Double happiness without shark fin
Monday, August 17, 2009 | 03:38 PM ET
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.
This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.
Post a Comment
About the blog
From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
- Holiday round-up
- Thursday, December 24, 2009
- Food smackdown: Latke vs. Hamantash
- Tuesday, December 15, 2009
- Taking in the heat of celeb kitchens
- Wednesday, December 2, 2009
- Melon heads
- Friday, November 27, 2009
- Labneh and generosity in the Middle East
- Friday, November 20, 2009
- Subscribe to Food Bytes
- December 2009 (3)
- November 2009 (6)
- October 2009 (7)
- September 2009 (4)
- August 2009 (7)
- July 2009 (7)
- June 2009 (8)
- May 2009 (13)
- April 2009 (12)
- March 2009 (10)
- February 2009 (9)
- January 2009 (9)
- December 2008 (16)
- November 2008 (13)
- October 2008 (12)
- September 2008 (11)
- August 2008 (9)
- July 2008 (12)
- June 2008 (10)
- May 2008 (16)