nancylebov: (green leaves)
[personal profile] nancylebov
Summary: Escolar (frequently sold as butterfish or white tuna) can make you pretty sick.

I bought some smoked butterfish at the Reading Terminal Market-- it was only $5 for about a pound, and I like smoked fish.

I didn't like it all that much-- too salty and an odd flavor. I was trying to figure out whether rinsing it and cooking it with something was worth doing.

Then I got some diarrhea which seemed vaguely different than usual-- some of the details are TMI (Too Much Information) and I started thinking about what I'd been eating lately.

I'd heard about white tuna (a sort of sushi) being hard on the digestive tract, so I was open to the possibility that fish might be a problem.

Well! White tuna isn't related to tuna, it's butterfish. So is escolar. I will say a thing or two to the people at Reading Terminal Market-- they've got a big fish shop with a neon sign over it that says something like EAT FISH BE HEALTHY.

White tuna as sushi isn't a hazard to me-- the quantify in an assorted sushi plate isn't enough to hit me, and it's actually pretty tasty. It being labeled as white tuna is eroding my faith in humanity that little bit more, though.

Substantial article. I got off easy, some people get a lot sicker. If you read the comments, you'll find that people getting sick from escolar happens all over the world, except Italy and Japan where the fish is illegal. Pricey restaurants sometimes sell escolar (mislabeled, often enough) as a main dish.

Teminology! There's an English eel called butterfish.

Mercifully, "black cod" is at least has black scales, but many species of sable aren't black.

I'm reminded of the bit in Stranger in a Strange Land which complains about English words having multiple meanings. The example was that red hair doesn't resemble the color otherwise called red.

Butterfish, the red-tailed hawk and turkey vulture of the sea.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escolar

Which is not the same as butterfish.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_butterfish

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_butterfish

More details. People who love escolar, including chefs. Recommendations to make it safer (less fat, small portions).

Date: 2018-04-03 12:06 am (UTC)
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
From: [personal profile] madfilkentist
If I've got this right, "solid white tuna" in a can really is tuna, but "white tuna" as sushi isn't? It's interesting that the cheap stuff is the authentic stuff.

Date: 2018-04-03 03:53 am (UTC)
editrx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] editrx
Egads, my local favorite (and only) sushi restaurant (and lately sushi is pretty much all I can stomach some nights) is giving me 2 pieces of that stuff in my portions. I'm going to ask them not to give me any. But it means getting more red snapper, of which theirs is chewy and hard to stomach. :( I don't know what to ask them to substitute that won't make them balk (more tuna or more salmon -- too expensive for them, probably, to use as substitutes; definitely not more hamachi, though I'd love that).

Date: 2018-04-06 06:32 pm (UTC)
carbonel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] carbonel
My usual sushi place has a warning footnote on the menu about escolar, that it doesn't agree with some people. Luckily, I've never had problems with it, at least in sushi/sashimi quantities, because I'm very fond of it.

Date: 2018-08-04 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mental_mouse
Thanks for mentioning this -- I'm a seafood fiend, so I'm lucky I haven't been bitten (so to speak) by this.

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