What food has absolutely no taste, and yet it's regularly eaten?
Shark fin. When renowned chef Gordon Ramsay tasted shark fin for the first time, this is what he said:
“It’s really bizarre. Really really bizarre. Because that (shark fin) actually tastes of nothing. Almost like, sort of plain glass noodles. The broth is delicious, really good. But it could have anything in there. It could have chicken, sweetcorn, it could have duck in there.”
Shark fin soup is a traditional Chinese dish often served during important occasions, like banquets and weddings. It has a long history, originating centuries ago in the Song dynasty, and is often viewed by the Chinese as a symbol of wealth and affluence. In Singapore, it is rather common to see Chinese families eating shark fin soup during festivals like Lunar New Year, as well as during birthday and wedding celebrations.
The interesting thing about shark fin soup, however, is that only the broth is tasty. It is thick, rich and full of flavour. Often, the broth is cooked in other flavourful ingredients, including chicken stock, scallops and sometimes even abalone. On the other hand, the shark fin itself is actually tasteless. It is there almost exclusively for the stringy, chewy and gelatinous texture.
Shark fin is really expensive, and it’s usually sold at US$400 per kg. Yet people all over the world are willing to pay that price for something that is almost completely tasteless. I myself have tasted it on one or two occasions, and every time I taste it, I wonder to myself why people seem to enjoy it so much. It really perplexes me.
Of course, I’m not trying to disrespect Chinese culture. I’m a Singaporean-born Chinese, and I do appreciate the rich culture and history behind shark fin, as well as the importance of shark fin to the Chinese. But neither am I supporting the consumption of shark fin. With close to 100 million sharks finned and killed every year, the populations of many sharks have dropped dramatically in the past 50 years, with some species, like the Sand Tiger Shark, categorised as vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. Shark finning is also a brutal practice. Typically, a shark is caught, pulled onboard a boat, its fins are cut off, and the still-living shark is tossed back overboard to drown or bleed to death. Even with laws guarding against shark finning, these laws are incredibly difficult to enforce, simply because the oceans are huge and it is literally impossible to comb every corner of the ocean at any one time. To make things worse, demand for shark fin is still extremely high in many Asian countries, and shark fin soup is almost an embedded part of Chinese culture.
I could go on rattling about the many other negative effects of shark fin, but this would be another topic of discussion. To conclude, shark fin is the bizarre food that is almost completely tasteless, yet so regularly eaten all over the world.
This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.
Have you ever thought about how many ingredients are present in our food and yet left unnoticed?
Have you ever seen the cover or packaging of a good and loved how creative it was? Ready to be amazed by these designs!
8 cooking tricks from the best chefs
If you’re interested in hacking your way to a better kitchen life, read our 8 cooking tricks directly from top chefs.
Being able to identify perilous plants can save you a lot of hassle. Here are 5 plants you should steer clear of.
Tasty hot dogs all over the world 6/10/2021
Hot dogs are one of the most popular snacks worldwide. See how different they can look depending on a country.