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Fake Fish: it's everywhere


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16 replies to this topic

#1 janeer

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:35 AM

In today's NYT, more evidence of a widespread "bait and switch."

#2 rotuts

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:57 AM

the NYTimes had a similar article a few years ago also

#3 scubadoo97

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:32 AM

Very prevalent here in Florida as well. You can pretty much assume your $8.99 grouper sandwich is not grouper. But you could spend twice that much and it still doesn't assure you get the real deal
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#4 huiray

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

Perhaps the fact that *in general* the "usual" USAmerican dining public is not a fish-eating/fish-educated demographic has much to do with it, as the article mentions. I suspect folks in various "ethnic" populations in the US who traditionally eat lots more fish would be better educated - and they would also tend to buy whole fish so they can see what it is.

It is notable that this "general US dining public" (dare I say mostly Caucasian?) has an aversion to seeing whole fish on a plate on their table with those eyes staring back at them (maybe with the exception of trout, maybe?) in this sense. Maybe folks should try to buy whole fish with greater regularity and ask their normal provisioners to supply same?

#5 annabelle

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:19 PM

Why would you say that? I know plenty of white people who are avid fisherfolk.

#6 huiray

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:24 PM

Certainly there are many folks who are avid fishermen like your friends who would have no aversion to seeing whole fish on their plates. Ditto many eGullet folks and many other foodies too. But - I was referring to the "general" dining public, with which it has been commented on that they *do* have such an aversion to whole fish. The overall familiarity with fish does also seem to be less than with four-legged meat, beef in particular - and this aspect regarding fish is also touched upon in that NYT article.

#7 annabelle

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:53 PM

Perhaps. I've met plenty of Europeans here in the US on business or pleasure who also dislike seeing whole fish on their plates.

Certainly your average NYer is no more cosmopolitan than the rest of the country.

#8 dcarch

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:16 PM

It's good for the ecosystem.

Cheap fishes are more plentiful or farm raised.

They are doing it to save the environment.

dcarch :-)

#9 scubadoo97

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:39 PM

It's good for the ecosystem.

Cheap fishes are more plentiful or farm raised.

They are doing it to save the environment.

dcarch :-)


I have no problem with the use of Basa or other farmed fish. Just don't try to pass it off as something it's not and at a price point that it doesn't deserve
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#10 Twyst

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:36 PM

We dont even have truth in labeling laws in texas. Its totally legal for a restaurant to sell you tilapia here and tell you its snapper etc as long as they have less than three locations :(

#11 janeer

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:29 PM

We dont even have truth in labeling laws in texas. Its totally legal for a restaurant to sell you tilapia here and tell you its snapper etc as long as they have less than three locations :(

Good heavens, is that one of the those "small business" "burden" exemptions??

#12 jrshaul

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:49 PM

I live in the Midwest. Aside from small flat things that live in the lake, there's only two kinds of fish: "Salmon" and "Other."

I'd given up on eating fish in restaurants years ago on the basis that my limited palate and the long shipping involved made everything seem like cheap tilapia.

But now, I wonder...

#13 LindaK

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:15 PM

Last year the Boston Globe documented widespread mislabeling of fish in Massachusetts restaurants and supermarkets.

On the menu, but not on your plate
From sea to sushi bar, a system open to abuse


 


#14 huiray

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:24 AM

I live in the Midwest. Aside from small flat things that live in the lake, there's only two kinds of fish: "Salmon" and "Other."

I'd given up on eating fish in restaurants years ago on the basis that my limited palate and the long shipping involved made everything seem like cheap tilapia.

But now, I wonder...


I don't know where you live in the Midwest but in Chicago and Indianapolis it is eminently possible to eat very good seafood and many different varieties of fresh fish from all over, not just stuff retrieved from the Great Lakes. Many of the "ethnic" type markets would have whole fish, both live and dead, of all sorts - of varying quality, one chooses what is best at any particular time. Live fish, breathing and swimming in tanks, certainly qualify as fresh fish and you get to stare them in the eye before they get bopped on the head, too. And, of course, you get to identify what the heck they are before you eat them. Although the selection of live fish is admittedly limited the selection of whole dead fish isn't bad. :-)

In Indy there are restaurants like Oceanaire (a chain, but decent) which proffers pretty good fish and seafood, although yes, you would have to trust the kitchen on what you are being served if you can't independently ID the fish fillet yourself, something which is known to be hard in many cases anyway. Or places like the independent Recess (where the owner-chef flies in fresh fish from places far and near, including "new" fishes that get written up in the New York Times only months later. I understand he and/or his sous go to the airport to pick them up.) (His buddy-connections with folks in the fish business helps). I remember once (two years ago) when he got what he said was one of 4 paiche fishes flown into the US [and I had no reason to doubt him] and we, his patrons, got to dine on it. I've had live shrimp fished out from the tank in a Chinese restaurant here to be simply steamed with scallions and ginger. Yum. And so on and so forth.

I'm sure it also helps that Chicago and Indianapolis are shipping and air freight hubs, with Indianapolis also a Fedex national hub. My understanding is that a fair bit of stuff gets flown in frequently on a daily basis, frequently overnight from locales far away, especially with regards to the better places.

I guess it depends on where you are and what one is comfortable with but in my parts the availability of good stuff is more than just "Salmon" and "Other". :-)

#15 jrshaul

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:18 AM

I'm in Madison, Wisconsin. You can get acceptable fish from Whole Foods and the ethnic markets, but the cost of decent pescatarian cuisine in restaurants is loopy. An overcooked nibble of salmon would otherwise get me a steak.

#16 Hassouni

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:05 AM

It is notable that this "general US dining public" (dare I say mostly Caucasian?) has an aversion to seeing whole fish on a plate on their table with those eyes staring back at them (maybe with the exception of trout, maybe?) in this sense. Maybe folks should try to buy whole fish with greater regularity and ask their normal provisioners to supply same?


Dare you say mostly Caucasian? No, because the vast vast majority of white people in the world are not in fact from the Caucasus :smile: .

However, many white people I know do indeed have an aversion to fish, ESPECIALLy whole fish.

#17 HungryC

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:59 AM

This thread makes me appreciate Gulf Coast living. Despite all of its drawbacks, we do have abundant, diverse, and delicious fish....despite (some people's) whiteness. LOL. ETA: though the best retail fish counter in my area is at the Hong Kong supermarket.

Edited by HungryC, 09 January 2013 - 09:00 AM.