SHARK FIN SOUP??? You Will Be Shocked To Find Out The Mystery Behind This Soup - See For Yourself • illuminaija
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SHARK FIN SOUP??? You Will Be Shocked To Find Out The Mystery Behind This Soup – See For Yourself

   
   

SHARK FIN SOUP??? You Will Be Shocked To Find Out The Mystery Behind This Soup – See For Yourself

Before we get into it – no, no, no and no again! Although considered a delicacy in this part of the world, the cruel and barbaric way in which the fins are harvested means no one should have any business supporting the industry. The fact their fins are hacked from the sharks’ still living bodies before they are thrown back into the sea means it’s definitely not worth it for the dried and congealed strands in some chicken broth.

Shark fin soup is a stewed soup in Chinese cuisine, often with a chicken broth base. Shark fin is added into the soup to create a stringy, chewy, gelatious texture. This food item has come under controversy due to its high environmental impact.

In Ch!na, shark fin soup has been a symbol of luxury and affluence for decades. It is the equivalent of serving foie gras or black truffle at an upscale restaurant. The dish was once reserved only for the upper class, however now that the income of Chinese communities has increased, the demand for shark fin soup has followed suit. 

SHARK FIN SOUP??? You Will Be Shocked To Find Out The Mystery Behind This Soup – See For Yourself

WildAid estimates that as many as 73 million sharks are killed and made into soup every year. Furthermore, almost one third of all shark species is considered threatened. As sharks are the apex predator in marine food chains, they help regulate the ocean ecosystems, including controlling fish populations and seaweed growth.

Shark fin soup dates back to the Ming Dynasty, along with other culinary luxuries known as the “big four” of seafood.

   
   

Part of the popularity of the dish stems from it being “fit for an Emperor.” When prepared, the fin itself is often cut into noodle-like strips, and has a chewy quality to it, somewhat reminiscent of rice noodles. On its own, it does not taste like anything. On the other hand, the broth is fragrant and flavorful, and provides most of the taste in the dish. In 2011, after celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey’s Shark Bait documentary, the Vancouver based non-profit organization Shark Truth sponsored a “sans fin” shark fin soup contest. Many chefs competed and proved how easy it is to find a substitute ingredient.

Aside from shark fin soup being a symbol of prestige and status, one of the misconceptions in Ch!na is that shark fin has medicinal properties. Much like people think rhino’s horn can boost virility, there are rumors that shark fin is a cure-all product that can even prevent cancer. On the contrary, shark fin is high in mercury, and can lead to poisoning if consumed in large quantities. Another issue with shark fin soup is that many people don’t realize it’s made from shark fin. The name of the dish, 鱼翅 (yú chì), literally translates into “fish wing,” a fairly ambiguous phrase. Ignorance, not apathy, is part of the problem here.

People in the Chinese community have begun to take the initiative to stop shark finning. Xi Jinping, the General Secretary, issued a ban on shark fin soup at official government banquets and receptions in 2013. Many Chinese celebrities, including TutorGroup’s brand ambassador and ex-NBA star Yao Ming, have spoken out against the consumption of shark fin soup. According to a recent article by NBC News, import prices of shark fins have dropped over 60 percent, and business has fallen 20 – 30 percent in the last few years. The brakes on shark finning are in motion.

So, if you’re traveling to Ch!na and see 鱼翅 (Yú chì) on the menu, think again before you order this particular delicacy. Perhaps the price of tradition is just a little too costly here.

Shark fin soup is a soup that often has little to do with sharks or fins. It is a chicken soup, lightly thickened with potato starch, with strings of chicken and egg. In Ch!na, the dish is mainly eaten during special occasions. 

SHARK FIN SOUP??? You Will Be Shocked To Find Out The Mystery Behind This Soup – See For Yourself

Shark fin soup is normally a soup that has little to do with sharks or fins. It is a chicken soup, lightly thickened with potato starch, containing strings of chicken and strands of egg.

The ‘real’ shark fin soup is mainly eaten in Ch!na, Taiwan and H0ng K0ng. The authentic version is very expensive because of the price of real shark fins, which sometimes cost hundreds of euros per kilo. In Ch!na, the dish is mainly eaten during special parties: a wedding, an important business dinner or to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Shark fin soup is a status symbol.

Shark fin soup has been a Chinese delicacy for over a thousand years. During the empire of Emperor Taizu, it was served to symbolise his power, strength and generosity. 

Since the fifteenth century, the court became increasingly famous and loved, until the Communists came to power and everything reminiscent of pride was swept off the table. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the dish once again returned as a status symbol of the rich and powerful.

SHARK FIN SOUP??? You Will Be Shocked To Find Out The Mystery Behind This Soup – See For Yourself

Most Chinese restaurants are unlikely to serve real shark fin soup as it is an expensive and controversial delicacy. If you are unsure, check the price. A bowl of genuine soup could cost as much as £180 per bowl! 

The cutting of shark fins is prohibited by the EU on European ships and in European waters. The demand for shark fins is high so sharks are often caught only for their fins, which is wasteful and cruel. In the meantime, the number of sharks still living in our seas is declining drastically, which poses a threat to the water’s diversity and balance. Moreover, shark meat appears to be unhealthy, even toxic, to humans.

The Chinese place a higher value on texture than taste. Things that other cultures find distasteful are enthusiastically consumed in Ch!na. The Chinese love slimy, tough, blubbery or rock hard textures. It doesn’t really matter if it tastes good in itself. This also explains the popularity of the shark fin, which has little taste but gives the soup a special bite.

To make imitation shark fin soup i.e. the western non-shark variety of the dish, prepare a chicken broth from dried Chinese shiitakes and/or cloud ears, chicken thighs and sometimes pork or ham. The stock is further flavoured with soy sauce and sesame oil. 

SHARK FIN SOUP??? You Will Be Shocked To Find Out The Mystery Behind This Soup – See For Yourself

   
   

The tasty liquid is thickened with cornflour or potato starch. Just before serving, when the soup is hot and it has been taken off the heat, a beaten egg is stirred through it. The resulting soup is thick, slightly lumpy, with gelatinous strands of egg in it.

The Chinese eat soup with chopsticks in one hand and a soup spoon, often a nice flat earthenware spoon, in the other.

   
   

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