Recipes

Fish Cheeks: It's What's for Dinner

On the faces of fish are morsels of meat that are so delicious they were once reserved for royal dinner tables. Some cheeks, like these from halibuts, are bigger enough to feed several dinner guests. (Keith Sutton photo)
On the faces of fish are morsels of meat that are so delicious they were once reserved for royal dinner tables. Some cheeks, like these from halibuts, are bigger enough to feed several dinner guests. (Keith Sutton photo)

Are you saving and cooking fish cheeks? If not, you will be after trying these recipes

In medieval times, merchants along European trade routes often dressed in ragged clothes so they wouldn’t be recognized and robbed by bandits. This might have worked had the merchants not exhibited a culinary habit the bandits quickly learned to recognize.

When a fish was placed before them at a communal meal in an inn, the rich merchants went straight for the fish’s cheeks, plucking them out and popping them into their mouths. Hungry peasants on the other hand, grabbed randomly at the meatier sides of the fish. The next day, the bandits knew which pockets to rob.

Cheeks? Fish have cheeks? Indeed, they do. And these succulent morsels, considered by many to be the best part of the fish, have been prized for their sweet flavor for centuries. In China, for example, it has long been traditional to pry the cheek meat from a cooked fish with chopsticks and offer it to the guest of honor or a favored relative.

READ THE FULL STORY ON WORLD FISHING NETWORK

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