Skate

While the French love skate, this ingredient is only slowly catching on in the U.S. And if you've ever filleted and cooked a skate wing before, you know why. The experience can seem alien. The skate's shark-like skin is gray with small spikes covering the surface. The lean, white meat has a unique corrugated pattern and tastes mild. Skates don't have any bones, but you can chop up and use the leftover cartilage to add richness to soups. Once you get the hang of the prep work, skate is an ingredient that you'll grow to love. F&W's guide has terrific recipes and cooking techniques from chefs around the country.

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