Etiquette & superstition: more about fish

I know; I’ve already written about fish. There are a lot of superstitions regarding fish and the eating of same, and the etiquette is nearly as intricate. I think I might stick with macaroni and cheese.

ETIQUETTE: If you are at a fancy dinner, you might find that your place setting has three forks and three knives. Going in from the outside, the first knife and fork are your salad utensils, and the second knife (the cutlass-like pointy one) and fork are your fish utensils. If you are served a whole fish with the head and tail on, you are supposed to remove the head and then hold the fish knife as you would a pencil or scalpel and remove the meat from amongst those tiny, tiny bones. In Russia, you are not supposed to use a knife while eating fish, but you may use two fish forks to separate the meat from the bones.

SUPERSTITION: When eating a whole fish, the fish is served on its side. When you get halfway down into the fish where the bones are, you should peel the bones up by pulling on the spine at the tail in order to get to the rest of the fish meat. Do not flip the fish over, as this will make a fisherman’s (or perhaps the next traveler’s) boat flip over. If you start to choke on a fish bone, you can either put a piece of bread on your head or pull on your big toe. That should fix things.

Photo by Joseph Wu Origami on flickr

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. When my mother in law eats a whole fish, she picks up the head and sucks out the eyes.
    She is such a bad-ass. I love her.

  2. WOW. Invite me to dinner sometime. Please?

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