Etiquette & superstition: trout


Those are not trout peeking out of that stargazy pie. Those are pilchards. Respect Cornish tradition, people.

ETIQUETTE: Sometimes a cooked trout will be served to you at the dinner table with its head and tail intact. Do not be alarmed, unless the fish is facing to the right on your plate. To quote Judith Martin (Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, New York: Athenum, 1982), “To eat a whole fish that is facing to the right is disgusting and vulgar.”

SUPERSTITION: It seems I have already covered the “if you have worms, bandage a live trout to your butt” tip in a previous post, as well as the most common trout-related cure for whooping cough. However, there are some other trout-related whooping cough remedies that may be tried depending on your level of squeamishness. If you do not wish to put a live trout into the mouth of the afflicted, you may simply let the trout swim in some milk and then make the sufferer drink the milk. If you do not feel that remedy to be dramatic enough, you may alternately take a pie dish full of cider to the river, catch a trout and drown it in the cider. Then all you do is cook up the fish and make the ailing person eat the fish along with all of the death-cider. Easy as pie.

Photo by goodiesfirst on Flickr

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