Double happiness without shark fin
- August 17, 2009 3:38 PM |
- By Andree Lau
By Andree Lau, CBCnews.ca
One of our closet doors is covered with Post-it notes, a daily reminder there's less than a month left until our wedding and many more tasks left to complete before that walk down the aisle.
Shark fins for sale are displayed inside a shop in the Chinatown section of Los Angeles. (Nick Ut/Associated Press)
However, one of the items that got crossed off first was the matter of food.
I've never been one of those brides who had her dress picked out before her husband, but I have always known I wanted a traditional Chinese banquet.
The red and gold decorations, huge platters of food, and noisy clatter of relatives and chopsticks have always felt to me like a wonderful way to celebrate a marriage.
There are of course traditions: fish served whole with head and tail to symbolize a life of abundance for the newlyweds; lobster because red is the colour of happiness and joy; certain sweet desserts to bless the couple with many children.
But there is one longstanding delicacy that's now running into modern objections.
Shark fin soup is a status dish, served to guests on special occasions. Real shark fin can cost up to $100 a bowl.
As you can imagine, the increasing worldwide demand for shark fin is leading to a rapid decline of shark populations. Conservationists say fishermen hack off the fins and throw sharks' still-living bodies back into the water.
In reality, shark fin itself has little flavour and is distinguished mainly by its texture.
With this in mind, my parents and my fiancé and I agreed to forgo this tradition by instead serving a fish soup with goji berries — which are supposed to bring the newly married couple many offspring.
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