Monday, December 22, 2014

FISH FINGERS: WHY BASA? WHY NOT POMFRET or SURMAI or RAWAS?

FISH FINGERS: WHY BASA? WHY NOT POMFRET or SURMAI or RAWAS?
Ramblings of a Retired Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE

On Sunday afternoon, three of us navy veterans assembled for a "PLD" in RSI Pune.

The "Small Eats" Menu featured an assortment of Chicken and Veg Items, but surprisingly there was just one fish dish available - "Fish Fingers".

I was in a "fishy" mood, so I decided to order Fish Fingers.

The delicious "Fish Fingers" I relished during my Navy days were mostly made from Pomfret Fish, so I asked the waiter, "The fish is Pomfret, isn't it?"

"No, Sir," he said.

"Then which fish are you using - Surmai?" I asked.

"No, Sir,"

"Rawas?"

"No, Sir."

"I hope you are not using Bangda (Mackerel) for making fish fingers?" I said.

"No, Sir," the waiter answered.

"No Pomfret, No Surmai, No Rawas, No Bangda? Then which fish do you use?" I asked him.

"Basa," he said.

"Basa? Is it a local river fish?" I asked.

The waiter was clueless about the origins of Basa.

I had never heard of this Basa fish nor had seen it in the local fish market, so I avoided ordering Fish Fingers.

Later, I surfed the net and discovered that Basa is a River Fish mainly from Vietnam (Mekong River) and South East Asia.

I do not understand one thing.

India has so many varieties of delicious fish like Pomfret, Surmai, Rawas, Bandga, Bombil etc which are ideal for making "small eats" like Fish Finger, Fish Fry, Fish Koliwada etc

Then, what is the need for the caterer to stock only imported Basa Fish?

Why eat imported fish like Basa when we have an abundance of delicious local fish?

Are they trying to create an "acquired taste" for Basa?

Or is there some ulterior motive?


VIKRAM KARVE
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This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in this story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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