As fish is the first thing to be carved, or served, we shall first speak of it. In helping fish, take care not to break the flakes, which in cod and fine fresh salmon, and some other sorts, are large. A fish trowel is necessary, not to say indispensable, in serving many kinds of fish, particularly the larger sort
The trowel is to be carried flatways from the middle of the fish, and the carver should bring out as much meat as will lie upon it. The thick part is the best, and of course most esteemed. When one side is cleared, the bones ought to be taken away - which done, serve the under part. The meat on the fins is considered by some a great delicacy. Halibuts, plaice, and other large fish, are served in a similar way.
These, perhaps, require more attention in serving than any other. It is, too, considered a handsome dish. In carving, introduce the trowel along the back, and take off a piece quite down to the bone, taking care not to break the flakes. Put in a spoon and take out the sound, a jelly-like substance, which lies inside the back-bone. A part of this should be served with every slice of fish. The bones and glutinous parts of a cod's head are much liked by most people, and are very nourishing.
Cut slices along the back-bone, and also along the flank. The flank or thin part is the best and richest, and is preferred by all accomplished gourmands. The back is the most solid and thick. The tail of salmon is not so fine as the other parts. The head is seldom used. The liver, melt, and roe, are generally served, but seldom eaten.
These are easily carved. You have only to cut through the middle part of the fish, bone and all, and subdivide and serve according to the size of fish. The thick parts are best; the roes when well done are very nice.
The trowel should be carried under the meat, horizontally over the back-bone, so as to raise one side of the meat from the bone. Remove the bone, and serve the other side of the fish. When fresh, well cleaned, and well done, the upper end is considered the best. The roes are much liked.
These when intended to be fried, are previously cut in pieces of a suitable size for serving. When they are boiled, cut through them in the same way as soles. Large jacks will admit of slices being taken off with a trowel without the bones. Small fish are served whole.