Why You Don’t Eat Fish Fingers
Back in the day, fish fingers were all the rage. You could hardly have a meal without them. There were fish finger recipes (like fish fingers and chips), fish fingers and vegies and chips, fish fingers with potatoes and gravy, and the list went on as long as your arm for things you could do with them. Even build stuff with them if you were keen enough and were prepared to sweet up the greasy crumbs.
Fish finger ads were even on billboards, on the old black and white TV, and even on the radio. So it wasn’t surprising that when it came to talk of dinner dishes fish fingers were pretty much on everyone’s lips.
Kids were delighted to tuck into a plate of deep fried reconstituted fish fingers accompanied by a pile of fries (or, as we knew them, hot chips). Vegetables were often served with them as a kind of soggy apology for nutrition. But nobody cared about that way back.
Everyone knew a dad joke or two about fish with hands (otherwise, they couldn’t have had fingers, could they?) and pretty much everyone in TV dinner land were thankful for those frozen little crumbed bricks. We figured we were part of the space age eating the sort of stuff astronauts ate in space. So we were doing our bit for the space race. Not that it ever occurred to us frying up fish fingers in a tiny space capsule might be a problem. Never mind catching them with a knife and fork.
Anyway, kids liked them, Dad’s scoffed them down, and tired Mothers dutifully cooked them by the thousands (though, not all at once). Fishy little fingers were cheap, easy, and helped satisfy the hunger of even the most hollow-legged lot.
So, what happened? How did these fondly thought of little fish bricks become so unpopular? What made families turn up their collective noses at this bog standard stuff?
Seems the word got out that deep fried everything probably wasn’t the best for you after all. Could it be the surprisingly low content of fish in each finger? Or, was the presence of more chemicals and fillers that you could poke a stick at putting people off?
Hard to say. But when a thousand other foods appeared on the frozen supermarket shelves, people rushed off to stock up on them instead. Pizza, not the way your Nona made it, popped up in boxes frozen and ready to heat and eat. Filled with factory fat and other gross stuff instead of real cheese, they instantly became a hit.
Now, you only have to walk to your freezer and then chuck the stuff the microwave before it comes out ready to totally burn your mouth.
Yeah, I reckon it was the popularity of the microwave that killed fish fingers. They were certainly unhealthy enough to be popular. But first you still had to fry or bake them and that turned out to be a long five minutes when everyone got hungry.
So, unless you want to experience history with a packed food sensation, don’t waste your precious 5 minutes baking greasy fish fingers. Nah. Stick with “ding food” (that’s food cooked in the microwave, by the way). Or, get friendly with someone who really knows how to cook and skip the frozen stuff completely. Just take my advice to keep them sweet and if you want to look cool don’t tell what you normally eat.