[Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Thu Nov 20 12:10:19 PST 2008

I have served poached salmon, pickled whiting, and, most recently, lightly 
floured, fried whiting filets with an apple and wine sauce on the side.  All 
were well received and I had no left overs.  That being said, all of these 
were prepared in ways that were not unfamiliar to the people at the feast, 
not everyone was enamored of the dishes, and I would have had half the 
salmon come back except that someone realized that a whole salmon has two 

The whiting filets with the wine sauce were served with a chicken in orange 
sauce, because the Baron could eat fish, but not chicken, and the Baroness 
just the opposite.  Having two meats and two sauces together in the same 
course made for some interesting experimentation at table.

There are always people who will eat fish at feasts, so "people don't eat 
fish at feasts" is in error.  What people don't want is badly prepared fish. 
As for the bones, select your fish and manner of preparation to minimize the 
problem.  I do try to keep from being too outre in the preparation.  And I 
make sure the fish is one dish in many, so it can be bypassed by anyone who 
doesn't want it.

The question I would ask myself is, "is the idea of presenting my audience 
with a whole fish with the head on going to upset them?"


>I am dallying with the idea of serving fish at a feast I'm doing in 
>February, based on Chiqart and Menagier of Paris. What I would love to do 
>is a whole roast fish "swimming" on a bed of decorated rice, with green 
>sorrel verjuice on top and sprinkled with small whole shrimp. I have been 
>warned away from doing this dish because "people don't eat fish at feasts" 
>and "what about the bones?". So.
> Have you ever served fish at a feast? How? How was it received?
> If you have not, would you like to?
> Curious,
> Madhavi
> An Crosaire, Trimaris

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