The Fish of April

Diane Hales reminds us that the fool came to take the form of a fish in Italy. Yes, April Fools Day is il pesce d’aprile in the boot. It’s today, by the way.

All this timely fish talk must have been the reason why I had the urge to finally process my fish-in-a-restaurant video yesterday, although the real impetus, I’m sure, came from reading about how many fish are labeled deviously in the U.S. because (A) either the FDA doesn’t have enough resources to check on the bastards or (B) the myth of the wholesale goodness of unregulated commerce and the total breakdown of truth in advertising laws has made fools of us all. Perhaps the correct answer is “both”. I lean toward (B) however.

As I ready my technological arsenal for yet another assault on northern Tuscany I find myself slipping into a half-awake state that floods my neural centers with the thoughts of the good food to come. Real food. It’s not that Italians are immune to tricking the odd tourist—heaven forbid, they’re darn good at it. It’s just that over the years they’ve made adjustments to mitigate the problem of miss-identification of species and such.

That’s why you’ll often see the furry feet or ears of your rabbit sticking out from the bunny carcass in its Styrofoam supermarket prison—to distinguish it from cat, a more, ahem, plentiful creature. It’s the same with fish. Served head on, even when the teeth might scare you into becoming a vegetarian. At least you can identify it.

The problem is, the squeamish Americans hate this kinda thing. To many, all animals are just a bundle of flaked and formed tofu. You didn’t kill anything at all in order to eat and be healthy, you fool yourself into thinking. Of what utility is a thought like that? Fess up. We eat. Things die. Give thanks to your god.

Basta. Here. Find out what you’ll come across after you’ve selected a fine looking fish as you’ve entered a seaside ristorante in Italy: So You’ve Ordered Fish in Italy. Now What?

Oh, and pick one that doesn’t stink. And don’t stay with relatives too long either: L’ospite è come il pesce; dopo tre giorni puzza or Guests are like fish, after three days they stink.

I can’t wait for fresh fish. Head on.


The Fish of April originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: Mar 01, 2012 © .

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