The Maryland Zoo has been hatching Africa penguin chicks for over 50 years, celebrating the arrival of Mille, chick number 1000 in 2018. Along with an ID number, sort of like a Social Security number, each penguin is named according to a specific annual theme. Past themes have included types of fish (Trigger, Tetra) and literary characters (Gatsby, Coraline).
This year, the Penguin Coast care team has selected spices as the naming theme for chicks hatched during the 2019-2020 season. Since the newest batch of chicks will add a bit of flavor to the colony of more than 90 endangered birds, the Zoo partnered with Maryland-based McCormick & Company for a naming contest for the first chick of the season and after nearly 7,000 votes were cast, she was named Sage!
Now, as we get start revealing the names of the 10 other African penguin chicks hatched this season, McCormick has helped prepare some tasty treats to celebrate the spices the penguins are named after and inspire conservation action for these endangered birds, too.
With each “batch” of penguin names we reveal on social media, we’ll share a recipe you can create at home using one of the spicy newborn penguin’s names and sustainable seafood choices. Overfishing is a serious issue that causes wild penguins to have to compete more, swim further and wait longer to find food, which puts their survival at risk. By choosing seafood with the smallest negative impact on the environment through the handy Seafood Watch printed guide, website and mobile app, penguin lovers can help assure there are fish for wild penguins to eat.
Browse recipes below. More will be added as names are announced:
Alaskan Pacific Cod
with spicy fennel and tomato sauce
This recipe was created for the second penguin chick to hatch this breeding season, Fennel. He hatched in late October 2019.