Monday, October 18, 2010
Would you Eat: Sharkfin Soup
Eating Shark seems to be an international cuisine. Shark fin is a highly sought after delicacy in Asian and subsequently in Cantonese restaurants in Vancouver. When I tried to youtube "shark fin", most of the videos concern animal cruelty and endanger specie. Then I tried to youtube it in Chinese, then I got bunch of fake shark fin, improper food safety handling regarding shark fin, police busts in China. It took me a while to find this video.
However, that's definitely not the psychology in Taiwan, even my mother find it unacceptable that I decided to not serve shark fin soup at my engagement. Not that she really wants to eat it, she is a borderline vegetarian, but she believes it is socially unacceptable if I don't serve it.
I have eaten plenty of shark fin soup growing up. In fact, my grandfather makes the best; he made a huge batch to celebrate the birth of his first great grandson. I gotta say... it's pretty delicious. In Asia, there is a lot of social pressure to consume certain type of food, such as shark fin soup, similar to drinking alcohol in America culture. It would be considered cheap to not serve it at an important gathering and an insult to refuse to eat such expensive dish. I believe it will take a lot of awareness campaign before people would change.
I do respect the fact that shark fin is cultural ingrained. However, I do believe everything should be in moderation. The current level of consumption of shark fin might be too high.