On June 25, 1987, then US President Ronald Reagan opened his presidential address by speaking about catfish -- a rather unusual topic.

Reagan spoke about the importance of catfish as both income and food to society and how this breed, named for their barbels that resemble cat whiskers, could provide a stable income for farmers.

From then, June 25 is considered National Catfish Day. It is observed by preparing and eating catfish. A favorite dish of many Americans, catfish is usually eaten fried with a coat of cornmeal. Its tender flesh gets tastier when complemented with spices. A little lemon or butter makes it even better.

A regular on restaurant menus and grocery stores, catfish is very nutritious and healthy.


Catfish is high on protein and low in calories, making it very nutrient-dense. According to Healthline, a 100-gram serving of catfish provides 32–39% of your daily protein needs. Catfish is a particularly outstanding source of vitamin B12, which improves mental health, provides protection against heart disease, and prevents and treats anemia.

Catfish aids weight loss by boosting feelings of fullness, making it a good option for those watching their weight.

They also contain other nutrients, like choline, and are good sources of healthy, essential fats.

Some Interesting Facts About Catfish

1) Catfish are considered omnivorous, eating plants, insects, shellfish, other fish and even small land mammals or reptiles. That makes it the biggest freshwater fish variety in Europe.

2) They are prolific breeders, and a single catfish can lay up to 4000 eggs per pound of its body weight each year.

3) Over 95% of the nation's farm-raised catfish are raised in Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana.

Side dishes

While there isn't much of a debate when it comes to the taste of catfish, a lot goes into the perfect side dishes. Here are some dishes that go well with catfish.

1) Cilantro lime rice: Fish can never go wrong with rice, so why not serve a bowl of steamed rice, flavored with some cilantro and lime juice. The mild zesty flavor will leave you drooling.

2) Loaded mashed cauliflower: This works wonders for weight watchers. A great alternative to mashed potatoes, loaded mashed cauliflower is tasty and flavorful. So, next time pair your catfish fry with this. Find the recipe here.

3) Fried green tomatoes: They are a rich and delicious partner for catfish. Slice green tomatoes and dip them in cornmeal batter. Fry until golden.

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