People don’t like fish

Here’s a theory (which is mine) for which I’ll surely get shellacked.  My theory, which (again) is mine, is this, and here it is. It’s just below:

 In general, people don’t like fish near as much as meat.

My evidence:

  1. Catholics used to eat fish on Fridays as a penance, which means that foregoing meat for fish was considered a sacrifice. (This practice was also the reason why McDonald’s created the Filet-O-Fish sandwich, as hamburger sales fell off on Fridays.)
  2. The most consumed fish in the U.S. are #1: tuna, and #2 salmon. What do they have in common? They’re “unfishy” fish, with a meaty texture and flavor. In fact, I frequently hear people say that they don’t like “fishy” fish, which means that they don’t much like fish.

I know a lot of people will write in angrily and say they love fish, and love fishy fish like anchovies and herring. I recognize that you people exist, but I am making a general argument, one supported by the data above. (Another non-fishy fish that’s highly prized, by the way, is swordfish.)

Full disclosure: I am not much of a fish fan, and when I do eat it it, it’s tuna or salmon.

p.s. Be temperate in your remarks below: remember there are rules about calling people names. Try not to carp too much.

p.p.s. I am talking about humans here, not cats.

tunasalmon

Good “fish”

 

header-052010

Bad fish

289 Comments

  1. Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    “Try not to carp too much.”

    Rimshot! 🙂

    • Dominic
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:45 am | Permalink

      U.S. TV is full of carp shows – at least that is what it sounds like!

  2. nickswearsky
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I frequently hear people say that they don’t like “fishy” fish, which means that they don’t much like fish.

    The entire population of Asia would disagree, I think.

    • eric
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I would say there is a large cultural or “nurture” component to it. You’ll tend to prefer what you grew up eating.

      Having said that, there probably is a biological component involved. The human palate tends to like sugars and some fats. It would not surprise me at all if we found a cross-cultural preference for relatively fatty meats and fish (i.e., red meat) over relatively lean meats and fish.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Definitely a cultural thing, but the preference for meat is probably true for the US and maybe some other countries as well. I am highly allergic to all fish and seafood, so when traveling I have had a hard time finding places to eat in certain areas. Fish seems to be most popular on the coast (surprise, surprise). I could not find anyplace to eat in Cape Cod except for a pizza place as all the restaurants reeked of fish. I have to be very careful in Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese restaurants as fish is often in dishes that don’t seem to be fishy foods.

      In Iceland, the favorite delicacy is Hakarl, which is fermented shark meat. I easily passed on that.

      Watching travel shows on PBS, I find that a lot of countries are fish eating, especially if you are on the coast or an island. But in the US, fish is not all that preferred in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain west where steaks, hamburgers and Mexican food seems to be most common.

      • Helgi Briem
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 5:30 am | Permalink

        I’m an Icelander, so I have to disagree with this statement: “In Iceland, the favorite delicacy is Hakarl, which is fermented shark meat.”

        Yes, we ferment* shark and there are people who say they like it and they may. But the vast majority who eat do so as a kind of test of fortitude.

        *technically, it’s not fermentation because no bacteria or fungi are involved in the process. Sharks and rays maintain osmotic balance with the sea by collecting their urea in their tissues. After death, each urea breaks down to two ammonia molecules which gives shark its fierce odour, reminiscent of strong cheese.

  3. Curt Cameron
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Psst… Jerry:

    I think you meant “forgoing.”

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Nope; see here.

      • Billy Bl
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        I have to agree with Curt.

        • Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          Ditto.

          • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            Double ditto

            • George
              Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

              Forgo
              http://grammarist.com/usage/forego-forgo/

            • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

              I agree with the three foregoing comments.

              But I’ll also say that when commenting on another’s website, it’s best to forgo trivial pedantry.

              • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

                That is a foregone conclusion.

              • Stephen
                Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

                Which way did it forego?

              • Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

                I could go for some fish.

              • jeffery
                Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

                “Which way did it forego?” – I forgot!

              • Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

                Pronounced like “escargot”?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted January 28, 2016 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

                I recall when my first-born was four-years-old, got his mom’s credit card, and took me out for Father’s Day dinner. We started out with escargot — after which he looked at me and said “more snails, Daddy.” From there we forwent entrées, eating plate after plate of succulent snails, with crusty French bread, washed down (in my case) with a buttery Napa Chardonnay.

                Best. Father’s Day dinner. Ever.

              • Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

                Gastropods for a gastronome.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

                The sure way to avoid a gastrocity!

              • Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

                How do you get around the gastrocity? Take the gastric bypass!

              • Filippo
                Posted January 30, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

                Are snails gutted before being et?

              • teacupoftheapocalypse
                Posted January 28, 2016 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

                *plants tongue firmly in cheek*

                Surely, if the fish in question has any diuretic or laxative properties, it would be forgoing. Otherwise foregoing.

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:00 am | Permalink

          Sadly for all you (ahem, us) prescriptivists, there’s this from the link Jerry gave us:

          fore·go

          verb

          gerund or present participle: foregoing

          variant spelling of forgo.

          synonyms: do without, go without

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:00 am | Permalink

            (emphasis mine)

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Both are correct.

  4. jacob
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Let’s not forget about how incredible Halibut is. The non-fishiest looking/tasting fish in the sea.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and I understand that it (and cod, another non-fishy fish) are very popular in Britain’s chippies. You never see “anchovies and chips”!

      • George
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Anchovy paste is great to add umami taste to a variety of dishes.
        https://www.cooksillustrated.com/taste_tests/401-anchovy-paste

        • bric
          Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          Anchovy paste in the guise of ‘Gentleman’s Relish’ is a very English thing – but with toast (like Marmite) not chips

        • jpchgo
          Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Exactly! A half teaspoon or so in beef stew really brings out the flavor and no one would detect the anchovy taste.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 28, 2016 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

          A couple mashed anchovies (or anchovy paste, if you will) is a great basic ingredient for a tomato sauce — the heart of southern Italian cooking, and one Escoffier’s five “mother sauces” in French haute cuisine.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

            Modern garum!

            • Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

              Since garum was fermented, maybe fish sauce is the modern version.

      • Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Please add Sturgeon to the top of the Good Fish list. It is the filet mignon of fish with a meaty texture and a mild, nonfishy flavor.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Wait. So let’s see; we have tuna, salmon, swordfish, halibut, cod…

      Are most fish not “fishy”?

      • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Ah! And flounder, mentioned below. What about sea bass?

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, flounder’s great, and Aunty Heather’s fish pie made with Orange Roughy is a family favourite.

          For me, it’s about freshness. Fish goes off really quickly. I’ll state the obvious here – this is a dead thing! You have to eat it or freeze it straight away.

          If you get fish that’s not fresh, it ruins you, and it doesn’t take very long for it to not be fresh.

          Denser fish simply keep better, so you’re less likely to have had a bad experience with salmon etc.

          Having said all that, I don’t like fishy fish either. I can’t understand the attraction of oysters or scallops or pipi or kina etc either.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 28, 2016 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, fresh fish is like company during the holidays — if you need to keep it three days or more, store it in the freezer.

  5. Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Fresh fish does not smell fishy. We are put off fishy smells for good reason.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      I think fresh is definitely a key factor. Growing up, i.e. as a boy, I hated fish. Thought it was disgusting. That was because in the places we lived we didn’t have access to fresh fish and the fish I was occasionally forced by parental units to eat actually was disgusting.

      Then I moved to a coastal area. Right on the ocean actually. Holy smokes. Amazing, fresh fish and other seafood available all the time. As in, walk across the street, go fishing for an hour or so and catch several snapper, sheepshead, pompano, blue, or similar, fillet them, walk back across the street, cook and EAT. Completely changed my perspective on fish.

      My favorites, which means that these are the best, period, are Red Snapper, Yellowtail Snapper, Mangrove Snapper and Sheepshead. You can keep the flounder.

    • Chukar
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Fresh fish MAY smell less fishy to an individual. It depends on the person, the fish and how “unfresh” it is. I spent innumerable hours as a boy with my father catching fish, then killing, cleaning, cooking and (attempting) eating them. They were ALWAYS fishy smelling, even when alive.

  6. Steve Knoll
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    one data point in agreement

    shellfish iz a whole ‘nuther thing

    sadly sustainability issues have caused me to give up Bluefin Tuna, which is my favorite Sushi

  7. merilee
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like whole anchovies on pizza, etc., but my “friend”, Ottolenghi, has convinced me that sautéing a single one in olive oil until it breaks down, and then throwing in a mess of garlic, goes great with veggies such as sliced broccoli. Not remotely fishy; just flavo(u)rful. Didn’t think I liked herring-type fish, either, till my Polish friend had me over for a bunch of Xmas fishy goodies. Love trout, salmon (but for some reason don’t like Jewish-style smoked salmon), halibut, cod, etc.

    • Daniel bertini
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      You got it!! Anchovies can be used as seasoning when they are sautéed.

  8. Michael Day
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE anchovies on my pizza; my wife and our three children HATE them. We often have “home made pizza night” in our household, where we each make a personal pizza for ourselves. If I choose to put anchovies on my pizza, I have to wait to stick my pizza in the oven last, to avoid any possibility of anchovy-ness on the other pizzas. My father and an ex-girlfriend are the only other people I’ve personally run across who like anchovies as much as I do.

    • davidintoronto
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      “Anchovies, anchovies, you’re so delicious;
      I love you more than all the other fishes!”

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I’m not a big anchovy fan, but I do love them on pizza – they go really well with other things I like on pizza.

    • Vaal
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Michael,

      I raise my flag in salute.

      I too live the lonely life of an anchovie lover, amongst the ranks of haters. I have to go through the same steps you do.

      Fortunately one of my boys likes anchovies as well, but we still have to deal with the other 1/2 of the family for whom they inspired nightmares.

      I don’t tell my wife when I’m using anchovies for our spaghetti sauce 😉

    • Newish Gnu
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      I have a theory (which is mine) about pizza joints and anchovies. My theory:

      About 50 years ago, the greatest anchovy salesperson in the world got every pizza joint to buy a 5 gallon bucket of anchovies — and they still haven’t used them all up.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        And some of those 5 gallon cans of anchovies from 50 years ago are still sitting unused in Cold War-era civil-defense fall-out shelters.

  9. Barry Lyons
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Yes, as a generalization, I agree — and I LOVE fish and call kinds of seafood! But anchovies? Yecch! But I do love sardines!

    “Try not to carp too much.” — I saw what you did there.

    • Barry Lyons
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      ALL kinds, I meant to write (damn typo).

  10. Darren
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to agree with other posters in that fresh fish isn’t actually very “fishy,” and that even strong-tasting fish doesn’t have that taste when eaten fresh. Indeed, I’m struggling to think of any fish I’ve eaten that, if prepared correctly, tastes fishy; certainly not grouper, rock fish, flounder, or catfish.

    I like fish, but I definitely don’t eat it as much as meat or poultry in large part because of the texture.

  11. Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I like a tuna sandwich, smothered with mayo. Beer battered cod with tartar sauce. Breaded flounder with lemon. In other words, fish that doesn’t taste at all like fish.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Ah, I forgot the popular and meaty flouder. . .

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 2:05 am | Permalink

        Flounder (like sole) is fine, but bo-o-oring, without distinctiveness, the Jeb Bush of the sea.

        It’ll do in a pinch, if a market or restaurant is out of, you know, fish.

  12. Jeff Ryan
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    “Try not to carp too much.” See, my beef is really with the cute wordplay.

    As for anchovies, loving them on pizza is great, because you are guaranteed no one’s going to mooch a slice from you.

  13. Jay Becker
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Point of clarification: In the past, Catholics did not eat meat on Friday in recognition of the cruxifiction (that’s my spelling). That was the penance – not eating meat. Some ate fish, others mac ‘n cheese.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      That was the excuse. The truth was that the Catholic fishermen in Italy were going broke and the pope of the time invented Fish Friday in support of the local fishermen.

      Like rather a lot of the rules to do with the Catholic Church, it’s about money.

      Priests used to be able to marry too, but the Church didn’t like having to support wives and children after the priests died. Hello new rule about clerical celibacy, which wasn’t enforced for hundreds of years but enabled the Church to refuse to support the wives/children of priests.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        It was the pope who was Italian, not necessarily the fishermen. Friday was always a fast day, which meant no meat, but he said fish was OK to support fishermen who were invariably Catholic in Western Christendom.

      • Scott Draper
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        “Church didn’t like having to support wives and children after the priests died. Hello new rule about clerical celibacy, ”

        Source for this? Seems unlikely to me. The Church was free to deny support to wives and children if it wanted to, without inventing any theological justification for it.

    • ron
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know the truth, but I once heard the church owned a huge fishing fleet so came up with the fish on fridays thing to create a market for their catch.

  14. Grania Spingies
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Question for the “X-fish doesn’t taste like fish” brigade:

    What does it taste of if it doesn’t taste like fish?

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      MEAT!!!!!!

      • Grania Spingies
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Beef or mutton or T. Rex drumsticks?

        • Merilee
          Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          Probably tasres like chicken😀

          Oh, I forgot to mention delucious Cajun catfish🐱

      • Daniel bertini
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Fish is meat!! Who is kidding who!!

        • Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Not according to the Vatican. . .

          • Newish Gnu
            Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, well, they’re wrong about that too!

    • chris moffatt
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Frequently tasteless like a drink of water…

  15. Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I agree with JAC completely, and my preference for fish would be #1 tuna and #2 sockeye salmon. I also prefer canned to fresh in both cases.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      “I also prefer canned to fresh in both cases.”

      That ain’t even right. You’ve brought tears to my eyes. I need to treat you to my famous caramelized salmon with warm potato salad. If anything could change your mind on that, that would do it!

      • GBJames
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        I’m beginning to see the reason for anti-blasphemy laws!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

      Prefer canned to fresh?!

      I disparage your taste, but admire your courage for admitting this in public.

  16. GBJames
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I believe the Catholic “fish on Friday” rule was established as a support to the fishing industry in Spain/Portugal. The idea was to increase the market for fish. Salt fish would have been the main type of fish that was eaten since there wasn’t any other good way to preserve it at the time.

    • GBJames
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Here’s an interesting summary of the history of this custom.

      • Jay Becker
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        One more time: There was no “rule” about Catholics having to eat fish on Friday. The rule was “no meat.” Peasants, the majority of believers, didn’t have access to fish in much of the Catholic world, certainly not year round. Hell, growing up in the Midwest pre-globalization, fish in winter meant frozen fish sticks – no thanks.

  17. Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Cobia is great: How grilled fillets with tarragon, lemon, and garlic improve everything.

  18. BobTerrace
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I like and eat:

    Tuna
    Atlantic Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Alaskan Salmon
    Swordfish
    Tilapia
    Cod
    Haddock
    Flounder
    Trout, especially Rainbow
    Snapper
    Sole
    Yellowtail
    Halibut
    Bass
    Chilean Sea Bass
    Mackerel
    Orange Roughy
    Dolphin Fish
    Sturgeon (and the caviar)
    Herring (and Kippers)
    Sardines
    Sable
    Anchovies
    Sushi and Sashimi which include many of the above
    (Other ‘sea’food: Shrimp, Mussels, Crab, Clams, Calamari (fried and/or breaded), Lobster, Scallops)

    I don’t like, don’t eat:
    Grouper
    Catfish
    eel
    squid
    Octopus

    • GBJames
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t you eat catfish?

      • BobTerrace
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        I don’t like catfish’s taste.

        • GBJames
          Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          Hmm…. all kinds? (Blue catfish, I know, can be a bit fishy, but lots of farmed catfish seems no fishier than tilapia to me.)

          • BobTerrace
            Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            It is not the fishiness, it is the taste. The same with grouper, which is not a fishy tasting fish. I just don’t like it.

            • Stephen
              Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

              No problem. More for us.

            • Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

              Sounds like an aversion to the taste some people describe as “earthy”. Though tilapia can be the same way. Really difficult to prepare (considered a “throwaway fish” around here… found mostly in the Hispanic markets, where it is always the cheapest thing). Bony & with a bitter membrane that should be removed. Ugh.

        • Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          I have only tried catfish twice, among people who raved about the preparation at each place. I spat it out: it tasted bitter to me.

          I have successfully avoided eel altogether, and eschew mackerel(an especially oily fish), and tilapia, which has no character. I have never had orange roughy, dolphin fish or sturgeon. As for dolphin or whale, I would no more consume those creatures than I would my pet cats.

          Love every other fish in the above list. I often find myself positively CRAVING fresh blue crab, raw oysters and lobster. Nothing better than proper fried flounder with Ingersoll’s tartar sauce, a sweet cole slaw, piquant yellow potato salad and free, strong, unsweetened iced tea with lots of lemon!

          • Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

            Eel is heavenly!!!

          • Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            Love dolphin (mahi mahi). But I’ve run into chefs that had no idea that “dolphin” is not flipper. I would never eat flipper. At least not on porpoise.

            • Jonathan Wallace
              Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:48 am | Permalink

              Whale said.

            • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

              Isn’t it more commonly “dolphinfish”?

              • Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

                I think that’s a better name, just to remove the ambiguity (that was introduced by the %$#$ English language in the first place). I could be mistaken (I’m refusing to Google it up & going by memory) — but it used to be that ALL dolphins were fish–a mangling of “del fin”, which emphasized that this was a type of fish with a truly spectacular fins running the length of their bodies, top and bottom.

                But then some yahoos decided to call porpoises dolphins, and one kind of porpoise, the “bottle-nosed dolphin”, really took off, becoming what people now call simply “dolphins”. So it’s a dumb misnomer. I’ve NEVER heard “dolphinfish” (or translated equivalent) in the Caribbean or Spanish-speaking countries, as it would be a redundancy. Everybody else on the planet seems to know the difference between dolphins and porpoises, because their sailor ancestors never made the stupid misnomer to begin with.

    • Filippo
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      I like what you like and don’t like. Love calamari. When in the U.S. Navy, ate barbecued eel on a stick in Yokohama/Tokyo. Wonderful!

      I’m told my father loved shellfish, but was allergic to it. (He died when I was four.) Perhaps he ate it a few times despite that. He loved red meat, perhaps to his detriment.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Have you tried grouper at least a couple times, and in different varieties, Bob? Because its taste tends to be close to snapper, including yellowtail, and the other white, flakey fish you’ve listed as liking. Be aware that a lot of restaurants, and not a few fishmongers, have been known to substitute other, lesser bottom fish and label it “grouper.”

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      If you like “calamari” then you are liking squid.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      So you like calamari but not octopus or squid? Is that because the latter two do not often come breaded?

  19. Gasper
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Fish is one of the most perishable foods, and I agree with Jerry about most fish tasting “fishy”. However when I am in Sicily at a seaside restaurant, where the fish is just caught, there is no “fishy” fish.

  20. Another Tom
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I love fish, but I have the benefit of living in Seattle WA. My parents told me that they didn’t like fish until they had fish out here. Turns out if you live in a major port for seafood the quality is higher.

    As for anchovies, if you use them in cooking you’re supposed to soak them for a few minutes in water to remove some of the salt/oil. They’re great for adding a few to a pasta sauce you’re making.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:16 am | Permalink

      Acres of Clams!

  21. Jody Savant
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Could you form a hypothesis as to why? Does this have any basis in our evolution?

    • eric
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Our taste buds are probably at least somewhat biologically adapted to “like” foods that deliver easily used starches, sugars, and fats. Fruit trees evolved their fruit to be liked and eaten by animals; many are sweet because sugars are pure animal fuel. Thus its not surprising that many omnivores (at least) could share a cross-species preference for sweet tasting foods.

      So Jerry’s assertion is at least plausible; it’s possible that the fatty and meat structures of something like beef could be just more appealing to humans and other animals than leaner meat like chicken or many fish. However, I personally doubt that it’s that simple.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        I think it’s more likely a matter of desensitization. If your taste buds are constantly swamped by heavy meat flavors, you’ll have a much harder time discerning the more delicate flavor elements of fish.

        Try eliminating red meat from your diet for a year or two and you’ll discover a whole world of flavors you didn’t know existed.

  22. Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I prefer fish to meat. As evidence that I am not alone, I note that fish is on the average more expensive than meat.

  23. Lurker111
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Well, even if PCC(E) doesn’t want to jump in, I will. If you’ll look at cooking recipes, you’ll note that most fish recipes are attempts to make the fish taste less like fish, and most squash recipes are an attempt to add flavor to something that is, essentially, without flavor.

    • GBJames
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Not if you eat a lot of sashimi!

    • GBJames
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Not if you eat a lot of sashimi!

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      That depends crucially on the squash! (And the fish, for that matter.)

  24. george
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    The statement uses the word people. So implies all people on earth – world over. Since fish is a major staple for many, this statement is not correct. If this question is asked in Sweden or Denmark or Japan or Thailand, etc. What would the answer be?

    The foods choose by much of the world lays these comments bare – barren. Many like fish and many like fishy fish.

    I suggest adding turbot and halibut to the menu – they are not fishy fish.

    In fact I dislike Salmon as it is has a foul taste. Tuna is ok but a bit of a fishy fish.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      At last salmon doesn’t have a fowl taste!
      And you’re carping. . .

  25. nightglare
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I like white fish, salmon, trout, a few others, but tuna is the absolute worst. It just smells like cat food to me. Perhaps not by coincidence it is the fish that cats love most, in my experience any way. Yuck!

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Try a FRESH Ahi steak, grilled rare. You may change your mind.

      (It does support JAC’s claim however. It is like delicious, tender steak.)

  26. Mattapult
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I love salmon. It’s my appetizer, main course, and desert at sushi restaurants.

    It’s pretty healthy too. It’s one of several foods discussed repeatedly in The Gene Therapy Plan by Mitchell L. Gaynor. The book seems to be well researched and backed by a lot of science. The fact that Dr Oz wrote the forward left me skeptical, but Gaynor doesn’t show any other signs of woo, just straight up science.

  27. GBJames
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    FWIW: I eat a lot of fish. I don’t eat meat (mammals, fowl, reptiles, amphibians) at all. And it ain’t no form of penance!

    So ‘spain that with your theory which is yours, PCC!

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      I said IN GENERAL.

      You’re arguing like someone who’s smoked for years and says, “You say smoking causes lung cancer? I’ve smoked two packs a day and don’t have cancer! Explain that with your stupid theory about smoking and cancer!”

      • GBJames
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        No! I’m arguing like someone who’s eaten smoked fish for years!

  28. drakodoc
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Never met a fish I did not like. Also a huge fan of fish sauce, impossible to conceive of Thai or Vietnamese dishes without it, and anchovy paste (awesome on a rare grilled steak).

    • jeffery
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      It’s interesting to me that many cultures have their own version of “fish sauce”, made from fermented fish (the “garum” of the ancient Romans was a sought-after staple), but there doesn’t seem to be any equivalent “sauce”, so far as meat is concerned. We hear of pickled pig’s feet, pickled beef tongue, “corned” beef, etc.; where’s the beef sauce?
      Is there something about fish tissue that lends itself better to the fermentation process, or was it just a human innovation to deal with large amounts of fish too small to dry or prepare individually?

      • Darkwave Punk
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:29 am | Permalink

        Bovril.

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        The northern European brown gravies are basically beef sauce. Not fermented, but they are also often accompanied by horseradish, which is.

        Also, I think it might be a cost thing – beef is pretty expensive, too.

  29. keith cook±
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I know individuals who won’t eat fish because of sharp bones, a child hood expirence of nearly choking on them has put them off or is all to messy and hard work! what the hell. They will refuse any fish even after been told “there are no bones” Gagging on fish bones must be trumatic. I enjoy it more if it is fresh and if I catch it myself.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:09 am | Permalink

      It is to protect against the dangers of choking on a fish bone that Catholics celebrate St. Blaise’s feast day by the priest blessing each parishioner with a pair of crossed candles held to the throat.

  30. Tracy
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I think it was much easier for our ancestors to cat fish than meat.

  31. Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t this a hypothesis, not a theory? Are you committing the same sin that you accuse the theist of: the misuse of the word “theory”?

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      I would say that’s a fair cop. With regards to fishiness in fish, you can always do what the Chinese do: chunk in huge amounts of fresh ginger.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      In case you didn’t catch the allusion and would prefer to carp at me, go here.

      Seriously, a “sin”???

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        You can expiate that by doing penance at the fish market on Friday.

  32. chris moffatt
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    In my young days fish was frequently on the menu although not salmon or trout. I abandoned fish as soon as possible and stuck with meats of all kinds. Then I became acquainted with salmon (atlantic) and trout (speckled). I had no problem whatsoever with those, especially salmon. Then I became a vegetarian. I have never missed meat and have never had the slightest interest in eating it sincethen. But I did find it hard to quit eating salmon. For a few years it was the only fish I ate until I finally abandoned it too. Now I haven’t missed any of it for many years but don’t ask me to give up wine.

    • jeffery
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      I met an older woman in rural Missouri who had lived through the Great Depression: she said to this day she can’t bear to eat fish or chicken, because that’s all they had to eat growing up. They had no pigs or cattle and no icebox, so it was either a freshly-dressed chicken from the hen house or freshly caught fish from the nearby river.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        She had chicken and fish during the Great Depression? Luxury! The people of Yorkshire wish they’d’ve had a henhouse and a nearby river …

        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          😀

  33. Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Fifty odd comments, and no one has mentioned Gefilte.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I said carp. That’s half of gefilte fish.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking of that, but I didn’t say it because I have FREE WILL!!

      I’ll get my coat.

  34. Rod
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    My Grandpa, a Londoner, loved kippers, as do I, but they sure stunk the house out.
    Today you can buy boil-in-a-bag kippers which may not taste the same but definitely keep household peace.

  35. Frank Bath
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Jerry and am loathe to eat fish, especially fatty fish and white fish which has little taste.
    But on the evolutionary side I understand the ‘out of Africa’ dispersal pattern of Homo Sapiens was along the shores where man must have survived on easy caught fishy things…

  36. Doris Fromage
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I wonder where shellfish comes into the equation. Any more, that’s my preference; shrimp or crab, mostly. I find little appeal in the ribeye steaks that used to be a favorite, in fact, but I love a nice white fish like cod or sole, especially deep fried…yummy… Not a big fan of lobster, though, just for the record.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Shellfish is up there in popularity; in fact, shrimp is more popular than tuna: it’s #1 among seafood.

      • Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        That surprises me; not that shrimp is popular, but that it actually ranks #1! Personally, I love just about every kind of fish and seafood, but I do not like shrimp at all. Chewy, string, and looks like an oversized grub. I’ve never understood the appeal.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      “It was a brave man who first ate an oyster.”

      — Jonathan Swift

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        I’m guessing that whoever first ate an oyster lived long before there was any such thing as men.

        • GBJames
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          You beat me to it!

  37. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t fish a kind of meat?

    I actually don’t like red meat. I find it sits in my stomach and hurts it. If I must eat it, I want it rare but not blue rare, just bloody.

    I can tolerate chicken but if I’m going to have meat, I’d prefer a yummy Atlantic salmon (Pacific is too strong) or a tasty white fish like halibut or perch or trout. I do eat sushi regularly which means I’m probably full of mercury.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      How would you like your Douglas Sirk steak — “burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell?”

      And your five-dollar shake? “Martin & Lewis or Amos & Andy?”

      Buddy Holly wants to know.

  38. Dave Thompson
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I NEVER eat fish of any kind. I would recommend this to everyone. I used to eat fish all the time and all kinds. Two problems, The exploded nuke of fukee dumping ionized radiation into the ocean and methyl mercury constantly being dumped into the atmosphere through the burning of coal. Methyl mercury is found in two out of three fish samples tested world wide sea and fresh water.

  39. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    The preference for meat, and how its consumption turns on enjoyment regions in the brain, is as far as I know relatively well established.

    I like fresh raw fish though (sashimi) as well as some salt or sour preparations, kind of how I like vegetables.

    TL;DR: You will never see me with an old cod piece!

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Here in Minnesota, where I grew up, there is a sizable population of people of Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish descent.

      This means lots of yummy things like pickled herring (though we don’t have 5% of the variety of lovely sill available in Scandinavia).

      But is also meant lutefisk, which is profoundly vile.

      When I visited my cousins in Sweden (Varberg, Göteborg) and Norway (near Hamar) they laughed and said they hadn’t eaten that in many generations.

      There is a big tradition here of the Christmas lutefisk dinner. As one of our family friends described it: “The piece of cod that passeth all understanding.”

      (Which, if you know the US Lutheran church liturgy, is very funny.)

      • Brian Vroman
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        I am a Minnesotan as well. My wife’s family is Swedish, and they do the traditional lutefisk thing. I have never been to Scandinavia, but the college where I work has an exchange program with a school in Denmark. None of the Danes seem to know what lutefisk is. A typical response when I ask them about it and describe what it is would be “well — maybe the Swedes eat that!” So I agree it is a tradition no longer practiced by “real” Scandinavians.

        One thing that helps with lutefisk is to cook it on an oven rack so that some of the liquid can drain off.

        For those who don’t know, lutefisk is cod preserved in lye. It used to be used (maybe not enjoyed) by Scandinavian sailors. The tradition made its way to places with lots of Scandinavian immigrants before apparently disappearing in the Old World.

        At any rate, I have atually come to like lutefisk. It can be served with melted butter or a white sauce.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        There’s not enough hot plate and jello-mold in all of the Land of a Thousand Lakes to kill the taste of lutefisk.

      • gscott
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        I’ve never tried lutefisk, but I have tried both hakarl (not too bad – has a bit of a blue cheese and ammonia taste), and surstromming. I can’t believe that lutefisk can be anywhere near as bad as surstromming – I was at an outdoor gathering once where someone opened a can of surstromming and 100 people immediately got up and moved.

        I was tempted to buy a can in Finland last year – a little onion, some flatbread and LOTS of akvavit, and you’re living the Swedish dream.

        • Brian Vroman
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:26 am | Permalink

          Anything goes down better with akavit!

        • Posted January 29, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

          I’m of Swedish and Norwegian heritage, but had not heard of surströmming.

          Egads.

          From Wikipedia:

          “Just enough salt is used to prevent the raw fish from rotting (chemical decomposition). A fermentation process of at least six months gives the lightly-salted fish its characteristic strong smell and somewhat acidic taste.

          When opened, the contents release a strong and sometimes overwhelming odour; the dish is ordinarily eaten outdoors. According to a Japanese study, a newly opened can of surströmming has one of the most putrid food smells in the world, even more so than similarly fermented fish dishes such as the Korean Hongeohoe or Japanese Kusaya.”

        • Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          A Norwegian described lutefisk to me as a combination of soap and cheap vodka. Eep. 🙂

          Funny, since some other Scandinavian fish dishes are good: I liked fiskeboll.

  40. alanchais
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    in non-east-asian countries, yes.

  41. Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your general statement: If you polled the entire population (especially the USA), you would find fewer fish lovers than meat lovers.

    This seems pretty undeniable.

    That said, I love seafood of all types.

    Fish & chips
    Grilled salmon
    Cod cooked any possible way
    Halibut – heavenly!
    Trout

    Any mollusk placed in front of me, including raw oyster (though I prefer them cooked), especially octopus, squid, clams. I eat mussels; but I rarely find them prepared really well.

    Herrings: Kippered, pickled, etc.

    Any sea arthropod placed in front of me, especially crab, lobster, shrimp, prawns

    Sardines

    Anchovies! Love them! “Yes, I’d like the grilled chicken Caesar salad, with as many anchovies as you are allowed to put on it.” Sometimes, this yields about 3 of the standard sized little cans of the little fellows on my salad — and I love it! (Always ask for what you want!) 🙂

    I will east sashimi; but I much prefer my fish and other seafood cooked. (I have generally found sushi restaurants to be: Overpriced, slow, minuscule portions. last time I went for sushi/sashimi lunch with work collegues: I had to go get some lunch when we got back. The food was grossly inadequate for lunch and glacially slow.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Give me a sea arthropod any day!

      It’s strange, because the thought of eating insects is almost enough to send me to the restroom, but “insects” that live in the sea? Delicious! Definitely more evidence for finer dietary likes/dislikes being an effect of “nurture”.

      • BobTerrace
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        I eat my lobster without butter. There is a local place where I can get 1.5 lb or 2 lb lobsters.

        • Posted January 29, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

          I also eat lobster sans butter. I just love the flavor of that sea bug.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:17 am | Permalink

        Love them bugs! Lobsters, crawfish, stone crabs, etc.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Hmmm. Regarding sushi / sashimi, I think it must be variation between individual restaurants. I’ve certainly experienced overpriced, slow and tiny portions, but I’ve also experienced plenty of good service, fair price, wonderful tasting & looking and more than enough to eat.

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

        I agree it certainly not universal; but I’ve had it up and down the west coast of the US (I lived in Seattle for 20 years), including some famous Japanese places in southern California (where my company footed the bill!) and my experience with sashimi leaves me: meh.

        It’s OK; but I’ll take cooked fish/seafood over sashimi any day of the week.

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      If you polled the entire population (especially the USA), you would find fewer fish lovers than meat lovers.

      As others have noted, this says much more about geography and perishability than about inherent human preferences. The vast majority of US residents live closer to cattle country than to fishing ports. A lot of people grow up without ever tasting fish that isn’t breaded and deep-fried.

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

        Quite true; but the preference is there nevertheless.

        It may have a lot to do with what you get as a child too. And, as many others have noted: East Asia.

        All that said, there is excellent fresh water fish available almost everywhere in the US. Walleye is almost a cult thing in the upper midwest where I grew up (and many other places where it’s been stocked, mostly in reservoirs). Yellow perch is very similar in flavor to walleye (they are closely related). Walleye is as good as almost any white-fleshed ocean fish, in my opinion (I have to make an exception for halibut and Atlantic cod).

        And flash-frozen salmon can be found everywhere (and it is usually good). Smoked fish and pickled fish are available everywhere.

        Right here in St. Paul MN, there is Coastal Seafood that stocks fresh and flash-frozen excellent fish and seafood. In Crosby MN (does anyone know where that is? It’s a small town, far from Minneapolis/St. Paul, but in the heart of the lake resort country) there is a seafood specialty shop (and their stuff is good). Talk about carrying coals to Newscastle!

  42. E.A. Blair
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I like fish, even fishy fish (perch from Lake Michigan is quite tasty when properly prepared). I grew up in a Catholic family, and we continued the custom of Friday fish after the fast was lifted, not out of penance but because we liked it and it made a welcome bit of variety to the family diet.

    However, I despise herring, and eating an anchovy is like having a centipede crawling across your tongue.

    • GBJames
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Are you of an age to remember the annual smelt harvest in Lake Michigan?

      (I, too, don’t much like herring despite Ma Baensch being just up the road from me.)

      • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Yes! But more from Lake Superior (growing up in MN). I have eaten lots of wonderful pickled smelt from the eastern edge of Wisconsin.

  43. Roger
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm my favorite fish is actually Filet-O-Fish but then again it’s probably the most unfishy fish ever, so that’s probably why.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Well, hot grease and salt help a lot too! (I confess to loving the McD “Filet of Fish”.)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        The Mickey D’s f-o-f is regarded as a favorite guilty pleasure by many foodies.

        • Filippo
          Posted January 28, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          Burger King used to have a humongous “Whaler.” It was quite a whopper.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      I was amused to read in Sylvie Simms’ biography of Leonard Cohen that when he was living as a Buddhist monk (in the 90s, I think) that every now and again he would decide he’d had enough, leave the monastery for a couple of days and drive down to town, where he’d go straight to McDonalds and buy… a Filet-O-Fish.

  44. Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Anchovies are clearly the cilantro of fishes.

    • Cliff Melick
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Yep, and both downright tasty, too!

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:57 am | Permalink

      I believe that with cilantro (coriander) the like/dislike of it is genetically determined. I don’t know the details but if you are unlucky to have the ‘dislike’ gene the stuff apparently tastes of soap to you.
      I am not aware that appreciation of anchovies is genetically determined and it is an example of food that is an acquired taste (i.e. many anchovy lovers started out not liking it but developed a taste for it as they got older).

      • darrelle
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        I wonder if the general dislike of anchovies is merely because most people don’t really know how to use them properly. I don’t, though I have some ideas now after reading through this thread.

        In any case it is interesting to me that while a clear majority of people (in my experience) don’t like anchovies, a clear majority do like caesar salad dressing. Which gets its distinct flavor rather directly from anchovies.

        • Posted January 29, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

          I love anchovies, eaten straight from the can. I love that intensely salty, fishy flavor. But I am a serious icthiovore!

          • darrelle
            Posted January 29, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

            That sounds pretty hardcore to me! I’m betting your wife avoids hugs, snuggles, kisses and what-not with you for some time afterwards?

            • Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

              Fortunately, she loves anchovies, herring, garlic, etc., just as much as I do!

  45. rickflick
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    My favorite fish is fresh perch from the northern Great Lakes. It is best deep fried with batter. It has a sweetish firm flavor. There are lots of bones but it can be easily “unzipped” by pulling out the vertebra once you know how to get your fingers around it. Yes, you eat it with your hands unless the Queen is in attendance.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I do enjoy the occasional all you can eat perch meal, boned and buttered, and cooked in big iron skillets. Pity many of the Indiana places serving that are gone. . .

      Perch is another meat-like fish. . .

      • rickflick
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Now that you mention it, yes they are boned in the restaurant version. At home we pull them apart with out fingers. That’s half the fun.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        Lake Erie perch is yummy!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      The northern Great Lakes? Lake Erie yields some fine perch (and walleye, white bass, and smelts prized by gourmands the world over), too. You cardinal directionist, you!

      • rickflick
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t know Erie had perch! It’s been a long time since I’ve been back to Michigan so I’ve been out of touch. I swear on a boy scout compass, I didn’t mean to insult Erie.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 28, 2016 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          I get back to Ohio at least once a summer, in part to get out on my brother-in-law’s boat and bring home our limit of perch and walleye.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        Yes Erie perch is good. I thought the northern great lakes were just all of them.

  46. gijswijs
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m going with culture/nurture here:
    I’m Dutch, and nothing is better than salted herring. (People say it’s raw, but that’s not true, it’s uncooked. The denaturation is caused by the salt and by enzymes from the fish itself.)

    For work I have to go a lot to Portugal, and people talk about fish 24/7 over there.

    Asia was already mentioned by someone else.

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      LOVE herrings. They are bad for gout though! 😦

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Not even pickled herring?

  47. Rob
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I live in the desert (inland). Good excuse to not eat fish.

  48. Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    In a bizarre inversion of the usual way one’s tastes evolve, when I was a toddler my parents would catch me sitting on the kitchen floor in front of a cupboard working my way to the bottom of a jar of pickled herring. Now, in my late 30s, I can’t stand the stuff.

  49. Janet
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Triethpylamines, which smell strongly fishy, form from decaying fish. That’s why fresher fish don’t taste as ‘fishy’. The detection of this molecule is even sometimes used to screen fish catches.

    • Chukar
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Interesting – I’ll have to read up on that.

      I cannot abide the taste or smell of 99.8% (rough estimate) of fish, and have been this way as far back as I can remember (age 5). I am not allergic to them, but the smell/taste makes me nauseous. A toxicologist I met said it sounded like a hypersensitivity to “anserine” – a tripeptide which is a breakdown product of watery life, i.e. produced as the organism is dying (if I recall his comment correctly).

      This sounded about right to me; fish smells/tastes to me like it’s been rotting in the sun for about a week, based on the reactions of others to rotting fish.

      Incidentally, growing up in the Midwest of Michigan, there were plenty of local fish, which some commenters here seem to have forgotten. My entire family eats fish: parents & 1 sister love it, 1 sister doesn’t care much for it but will eat it; I’d rather starve to death than eat it. So if it’s an hereditary characteristic, it seems to work on a sliding scale.

    • Chukar
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      “Triethpylamines, which smell strongly fishy…”

      Google has (literally) nothing for “Triethpylamine.” Is your spelling correct?

      Perhaps you mean “Trimethylamine,” of which Wikipedia says: “…is a product of decomposition of plants and animals. It is the substance mainly responsible for the odor often associated with rotting fish, some infections, bad breath and can be a cause of vaginal odor due to bacterial vaginosis. It is also associated with taking large doses of choline and carnitine.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trimethylamine

      Anyway, thanks for the comment. I’ve long been fascinated by why I hate fish.

      • jeffery
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        The FDA’s rules on fish state that it’s OK, if the “noticeable smell of decomposition” is not present over more than 25 percent of the surface of the fish. Ecckkk!

        • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

          Microbes are your friends. At least the fishy ones won’t make you deathly ill (like Salmonella and E. coli).

          Beer
          Wine
          Yogurt
          Sauerkraut
          Fish sauce
          Bread
          etc.

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        …and can be a cause of vaginal odor due to bacterial vaginosis

        Hence the expression, “men don’t like going down to the fishmarket (and women don’t like going down to the cheesemarket)”

      • Janet
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Sorry everyone. don’t know where the p sneaked in from. The correct spelling is trietylamines.

  50. Helen
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Went to L Woods Tap and Pine Bar last week in Lincolnwood and had the almond encrusted walleye, daughter had the lake perch. Fantastic. Two Brothers seasonal for me. Sprechers Root Beer for her. Delicious.

  51. Thanny
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    There are two reasons why any given fish might taste fishy. One is that the diet of that fish makes it inevitable, such as with bluefish (fun to catch, horrible to eat). The other is that the fish has been dead for too long, and is both unpleasant and potentially unsafe to eat.

    So not liking fishy fish is not not liking fish.

    And meat from a fish is still meat. The Catholics are lying to themselves and others when they say they’re abstaining from meat and eating fish at the same time.

    • grasshopper
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      But catholics are not abstaining from meat when they eat a consecrated cracker…. Or are they?

      • Thanny
        Posted February 11, 2016 at 6:08 am | Permalink

        That one’s too easy for the Christians to wiggle out of. According to their own principles, they’re cannibals. But if we point that out, our principles are observed, and they’re just eating crackers.

  52. grasshopper
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to mussel in and share my thoughts on favourite fish, coz I am not shellfish in that regard. The sweetest fish I can recall eating is a flute-fish, which we used to trawl up beyond the 100 fathom line of the most easterly point of the Australian mainland, Cape Byron. It was entirely pink, a body like an eel, up to about 600mm long, but with a rigid, tube-like mouth quite several inches long. According to the piscatorial reference books in the local library, it lived in a vertical orientation at the sea floor by sucking up and filtering goodies from the sand and detritus. The reference books made no mention of toxicity associated with this fish, so I had the pleasure of eating very sweet and juicy fish!

    I was not cut out to be a licensed professional fisherman for long, one reason being the “collateral damage” to marine life whilst trawling specifically for king prawns. For every kilo of prawns harvested I guess at least ten times that weight of “trash” fish was killed. Perhaps the “trash” was not really wasted as it fed the sharks and dolphins which followed in the wake of the boat.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      According to the piscatorial reference books in the local library, it lived in a vertical orientation at the sea floor by sucking up and filtering goodies from the sand and detritus.

      “goodies” in this context doesn’t mean much that would be on Santa’s “nice” list.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      From my days as a prawn (Nephrops norvegicus) creel fisherman, I claim that squat lobster (which was a by-catch for us) is probably the tastiest crustacean. Unfortunately it’s hard to come by, as in Scotland it is seldom deliberately fished for. Some discerning West Highland restaurants with creel-fishing friends occasionally serve them.

      • thegarlicks
        Posted January 30, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        Ummmm, looks good!  Fun link.

  53. Steve Pollard
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    FWIW, the UN FAO estimated the world average annual consumption per head in (I think) 2011 to be 17kg of fish and 41kg of meat. Make of that what you will.

    I like most fish, and the older I get the more I seem to like raw fish, especially sashimi. Make of *that* what you will.

  54. kieran
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I think you may be onto something, I’m Irish and Ireland has a terrible relationship with fish.
    It may however be that we never cooked it right.
    I like shellfish, sushi and the non threatening fish. It’s the bones that scare the hell out of me.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      It’s the bones that scare the hell out of me.

      That too.
      Shellfish – I know enough about shellfish eating habits.
      On the other hand – I’ll see if the Polish shop has ikra tomorrow. I haven’t had ikra for a while.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 28, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        You know where the casing for traditional Polish kielbasa comes from, right?

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted January 28, 2016 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

          Never thought about it for one second before now. I’d assume it’s the (washed) intestines of the pig. That’s certainly what is traditional in Britain.
          Is there a problem with this? Despite having no interest what so ever in hunting, shooting of fishing, I know perfectly well how to gut, skin and butcher a rabbit or a deer. And unless you’ve got hunting animals to feed, what is the point of killing that lovely warm meat and then throwing large bits of it away?
          There’s a British English saying that you use everything from a pig apart from the oink.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:26 am | Permalink

            No problem for me, but I’m the opposite of a fussy eater. Love shellfish, too, notwithstanding their own eating habits.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:14 am | Permalink

              Their disgusting eating habits is my excuse for NOT eating shellfish.

              (Real reason is that slimy things give me the creeps).

              cr

  55. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I learned my fishy preferences from my mother. We didn’t get a fridge until I was 7, IIRC. So fish was simply something that we didn’t consider a safe food to eat.
    Mum learned her preferences from not having a fridge until I was 7, and growing up under rationing. Again, fish was simply off the agenda. Plus she never learned how to cook it.

  56. Kevin
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Eat fish in Hawaii. Eat fish in New Mexico. Big difference. I love fish, but like drinking scotch, where you do it can make all the difference.

    Freshness. Preparation. Presentation.

    I’ve had duck meat that is dry and sandy ($5 at a cafe). I’ve had duck that would make me believe in Thor ($65 a plate at fine restaurant).

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      I went to a famous (not to be named) seafood restaurant in Minneapolis (you can get excellent seafood here) and was very disappointed.

      After living 20 years in Seattle (and hoovering up as much fish as possible) I have a higher expectation for fish now …

  57. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    The most consumed fish in the U.S. are #1: tuna, and #2 salmon. What do they have in common?

    Also, they can be kept in cans in the cupboard.

    To fulfill your prediction (albeit affectionately, rather than angrily) I love fish, especially mollusks on the half-shell. (“Give me oysters and beer for dinner every day of the year!” as Jimmy Buffet sang.) It’s one of the reasons — ok, a minor one — why I’ve lived on a coast since graduating from college.

    I readily confess, nevertheless, that ever since being forced to eat them every Friday as a youth, I can no longer look a frozen fish stick square in the Birds Eye™.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Back in the 70s, one of the frozen-fish companies in the UK brought out a product named ‘Battered Cod Pieces’.

      It ďid not sell terribly well.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:34 am | Permalink

        Better to have “battered cod pieces” than to have your codpiece battered, I suppose.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Yes, because they are sold canned (way cheaper than fresh).

      I loved fish sticks as a kid (I’m sure it was for the salty breading more than anything else; my parents were/are not Catholic). But now I find them vile. Like so many processed foods from childhood.

  58. Randy Schenck
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I think the plan must be – and PCC knows this, just mention some food you like or don’t and the people will go nuts.

    If you don’t like fish or whatever it might be, why do 100 people want to talk about it? Fish is kind of neutral about religion and free will and even evolution. Let it go….

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, is this some kind of Roolz-breaking statement that I shouldn’t write posts like this?

      Sorry, but I don’t take well to people telling me what I should and shouldn’t write about. And, for your information, I just had this thought that’s been kicking around in my head and decided to put it out there.

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        And it’s a fun topic. Your readers are loving it.

  59. Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    “Catholics used to eat fish on Fridays as a penance, which means that foregoing meat for fish was considered a sacrifice.”

    Somewhere or other (and I can’t remember the source to refer you to), I read that one reason (perhaps the main or only reason) the Catholic Church introduced the penance of eating fish on Friday was to support the fishing industry which was suffering major financial losses. If true, this is a temporary expedient that became sacred tradition until more modern times when fish on Friday became a choice rather than a requirement. But, maybe this is just a Protestant myth!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Collusion between the Church and fishing industry has hoary roots — most of Jesus’ 12 original disciples were fishermen. (Don’t know if there’s truth to the rumor that the Miracle of the Loaves-and-Fishes was part of a price-fixing scam.)

  60. Jen
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you to a certain degree… you should make a distinction between “prefer” and “like” though. I would say that most meat- and fish-eating people would prefer a nice steak over a plate full of anchovies most days – even though they may like the taste of both. Meat is a richer, heartier experience with more calories per serving.

    In general, most fish shouldn’t taste (or smell) fishy. I was in Japan a few years ago and went to the Tsukiji market – the largest fish market in the world. It smelled like a clean, salty ocean breeze because everything was so fresh. I was amazed.

    Lastly, in terms of taste, I think fish is truly delicious from salmon (no fishy taste) to smoked mackerel (ultra fishy flavor). Many cultures love a very fishy flavor (fish sauce anyone?? – it is literally juice from putrid fish). Still, when fresh, the raw meat of these fish should not smell fishy. If it does – don’t eat it!

    While I don’t mind strong tasting fish, I stay away from gamey meat. Does this mean that I don’t like a meaty flavor?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      I loved the smell of the Fulton Fish Market back when it was at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. It smelled like … victory.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      I would say that most meat- and fish-eating people would prefer a nice steak over a plate full of anchovies most days – even though they may like the taste of both.

      Not me. I’ve never ordered a steak in restaurant since I was a child. Bo-ring, IMO. I can make better ones at home for 1/3 the price. I order Caesar salad with loads of anchovies all the time.

      However, a plate of anchovies is not a real comparison to a steak; because anchovies are never (almost never?) served that way. (Anchovies are treated as seasoning). Compare a grilled steak to grilled salmon, beer batter cod, or shrimp sauteed in garlic and olive oil. In which case I’ll take the fish, every time.

      But your point of most may well be true.

  61. Daniel bertini
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    No doubt fish is the healthiest meat!! Fatty fish are a great source of omega three’s. And no doubt we should be eating more fish!! Enjoy!!

  62. Vaal
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Though I eat a fair amount of fish, I’m sure you are right Jerry. At least for North America.

    How about smoked salmon? One of life’s great, simple foods.

    I fee fortunate to live not too far from the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, where I can pick up the best smoked salmon and gravadlax I’ve ever tasted, fresh Montreal-style bagels out of the oven, and freshly made cream cheese.

    This is a never-fail combination. Every time I eat it all I can think of is “perfect.” There is literally nothing I could think to improve upon.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Bagels without Nova is like … like … I don’t know, like something really good without something that makes it even better.

    • merilee
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      Will have to look for the gravadlax next time I’m at SL Market. For some reason I like it better than regular lox. I also love conch (sometimes called scungili), which I finally found at the above-mentioned market. Makes great ceviche. Also buy wild boar there. Yum!

      • Vaal
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:01 am | Permalink

        merilee,

        I’ve tried various places for smoked salmon, including of course Kristapsons (which I actually find fresh but somewhat bland) and I always go back to Domenic’s at the St Lawrence Centre. It’s the most flavorful and often extremely fresh. Their gravadlax is to die for. (I’m sure you know that gravadlax isn’t smoked, but cured salmon). My other favorite is their Vodka Smoked Salmon – I usually buy both.
        My family looks so forward to my bringing Dominic’s smoked salmon and gravadlax as appetizers to our big family Christmas dinners that they probably wouldn’t let me in the door without it.

        I really prefer the fresh-made cream cheese from Alex’s Cheese Farm at the market as well – it’s a very fresh, smooth, subtle flavor that doesn’t overpower the delicate gravadlax flavours. That’s my perfect combo: the St. Urbain bagels, Alex’s Cheese Farm cream cheese, Dominic’s gravadlax/smoked salmon.

        Ok…I know what I’m having for lunch on Saturday!

        (Oh, btw, if you have other suggestions for good smoked salmon or gravadlax..or anything else…I’m all ears).

        • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

          Holy Hoppin’ Hank you are making me SO HUNGRY! I love lox like nothing else. As I’ve often told my wife — if I have to choose one food and only one food? Lox. Though I’d request capers to go with it.

          • Vaal
            Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            Yes, capers of course! At the same market I buy Crosse & Blackwell imported capers from Spain, which to me are the best I’ve ever tasted. They are a bit smaller than most capers and less crude tasting, less overtly salty – they have a salty, lemony aftertaste…almost with a touch of sweetness compared. I highly recommend them if you can find that brand. They go soooo perfectly with the ingredients I mentioned.

            (I also add super fine slivers of onion sometimes – I usually choose sweet white over the traditional red).

            • Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

              Yeah, baby!

              My first dinner in Denmark a few years ago: Plate of pickled herring, various flavors. Served with finely sliced onions, capers, etc. And bread. Heavenly!

              I buy capers in quart jars generally (from the Arab market — way too expensive at the regular grocery). I use them in many savory foods.

              I remember well buying them one time (different store) and the checker (young woman) asked me “capers, what are capers? What are they like?” I said: All the things I love: Salty, sour, and bitter. She replied, “oh, I would like those!” 🙂

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          The next time I’m at SL market, one of you is getting contacted to tell me what to get!

  63. tubby
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Fish makes me queasy, so I usually don’t prefer it over other options. Though when I do eat it I go for things other than tuna or salmon when they’re offered (unless it’s canned tuna because it’s easy protein). Whatever is the catch of the day at the restaurant or grocery- trout, bass, sea bass, rockfish, haddock, cod, whichever.

  64. Amy
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Try some grilled grouper or dolphin (mahi mahi). Very nice, not fishy (unless you use the really brown or “blood” meat from the fish. That’s what gives fish, it’s super fishy flavor)

    • Posted January 28, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Mahi mahi is sometimes called “dolphin”, but it is not actually a dolphin, Delphinus delphis.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:09 am | Permalink

        My understanding is that “mahi-mahi” is the Pacific (and more specifically, Hawaiian) name for what we call “dolphin” on the Atlantic coast. Dolphin is a schooling fish (unrelated to sea mammals like “Flipper”) that runs offshore on the surface of deep water. It’s fun to catch, and even more fun to eat.

  65. Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Deep fried catfish and bacon!

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      In that case, who needs the catfish part? 🙂

  66. wejuli
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    What if we examined alternative reasons behind your evidence?

    1. Perhaps the Catholic church deemed fish to be a more “holy” food (St. Peter being a fisherman, Jesus helping the disciples catch fish twice, “fishers of men” etc) and therefore encouraged its consumption on Fridays for that, or any other ridiculous reason.

    2. What is the standard of “fishyness”? Maybe salmon and tuna are perfectly fishy while anchovies are simply fishy in the extreme. This point could easily be made to support the opposite conclusion by adjusting an arbitrary and subjective scale.

  67. Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Try this, and you will change your mind:

    http://spanishfood.about.com/od/tapas/r/anchoviesfried.htm

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      I would love that; but we don’t get fresh anchovies where I live.

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        I see they used cured ones as well. I’ll have to try that at home!

  68. jeffery
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    The worst thing about eating commercially-caught fish is that we’re encouraging the ongoing “rape” of our oceans and their ecosystems: many fisheries have already collapsed, or are at the point of collapse, due to greed and the technological ability to now harvest far larger amounts of fish from areas that used to be unreachable. The “dredging” methods used in the Atlantic have rendered the sea bottom a moonscape, unsuitable for re-population by ANY species. When the cod fisheries collapsed, many fishermen switched to crab and lobster as their populations exploded (a temporary phenomenon) because of the huge amounts of discarded “by-catch” (“trash” fish, or fish not easily marketable that are tossed overboard). “Rougher” types of fish are being re-named to make them seem more attractive to the restaurant industry and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of sharks are killed each year just for their fins. Salmon and shrimp farming have created offshore “feedlots” where, especially in Asia, antibiotic use is rampant and unregulated and there’s no telling what they’re fed (70% of U.S. shrimp comes from Asia); the pollution from their waste and antibiotic-resistant diseases are beginning to affect the natural populations and ecosystems.
    We buy food that’s been shipped thousands of miles, while there’s millions of tons of Asian Carp jumping around in the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri rivers (although I’m not sure I’d want to eat anything that lives in those open sewers, either.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Ok, ok … but are we good-to-go with the baby seal fur coats?

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      I live very close to the Mississippi River and an open sewer it is not. It’s a lovely waterway and the water is quite clean these days. (Thanks to the EPA.)

      • jeffery
        Posted February 6, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure it’s cleaner than it used to be. However, just upriver from where I live, there’s signs warning against consumption of fish by children or pregnant women because of PCBs in the sediment which the catfish and carp, being “bottom-feeders”, pick up. Although the sewage dumped into the river by the dozens of municipalities upstream has been “treated”, it’s still sewage to me.

  69. madscientist
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m one of those people who loves all sorts of fish – but Salmon is at the top followed by Yellowfin tuna, Bluefin tuna, and in the absence of salmon I’ll take trout. (Why isn’t trout on the list?) But I’ll also pig out on snapper and perch, flathead, leatherjacket, anchovies, mackerel, cod, and numerous other fishes which I know no English name for.

  70. EvolvedDutchie
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never thought that fish could be a more divisive topic than religion. :p I do recognize my own preferences. Salmon is the best, cod is delicious in fish&chips and fish sticks are often made of pollock.

    As for fishy-fish, raw herring with onions or soused herring is a typical Dutch delicacy. However, I know few people who actually eat it.

    • Filippo
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      On a Finnair flight I tried pickled herring. Delicious.

      (On the other hand, I was hungry enough to eat the hind end of a hobby horse.)

  71. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I much prefer fish. & chips. In batter. (The fish, that is, not the chips). In fact I like the batter better than the fish.

    Meat? Nah. Other than bacon, well fried.

    But I’d sooner have a nice cheese ‘n’ pineapple burger than steak. (It’s a better balanced diet, too. It has vegetables in it).

    cr

  72. Hempenstein
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    If I could get my hands on some walleye more easily, I’d eat a lot of it.

    And I’d love to try paddlefish and sturgeon. Comments on that anyone?

  73. revelator60
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone mentioned caviar yet? I’m on the fence about its taste, but perhaps I need to try the expensive stuff in order to love it.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Good caviar is excellent.

  74. Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    I love anchovies on my pizza. It is impossible to get a pizza that is half anchovy and have sausage, for example, because the oil and fishiness bleeds over the entire pizza. I was very fortunate to marry someone who likes anchovies as much as I do to ave me from that problem.

    I love herring as well, both creamed and pickled. Not fond of crustaceans though.

  75. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Haven’t heard any love here yet for swordfish — the king of the North Atlantic fisheries.

    A charbroiled fresh swordfish steak offers all the satisfaction of any red meat.

  76. estraven
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Once on a camping trip my young daughter caught a 3-foot pike. We cooked it up for dinner and boy was it good! Fish has to be really fresh to taste good. Myself, I love yellow lake perch lightly battered and panfried, also Great Lakes walleye and whitefish broiled. I rarely order fish in restaurants because of doubts that the fish is fresh.

  77. Siaj
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    I tolerate tuna and smoked salmon… All other kinds, I find them totally gross.
    The smell of fish is also terrible.

    What would aliens think of us if they saw us ingesting such a stinky stuff??

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 2:07 am | Permalink

      Have you seen what Klingons eat?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Ha ha! +1

      • Siaj
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Lol.

        Some dogs eat their poo so I guess we are good with stinky fish.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      My mother is like that and she grew up in New Zealand where fish is plentiful. Every time I travel to a coastal area, I eat so much fish and shellfish that I’m surprised I don’t have some sort of gastric distress!

      I also wonder if we are being somewhat ethnocentric. Asians eat fish all the time. It would suck to live in that culture and hate fish and rice.

  78. Diane G.
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Boston Scrod. Lightly breaded sole filets. Dungeness Crab. Razor Clams. Shrimp, esp. “prawns.”

    But always eaten out–no matter how fresh the fish, cooking it at home seems to smell up the kitchen for days…

    Sadly, though, I agree with the posters here who’ve mentioned the negative side of sea-/freshwater- food. Chemical concentration (most of the Great Lakes area fish have some kind of eating advisory on them). Environmental degradation. Those bottom trawlers are catastrophic. Like so many others, these industries need strong, science-based regulation.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Woman gets a cab at Logan Airport. Tells the cabbie, “Take me somewhere quickly where I can get scrod!”

      Cabbie replies, “Sure, I know a few places. But I’ve never heard anyone ask for it in the pluperfect …”

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        😀

  79. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    I’m an enthusiastic piscivore and enjoy all kinds of fish both cooked and raw as well as preserved in various ways (smoked, rollmops, etc).
    I am mindful, though, of the point raised by Jefffery above that modern fishing methods have proven very destructive to marine fish populations so limit the amount I eat and try to choose fish from sustainable sources as far as this is possible.

  80. Dominic
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Well how about stargazy pie?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stargazy_pie

    I love fish! 🙂

  81. GBJames
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Yahoo! It is Friday! Fish fry day in Wisconsin!

  82. Stephen
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Confirming the swordfish, tuna, and salmon as “non-fishy.” It’s the sensation of those in your mouth, the density of the flesh, that makes it seem like you’re really eating…SOMETHING too. I contrast it to the ubiquitous, shingly-thin, white flaky mystery fish fillets that disappear on the tongue like cotton candy.

    And will one of my favorites in Europe – Pizza Tonno – EVER make it on the menu in the U.S.? Most folks I describe it to snarl in disgust.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Pizza Tonno sounds wonderful!

  83. Peter
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    According to The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky “Whale meat became a staple of the European diet partly because the Catholic Church forbade the eating of “red-blooded” meat on holy days – about half the days on the calendar including every Friday – arguing that it was “hot,” associated with sex, which was also forbidden on holy days. But meat that came from animals – or parts of animals – that where submerged in water; including whale, fish, and the tail of the beaver, was deemed “cold” and therefore permitted. So with the exception of beaver tails and the occasional seal or porpoise, whale was the one allowable red meat. The Basques became the great providers of this holy red meat”.

    Another popular story is that François de Laval, the first Bishop of Quebec, wrote to theologians at the Sorbonne, asking whether his flock could eat beaver during Lent. The theologians wrote back that yes, beavers could be considered fish.

    Their decision was based on The Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas which bases animal classification as much on habit as anatomy.

    • Stephen
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Love the nonsensical dietary restrictions.

      I was assigned to the US Consulate General in Jerusalem in the 1980’s. Our toddler son was hospitalized and his mom stayed in the hospital with him. The semi-private room had an Israeli woman there with her baby. I was aware of the meat/dairy restrictions and saw the different colored hospital plates and utensils based on each meal’s contents.

      Curious, I asked the Israeli woman how that came about and was told the source of the restriction was from a directive about seething the kid in it’s mother’s milk. So, I asked, if fish and cheese together is okay.

      Oh sure! No problem.

      What about chicken?

      Oh, it used to be okay but the rabbi said we shouldn’t.

      But chickens don’t nurse their young…

      THE RABBI SAID WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO!

      And we never spoke again during the remaining days my son and wife were in the room.

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Many rule systems include higher order rules to prevent the basic rules from being violated. For example: don’t carry money during the holy days. Why? So you aren’t tempted to spend it, which is (said to be) the real problem.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Yes, Kurlansky!

      I highly recommend all his books, but especially:

      Cod
      Salt
      The Basque History of the World

      • GBJames
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Yes! An excellent trilogy. I especially enjoyed “Cod” but all are very good.

  84. Xuuths
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I personally think it is a mistake to use catholics as examples of almost anything — their own people don’t follow their teachings, their own leaders don’t follow their own teachings, they don’t represent a majority of believers in most places, and they believe far too many things that are at odds with reality in very demonstrable ways.

    I asked around, and none of the catholics I spoke with thought having fish on Fridays was penance. Oh well.

    I love fish! Oh, and asians, who outnumber everyone else on the planet, consume a LOT of fish, so I’d say your information is invalid.

  85. Janet
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Sorry everyone. My apologies. Yesterday I posted about the primary source of fishy smells but an extra p somehow crept into the word. The chemicals are triethylamines, produced by decaying fish and detectable by humans at very low doses.

  86. Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I love fish and seafood and consider it one of my ‘treats’ from time to time. (Also the most common way in which I am not a vegetarian. :))

    However, growing up I never liked sardines. Not because they were “fishy” or “bony” but because they were so *salty*. I guess this was an artifact of the canning; I imagine fresh ones would be very different.

    I had some sardine like things (breaded) at dim sum a few months ago in Montreal. Any one have any idea what those could have been? They weren’t any saltier than any other of the other dishes.

  87. Siaj
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    For those who do like fish, check out this “Pescado a la Veracruzana” recipe. Pretty tasty even for those of us who do not like fish.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/veracruz-style-tilapia-pescado-a-la-veracruzana-recipe.html

    Bell peppers (red, orange or yellow) are missing in this recipe, you can also add a little vinegar from the capers and a splash of white wine.

  88. Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    As a toddler, I got a big fish bone stuck in my throat – nobody understood what was happening, and by survival instinct I plunged my hand to the wrist in my mouth to reach it and pull it out. After that terrible experience, I had an aversion to fish, until in my late thirties I lived for some months with a professional fisherman on Lake Geneva who also was a fabulous cook. This allowed me to rediscover fish, to get over my aversion and develop a liking for fish (even though I helped him gut the fish he caught and remove the scales).

    I have a special liking for perch, char, trout and young pike.

  89. Hempenstein
    Posted February 17, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Sadly, for far too many years I was married to a woman whose favorite fish was stick.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 17, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Stick is the fish for non fish lovers. My mother hates fish but will eat that awful Captain Highlander stuff.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 17, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Highliner but Highlander sounds better, just not for fish sticks. Maybe it would be what Highlander would do when he ran out of money being immortal and getting sick of working.

        • Diane G.
          Posted February 18, 2016 at 4:09 am | Permalink

          I thought that was just your Scottish side coming out…


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