Fish and Seafood Dishes
Fish and Seafood Dishes
© Denzil Green
The incredible variety of fish and seafood in the world means that there is also an incredible variety of dishes based on them. You could easily eat a fish and seafood dish every day for a month, and not have the same fish or seafood twice in that month.
Most Fish and Seafood Dishes generally require shorter cooking times than meat dishes. There is, though, often a perception that fish and seafood dishes are "harder to get right" than meat dishes.
Fish and seafood can be pan-seared, poached, grilled, battered, baked, steamed, even served raw (as in Japanese sashimi.)
If a dish calls for one type of fish, it's usually easy to swap in another if you need to.
Proximity to water doesn't necessarily mean a country's cuisine will be heavily fish or seafood based. Japan, a small island surrounded by water, has its cuisine heavily based on fish. But Britain, also a small island nation, doesn't. Only three popular English fish dishes come to mind effortlessly, fish and chips, fish pie, and breakfast kippers, and in Scotland, Cullen Skink. In fact, fish has played a larger role in Russian cuisine that it did in British.
Calculated per person, the biggest fish and seafood eating countries in the world are Iceland, Japan and Portugual.
Some branches of Islam do not allow shellfish to be eaten; Jewish kosher laws ban shellfish and eels.
With the fall of Rome, it was the tastes of the meat-loving Franks and Germanic tribe that dominated Europe (and still do.) Fish and seafood dishes were less prestigious than meat dishes, often relegated to the role of something that was a substitute for meat dishes on the meatless days decreed by religion in medieval Europe, particularly the forty days of Lent.
Getting fish instead of meat for your meal was a deprivation:
"The turnkey poured his ration of soup into it, together with the fish—for thrice a week the prisoners were deprived of meat." -- Alexandre Dumas, père. The Count of Monte Cristo
Fridays were traditionally a meat-free day in England for religious reasons, and thus the habit of having fish on Fridays (which became fish and chips as of the mid 1800s.)
After the 1500s, there were attempts at various times in England to pass laws banning the eating of meat on certain religious days, thus forcing people to eat fish (and to boost the fortunes of fishermen.) The attempts were unpopular, though, as the English vastly preferred meat to fish. The laws just became dead laws on the book after the 1690s, and were finally swept from the books completely in 1863 by the Statute Law Revision Act.
Literature & Lore
Fish and Seafood DishesAhtapot Salatasi; Angels on Horseback; Bouchées à l'Armoricaine; Bouchées à la Bénédictine; Cabbie Claw; Chikuwa; Crappit Heids; Dublin Lawyer; Fish and Chips; Fish and Seafood Dishes; Homard à l'Américaine; Kamaboko; Kanikama Crab Sticks; Krappin and Stap; Lobster Newberg; Oysters Kilpatrick; Oysters Rockefeller; Paella; Pot-en-Pot Québecois; Poutine; Sardeles Pastes; Shrimp Cocktail; Squid Balls; Stargazey Pie; Tekka-Don; Yuzu Gama
Please share this information with your friends. They may love it.