Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Sharks' Fins & Weddings

Yesterday, I attended a friend's wedding dinner. Instead of starting to wax lyrical over how touching the wedding was, or how perfect the couple was, I want to mention the fact that they didn't serve shark's fin at their wedding. No biggie, since activism a la "Say No to Sharks' Fin" is no longer a rare sight in Singapore, right?

What I found really interesting was that the couple even went as far as to include a blatant disclaimer in the invitation card: "No sharks' fin soup will be served at this wedding". Save the sharks, you know. Curiously enough, neither the bride nor the groom were strong supporters of the sharks. The groom's sister insisted, so they indulged her. Some of their elders initially had concerns that the invited guests would scrimp on the angbao when they saw the disclaimer! After all, sharks' fin was once a mainstay of the traditional Chinese wedding - an expensive and delicious delicacy that no respectable menu would even think of leaving out.

Now, I've always liked sharks' fin soup. Served piping hot with extreme doses of vinegar and pepper results in the ultimate comfort food. Every time I had the good fortune to eat it, I relished every mouthful. Or so I thought. Until the day when I was served a lone chunk of sharks' fin. Then I went "Erm, okay you mean I thought I liked this?" Turns out I like the starchy soup way more than the bits of Sharks Fin inside. Well, at this particular wedding, they replaced the 'sharks fin' in the 'sharks fin soup' with abalone. But in my humble opinion, the abalone spoilt an otherwise yummy dish. Yes, I've been told I have weird food preferences for a Chinese. I find abalone and bird nest tasteless and gross respectively, and to this day I still don't understand why people are willing to pay top dollar, much less eat them.

Ah well, but that's a story for another day.

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