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Something FISHY...
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by: Celebrity Recipes Magazine

Fish-loving Filipinos that we are, we tend to think that we know a lot about anything and everything related to fish in reality of course, we don't. However, it wouldn't hurt if we add on to our knowledge of our most favored fare. Here are a few fishy questions and the correspondingly fishy answers:

Are anchovies locally known as dilis?
Not exactly although they both belong to the herring family. Anchovies grow to about 5 inches long and have actually been used since the time of the Romans. They are prepared either salted, pickled or preserved in oil. A lot of people profess to not linking the taste of this fish, without realizing that anchovies are actually used in a host of dishes without them knowing it.

Is caviar fish eggs?
Yes, they are. It is actually the roe (eggs) of the sturgeon fish (believe it or not, a close relative of the local labahita), that is imported from Russia and Iran. It comes in varying grains (or size), the largest being that of the Beluga and the smallest called Sevruga. Interestingly, not all caviar comes from the aforementioned countries as  Canada also has its very own. Anyway, caviar is very expensive and is considered a luxury foodstuff.

A little known fact about caviar is that it comes in a number of colors. Thus, aside from black (the most well-known and expensive), there are also red (from salmon, good but not comparable), dark gray, charcoal, green and even blond!

Incidentally, how is caviar eaten? Caviar is chilled and served on toast and bread. Sometimes, caviar is garnished with eggs - a pretty sight and which is meant to stretch this very expensive foodstuff.

Are frog legs considered fish or meat?
Technically, it is neither. Frogs are considered amphibians, which is another way of saying neither here nor there. However, since they are not considered meat by the Roman Catholic Church, and is allowed by it to be eaten during Lent, some people tend to consider it as fish.

Turtle meat, like frog legs, is also considered by some people as fish. Nonetheless, this might change in time, as sea turtles in particular are becoming endangered. Mexicans are said to eat the most turtles during Lent.

What is seviche or ceviche?
This is very similar to the Filipino kinilaw (at least in principle), the only difference is that for the souring (and cooking) agent, the seviche uses lime juice instead of vinegar. Anyway, seviche is raw thinly-sliced fish (snapper), with hot peppers, onions and lime juice. It is allowed to stand overnight and is usually served with toast. In the Philippines, however, trust the Pinoy to eat this dish with rice.

Is lox a brand of soap or a fish?
Humor aside, it isn't a brand of soap but fish. It's actually the Russian word for salmon. Specifically, it is salmon that has been cured heavily for quite some time in salt brine; soaked (to remove too much salt) and then smoked. Believe it or not, lox is actually very much a part of the cuisine of most central European countries and Scandinavia. However, since the Jews of Europe took a very great liking to it, lox has since been associated with Jewish cuisine. Lox is usually serve along with cheeses and an assortment of bread for Sunday breakfast or as a first entrée.

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September 20, 2017

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