Back in 2000, the world was a simpler place: couples met in real life, hipsters-to-be were still at primary school and we all knew not to eat fish on Mondays, thanks to top American TV chef and author, Anthony Bourdain.
After 30 years in the restaurant business, Bourdain knew the tricks of the trade and so knew what to order on which days of the week when eating out.
In his 2000 book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly, Bourdain wrote: “I never order fish on Monday, unless I'm eating at a four-star restaurant where I know they are buying their fish directly from the source. I know how old most seafood is on Monday - about four to five days old!”
The reasons was that in New York where Bourdain was based, the fish markets weren’t open over the weekend so most restaurants ordered their fish on Thursdays and by Monday it would be well past fresh.
16 years on, however, and Bourdain has had to eat his words. In a video for Tech Insider, the chef concedes that his old rule is no longer valid. “Do me one favour, people, eat the fish on Monday. That was 16 years ago, it was a very different world,” he claims.
But why the change of heart?
The reason it’s now OK to order fish on a Monday is that over the past 16 years, food standards have increased dramatically and we now expect much higher quality meals. Restaurants can no longer get away with serving bad quality fish, so they’ve had to up their game.
Bourdain also points to the rise of sushi: “Everybody eats sushi now,” he says, despite the fact that his generation were raised to see raw fish as “an anathema.”
However, Bourdain maintains that you need to choose your restaurant wisely, suggesting that a Monday mussels special at your “local fake Irish pub” may still not be “such a great idea.”
He concedes that ‘don’t eat fish on Monday’ will likely be on his headstone but urges us all to “Eat the damn fish”. And if that isn’t permission to head to the chippy, nothing is.
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