Both of those seem pretty unpleasant to me. I tried putting them in a cooler on ice the first time and they flopped around for hours. They were still moving when I went to clean them later. If you watch videos of people cleaning fish, you'll see they are often still moving even while the fish is being filleted. When I was a kid, I once saw someone cut the fillets off a fish and toss the "carcass" back in the water where it proceeded to try to swim away.
The last time I went fishing, I tried the first step of ike jime where you spike the brain. I used a little pocket knife and poked it between the eyes. It took a few tries to find the right spot, but once I did, I do think it was more humane. The gills flare and the fish stiffens for a second and then immediately after it has clearly shuffled off its mortal coil.
I don't know if it improves the taste, but it seems kinder to me than letting it beat itself senseless in a pile of ice or flail around in the water with a line running through its throat.
For anyone who thinks this comment is brutal or unpleasant, I would really recommend spending some time fishing or hunting if you eat meat. It's important to have a real tactile understanding of what it means to take an animal from the wild and turn it into food. It's up to you to decide if you think that people should or shouldn't do it, but, either way, I think it is a real learning experience to understand what that choice entails.
Also, I think we tend to live lives increasingly removed from the physical, tactile, natural world. Fishing is a good way to reconnect with nature and with your own nature as an animal, a predator that eats other animals.
I don't think I could handle directly killing an animal and preparing the meat unless I was in survival mode. Going to the local grocery store and picking up some neatly wrapped cuts of meat truly removes me from the suffering aspect of animals, let alone the atrocities taking place behind closed doors in mass production slaughterhouses.
How does everyone deal with the cognitive dissonance of how your meat is prepared?
That mindset does not leave much room to interpret killing as anything but hateful and evil. The animal does not want to die any more than you or I would, and thus making it die is deeply wrong.
But for much of human history, killing animals was considered a fundamentally different act from killing a human. (Heck, killing humans was also considered much more acceptable in certain situations.)
If you spend time around hunters or farmers, they have much more complex relationship with animals than most urban dwellers do. The latter tend to have a simplified view that animals are sort like dumb, well-meaning people in animal costumes. The former respect that we have many things in common with animals, but also many differences. Eacn animal has a complex role in our society that has aspects of being material property, a natural resource, and a living thinking being.
In an urban environment, the only killing you are likely to experience is violent acts in movies and violent attacks between humans. Out in nature, you experience a greater range of ways that animals physically interact. And, if you spend time with farmers, you understand what it means to both care for and kill the same animal, to give it both a good life and a good death.
It is obviously not morally wrong for a wolf to eat a chicken. While we humans may "know better" and choose to not do that, we are also quite closely related to wolves. The chicken has a right to live a complete chicken life, and we also have some right to live a complete life as an omnivorous primate with the sharp teeth and stereoscopic vision of a predator.
There is no cognitive dissonance in killing an animal for food as long as you are willing to accept that animals are different from humans in some important ways.
It's one thing to go out and hunt an animal to provide for yourself, I used to be a hunter myself, or to have a goat or some chickens in your back yard to provide for you and your family.
I think that the concept of raising entire fields and barns packed full of animals who are raised to be slaughtered to provide entertainment for people is morally wrong.
Eating meat in the quantities we do as a western society is simply entertainment. It goes far beyond what we need to eat to survive or even to be comfortable.
I'm not actually a strict vegetarian on that note. I actively try to avoid eating meat, but if I need to eat and there is nothing vegetarian available, I will eat meat. I don't think that eating meat is an absolute moral wrong, but I do think that the way we eat meat as a society is wrong.
I don't have a problem with killing necessarily, given that (painless) death isn't objectively a bad thing. At any rate, meat livestock exist for their meat, so in the words of the Life of Brian: "You came from nothing and go back to nothing. What do you lose? Nothing!"
But, most modern meat production is not exactly kind, and the idea of what the cow went through haunts my every bite of deliciously prepared roast. No matter how amazing the roast is, it does not offset the horrible life of the cow that brought the roast into existence.
Hunting serves a valuable ecological purpose in many areas now, due to the elimination of apex predators. Thus, I think that is justified much of the time. It's also vastly less cruel than factory farming. Likewise, I think humane raising and slaughtering of lifestock like you describe is fine. I think it is important to avoid pain or fear as much as possible, however.
How do you feel now?
The Zondors must really like the taste of human meat if they think it's worth it.
It also wouldn't work because if you have enough humans in one place under harsh conditions, rest assured a rebellion is in order.
Cows should still be treated humanely and only have one bad day (when they're slaughtered) since they're clearly capable of suffering, but ignoring the difference is a little dishonest, intellectually.
I can understand an argument to the affirmative, but it is completely contrary to my way of thinking.
To quote Hamlet : "I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself king of infinite space"
or Hawking : "In my mind, I am free."
It’s definitely not an ironclad argument: children also exist only because of their parents, but (our modern) society does not grant parents the right of life or death over their children at will.
Rousseau : "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."
To find acceptable the exploitation of animals while finding immoral the exploitation of humans, you must believe that animals differ from humans in some fundamental ways!
Comfortable, caring bondage is still bondage, and we should not forget that.
I kinda feel like it's seen as the opposite--a very controlled thing that has been industrialized to a huge scale.
> If you spend time around hunters or farmers, they have much more complex relationship with animals than most urban dwellers do.
I don't think it's these hunters and farmers who are running CAFOs.
I'm mostly vegetarian - I'll eat meat when it is offered in a social situation or buy it myself to cook for a special occasion when I know the source is a place where the animal was likely to have "only one bad day" - the day it was slaughtered.
Back to the article - I think lancing a fish' brain to kill it immediately follows that spirit. As you say - understanding what it means to give it a good life and good death.
Keep in mind that the idea that animals are not fundamentally different from humans is a breathtakingly recent idea in human history. One of the key reasons Darwin's theory was so despised initially and still today by a scary number of people is because it put humans and animals on the same plane.
A crude answer to your question is that we're smarter and more dangerous than animals and bigger and stronger than many of them. If a fish could eat me, it would. But instead, I'm able to eat it, so I do.
I also think a human life is worth more than an animal's life. If I ever find myself in some contrived scenario where I can save a bus full of people or a bus full of cute fuzzy puppies, I'm saving the people, with zero hesitation or regret. Even if bus A only has a single person and bus B has like a thousand puppies.
This doesn't mean that I think animals lives' are worthless. (My vet bills the past few months are sad evidence of that.) We should do what we can for them, and cooperate with our non-human companions on Planet Earth when we can. But part of being a living thing is also competition, including competition for the most precious resource — the calories locked up in our bodies.
> Keep in mind that the idea that animals are not fundamentally different from humans is a breathtakingly recent idea in human history.
We haven’t yet all understood the proper moral conclusion from that - that we humans and all animals suffer and can experience pain. Also the relative timeline of Darwin's ideas is irrelevant as their have been advocates for animal rights since Pythagoras.
> A crude answer to your question is that we're smarter and more dangerous than animals and bigger and stronger than many of them. If a fish could eat me, it would. But instead, I'm able to eat it, so I do.
What do you mean here by crude? You're probably smarter than a baby and the mentally handicapped, would it be ok to kill them? Or people who are bigger and stronger don't deserve more rights than the weak.
> I'm saving the people, with zero hesitation or regret.
This is a false dilemma fallacy. I.e. what happens in an emergency doesn't justify what we do day to day. Another way to see it is that if bus A has strangers and bus B has your family, choosing to save your family doesn't excuse killing strangers in the day to day. Choosing to save a human over an animal does not excuse the needless killing of animals every day.
> This doesn't mean that I think animals lives' are worthless. (My vet bills the past few months are sad evidence of that.)
But you probably wouldn't kill and eat your pet. That's because cultural conditioning tells people which animals to eat, and which to have as pets. I'm sure you've heard about the Chinese eating dogs. If you find that repulsive, ask why it's then ok to eat a pig, which is more intelligent and aware than a dog. Also consider the aspect of familiarity - someone might have a pet pig while continuing to eat pigs because their particular pet is familiar and close to them. This is analogous to xenophobia - if something is distant, it's ok to treat it differently. This is morally inconsistent.
> Cows are routinely commodified—undergoing forced impregnation, painful mutilations, and separation from their calves shortly after birth. Dogs, meanwhile, receive special treatment and veterinary care as pets. 
> We should do what we can for them, and cooperate with our non-human companions on Planet Earth when we can.
Yes, which is why everyone who is able should be vegan. There is no physiological need for animal products, so there is no need to take away another sentient being's right to live. We are out of survival mode. It is no longer necessary for our species to kill to survive. As humans we have the amazing gifts o awareness, intelligence and moral agency which we should use to reduce the suffering of all beings - human and non-human.
> But part of being a living thing is also competition, including competition for the most precious resource — the calories locked up in our bodies.
For humans, calories from plants will always be more efficient than calories from an animal.
You are replying point-by-point to another poster, of course, so your post shouldn't be expected to fully cover your perspective on this, but you only mention "humans and all animals suffer and experience pain" as evidence for non-distinction. That strikes me as a little sad -- surely there is more to life and more to the human (and animal) experience than pain and suffering?
The "pain and suffering" usefully separates some living things (animals?) from others (plants?), allowing us to continue surviving without only eating fruits. But why is that the line?
Couple other points:
> ...everyone who is able should be vegan. There is no physiological need for animal products, so there is no need to take away another sentient being's right to live. We are out of survival mode. It is no longer necessary for our species to kill to survive. As humans we have the amazing gifts o awareness, intelligence and moral agency which we should use to reduce the suffering of all beings - human and non-human.
This doesn't necessarily follow. To be intentionally provocative: just because we can avoid taking away another sentient being's right to live, doesn't mean we should. Reasonable people disagree on, e.g., the death penalty, incarceration, and other avoidable, intentional harms inflicted on other humans.
Plus, if there were such a physiological need, would you be ok with killing animals?
> For humans, calories from plants will always be more efficient than calories from an animal.
Not strictly "always" -- there are ecosystems where the peak efficiency is "land grows grass" -> "animals eat that grass" -> "people eat those animals". (People, unfortunately, can't eat grass.)
I just mean not super well-thought out or expressed. The answer itself is crude.
> I'm sure you've heard about the Chinese eating dogs. If you find that repulsive, ask why it's then ok to eat a pig, which is more intelligent and aware than a dog. ... This is morally inconsistent.
No, it's not. This is something a lot of vegans don't seem to understand.
By declaring something "inconsistent", you are saying pigs and dogs are equivalent.
But they are obviously not the same. Pigs have curly tails and many dogs do not. Dogs are furry. Pigs and dogs have many differences.
So you have an implicit definition of "equivalent" that is really "equivalent for properties that I declare meaningful". You imply, for example, a person's cultural history towards an animal is outside of the properties that are allowed to matter.
But that set of properties is itself a choice. Eating pigs and not dogs isn't universally inconsistent, it's only inconsistent given some set of choices around which aspects of them you care about. When you claim other people are inconsistent, what you really are is oblivious to the fact that they consider some properties of animals important that you choose to ignore.
There is book written on this subject that argues that most fundamental human abilities not yet seen in animals is building nested scenario such as telling a fictional story and desire to share knowledge among each other:
Yes I agree.
> building nested scenario such as telling a fictional story and desire to share knowledge among each other
This doesn't justify human dominion over non human animals , because there are humans - infants and the severely mentally handicapped - who also lack this ability.
 It's not explicit that you're arguing for or against this, but I just want to make my point clear.
We can test for a sense of fairness in animals. One test is the "inequity aversion task".
Non-humans showing a sense of fairness on this test include dogs  and nonhuman primates, ravens and crows .
I think every philosophical or religious system of ethics or morality that I've ever encountered suggests that we are, or can strive to be, better than other animals.
What makes you say otherwise? Do you follow a specific set of beliefs or tradition?
I don't believe I should rip a fetus out of a pregnant woman's belly and eat the fetus for food, like you will often see in nature. However, I have no qualms in eating another animal for sustenance and even for pleasure. I don't think it's abnormal to think that eating other animals is fine.
Here's the well known capuchin fairness experiment.
As Daniel Beard wrote over a hundred years ago in "The American Boys' Handy Book" :
"[the] author must confess that as a man or boy he never killed any animal without a feeling of remorse for what he had done, and it was only after long thought and study upon the subject that he decided to put anything about hunting and trapping in this book. But after mature deliberation the conclusion was reached that other boys must have the same sensations as himself, when a bloody little trophy is stowed away in their game-bag, and that these feelings will prevent the average lad from killing for the sake of killing; for there is no fun in wanton destruction of life for a properly-educated boy..."
As I got older, I involuntarily developed a lot more empathy for nonhuman animals and subsequently went meatless / vegan.
I'd still sooner eat an animal caught by hunting / fishing than one raised in captivity [let alone, as you say, in a 'factory-farming' hellscape] -- by a country mile
p.s. gotta put my favorite joke here as it's apropos :
Q: How can you tell if somebody's vegan?
A: They'll fucking tell you.
Anyway, we ate what I killed. And it seems a good understanding to have. What one then does with said understanding becomes a personal issue...
That said, times have changed, I live in London and my teenage sons don't have easy way to experience this should they be interested (plus gun laws totally different due to sundry incidents)...
We’re born with incisors. Everything else is an implementation detail.
But the odd thing was that during the time I was vegan I thought a lot more about my food. I started thinking, what's the difference between eating a cow and eating a horse (actually, I'll tell you: the horse tastes a lot better if you can believe it!) What's the difference between eating lamb and eating a puppy? I think it's that kind of place where most people try to avoid thinking about it, or swear off eating things. For me, I became more accepting of eating "strange" animals. I became more accepting of the reality of the death of an animal in order to feed yourself. I think before I was vegan, I just saw packages of food in the supermarket and felt vaguely guilty that there might be some suffering involved.
I got married late in life and my wife is not vegetarian at all, so now we eat meat and fish (but not puppies, I'm afraid to say). It doesn't bother me as I've come to terms with the reality of it. I guess in some people's mind I'm all the more a monster for it -- I know what I'm doing. We don't eat much meat or fish -- probably only about 50 grams (2 oz) a day and for a really special meal we might eat up to 150 grams (6 oz) each, but never more than that.
Anyway, it's a kind of rambling post, but if this stuff is bothering you, I actually recommend the route I took. I didn't do it intentionally, but for me it was a pleasant way to sort out my own feelings over a period of decades :-). I think the key for me was getting to the point where I could cook really delicious vegetarian and vegan food so that from there it really was an equal choice. That takes a fair amount of practice and exploration of different ethnic diets (You can't have a satisfying meal by taking a typical western diet and simply omitting meat, IMHO). It will time and effort to really dial in a way of eating that appeals to you. After that, though, it just becomes a matter of choice.
This is exactly the problem that I think western society has with its meat eating habits. People feel obligated to eat meat, like a meal isn't complete without it.
Try feeding someone a vegetarian dish for dinner, and far too many people will complain that it doesn't contain meat. Even if they admit that it's tasty, they'll complain that it's vegetarian.
I love to cook and I used to do a lot of dinner parties when I as vegan. When I go out, I eat what I'm offered and am thankful for it (so I was never devoutly vegan). When I'm cooking, though, I cook what I like to cook and I almost never made any allowances for my guests' preferences (which is kind of selfish, but... oh well...) Generally people said they enjoyed the meals and many people who prefer meat told me that they were surprised that they could enjoy a meatless meal (for many people, eating at my house was the only time they ever ate vegetarian meals).
My idea was always to cook meals that were traditionally vegan and lean on centuries of refinement by master cooks rather than to try to do something of my own invention. When you eat food in the correct context, it's hard not to enjoy it as it is (as long as it is cooked well). I tried not to do any fusion until I felt that I really understood the basics of both underlying cuisines, which for me took years of practice.
Of course, your average person is not going to do this. I think that's really more the problem. People don't spend 2-3 years practicing Ethiopian vegan cuisine, but rather try a one off recipe -- and Ethiopian vegan cuisine is really hard to master. So the result is not so spectacular and they pair it with a seitan steak with teriyaki sauce, and a Caesar salad with the anchovies left out and you are just kind of left with culinary whip lash. It sounds really bratty for me to say it, but I don't like most vegetarian meals I can get in western developed countries.
I think over time, as more and more people choose vegetable based meals, we will see a western style vegetarian cuisine developing that people will choose to eat simply because it is delicious. I think it is slowly happening, but it's really not there yet IMHO.
Anyway, one of my go to dishes was a lentil stew with kale. I don't know why kale tastes good in lentil stew, but it really does. Some of the main things to keep in mind when doing vegan food is that you are going to be missing umami. The other thing is that most vegetables are sweet and when you make entire dishes out of vegetables, the dish will tend toward sweet. What you want to do, when you get the chance is to trade sweet for umami. You can also balance sweet with bitter (maybe why kale tastes good) and sweet with sour. Umami shows up in fermented food and seaweed, but also in things like tomatoes. You can also caramelise onions until they are quite dark, which cuts the sweetness down and gives you more depth of flavour.
Generally alcohol is your friend and fermented foods like miso or shoyu (naturally fermented soy sauce) have tonnes of umami. They also break down the proteins into many different amino acids, so can play the same role in delivering flavour that cheese can. Try to find traditional producers that have aged varieties, because you'll have more amino acids, more umami and more alcohol. I use a 4 year old soy sauce when cooking (though probably impossible to find in North America). Your default should be Kikkoman, which is fermented for at least a year (and will probably be called Tamari outside of Japan, even though it isn't). One other quick thing about alcohol is that some flavours only dissolve in alcohol. Adding alcohol really helps because you can dissolve those flavours and then evaporate off the alcohol, leaving the flavour behind. When using alcohol, use the best that you can afford (which is usually whatever thing is taxed less in your country -- in Japan, whiskey is oddly efficient).
I learned how to cook, originally, from the 3 volume "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", so I err on the side of relying on soup stocks for things. Making a good soup stock is super important and is one of the things I recommend practicing a lot. You can buy soup stock, but especially for vegan cooking you need to be able to pack a lot of flavour and you need to avoid the sweetness. Again, you can use tricks of roasting your veggies ahead of time and experimenting with different kinds.
I also (for a long time) have used Japanese kombu dashi and also shiitake dashi. Basically, you soak kombu seaweed in water overnight in cold water, then bring the temperature of the water up until you just start to see bubbles rising from the kombu, take it off the heat and hold it for about half an hour. To make shiitake dashi, you add dried shiitake mushrooms to it at the same time you added the seaweed. Of course, after the stock is made, you should remove the seaweed and mushrooms and do something else with them. With this you can make a very nice umami stock (just add miso for miso soup) For the seaweed, as a side dish (especially for when you are drinking), roll up the seaweed and then slice it as fine as you can. It will get very slimey. Add a touch of hot sauce, vinegar, soy sauce and a drop of sesame oil. Mix it up and let it sit in the fridge for a while. Very high in iodine and if you eat that kind of thing every day, you don't need iodised salt. (Be careful if you have a thyroid problem, though!)
So for a stew, the idea is that you want to layer these flavours. You can caramelise an onion, then add some tomato paste (or whatever scraps of tomatoes you might have around) and fry it down. Add some garlic (and potentially some grated fresh ginger). Then add the lentils and add your normal soup stock with a splash of some alcohol (red wine, beer, whisky, etc Careful with adding too much beer because it can be bitter. Same with wine because it can be sour). Cook it rather thickly until the lentils are done, with some herbs (whatever you like: maybe bay laurel, rosemary and sage -- that's a pretty "meaty" combination). Add some shiitake dashi to thin it out and salt using a combination of miso and salt (whichever proportion tastes good to you). Also mix in the rehydrated shiitake from the dashi -- they have a nice texture in the stew. Add some kale and cook until it has a texture you like. Readjust salt (the kale soaks up a lot). Finish with freshly ground pepper. Hopefully that will taste good. It's been a donkey's age since I made it and I might have forgotten something. Serve with rice.
Another good candidate is actually ramen. I could write pages on this, but again take your stock, shiitake dashi and mix it 50:50 with soy milk (yeah, it's strange). Mix in grated garlic, ginger and miso paste (enough so that the whole thing is a bit saltier than you would like). Add black pepper and as much hot sauce as you like. Cook up some angel hair pasta in another pot. When done, put the pasta in a basket put a lid on it and shake off the excess water (very important). Put the pasta in a big bowl. Pour the soup over top (should be very hot) until it just covers the pasta. Add menma (lactic fermented bamboo strips), some cooled and squeezed out spinach (you can use frozen spinach, microwave it to thaw and then just wring out the juice -- which you can save for something else), and a single piece of nori seaweed. You can also put in that reconstituted shiitake in as well if you have any. Cover with a generous portion of sesame oil (at least a couple of teaspoons). This is surprisingly awesome (IMHO).
Hope that gives you some ideas!
I think cooking will be a great hobby of mine as an analytical and creative mind. This seems natural with all the different permutations, properties, and parameters of ingredients e.g. texture, flavor profile, acidity, heat etc, along with myriad preparation and cooking methods with varying nuanced levels of precision.
It was not a fun process. I drank a lot of whisky to get up the nerve. It took a few stabs before it stopped moving. But honestly I didn't feel that bad about it afterwards. It's a mouse. When we clear a forest, drain a lake, pollute a river, or build a road, animals die worse deaths, but we don't see it happening. When we reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone a bunch of herbivores were hunted down and eaten by beasts they had never known to exist. I did the best I could to give it the least painless death I could, which is how all livestock are harvested. Other problems weigh much heavier on my mind.
The post was talking about the current mass-production system of meat prpduction, with slaughterhouses and terrible conditions for the animals. It's easy to forget that when you see the final product.
I used to be a hunter (I'm now a vegetarian, but I gave up hunting for other reasons long before becoming vego), and a lot of people got really upset about me killing "innocent deer", like somehow a deer is more deserving of life than cattle in a field.
I remember a while ago there was a picture of a 13 year old girl eating the raw heart of the first deer she killed. There was a horde of people who were incredibly upset, people were calling it cruel, calling the girl's father abusive, etc. etc. At the end of the day though, it's a dead animal, no different from the beef you get all nicely plastic wrapped at the supermarket.
It's the same thing with people getting upset about different cultures eating dogs or horses. At the end of the day, they're all animals. There's no fundamental difference between a pig and a dog.
This seems to be why the 3rd step is necessary in Ike Jime even after crushing the fish's brain.
As a side note too, my personal opinion would be that thinking of fish as feeling pain in the same way we do, is anthropomorphizing them too much. I've seen fish missing half their body see some food float past and still try to swim after it and eat it. They clearly don't have the same capacity to process incoming signals as we do, nor does that processing result in anything close to the same cognitive stress. A man cut in half wouldn't worry about food no matter how hungry he might be.
To take the absurd extreme example, I wonder how much "suffering" I'm inflicting on the worms or insects that I put on the hooks.
So I think Dave Arnold actually did a triangle test on this stuff with three kinds of fish, and for two of them, the spinal cord destruction had a marked impact.
Especially for smaller fish, it's common to not bleed them at all. I've only cleaned fish myself a couple of times, but I've never bled them.
> Also, don't you butcher the fish as the last step before actually cooking it?
The distinction between these steps isn't always clear. Unlike mammals, fish are pretty anatomically simple, especially small ones. So the entire fish prepping process is little more than cutting a fillet off each side.
I really don't think any of the examples your provide were really any different.
As far as the Searzall goes; very cool product. If you get in to Sous Vide it's definitely one of the better ways of finising a protein. I still default to a broiler or hot cast-iron because it's often easier + faster w/ similar results. But, I still use the searzall ~weekly just as a hand-held broiler for toasting things. hah
You'll also need to buy the torch and propane canisters.
(Amazon recommends the tall skinny canisters, but that's not safe. Get the squatter, coleman canisters)
Ever had a Hot Brown? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Brown
It’s the tastiest massive coronary you’ll ever have.
I really hate that when I'm reading a recipe, if it just said "make a mornay sauce with 4 oz cheddar and 4 oz gruyere" you'd cut out 3 steps from the recipe. It's loop unrolling for recipes.
The steak from the oven is less wet compared to sous vides so it sears better. The crust tastes better than a sous vides steak.
If, for example, you were intending to prepare a meal for yourself and your romantic partner, I would recommend getting two. I doubt there are many things more attractive than being fed tasty food by a person dual-wielding a couple of torches.
I've found that the searzall has a relatively steep learning curve. The learning curve is more like a knife than a pan. The kind of person who is buying the searzall is probably not used to being unskilled with a kitchen tool; I certainly wasn't.
I've successfully seared four porkchops with it, with none of them getting cold. The trick is getting each chop up to the searing point, where you can see bubbling on the surface, and then keeping it there. It's a little like spinning plates. You have to get them all going, but once they're there you only need to give each a little push once in a while. That also gives me a more satisfying crust than if I blitz through in a single pass.
Searing both before and after the immersion circulator is a strong option. I believe Dave Arnold recommends it (or deep frying) for folks interested in maximum crust formation.
It's really a transformative tool because it allows such high heat with such fine precision. It's my preferred tool for cooking the top of an egg that I still want a runny yolk. Also useful in any kind of home pizza-making. I've occasionally brought it to the office, though only when there's an outdoor space I can use.
It has a stunning 25 restaurants. For a population of 126 million. The runner up, USA, has 15 restaurants with twice the population.
As a frequent traveler Japan, I can say from personal experience, it is hard to find a bad meal in Japan.
I believe I read that Michelin doesn't really evaluate most of the USA as part of its starring guide. For example, this  indicates that LA is not in the coverage area for the Michelin star system. Smaller cities like Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas, etc. are therefore invisible despite having tons of people in aggregate. (Apparently the size of geographic regions and cost are factors.)
Would be interesting to see the US ratio compared with population in the cities actually covered here.
1 - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/2016/06/01/did-t...
I know of at least one place in Minneapolis that is now shooting for a star or two. There's a lot of preparation involved, far beyond the food alone.
I know of at least one place that is actively trying to earn one, but I'm not naming names...
The fancier places would be something like Spoon and Stable and Bellecour, who have the same chef. Their quality would probably be on par with a mention in the Michelin guide but no star. I have a tendency to go with cheaper food at home and splurge when I'm traveling, so I do not have a good sample of the fine dining restaurants in MPLS.
There's a pretty good kaiseki restaurant in the north loop, but I can't remember the name. They have a very good Japanese whisky bar above, if you are willing to pay through the nose for Japanese whisky.
Big Daddy's BBQ, iPho (aka Saigon), Bull's Horn, Sandcastle (summer only), Gandhi Mahal, Eat Street Social, Harry Singh's Caribbean, Pimento, Sen Li Sen Lek, Tongue in Cheek, Travail, Ngon Bistro, Black Sheep Pizza, Hai Hai, Spoon and Stable, Bachelor Farmer, Revival, Brasa, Zen Box Izakaya, Manny's Tortas, Moroccan Flavors, Matt's Bar, Al's Breakfast, Lindey's, Bar La Grassa, 46th St Patisserie...
I can probably come up with more, but that should keep you busy for months.
EDIT: Small change, looks like there are few Chinese restaurants!
There are obvious factors that contribute to a restaurant being visited by Michelin judges, not the least of which is its location relative to other restaurants that are visited. There is also the matter of judges needing to be familiar with a cuisine in order to judge it properly. Without extensive knowledge of ingredients, preparation methods and presentation patterns it is difficult to issue a Michelin rating. If they do not know the culinary landscape how do you imagine they will issue a rating? Doing so would destroy their credibility as a knowledgeable school of critics.
There used to be zero stars in Japan but that has changed over time as the Michelin system has embraced the cuisine and visa versa. It is easy to point out that many cuisines are not represented in the Michelin guide but what are the alternatives? That a limited number of people learn everything there is to know in an instant? That the ratings become so arbitrary that they are meaningless? There is nothing in the Michelin guide that claims that good food cannot be found elsewhere. I fail to see the controversy in a publication that is seemingly doing what it can to stick to what it knows while progressively broadening its horizons.
By hiring more inspectors?
I'm not saying there is cultural bias or something like that. I'm just pointing out the fact that they have certain cuisines that are not represented.
If you consistently claim to be - "the world’s best known independent restaurant and hotel guide" with proudly boasting 100 odd year history, then you better show gastronomic variety. Else it just seems weird.
 From their twitter handle description - twitter.com/MichelinGuideUK
Rather than resenting the Michelin system for not representing the kind of restaurants we love, maybe just recognize that it's not supposed to do that, and find other ways to find and measure restaurants that don't fit the Michelin data model?
Michelin stars are awarded based on food "quality" alone :
> the quality of ingredients used, the skill in food preparation, the combination of flavours, the value for money, the consistency of culinary standards.
This is not to say they aren't improving. But it does say that they didn't always live up to their own stated standards.
Also, Michelin gives awards for fine dining, meaning a specific style of service. Any type of restaurant that meets the service requirements can be awarded Michelin stars, there's a Nigerian restaurant in London that's recently been awarded a star.
The Michelin Guide itself disagrees: “The Michelin Guide isn't in any of the Indian cities but that doesn't mean the red book is void of the subcontinent’s cuisine. In fact, Indian restaurants are listed in most of the territories with the Guide, some of which are in truly surprising cities. Tokyo for instance, is home to three Bib Gourmand rated Indian eateries, while the first Indian restaurant awarded with a Michelin star in Asia happens to be in Macau.”
Two 1-star, One “The Plate”, and Five “Bib Gourmand” in SF Bay.
> South American
Alex Atala’s D.O.M.in São Paolo is a two-star “contemporary Brazilian” restaurant, the first counterexample I could find.
EDIT: On review, you might have been referring to geography rather than cuisine, so we’ll do that again from that perspective to cover all bases.
As noted above, geographically, that's correct
Also a valid point, geographically.
But hey, at least you got the til (~ diacritic) right. A lot of people don't even know that's a thing.
>Also a valid point, geographically.
Surely there must be loads of michelin-starred restaurants within the various Mediterranean culinary regions.
But there is no Michelin coverage for Africa or for Asia outside of East Asia. Unless I haven't found the right secret path into the guide.
 Butter Chicken - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_chicken
A Michelin star doesn't just come from the literal taste of the food (or the presentation), it comes from every aspect of the restaurant and staff - down to the very cleanliness of the curtains.
And then there's Nirvana in Manhattan, at penthouse level on on Central Park South. Beautiful cityscape at night. But it's really Bangladeshi, and they don't do Vindaloo.
Or are you arguing that Michelin just wouldn't rate traditional Japanese, Indian or Chinese restaurants highly?
Unfortunately I'm not super familiar with nicer Chinese food, but I'd presume that it's not incompatible with drinks either.
I'm not saying that you need to have a sommelier, I'm just saying that the lack of a sommelier is usually a pretty good sign that a restaurant isn't even trying for a star (extremely few restaurants are!).
I don't think Michelin would tend to rate any "traditional" restaurants very highly, to get stars you need to offer the specific Michelin experience.
You'll notice too that Japan (along with other Asian locations) received their first Michelin star in only 2008.
European restaurants have stars dating from the 1960s, so this is really just the beginning for the East.
When they finally get around to surveying Bangkok I've little doubt we'll see our first street-food Michelin star.
My sense is that it's more that the Michelin inspectors have only started to explore the East (Tokyo in 2007). I've always felt that Michelin inspectors were late to the scene.
Excellent restaurants have probably existed in the East long before this. I've visited many Asian countries and the food culture and passion for food there exceeds that of many European countries (and I've eaten at Basque restaurants).
I'm a fan of the food and dining experience in Japan but I disagree with this blanket statement. Okonomiyaki is pretty awful. Ramen is rubbish (cheap, non-nutritional noodles remain cheap, non-nutritional noodles however you dress them up). Japanese curry is pretty repulsive stuff and an insult to the sub-continent tradition. I could go on.
In other words the usual fish slaughter method leaves the fish alive as it slowly suffocates to death and then is killed. This results in muscles filled with lactic acid and other bad things.
I've heard both sides of this but have never actually seen any evidence. Some cultures, portions of China for example, believe the opposite - the more stressful death leads to more delicious meat.
I'm for the least stressful death for ethical reasons, but I'd be curious if there's any resources you've found that demonstrate for example your lactic acid point?
When muscle gets cut off from it's blood supply, it produces lactic acid through anaerobic respiration. That's regardless if the nervous system is sending out "stress signals".
It's pretty hard to kill an animal and not produce stress (the physiological kind) response in it's tissue.
The nervous system is also more than just the brain. For example your spinal cord can receive and send signals to your limbs that don't even pass through the brain.
The pictures of the muscle are when the fish is alive (overcrowding). That I can believe.
But drawing a distinction between just cutting the dishes head off versus an elaborate process laid out? I haven’t seen any evidence it matters.
> Compared to red meat and poultry, fish muscle is delicate. It needs all the structure it can get. So unlike red meat, where we like a little protein breakdown to enhance tenderness, anything that breaks down the structure of fish muscle is bad. Stress causes fish muscle tissue to break down.
Can someone elaborate / explain? I always thought that the main quality in sushi and sashimi fish is its freshness. The fresher the better, to the point where shops might even keep the fish alive in aquariums.
Incidentally, one of the first things which made Japan-US flights viable (back in the ealy '70s ) was packing the cargo holds with frozen fish meant for sushi restaurants, from catch to restaurant took about 3 days which made it fit nicely, time wise.
This, it is important to note, is only really the case with large, slow-growing pelagic fish like tuna.
Unless you're buying it straight off the docks, or pulling it out of the water yourself, any unfrozen fish you see has likely been thawed on site, after delivery.
"Fresh" fish means that it was frozen on the boat, and just thawed today.
I sometimes make nigiri sushi by sawing slices off of a frozen fish filet with a kitchen-use-only coping saw. Then I put it in the fridge for the next day. Comes out fine. If I wanted, I could freeze the rice with it, and have sushi later in the week.
You are right that almost all fish you eat has been frozen. This is partially for practical reasons: fishing boats are often at sea for weeks at a time. Also for safety reasons: most fish have a significant risk of parasites which are killed by deep freezing.
Tuna is one of the few fish safe enough to eat fresh and raw (and even then there is some amount of risk).
The FDA recommends -4°F or below for 7 days ( which any freezer today can do ).
Also, most fish used for sushi are those that a generally less likely to have parasites that harm humans ( like tuna for example ). Wild fish like salmon, cod, etc are rife with parasites. The japanese historically never used salmon for sushi until farmed salmon became available. Farmed salmon do not have parasites because their feed is controlled - similar to how modern cows, pigs, etc do not have parasites as a result of farms controlling their feed.
People love to attack farmed fish, beef, pork, etc as being unhealthy, but they don't realize that farmed meat has helped wipe out a significant portion of harmful parasites from the west.
Like they somehow believe that the restaurant employees are just walking down to the beach and plucking fish right out of the water.
You can be in the middle of no-where, hundreds of miles from the nearest bit of salt water, and the fish will be exactly as fresh as the sushi you would get on a beachfront restaurant.
Yeah, $10 fish and chips sold for $20 tourist trap restaurant that would be out of business anywhere else maybe.
I grew up near the ocean where fishing was the #2 industry behind tourism (if you ignore all the trades that support the tourism industry). I know how that sausage is made.
I'd rather eat prepared seafood in Des Moines. At least there the relationship between what you pay and what you get will be more consistent.
>Access to fish markets and sell-through rates are more important than proximity to an ocean
The fish in the middle of no-where might be just as fresh but also has a pretty ceiling for fish quality
“There isn’t much difference when we cook a fish with and without ike jime on the first day itself when it’s still fresh,” [chef Dannel Krishnan] explains. “The difference comes in only in the third, fourth and fifth day of aging. The fish that’s prepared by ike jime is still firm, and the flesh is pearly. The one that’s not becomes mushy.”
Nope, not to people who eat a lot of sushi. The point is for the fish to be aged for the correct amount of time to get the correct flavour. The longer it is aged, the stronger the flavour will be, to a point where it is unpleasant. Different people will have different tastes, if you don't eat a lot of sushi, you will probably like it not as strong.
The restaurant wants the fish as fresh as possible, so it has the most control over the ageing process.
There are types of seafood best eaten fresh, and there might be some sushi I'm not aware of like that, but almost always it needs to be aged properly.
Aging fish really comes into play for high end sushi, where the chef is after some chemical reactions can only happen over time, it's not rot, it's more like it had time to rest and develop flavors that it would not have had if it was just straight from the fish right after it was caught.
Old style sushi is sometimes called edomae style sushi, and it used various ways of preserving fish such as salt curing, ageing, smoking, braising and whatnot, all to extend the shelf life.
I saw something (can't find source right now) that insects don't feel pain. The key observation was that insects with injured legs don't favor that leg at all. The evolutionary explanation is that pain is a survival mechanism to avoid further damaging an already-damaged body part; if the organism doesn't live long enough for its body parts to heal, it doesn't benefit from feeling pain.
Yes, of course they feel pain.
The fun part is that it doesn't have to be fancy. Wine is probably the most extreme example as there's a heavy push to equate fancy (expensive) with tasty but very often the 2 don't correlate. While my favorite wines are from the Burgundy area and can reach insane prices, I will thoroughly enjoy a $4 Vinho Verde.
I've mostly eliminated soda from my diet but recently went back to enjoying the Mexican Coca Cola made with cane sugar. It comes in small bottles. I sip it slowly and enjoy it over the course of an entire meal—still my favorite pairing if I'm going to grill my own hamburgers—and of course with water on the side. It's a very different experience than guzzling an enormous amount of fountain soda with a straw.
I would say the poster you're replying to would agree. And while it's true that price is largely unrelated to quality for wine, in blind taste tests, professional sommeliers performing a blind taste test do significantly better than chance when it comes to determining grape variety and country of provenance. Which is to say that there are subtle differences of flavor from wine to wine that are detectable. But again, this is far from saying that expensive wines are better than cheap wines.
The third book is about cutting fish and includes ike jima steps for different kinds of fish
If adrenaline and other transmitters were going to be released, that process should do it, regardless of what happens afterward.
Reading the history it makes sense: To sell more tires give people a good reason to travel.
Are there other examples of this sort of unexpected symbiosis?
And given that this method provably results in less trauma byproducts than traditional methods, there is strong evidence that this is a more humane method.
As for the story of the postmortem experiment with Lagrange, no mention is made of it in any of the reputable biographies of Lavoisier. ...
The TL;DR is that the head can stay "alive" for some time after decapitation. The nominal example (see the URL) being Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier who was guillotined during the French Revolution and committed to blinking for as long as he possibly could after being decapitated. There are also more modern examples "thanks" to ISIS.
The Russian experiment with the reanimated dogs heads... I'll let you google that one yourself.
draining the blood off rapidly and shorting out the spinal column really does improve matters, too.
It’s not all that different in intent from kosher and halal slaughter: minimize pain and suffering, respect the animal, get tastier food while you’re at it.
Except that this is not the intent for kosher and halal, nor do these methods minimize pain and suffering. In both kosher and halal the animal has to fully conscious when its jugulars are cut, the difference lies mainly in whether the name of god is to be proclaimed over every slaughtered animal (halal) or only on the first and last one (kosher), whether slaughter can be performed by any believer (halal) or only by a specific priest (kosher, only Sachets (a type of rabbi) can perform kosher slaughter), whether the whole animal is considered to be edible (halal) or only its forequarters (kosher) and which animals can be consumed (rabbit, wild hens, shellfish, duck and goose can be halal but they can never be kosher). Kosher and halal were and are ways to identify tribes as being part of a religious group - a form of shared ritual - and probably also contain some vestiges of lore (trichine-infected pork can kill, Red Tide-infected shellfish likewise, a rule which makes sure the animal is fully conscious when slaughtered also gives a reasonable guarantee it is not diseased, etc).
Whacking the animal over the head with a mallet or using a more modern equivalent like a bolt pistol (cattle, horses) or electric shock (pigs) before slitting its throat does tend to reduce suffering when done correctly so it can not be said that kosher and halal lead to 'minimize[d] pain and suffering'.
You have completely skipped the stringent rules about the knife in your summary, so perhaps you are just not aware of it.
The knife must be razor sharp - the slightest knick renders it unusable. The knife must be drawn in a single motion, any hesitation, or pressure, while cutting makes the animal not kosher. The location of the cut is precisely defined.
All of the above are there to minimize pain, because the knife is so sharp the animal doesn't feel the pain, any pressure on the wound would also trigger pain.
> or only on the first and last one (kosher)
This isn't correct. Only one blessing is said, and not saying the blessing does not render the animal not-kosher. The blessing is about the shochet, not the animal. This is different in Halal were the blessing is the primary thing that makes the animal halal.
> whether slaughter can be performed by any believer (halal) or only by a specific priest (kosher, only Sachets (a type of rabbi) can perform kosher slaughter)
The shochet is not a priest. Being a shochet is 100% about knowing what to do, and 0% about any kind of special status. Anyone can be a shochet, including women. And you do not need to be a Rabbi, you just need to be trained.
> bolt pistol
A captive bolt pistol has an unacceptable high failure rate. You can NOT consider them more humane than Kosher slaughter.
On the minimising of pain I'm not wrong. Captive bolt pistols and electric shocks can be misapplied and that certainly happens in some cases. In the majority of cases these devices fulfil their purpose in that they knock out the animal before the knife is applied. This knocking out is instantaneous, contrast that to the slow death by oxygen deprivation which is what happens in halal and kosher slaughter. A sharp knife only makes the cut itself less painful, it does nothing for the minute-long death process which follows.
There is not.
> On the minimising of pain I'm not wrong
You are. You are simply misinformed on the topic, yet writing with authority you do not posses.
> for the minute-long death process which follows.
There is no minute-long death process. Insensibility happens within 10 seconds according to Temple Grandin. Additionally when done properly the animal appears not to feel it. (https://www.grandin.com/ritual/rec.ritual.slaughter.html)
I also know this personally because I visited a shechita plant and watched them. The animal collapsed often the moment the shochet removed his knife. To me the worst part of the process was the cattle prods used to move the animal in line (the cattle really hated that). The actual killing was very painless.
> and that certainly happens in some cases
No, it happens in 13.6% of cases (https://faunalytics.org/effective-captive-bolt-stunning/) And when it happens the animal is left in severe pain, and is processed without any further regard to its pain.
Captive bolt stunning is LESS humane then Shechita. Every piece of evidence shows this, but people think "if it's new it must be better".
The only benefit is in cost - Shechita is very expensive because of the necessary training. Captive bolts need little training. But they are not better for the animals.
Now, back when it was introduced, thousands of years ago, sure, it was humane for the time. But times have changed.
In short: Stunning is not humane, because it fails far too often, and when it fails the animal is left in severe pain.
Obviously pistols and electric shocks aren't recommended by the Bible. The incompatibility between technological progress and ancient gospel is a different problem, which is why there is a rift between modern "progressive" sects of a religion and fundamentalist sects. For example, see magentzedek.org/animal for a modern kosher.
Fundamentalism (with a capital-F), which is the inspiring example from which the more general concept of “fundemantalism” is derived, is actually one of the younger branches of Christianity. It's even one of the younger branches of Protestant Christianity.
This is actually true fairly generally; fundamentalist sects tend to be products of reactions against modernism being perceived to influence the core religion rather than being the oldest branches of religion.