The flesh of fish is used for food; the caviar, which is the salted roe or spawn of the sturgeon, shad roe, and the coral or ovaries of lobsters are all considered delicacies.

The season for fish varies with different kinds. All fish are best before spawning, as during the spawning season the flesh grows poor and flabby. The season for catching fish is determined by law in order to avoid their extermination.

Fish is cheapest when in season and near the source of supply. It is sold by the pound or by the whole fish or in cutlets.

The flesh of fish is made up of little fine flakes with connective tissue bindings that gelatinize very easily, hence fall apart when cooked.

Preparation and Cooking - Fish should be perfectly fresh; flesh firm and elastic; eyes bright; and odor good.

Keep fish cold until used, in a covered pail near the ice covered. If fish is frozen, thaw, just before using, by placing in or with chopped ice, never with the other food unless tightly in cold water.

Cover board or table with newspaper before laying fish down. Remove scales by running a dull knife from tail to head, snapping scales off. Wet hands before touching fish, and odor will come off more easily. Dip hands in salt so that fish will not slip, and hold by the tail.

If inner organs have not been removed in market, make a short incision in belly, draw them out carefully so that the membrane which lines the cavity is not broken.

Remove head, if desired; if left on, cut out eyes.

Remove fins with scissors. Cleanse inside and out with cloth wet in salted water. .

Sprinkle fish with salt if to be kept over night.

Handle fish carefully when cooking, as flesh falls apart easily, and have all utensils well-greased, as skin sticks readily when heated.

When fish is cooked the flesh separates from the bone.

Cold cooked fish mav be used in various ways as creamed, scalloped, souffled, etc. It must be carefully picked over, all skin and bone removed, and flaked with a silver fork.

Serving - The seasoning and garnishing of fish are important because fish is lacking in extractives and flavor and is of so alkalin a nature. Acid accompaniments, sauces, or stuffings are used with fish. A rich stuffing is desirable with dry fish. Potato in some form is usually served with fish.

Boiled fish is spread with butter and lemon juice, and served with a garnish of lemon slices, hard cooked eggs, parsley, and potatoes. Baked fish is served with tomato sauce or drawn butter sauce.

Baked fish is carved by running the knife down along the back bone, slicing pieces to the bone, and lifting the meat off.

Boiled or steamed fish is served with sliced lemon, sliced eggs, parsley sprays and chopped parsley and is accompanied by Hollandaise sauce or drawn butter sauce.

Broiled Fish

Clean the fish, cut in pieces, lay on a well-greased broiler. If the fish is dry, rub it with melted butter before placing it on the broiler. Sear the flesh side first, then turn every ten seconds. The length of time for cooking depends on thickness of the fish - 20 to 30 minutes. Season with butter, salt, and pepper.