Recently I saw a picture on social media of a friend eating fish in some exotic local. Except it was a complete, whole, entirely intact fish.
I had a similar experience in Greece a few years ago. Our tour group was taken to this quaint seaside cafe for lunch, and the plate set before me displayed a whole fish. My first reaction was surprise, then relief since it wasn’t trying to swim off the plate. This is the first time my food was looking back at me, thankfully with a sightless eye. Still… “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Red Lobster any more.”
Since this was my lunch, my first instinct was to stab it with a fork, which came out displaying more bone than flesh. No, that can’t be right.
Fortunately, my meal and appetite were saved by the young lady sitting next to me. “First you cut off the head. Then you fillet it by slicing it lengthwise. Lift off the upper half, and you expose the bone structure. Then you can pull out all the bones at once. See?” She deftly sliced through hers, then proudly lifted out the spine with all the bones attached.
Squeamishness aside, I was hungry enough to copy her, and it worked!
Actually, I hope this never happens again; it’s not very appetizing to have to make eye contact with what you’re about to eat, even when it’s thoroughly cooked. I’ll stick to fillets, thank you very much. But if it does, now I know I won’t starve.