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(NPR)   This just in: even chefs don't know how to tell fish apart   (npr.org) divider line 86
    More: Obvious, The Salts, Silver Spring, chefs, farmed salmon  
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6315 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Jun 2013 at 6:05 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-25 08:21:40 PM
Hey, that's great!  But who're the Chefs?
/I KNOW that ain't obscure here
 
2013-06-25 08:23:07 PM
How bout we just stop eating these crappy animals? The best fish I've ever eaten still made me wish I'd spent the equal amount on almost anything else.

As a wise Farker whose handle I can't remember once said (paraphrasing), 'I've never heard anyone complain about a steak being too beefy or a chicken dish being too chickeny. But almost everyone compliments a seafood dish by saying it wasn't too fishy'.
 
2013-06-25 08:37:43 PM

Wall_of_Doodoo: How bout we just stop eating these crappy animals? The best fish I've ever eaten still made me wish I'd spent the equal amount on almost anything else.

As a wise Farker whose handle I can't remember once said (paraphrasing), 'I've never heard anyone complain about a steak being too beefy or a chicken dish being too chickeny. But almost everyone compliments a seafood dish by saying it wasn't too fishy'.


Good crappy doesn't taste too crappy.
You've never caught and eaten a fish have you?
 
2013-06-25 08:46:55 PM
Sea Bass is the only fish to eat, it's cool.
 
2013-06-25 08:58:54 PM

OregonVet: Sea Bass is the only fish to eat, it's cool.


i1079.photobucket.com
You might even say it kicks ass...
 
2013-06-25 09:31:06 PM
She's thinking holy mackerel, I'm thinking tuna on the side
 
2013-06-25 09:42:24 PM
encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com
Don't send the apprentice to do the master's job
 
2013-06-25 09:45:10 PM

Wall_of_Doodoo: How bout we just stop eating these crappy animals? The best fish I've ever eaten still made me wish I'd spent the equal amount on almost anything else.

As a wise Farker whose handle I can't remember once said (paraphrasing), 'I've never heard anyone complain about a steak being too beefy or a chicken dish being too chickeny. But almost everyone compliments a seafood dish by saying it wasn't too fishy'.


Did anyone ask the farker if he prefers filet mignon over a steak cut from the shoulder? Much more flavor in the shoulder.

/Too fishy comes from overcooking, it's less about the dish and more about the cook.
 
2013-06-25 11:43:14 PM
Dammit, Jim! I'm a poissonnier, not an ichthyologist!
 
2013-06-26 12:10:16 AM
was covered in a chimichurri crust

chimichurri churrichanga
chimichurri churrichanga
chimichurri churrichanga
chimichurri churrichanga
chimichurri churrichanga
chimichurri churrichanga
 
2013-06-26 12:17:56 AM
That's okay... I find that waitstaff are equally unskilled at telling a real credit card from a fake one.
 
2013-06-26 12:23:42 AM
What's really important is that the fish do
 
2013-06-26 01:13:36 AM

Wall_of_Doodoo: How bout we just stop eating these crappy animals? The best fish I've ever eaten still made me wish I'd spent the equal amount on almost anything else.

As a wise Farker whose handle I can't remember once said (paraphrasing), 'I've never heard anyone complain about a steak being too beefy or a chicken dish being too chickeny. But almost everyone compliments a seafood dish by saying it wasn't too fishy'.


Comedian Jim Gaffigan does a bit about that.
"Nobody really likes fish, they just won't admit it. They're like 'I like fish as long as it doesn't taste like fish.' I got news for you, I don't think you like fish, because I'm almost positive that fish is suppose to taste like fish."
 
2013-06-26 02:11:10 AM

Wall_of_Doodoo: How bout we just stop eating these crappy animals? The best fish I've ever eaten still made me wish I'd spent the equal amount on almost anything else.

As a wise Farker whose handle I can't remember once said (paraphrasing), 'I've never heard anyone complain about a steak being too beefy or a chicken dish being too chickeny. But almost everyone compliments a seafood dish by saying it wasn't too fishy'.


I like fish quite a bit.  What a lot of people call 'fishy' isn't the taste of fish, it's the taste of spoiled or overcooked fish.  There are plenty of fish that have a strong flavor, but a good flavor.

There are plenty of fish out there that look and taste very similar to each other, hence the rampant fakery that perpetuates the market, but in a lot of cases the 'imposter' fish tastes just as good as the 'desirable' fish that costs many times as much.  I agree that we should do a better job with labeling of seafood, as well as indicating where it's from and how it was caught so that we can make informed decisions to support sustainable fisheries, but at the same time we should be more open to trying fish that aren't the big named ones that we know.

Even more so we should start encouraging the consumption of invasive fish species like snakehead and lionfish - make them popular on menus and more people will be motivated to go out and catch them, hopefully diminishing the invasive population.
 
2013-06-26 02:22:43 AM

Wall_of_Doodoo: 'I've never heard anyone complain about a steak being too beefy or a chicken dish being too chickeny.


"This meat tastes gamey"
 
2013-06-26 02:35:30 AM
The kicker is telling some fish apart. That is sort of the issue. And there are fish with remarkable similarities. Labeling and mislabeling is rampant in my profession--some by mistakes made by purveyors who pawn off product that they know is fraudulent, and some by mistakes made in the warehouse, or by the folks they get their fish from even.

Snapper and talapia are remarkably easy, when you buy sides that you carve up yourself. Salmon is much easier when you have a whole side to compare and contrast with. Farm raised salmon is different than wild caught--in color and in texture--but is often pawned off on folks who don't bother to check, or who buy salmon as steaks, as opposed to cutting up their own.

I was a poissonnier. There are indeed similarities in many species. Quality dips often with how fish is treated in transit as well. You have to use folks that you trust, and not be afraid to refuse delivery if the fish isn't to the quality that you expect--and that means actually inspecting the fish, not just by nose, but by texture and color. I've gotten salmon that I refused to serve, and sent it right back. Color was off, it wasn't the fish that I wanted, and not to the quality that I expected. Plain and simple, you have to be involved, and you have to inspect what you get in. The article mentioned that talapia and snapper have different textures, and different flavor, and while you can do very similar things, it's important to have the proper labeling, not just so that diners know what they're getting, but likewise, for safety purposes. Contamination is tracked through the chain of custody, and if folks are misfiling and misrepresenting, it's the same issues that come up with tracking meat. You have to be able to track things back to figure out what went wrong. Often, it IS the restaurant--poor handling practices often result in cross contamination--but you have to do your due diligence, and if you follow your HACCP plans, and can isolate things, then you can better track where things went wrong. That's for the consumer's safety.

As to the question of farm raised and wild caught salmon, it does come down to fat content. There's nothing wrong with good farm raised salmon--and their relatively easy life makes them fattier, and that makes them perfect for some preparations. Wild caught is better for others. There's nothing wrong with talapia--it's a fish you can do a lot with, and has great flavor and stands up to a lot of spice. Snapper, has a different texture, and you can do a lot with that as well. Ono...I will stab a motherf*cker to get wahoo out here in Massachusetts--it is closely related to mackerel, and absolutely NOTHING like mackerel in texture or flavor. If a purveyor came at me with mackerel and tried to pass it off as ono, I would drop them. Plain and simple. Then again, as customers, we NEED to be more assertive in refusal for product that is substandard or is not what we asked for. A lot of places, they make their orders for day of preparation, and that often means that there is pressure to make do. Like the scene in Eat, Drink, Man, Woman where the father turns out a new dish, when the shark fin ordered for the governor's ball turns out to be fraudulent. If you're not inspecting your product closely, it can happen. And sometimes, simple mistakes are made in ordering, or in selecting at the purveyor's end, and things get shipped that you didn't want.

It's a weird balancing act. Chefs, we want to be seen as in the know, since it's pretty much part of the job. We HATE to admit making mistakes, especially ones that we might not have made if we had more time, and most chefs are strapped for that particular commodity. We will spin out, and readjust, because sh*t happens. Someone checks in an order, and makes a mistake. Someone makes a mistake, and tries to cover for it. At some point, chefs, as well as purveyors need to admit that we make them--and a more transparent system would help a lot of folks. Especially when folks are purchasing in bulk, or for multiple locations.
 
2013-06-26 03:52:01 AM
The fisherman know, I'm sure they can prepare the catch better too.
 
2013-06-26 03:57:27 AM
Fishermen, fisherman, fishermon, fishermun, fishermin, all the same shiat. chefs can't tell the difference.

/It is good beer, *I* can tell.
 
2013-06-26 04:35:59 AM
I swear they had a story not long ago that said the same thing about wine. As in, "Wine critics can't tell the difference between red wine and white wine with food coloring."
 
2013-06-26 04:37:11 AM

hubiestubert: Then again, as customers, we NEED to be more assertive in refusal for product that is substandard or is not what we asked for.


I think this is true for a lot of areas in the market today. We put up with very little quality for very high prices in healthcare, automotive (I told a story in another thread about a part I've replaced twice in three years because the manufacturers went from metal parts to plastic parts), food, etc. . .
As much as I hate to invoke the idea of the invisible hand, we really need to start doing some talking with our wallets. Securing the food supply is one of the main reasons why I pushed so hard to start a community garden at my church. You wouldn't believe how many people walked up to me and wondered at how much better my cucumbers taste, and for $2 for a packet of seeds! Until stores can deliver that quality at that price, so sorry, I'm not buying. I'd sooner go to a farmer's market (and from what I hear, the better restaurants do as well, but I'll bow to your expertise on that).

/Jesus may have fed a multitude with two loaves and two fishes, but I have seeds, muther-farkers!
 
2013-06-26 05:14:49 AM
(Note: The sampling was not randomized, so the findings should be taken with a grain of salt.)

As should the article, its faulty premise, and the ridiculous headline.
 
2013-06-26 06:10:01 AM
Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to tell fish apart by sight and he will eat for a day.
 
2013-06-26 06:16:19 AM

DanZero: Don't send the apprentice to do the master's job


"Poison....poison....ah! Tasty fish!" *sticks it with knife; fish deflates*

I think I read it here on Fark that chefs will no longer need a serperate license to prepare fugu. Just a wee bit concerned if I ever get around to trying it.
 
2013-06-26 06:16:20 AM
Dr. Seuss wrote a book on the subject.
 
2013-06-26 06:19:50 AM
Salmon nigiri is absolutely delicious.

That is all.
 
2013-06-26 06:22:51 AM
Wall_of_Doodoo:  But almost everyone compliments a seafood dish by saying it wasn't too fishy'.

well then they had very low expectations! that 'fishy' taste and smell comes from fish that is past its best. fresh fish has no odour
 
2013-06-26 06:28:49 AM
As soon as I saw this thread I knew Hubi would be here.
Fascinating as always.
 
2013-06-26 06:34:48 AM

DanZero: [encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com image 259x194]
Don't send the apprentice to do the master's job


One man's meat is another man's poisson.
 
2013-06-26 06:36:07 AM

ib_thinkin: I swear they had a story not long ago that said the same thing about wine. As in, "Wine critics can't tell the difference between red wine and white wine with food coloring."


Yep, this one from i09 with this bonus from Penn & Teller Bullshyte episode that tells you a lot more on the power of suggestion (both food and wine).
 
2013-06-26 06:38:39 AM
This whole thing sounds fishy..
 
2013-06-26 06:46:08 AM
Well, anything in the water with sharp teeth is a blood-thirsty, man-eating shark and will kill you and everyone you care about.  Everything else in the water is a guppy and totally delicious pan-fried.
 
2013-06-26 06:50:30 AM
Didn't we already cover this about three months ago?

/summer reruns, bleah.
 
2013-06-26 06:50:33 AM
david-letterman.com

Know know know know know know know know know

know your cuts of fish
 
2013-06-26 06:54:52 AM

lumiere: Yep, this one from i09 with this bonus from Penn & Teller Bullshyte episode that tells you a lot more on the power of suggestion (both food and wine).


Ah yes, if not everyone can be an expert, then no one's an expert.  The reasoning in these articles is like taking a random sampling of self-proclaimed athletes and concluding decisively, based on the very rudimentary averages, that it's physically impossible to throw a baseball faster than 90mph.  Of course, anyone who's seen the best several hundred players on the planet (i.e., the MLB) knows this isn't true, but there's a difference:  Unlike wine tasting, no one can fake throwing a 90mph fastball (unless they actually get reasonably close, like 87-89mph).  ANYONE can fake being a wine expert.

There are wine tasters that know their shiat, but this is like audiophile territory -- almost all "experts" are frauds who call themselves experts either in pursuit of easy income or to feel better about themselves.  I'm not in the least bit surprised that they found thousands of "wine experts" that couldn't even tell wines apart once food coloring was added, but the overall tone of the article reads like a whiny brat that wants to believe there's no such thing as knowledge to avoid confronting his own ignorance.
 
2013-06-26 06:55:36 AM

thamike: (Note: The sampling was not randomized, so the findings should be taken with a grain of salt.)

As should the article, its faulty premise, and the ridiculous headline.


When the only chef specifically mentioned who can't identify is the guy being paid to cook for the event, there's a problem.
 
2013-06-26 07:00:33 AM
Don't eat fish out. Problem solved.
 
2013-06-26 07:01:56 AM

Gig103:
Comedian Jim Gaffigan does a bit about that.

"Nobody really likes fish, they just won't admit it. They're like 'I like fish as long as it doesn't taste like fish."

I'm guessing Jim Gaffigan has rarely been outside the US.
 
2013-06-26 07:05:27 AM

lumiere: ib_thinkin: I swear they had a story not long ago that said the same thing about wine. As in, "Wine critics can't tell the difference between red wine and white wine with food coloring."

Yep, this one from i09 with this bonus from Penn & Teller Bullshyte episode that tells you a lot more on the power of suggestion (both food and wine).


I had no idea that was a thing.  I'm fairly wine retarded, I'm happy with 2 buck chuck, and I thought there was no way anyone couldn't tell a red from a white.
 
2013-06-26 07:06:26 AM

SDRR: Don't eat fish out. Problem solved.


OK, so no piscine cunnilingus. But do you like fish sticks?
 
2013-06-26 07:13:05 AM

kwame: thamike: (Note: The sampling was not randomized, so the findings should be taken with a grain of salt.)

As should the article, its faulty premise, and the ridiculous headline.

When the only chef specifically mentioned who can't identify is the guy being paid to cook for the event, there's a problem.


Sure, but he had trouble telling one kind of salmon from another, and a red snapper from a fish that is almost identical to a red snapper. It's not like he couldn't tell a trout from a tuna.
 
2013-06-26 07:20:23 AM
 
2013-06-26 07:20:57 AM

Dansker: SDRR: Don't eat fish out. Problem solved.

OK, so no piscine cunnilingus. But do you like fish sticks?


i221.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-26 07:21:13 AM
Sounds like someone didn't pay enough attention during the Buri Hamachi video-meme craze.

/obscure?
 
2013-06-26 07:22:30 AM

ib_thinkin: I swear they had a story not long ago that said the same thing about wine. As in, "Wine critics can't tell the difference between red wine and white wine with food coloring."


IDK about critics, but unless they have absolutely wrecked their palates, the flavour profile and the body are completely different. And I am not a wine critic and i smoke ..... but damn sure i can blindfold point to a cabernet sauvignon and be positive i had not had a sauvignon blanc .
 
2013-06-26 07:29:32 AM
I have some job related knowledge of this issue and it's a biggie. A huge percentage of the fish we eat is imported already cut up. when all you have is a fillet or steak, it's almost impossible to tell exactly what it is without DNA testing. Several federal and state agencies have been trying to get a handle on the problem, but the rate of testing is extremely low and that's not likely to change in the current funding climate.

Also, just to be clear, I wasn't joking about the DNA testing bit. That's how it's done these days. There really isn't any other solid way to do it.
 
2013-06-26 07:32:41 AM

hubiestubert: The kicker is telling some fish apart. That is sort of the issue. And there are fish with remarkable similarities. Labeling and mislabeling is rampant in my profession--some by mistakes made by purveyors who pawn off product that they know is fraudulent, and some by mistakes made in the warehouse, or by the folks they get their fish from even....


[Long fishy rant followed]

/Favorited. "Fish Expert"
 
2013-06-26 07:34:10 AM
www.seldenpudgies.com

mmmm. malt vinegar.
 
2013-06-26 07:38:42 AM
I prefer that my pink snapper doesn't look or taste 'fishy'.

Bam! Euphemism.
 
2013-06-26 07:46:09 AM

lumiere: ib_thinkin: I swear they had a story not long ago that said the same thing about wine. As in, "Wine critics can't tell the difference between red wine and white wine with food coloring."

Yep, this one from i09 with this bonus from Penn & Teller Bullshyte episode that tells you a lot more on the power of suggestion (both food and wine).


That's where it was. I recently discovered the magic that is io9. And now I've learned to ignore the movie trailers and embrace the magic that will be Pacific Rim.
 
2013-06-26 07:50:15 AM

alienated: ib_thinkin: I swear they had a story not long ago that said the same thing about wine. As in, "Wine critics can't tell the difference between red wine and white wine with food coloring."

IDK about critics, but unless they have absolutely wrecked their palates, the flavour profile and the body are completely different. And I am not a wine critic and i smoke ..... but damn sure i can blindfold point to a cabernet sauvignon and be positive i had not had a sauvignon blanc .


Not so sure. Taste is the weakest of our senses. You get help from your sense of smell, but probably most of it is psychosomatic.

There's a reason why it's dumb to wait until your expired food tastes or smells bad before you throw it out - it went bad long before.
 
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