef Macku Chan of Macku Signature (2925 N. Halsted) for a feature in the Chicago Sun-Times, he told me that he planned to put “fish milt” on his menu. This food item, revered in many parts of the world, was served also at Mirai Sushi (2020 W. Division) when Macku was chef there.
Milt is fish semen, and in many parts of the world, it’s eaten as a delicacy, a rare and treasured foodstuff. My experience has been that if an ingredient has some nutritive value, it will find a place on dinner tables, however odd the food may seem at first. Cases in point: goat eyeball tacos at the Mexican-centric Maxwell Street Market and duck tongues at Chinese restaurants like Ed’s Potsticker House on Halsted.
And so it is with fish sperm: it sounds odd, but around the world, it’s what’s for dinner.
In Russia, it’s called “moloka,” and it’s pickled.
In Sicily, it’s called “lattume” and it’s eaten over pasta (of course!)
In Romania, it’s called “lapti,” and it’s usually fried.
Japanese eat the semen of a number of fish, including the common cod and the notoriously deadly puffer fish.
Late last week, a company called Uncle Milty’s announced plans to launch a restaurant in Oak Park that will specialize in seafood spermatozoa; they currently have three locations, two in Japan and one in Cleveland. Uncle Milty’s is looking for an appropriate space in Oak Park right now.
According to restaurateur Kyu Sakamoto, the “Village of Oak Park has been extraordinarily welcoming to us. In fact, we’ve never worked with a more sperm-friendly local government. It’s clear that the Village is wildly enthusiastic about the culinary potential of piscine ejaculate.”
Sakamoto revealed that Uncle Milty’s is looking at two relatively small locations that just opened up on Harrison Street. “Our intention is to start modestly,” Sakamoto said, “and we’ll be the first to admit this is a risky concept. But we’re convinced that though we will face challenges, and though we anticipate some initial hard times, we believe our efforts here in Oak Park will have a happy ending.”