Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, welcoming foodies to discuss the dining scenes in Israel and abroad, along with all things related to kosher food.
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Daniel Rogov

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Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Daniel Rogov » Sun May 02, 2010 4:13 pm

I have heard from several people in the USA that the fish known popularly as Princess of the Nile is now becoming the latest hit. Simply stated, there is no way that I can sit still and accept this nonsense.

First of all let it be known that this fish has nothing whatever to do with the Nile. The fish is found only in Lake Victoria and for many years this large predatory fish known in Latin as lates niloticus was considered a nuisance by the fishermen of the lakes of North and Central Africa. So aggressive are these creatures that they managed to eat and kill off nearly all of the other fish that inhabited the lakes in which they were found. Even though these fish can weigh up to ninety kilos, their flesh was so flavorless that most fishermen threw up their hands in despair whenever they netted one of these monsters. Lions, tigers and hyenas may have found these fish tasty but people did not. For many years, only extremely hungry people would eat these things.

In the 1950s, American and European manufacturers of pet food began to import these fish to satisfy the appetites of an ever increasing population of household cats, dogs and parakeets. It was well known that the only advantage of this fish, by then known as Nile Perch was that it was cheap. No self-respecting restaurant would have dared put them on their menu.

Times and fashions change and lates niloticus has been rehabilitated, perhaps first in Israel, where a large segment of the population can be convinced to buy just about anything. For a while we Israelis were about the only people on the planet foolish enough to think that this fish is a delicacy and, under its new name, "Princess of the Nile", this low taste, low charm fish may now be found frozen in every mini-market nd supermarket in the country as well as on the menus of quite a few restaurants.

We Israelis went even further and thanks to several commercial efforts these fish were even produced in the form of frozen bread coated schnitzels, merely waiting to be popped into the oven to provide food for those who really don't care very much about what they eat.

Personally I find both this fish in its purest form (huge slabs of frozen fish flesh) or in the form of schnitzels absolutely offensive, that because the fish itself has no flavor whatever and because when I schnitzel form the coating is so think that one cannot be certain whether one is dining on fish or deep fried read crumbs. Truth be told, I was not even all that upset on finding several rather large bones in my schnitzels. What did make me out-and-out angry was the realization that these things are not even made entirely from fish beause to these charmless fish the producers have even added even less charming soya protein.

To add insult to injury, several companies now produce fish balls from this abominable fish. In those fish balls you will also find monosodium glutimate, soya protein, stabilizers and caramel . I suppose if you eat these, as most children do, doused generously with ketchup, they taste about the same as anything else that has been doused with ketchup. All depends on how much you like ketchup.

And now, so my correspondents report, the Princess of the Nile is becoming "the in thing" in the USA. My advice - buy it only in the large, frozen 3 – 4 kilo slabs in which it comes and use one of those to slam your husband/wife or worst enemy over the head one or twice in order to murder them. And then, following the example of Guy du Maupassant and Edgar Allen Poe, to cook the fish, to serve it to the detectives who come to investigate your partner's murder and thus to dispose easily of the weapon. Further advice – let the detectives eat it. Avoid it yourself.
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun May 02, 2010 4:19 pm

Haven't seen that one around here yet, but thanks for the warning!

(Great rant, by the way.)
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by MarkC » Sun May 02, 2010 4:50 pm

Daniel;

I agree with you about the fish, but wasn't it Roald Dahl who wrote the story about the woman who bashes her husband over the head with a frozen lamb chop and then serves it to the detectives who come to investigate?
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Daniel Rogov » Sun May 02, 2010 6:09 pm

Mark, Hi...

Raold Dahl indeed did a story about a woman who killed her husband with a leg of lamb (I even recall seeing it on television about a thousand years ago) but Dahl was famous for three things (a) great stories, (b) his outspoken anti-semitism and (c) his ability to "borrow" from the literay masters who had preceded him.

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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Karen/NoCA » Sun May 02, 2010 8:27 pm

Aside from having no taste, does this fish have any nutritional value?
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by David H » Mon May 03, 2010 12:06 am

I was told that the proper name for the "Princess" in English is Nile Perch. I have no idea why!
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon May 03, 2010 1:25 am

Daniel Rogov wrote:(I even recall seeing it on television about a thousand years ago)

It was on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by MarkC » Mon May 03, 2010 1:28 am

Right, it was a leg of lamb. Be kind of hard to kill someone with a lamb chop.
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Daniel Rogov » Mon May 03, 2010 1:42 am

Karen/NoCA wrote:Aside from having no taste, does this fish have any nutritional value?


The fish has a very high Omega 3 content (some say the highest of all fish) and contains 90-100 calories per 100 grams.

And indeed, as pointed out above, in the USA and UK is most frequenty referred to as Nile perch.

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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Charlie Dawg » Mon May 03, 2010 1:45 pm

Is the fish in the link below, the fish you are talking about, DAniel?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile_perch
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Daniel Rogov » Mon May 03, 2010 2:49 pm

Charlie, Hi.....

That's the one. After seeing him, I'll bet you don't want to go swimming in Lake Victoria.

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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Charlie Dawg » Mon May 03, 2010 3:04 pm

Yu betcha, as they say in Minnesota, no way no how. That thing can eat me alive I bet. :lol:

I have been searching for it to see where you can buy it, but cannot find it here in the States. Maybe I am looking at the worong places. Anybody?
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Daniel Rogov » Mon May 03, 2010 3:31 pm

Charlie, Hi...


Eat you alive for sure. Heck, they would be glad to eat you dead as well. In 1994 when more than 10,000 bodies from the massacres in Rwanda floated down the Kagera River into Lake Victoria, those fish found themselves quite content and with quite full tummies. As of course did the wild dogs, tiger, lions and hyenas that fed on the bodies as they floated ashore. For better or worse, one presumes that the fish of 1994 have long been converted into cat food, dog food, parakeet food and …….

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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Shlomo R » Tue May 04, 2010 2:41 am

Some years ago, my father and I went to Fulton Fish market to buy some fish (this was a few years before the market moved to Hunts Point in the Bronx). My father tended to walk thru the market wearing a baseball cap, but I went through with my yarmulke on my head. I distinctly remember one vendor offering me Lake Victoria Perch, filleted, flash frozen, and flown in from Africa, "with a patch of skin on, like the Rabbis want." Fulton being a wholesale market, and me having a yarmulke on my head, he immediately assumed I was looking to buy fish for a kosher restaurant.

Two comments direct to Daniel:
1) bizarre as it may sound, to many people, the less flavor their fish has, the better.
2) your rant was hilarious.
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Charlie Dawg » Tue May 04, 2010 10:26 am

I think the reason some people likefish with no taste a) because a lotof Americans do not like Fishy taste; b) if the flavor is not strong you can make it taste like anything you want.

Speaking of wich, I recently was given a little taster where fish was made to taste like a pork sausage.
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Daniel Rogov » Tue May 04, 2010 10:52 am

Charlie Dawg wrote:Speaking of wich, I recently was given a little taster where fish was made to taste like a pork sausage.



I speak neither of the Old or the New Testaments. Nor do I refer to the Koran or the wisdom of Confucious. I will, however say that by any definition, "fish made to taste like a pork sausage" is an abomination!!! Pity the fish that died in order to be made into a pseudo-pork sausage!!!

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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Charlie Dawg » Tue May 04, 2010 11:45 am

Hi, Daniel, could not have agreed morre. I love fish because it is fish.
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Robert Reynolds » Tue May 04, 2010 11:58 pm

Way back in the 17th Century, when a shipload of Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the indigenous people took pity on the ignorant, starving palefaces, and taught them how to grow maize. One part of the lesson was to bury a small fish beneath each 'hill' of maize seed during the planting. IMHO, that remains the best use of fish. Any fish. :wink: For people food, give me cow and pig, anytime.
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Re: Princess of the Nile - Coming to America

by Trevor F » Wed May 05, 2010 3:53 am

Charlie Dawg wrote:I think the reason some people likefish with no taste a) because a lotof Americans do not like Fishy taste; b) if the flavor is not strong you can make it taste like anything you want.


......... unless it's smoked salmon ?

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