It boggles my mind.
People describe things in different ways. I understand that. We pull from different experiences, see our own versions of things. We prefer different foods for different reasons. But when someone says their piscine meal tastes "fishy," I tend to think pretty much everyone is on the same page as to what that means. Anyone who has eaten a decent amount of fish likely understands how distinct that "fishy" taste is (anyone who has only ever eaten fish once probably does as well...though they may have incorrectly attributed it to all fish).
That's why I don't understand how my experiences and description of what tastes "fishy" can differ so significantly and basically from what I hear and read from others.
This certainly is not the first time I've noticed someone mention the "fishy" taste associated with trout and salmon, and (not to pick on Mr. Streeter, but) I just don't get it.
Don't get me wrong, I do think the pink-orange flesh of a trout or salmon is a little more full-flavored than a white flesh, but at worst, it's like comparing whole milk to skim. It isn't (inherently) a "fishy" flavor. That's not to say I haven't had "fishy" trout or salmon, but like most any fish, that is due to improper preparation or storage (or, as I've noticed, sometimes having been freshly stocked).
The other thing I don't get is fish eaters who prefer panfish to the "too fishy" trout. Now, I don't eat a lot of fish, but drawing from 20-something years of solid-food experience, panfish (sunfish, bluegill, even perch and bass) have outscored trout and salmon on the occurrences of "fishiness" at least 4-to-1. I do like to pride myself on preparing certain foods...maybe I just can't handle panfish prep.
Or maybe my sense of taste is confused as to what "fishy" means. Seeing how I have personally convinced at least three (3) people, contrary to their individual and long-held beliefs, of trout/salmon's utter lack of "fishiness" by preparing it for them, I just cannot accept that.
So we are at an impass, trout-haters. I realize that there are other reasons to dislike eating trout (too fatty, too bony, too delicious) as opposed to other fish, but if you believe it to taste too "fishy", please consider the following:
-Are you sure your experiences to-date have included fresh trout cared for and prepared properly? Have skin, dark meat, and any other "waste" been properly removed? Has it possibly sat too long either before or after cooking? We all know to stay away from "fishy"-smelling fish, but there may be other subtleties that you are not yet aware of.
-Can the "fishiness" be attributed to hatchery-fresh fish or fish from poor living conditions or strange diet?
-Can fishiness be species-specific? I have never eaten a char, but it seems strange that so many people love the way brook-trout taste, but hate the way lake-trout taste (perhaps attributable to diet?). I have eaten Great Lakes king and coho salmon and steelhead, eastern New York stocked rainbow and brown trout, wild Alaskan king salmon and farmed Atlantic salmon in the past. To me, none of these have been inherently "fishy" tasting.
Where else can this "fishy" trout perception be coming from? I guess it would be better to perpetuate it and leave more fish for C&R and occasionally my plate, but I'm just so confused I wish someone would at least explain it to me.
Hey, maybe it is just a conspiracy to keep the hands of others off the true prize.
April 3, 2008
It boggles my mind.
Posted by FoulHooked at 4:20 PM