PvM posted Entry 2194 on April 8, 2006 07:25 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2189

Fish can hold breath for months

If you thought you were the champion of holding your breath under water as a kid, think again. Crucian carp, a fish closely related to the goldfish, can live months without oxygen, scientists have discovered….

“Anoxia related diseases are the major causes of death in the industrialized world,” said Goran Nilsson, a professor at University of Oslo. “Evolution has solved the problem of anoxic survival millions of years ago, something that medical science has struggled with for decades with limited success.”

While ‘Intelligent Design” failed to resolve onf of the major causes of death, evolution has been far ‘smarter’.

A9.13 The crucian carp – plain looking but truly extraordinary G.E. Nilsson (University of Oslo)

(Carassius carassius), a close relative to the goldfish (Carassius auratus), looks very much like any other temperate freshwater cyprinid. However, it has arguably one of the most extraordinary set of adaptations displayed by any vertebrate. It is exceptionally anoxia tolerant, surviving without any oxygen for days to months depending on temperature, and it is the only vertebrate able to survive anoxia while maintaining physical activity and full cardiac out put. For this animal, metabolic depression or “channel arrest” are not prerequisites for anoxic survival, effectively demolishing attempts to claim that there are general principles for how animals tolerate anoxia. The adaptations it displays to survive anoxia include the exotic ability to produce ethanol through a metabolic pathway that is supported by the largest glycogen store of any vertebrate. Moreover, to avoid being anoxic in the first place, it can remodel its gills to boost oxygen uptake and it is in the possession of hemoglobins with higher oxygen affinity than any other vertebrate hemoglobin. In addition to these extraordinary respiratory adaptations, the crucian carp is the only vertebrate known to be able to change its body morphology to avoid being predated – a mechanism induced by alarm substances sent out by fellow crucian carp when they are in the process of being eaten. So, next time you go out to search for extraordinary life forms, do not go by their looks.

Earlier research was published in Science Maintained Cardiac Pumping in Anoxic Crucian Carp by Jonathan A. W. Stecyk, Kåre-Olav Stensløkken, Anthony P. Farrell, Göran E. Nilsson, Science October 2004: Vol. 306. no. 5693, p. 77

and in Hypoxia induces adaptive and reversible gross morphological changes in crucian carp gills Jørund Sollid, Paula De Angelis, Kristian Gundersen and Göran E. Nilsson, The Journal of Experimental Biology 206, 3667-3673 (2003)

Other relevant links for this study

  1. Don’t hold your breath: Carp can manage without oxygen for months
  2. Fish Neurobiology at the University of Oslo
  3. Home Page Nilsson

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Comment #95654

Posted by Andrew McClure on April 8, 2006 10:25 PM (e)

Exactly what was the evolutionary pressure which made it so vital for the Crucian Carp to be able to survive in anoxic environments? How is that useful to its particular evolutionary niche, at least any more so than any other fish?

Comment #95659

Posted by Henry J on April 8, 2006 10:32 PM (e)

Re “the exotic ability to produce ethanol through a metabolic pathway that is supported by the largest glycogen store of any vertebrate.”

So, it survives lack of oxygen by fermenting itself? ROFL

Henry

Comment #95660

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 8, 2006 10:44 PM (e)

hmm. i wonder just how efficient this particular pathway is.

more efficient that extracting ethanol from corn, perhaps?

farming goldfish for the future.

Comment #95662

Posted by PvM on April 8, 2006 10:54 PM (e)

Exactly what was the evolutionary pressure which made it so vital for the Crucian Carp to be able to survive in anoxic environments? How is that useful to its particular evolutionary niche, at least any more so than any other fish?

The Anoxic environment.

Comment #95664

Posted by Andrew McClure on April 8, 2006 11:12 PM (e)

The Anoxic environment.

Perhaps then the question I should have asked would be: What might be an example of an environment or circumstance which is unusually anoxic and in which crucian carp would be likely to find themselves? Assume you are speaking to someone whose knowledge of fish ecology is relatively low.

Comment #95665

Posted by apollo230 on April 8, 2006 11:35 PM (e)

I recall a line from Jurassic Park: “Life will find a way…”

This means that life, on this and other planets, need not strictly conform to our expectations and pre-conceived notions.

Comment #95666

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 8, 2006 11:35 PM (e)

In many areas that experience periodic large-scale flooding, for example the amazon basin, the retreating water can leave fish stranded in pools that quickly become stagnant and anoxic.

In fact, many fish species in these areas have evolved responses to anoxic conditions that revolve around breathing air.

anoxic conditions also exist in many large lakes or bodies of water with poor circulation, very deep areas, or no overturn. Titicaca and the Black Sea come to mind.

anoxic conditions can also be seasonal; tied to the reproductive cycles of certain algae (yes, algae use oxygen at night), and many other things.

It’s not the anoxic conditions that are rare, it’s the specific metabolic response of this fish that is quite unusual.

Comment #95667

Posted by Andrew McClure on April 8, 2006 11:38 PM (e)

I see, thanks.

Comment #95668

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 8, 2006 11:41 PM (e)

… as to a guess as to competing selective pressures that might favor “holding your breath” over air-breathing, I would think this would be quite heavily favored in areas with lots of surface predators, like birds….come up to breathe and get yourself nailed by a bird.

stay down, and you don’t get munched.

in areas where air-breathers predominate, I would expect lots of cover, like the heavily forested and numerous pools in the amazon basin.

If pool are relatively isolated and open… well you get the idea.

Comment #95671

Posted by natural cynic on April 9, 2006 12:06 AM (e)

The anaerobic production of ethanol in the carp could then be a deterrent to predation similar to poison arrow frogs, monarch butterflies etc. One fully ethanolized carp come to the surface, gets ingested by a bird, bad things happen to the bird (busted for flying while intoxicated?) and bird stays away from other carp.

OTOH, the bird might like the effects of ingesting the carp and…

Comment #95673

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 12:08 AM (e)

One fully ethanolized carp come to the surface

why would it need to come to the surface?

Comment #95674

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 12:10 AM (e)

sorry, I’m being deliberately “dry”

heh.

Comment #95683

Posted by YHWH on April 9, 2006 2:09 AM (e)

What makes you think evolution created this carp?

-YHWH

Comment #95688

Posted by Martin Wagner on April 9, 2006 4:06 AM (e)

Our educations in science, that’s what.

On another note, anyone have a clue what’s up with EvoWiki?

Comment #95689

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 9, 2006 4:24 AM (e)

“the bird might like the effects of ingesting the carp”

I guess reading papers such as “The adenosine receptor blocker aminophylline increases anoxic ethanol excretion in crucian carp.” ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=1928423&dopt=Abstract ) explains why we shouldn’t be carping full throttle about the methabolical benefits of this remarkable fish. It may lead to a hangover.

Comment #95690

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 9, 2006 4:29 AM (e)

Uups.. metabolical. I write like a drunkard today. ;-)

Comment #95697

Posted by YHWH on April 9, 2006 9:28 AM (e)

Martin Wagner says his science education is why he thinks evolution created this carp.

I take this to say: “I am learned in science therefore evolution is true.”

Is that the consensus here?

Comment #95698

Posted by Karen on April 9, 2006 9:41 AM (e)

Hey, YHWH. Does this sound familiar? “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

ps - got any actual reasons for thinking evolution didn’t? Or is just “God did it so shut up” as usual?

“I am learned in my theology so evolution is false.”

On the other hand, if that happened to be a serious question, then try reading the FAQs at TalkOrigins. All the answers are there.

Comment #95699

Posted by Moses on April 9, 2006 9:49 AM (e)

Comment #95666

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 8, 2006 11:35 PM (e)

In many areas that experience periodic large-scale flooding, for example the amazon basin, the retreating water can leave fish stranded in pools that quickly become stagnant and anoxic.

In fact, many fish species in these areas have evolved responses to anoxic conditions that revolve around breathing air.

anoxic conditions also exist in many large lakes or bodies of water with poor circulation, very deep areas, or no overturn. Titicaca and the Black Sea come to mind.

anoxic conditions can also be seasonal; tied to the reproductive cycles of certain algae (yes, algae use oxygen at night), and many other things.

It’s not the anoxic conditions that are rare, it’s the specific metabolic response of this fish that is quite unusual.

Dang, one of the few biology concepts I’m actually decent with and someone beats me to the punch.

Comment #95705

Posted by B. Spitzer on April 9, 2006 11:04 AM (e)

from YHWH:
Martin Wagner says his science education is why he thinks evolution created this carp.

I take this to say: “I am learned in science therefore evolution is true.”

Is that the consensus here?

No, it is not. The consensus here is that, if you study evolutionary theory well enough that you really understand what it does and doesn’t predict, and if you look carefully at the biological world, you’ll see that the predictions of evolutionary theory have been borne out time and time again.

I’m not sure what Martin Wagner meant (of course), but that’s what “science education” means to me: knowing the theory and the facts well enough that you really can determine whether or not the two of ‘em fit together.

For instance, all of these adaptations to anoxia in the carp– in fact, every functional feature we see anywhere in biology, whether in this carp or in some other organism– serve to pass on the genes that encode those features. As you may be aware, that’s the only function that is favored by natural selection: to contribute to passing on one’s genes. The question that I think you have to answer is: why does every function of every living thing happen to be tailored to pass on an organism’s genes? Is it just coincidence that the features of living organisms have precisely the function which evolutionary theory predicts?

Comment #95706

Posted by harold on April 9, 2006 11:09 AM (e)

YHWH -

Ironically, your username is potentially quite disrespectful to a number of religious traditions. I use it with some misgivings.

Anyway, this deserves a response -

“I take this to say: “I am learned in science therefore evolution is true.””

It’s hard to know where to begin, since this indicates that, despite the decent grammar and spelling of your posts, you have no idea what science actually is.

Here’s a crude layman’s explanation. It’s all just my own thoughts, but compatible with what I know of the “philosophy of science”.

Science is what you get when you start by making certain very basic assumptions that are accepted across almost all belief systems - the physical world exists, the senses detect the physical world, other people exist and their opinions can be of value, and the type of thinking we call “logical” is of value in understanding the physical world, for example.

If you brake your car at red lights, you implicitly accept these assumptions. Of course, you could understand science even without accepting them - science describes what the physical world is like, to the best of our knowledge, under these assumptions.

Building from these implied assumptions, science uses objective observation and, where possible, experimentation, to test hypotheses about the physical world.

What our scientific educations tell us - and a formal scientific education is not really necessary for this - is that the evidence supporting the theory of evolution as the explanation for the diversity of cellular and post-cellular (ie viruses) life is overwhelming.

As with the rest of scientific reality, the theory of evolution, being neutral and evidence-based, can be and is accepted in the context of many religious traditions.

In the unlikely event that you want to learn something rather than indulge in narcissistic posturing (and I make this cynical statement based partly on past experience with internet creationists, and hope you will prove me wrong), this well-know web site provides some basic information about the theory of evolution.

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.html

Like any web site for the general public, it is merely a beginning for anyone with a serious interest in any aspect of biomedical science.

Comment #95708

Posted by wamba on April 9, 2006 11:35 AM (e)

Additionally, their red blood cell hemoglobin, which transports oxygen, can bind oxygen to itself more strongly than in any other vertebrate.

That’s only part of the equation. Hemoglobin needs to beind oxygen strongly in the gills, but be able to release it in other tissue. It’s a tricky balancing act, and mechanisms have arisen to influence the balance.

Comment #95709

Posted by R. M. on April 9, 2006 11:41 AM (e)

I write this from Norway but not from the University of Oslo. The crucian carp is actually a fairly common fish in Europe and also in Asia. In Swedish (my native tongue) it even has a name of its own, “ruda” with no obvious meaning, indicating that the name is old. In other Germanic languages it is known as karusse (Norwegian and Danish) and Karrausche (German). These names are the same as the scientific name Carussia given by Linnaeus in 1758, the starting year of modern animal systematics.

Among the known feats of the crucian carp is to go hibernating in the bottom mud of shallow lakes and ponds where the water may freeze completely. It survives as long as the mud doesn’t freeze.

It is not generally eaten in Western Europe, supposedly because it has too many small bones, and according to one Swedish Internet site, because its meat tastes mud. In Sweden this is also said about other carp fish which are eaten in Central and Eastern Europe.

The crucian carp is said to grow at a moderate speed. I would guess it has to use a lot of energy to keep up its anoxic survival kit.

Comment #95710

Posted by Jason on April 9, 2006 11:43 AM (e)

Semi-related.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,190906,00.html

One-Eyed Kitten to Be Centerpiece of Creationism Museum

Comment #95711

Posted by Don Baccus on April 9, 2006 12:05 PM (e)

jason wrote:

One-Eyed Kitten to Be Centerpiece of Creationism Museum

Looks like the creationists have another expert on evolutionary biology on their side …

“My question is this. Are there really positive mutations?

“All I can see are neutral or negative,” said Adolfi, a REAL ESTATE AGENT from Granby, N.Y.

Comment #95714

Posted by Corkscrew on April 9, 2006 12:29 PM (e)

Coughnylonbugcough

Comment #95718

Posted by Don Baccus on April 9, 2006 1:10 PM (e)

corkscrew wrote:

nylonbug

But from the nylon point of view, that’s a negative mutation!

The real estate agent has answers for everything, trust me.

Comment #95722

Posted by Ron Okimoto on April 9, 2006 1:59 PM (e)

I doubt that it will be a means of making ethanol more efficient than making it from corn. For one thing you have to feed the fish and it has to make glycogen. Plants make carbohydrate using solar energy. You can’t get much cheaper than that.

There may be some niffty enzymes, but we really need better ones that break down cellulose and not glycogen. Once you get it down to glucose you’d have to find some means to keep the intermediates from being shunted off to other metabolic pathways to make ethanol production more efficient.

Comment #95724

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on April 9, 2006 2:05 PM (e)

Hypoxic survival strategies in two fishes: extreme anoxia tolerance in the North European crucian carp and natural hypoxic preconditioning in a coral-reef shark.

From the conclusion:
In contrast to anoxia-tolerant turtles, the crucian carp remains active during anoxia, albeit at a reduced level. In the crucian carp, the brain electrical activity is at least maintained to a degree that allows continued activity, although some senses are temporarily tuned down. A key adaptation allowing a continued high level of glycolysis in crucian carp is the production and excretion of ethanol as the glycolytic end-product, thereby avoiding lactate self-poisoning. Like the turtle, the crucian carp shows an adenosine-mediated increase in brain blood flow, but this is sustained throughout the anoxic period and brain glycolysis is upregulated rather than downregulated. Instead of relying on reduced neuronal ion permeability during anoxia, a modulated release of GABA and adenosine may function to suppress various neural functions in the anoxic crucian carp brain. While the anoxic GABA release is much smaller and more variable in the crucian carp brain than in the turtle brain, a massive GABA release may be used by the crucian carp as a second line of defence for neurons suffering energy deficiency. By maintaining activity during anoxia, the crucian carp could be able to seek out oxygen rather than having to wait for it to arrive – the only option for the comatose turtle.
One immediate lesson to be learnt from the hypoxia-tolerant epaulette shark is that adjustments such as an increased haematocrit, elevated blood [glucose] or a rise in brain blood flow, which other vertebrates display in response to hypoxia, are not always needed for anoxic survival. At least, the epaulette shark can do without such responses. The physiological mechanisms conferring protection in the epaulette shark must be multi-phase.

From: Design vs. Descent: A Contest of Predictions
Table 1. Ways Designers Act When Designing
(3) ‘Re-use parts’ over-and-over in different types of organisms (design upon a common blueprint).
Table 2. Predictions of Intelligent Design
(3) Genes and functional parts will be re-used in different unrelated organisms.29
29.For a brief discussion of this matter, see Wells, J., Icons of Evolution pg. 60 (Regnery 2000) or Icons Still Standing by Casey Luskin in the “Homology in Vertebrate Limbs” subsection.

We have 2 species of fish and 1 reptile which have mechanisms with similarities but significant physiological differences in adapting to hypoxia. In design apologetics, hypoxia was not considered environmental feature that allowed a single type of fix, rather low oxygen levels required organisms be designed with a variety of different mechanisms. Or alternatively, the design needed fixing.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #95725

Posted by Stevaroni on April 9, 2006 2:12 PM (e)

nylonbug

I never really though about it in this context before, but DNA decoding is exactly analogous to what we do in electrical engineering when we have to parse out the data from a serial stream of 1’s and 0’s.

We have the exact same framing error problem all the time whenever we loose our count in a bit stream, say, from clock skews or a burst of noise.

The basic problem is that there’s no obvious difference between the intended stream and the wrongly framed stream. To the hardware, data is data, whether meaningful to the application or not.

Since we fancy ourselves as - dare I say the words - intelligent designers, we overcome this problem by using carefully chosen, unambiguous, data or by adding extra framing and error correction information so we can automatically recover from errors.

It’s odd that some people are looking at that one-eyed kitten as evidence of intelligent design because, to me at least, it doesn’t seem like his gene transcription hardware was well engineered at all.

If we mere mortals can figure out a self-checking data stream, it’s funny that a designer of, um, somewhat more intelligence, didn’t come up with something a bit more robust.

Comment #95728

Posted by Sam Lewis on April 9, 2006 2:54 PM (e)

Do we have any way of knowing if the nylon bug could digest nylon before there was such a thing? I’m sure if I bring that particular mutation up in an argument they’ll ask that question.

Comment #95730

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 3:17 PM (e)

I doubt that it will be a means of making ethanol more efficient than making it from corn. For one thing you have to feed the fish and it has to make glycogen. Plants make carbohydrate using solar energy. You can’t get much cheaper than that.

well, grass carp (related species) are primarily algae feeders. If crucian carp are as well, there could be relatively few differences in cost of production of “raw material”.

now then, corn don’t actually “produce” ethanol. It’s a rather long process (requires energy input, other materials) to produce ethanol from corn.

If the fish act as little ethanol producing factories on their own, that reduces a major portion of the cost right there.

There may be some niffty enzymes, but we really need better ones that break down cellulose and not glycogen. Once you get it down to glucose you’d have to find some means to keep the intermediates from being shunted off to other metabolic pathways to make ethanol production more efficient.

again, if you plan on actually extracting or reproducing the metabolic pathway used in these fish, and use it on something else, then yeah, there could be more efficient or useful pathways to mimic.

I still think it might be worth a quick look to see just how efficient this particular pathway is.

the pub med paper referenced later in the thread (the one from NIH), suggests somebody might already be looking at that.

If I find more relevant info, I’ll go ahead and relate it here.

Comment #95731

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 3:20 PM (e)

OTOH, extracting the ethanol from the fish could be a bit messy.

literally.

Comment #95734

Posted by Ron Okimoto on April 9, 2006 3:52 PM (e)

You have to ferment the corn, extracting the ethanol wouldn’t be much different, but it could be.

It depends on how much ethanol the fish can stand in their water. I assume that they get rid of the ethanol through their gills. The tank water would accumulate ethanol and it would be something like making wine. Once a certain ethanol level is reached the bioreactors (yeast in wine making) poop out. If you could constantly remove the ethanol you might be able to maintain constant production.

The problem with the algae scenario is that you have to keep the algae from producing oxygen. If you have to feed the fish, the game is pretty much over. Even if you fed them veggies, you have to grow and process the veggies. You might as well ferment the veggies.

Comment #95737

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 4:01 PM (e)

The problem with the algae scenario is that you have to keep the algae from producing oxygen

of course, but you could raise the algae seperate, and then feed it to the fish.

you might as well ferment the veggies

now we’re back to calculating the cost of fermenting vegetables vs. the fish doing it for us.

Comment #95738

Posted by Corkscrew on April 9, 2006 4:01 PM (e)

Do we have any way of knowing if the nylon bug could digest nylon before there was such a thing? I’m sure if I bring that particular mutation up in an argument they’ll ask that question.

From the site I linked to:
Detailed examination of the DNA sequences of the original bacterium and of the nylon-ingesting version show identical versions in the gene for a key metabolic enzyme, with only one difference in over 400 nucleotides. However, this single microevolutionary addition of a single thymine (‘T’) nucleotide caused the new bacterium’s enzyme to be composed of a completely novel sequence of amino acids, via the mechanism of frame shifting.

So the point is that with this bacterium we actually have a before and after picture. We can see that a single mutation takes you from one to another.

Obviously we can’t prove whether this particular strain of bacteria was around before 1935 (you can’t exactly enumerate every bacterium on the planet and check that they can’t eat nylon), but it’s a damn good hypothesis. If the nylon-eating functionality had been around before the nylon, that functionality would have been obliterated over time by random mutation. Even creationists accept RM’s destructive power.

Comment #95748

Posted by B. Spitzer on April 9, 2006 5:21 PM (e)

from STJ:
hmm. i wonder just how efficient this particular pathway is.

more efficient that extracting ethanol from corn, perhaps?

farming goldfish for the future.

There are a handful of cars out there that run on used grease from fast-food joints. My understanding is that the exhaust smells like French fries.

Which is why I think that we will never switch over to fish fuels. Can you imagine, for example, the entire Los Angeles basin clouded over with fish smog?

Eeeeeeuuurgh.

Comment #95749

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 5:25 PM (e)

lol.

well, being an ichthyologist that smell might just be heaven to me.

;)

Comment #95752

Posted by KiwiInOz on April 9, 2006 5:45 PM (e)

There’s got to be a niche market here, surely. After all there is wheat beer and fruit beer (yuk), so why not fish beer? And of course there are beer batters, so we could have self battering fish and chips.

And to top it off, when the officer asks if you have been drinking, you can honestly say no, unless of course you have been drinking like a fish!

Comment #95755

Posted by Stevaroni on April 9, 2006 5:57 PM (e)

Table 1. Ways Designers Act When Designing
(3) ‘Re-use parts’ over-and-over in different types of organisms (design upon a common blueprint).

No, that should be Ways Mortal Designers Act When Designing

As someone who designs complicated electrical equipment for a living, I agree with the idea that much of what I build is derivative - I rabidly reuse parts and techniques whenever I can, I’ve debugged them already, and adapting an existing design is way faster than starting from scratch.

But - and this is the important part - I only do it this way because I have to.

I’m a human engineer, working with budgets and deadlines. Economizing my time and effort by re-using existing solutions is more important than a perfectly optimized design.

Even then, I get into all kinds of situations where I have to do a full rip up and reroute - starting over from scratch for some element that simply has to be optimal.

It irritates my sense of engineering “elegance” whenever I have to accept a less than perfect solution, but hey - I’m a mere mortal, and that’s life. If I were, oh, say, a Deity, and I didn’t have these constraints, I probably wouldn’t reuse much stuff at all, unless it was an absolutely slick, perfect, design.

I surely wouldn’t reuse the same basic mammalian-leg layout for a whales’ flipper an a bat’s wing, or a 4 legged creatures’ knee and lower back in an upright human, clearly sub-optimal parts choices if ever there were one.

Comment #95763

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on April 9, 2006 6:49 PM (e)

No, that should be Ways Mortal Designers Act When Designing.

But their whole argument is based on comparisons between human design and “the designers” purported activities. Paley has a nice chapter (chapter 16) about poor design. He describes examples of poor design but then describes and praises the compensatory mechanisms. One of his concluding thoughts was “If there be imputed defects without compensation, I should suspect that they were defects only in appearance.”

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #95764

Posted by David B. Benson on April 9, 2006 6:52 PM (e)

Cars that run on filtered vegetable oil (used grease) don’t smell like that. Don’t know about those which actually burn the more solid components of the used grease. I’m sure the same filtering concepts could be applied to fish oil.

Comment #95766

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 6:58 PM (e)

so why not fish beer?

why not, indeed!

it brings a tear to my eye to see you all so entusiastically embracing your inner fish.

*sniff*

Comment #95776

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on April 9, 2006 8:02 PM (e)

so why not fish beer?

nothing is new.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #95777

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 8:17 PM (e)

bah! that’s just beer with a fish label (albeit an interesting Cichlid).

it’s still “pseudo-fish beer”

;)

Comment #95779

Posted by Henry J on April 9, 2006 8:56 PM (e)

Re “entusiastically embracing your inner fish.”

Yeah, just for the halibut…

Henry

Comment #95781

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 9:23 PM (e)

I’m laughing so hard i think i broke something, I think I need a sturgeon.

OK, you asked for it:

Kip Addotta - Wet Dream

It was April the 41st, being a quadruple leap year
I was driving in downtown Atlantis
My Barracuda was in the shop, so I was in a rented Stingray, and it was
overheating
So I pulled into a Shell station
They said I’d blown a seal
I said, “Fix the damn thing and leave my private life out of it, okay
pal?”

While they were doing that I walked over to a place called the oyster
bar – a real dive
But I knew the owner, he used to play for the Dolphins
I said, “Hi, Gil!!!”
You hafta yell, he’s hard of herring

CHORUS:
Think I had a wet dream
Cruisin’ through the Gulf Stream
Oooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Wet dream…

Gil was also down on his luck
Fact is, he was barely keeping his head below water
I gullied up to the sandbar
He poured the usual
Rusty snail, hold the grunion, shaken, not stirred
With a peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich on the side – heavy on the
mako
I slipped him a fin – on porpoise
I was feeling good
I even dropped a sand dollar in the box for Jerry’s Squids – for the
halibut

Well, the place was crowded
We were packed in like sardines
They were all there to listen to the big band sounds of Tommy Dorsal –
what sole
Tommy was rockin’ the place with a very popular tuna – “Salmon Chanted
Evening”
And the stage was surrounded by screaming groupers
Probably there to see the bass player

One of them was this cute little yellowtail
And she’s giving ME the eye
So I figure, this is my chance for a little fun
You know – a piece of Pisces

But she said things I just couldn’t fathom
She was too deep, and seemed to be under a lot of pressure
Boy, could she drink
She drank like a… she drank A LOT…
I said, “What’s your sign?”
She said, “Aquarium”
I said, “GREAT!!! Let’s get tanked!”

CHORUS

I invited her up to my place for a little midnight bait
I said, “C’mon baby, it’ll only take a few minnows”
She threw me that same old line
“Not tonight – I got a haddock”

And she wasn’t kiddin’ either, ‘cuz in came the biggest, meanest looking
haddock I’d ever seen come down the pike
He was covered with mussels
He came over to me, he said, “Listen shrimp – don’t you come trolling
around here”
What a crab
This guy was steamed – I could see the anchor in his eyes

I turned to him, I said, “Abalone – You’re just being shellfish”
Well, I knew it was going to be trouble, and so did Gil, ‘cuz he was
already on the phone to the cods
The haddock hits me with a sucker punch
I catch him with a left hook
He eels over
It was a fluke, but there he was, lying on the deck, flat as a mackerel
Kelpless

I said, “Forget the cods, Gil, this guy’s gonna need a sturgeon”
Well, the yellowtail was impressed with the way I landed her boyfriend
She came over to me, she said, “Hey big boy, you’re really a game fish”
“What’s your name?”
I said, “Marlin”

CHORUS

Well from then on, we had a whale of a time
I took her to dinner
I took her to dance
I bought her a bouquet of flounders
And then I went home with her
And what did I get for my trouble?
A case of the clams

CHORUS
CHORUS/FADE

Comment #95785

Posted by Martin Wagner on April 9, 2006 9:43 PM (e)

B. Spitzer #95705:

The consensus here is that, if you study evolutionary theory well enough that you really understand what it does and doesn’t predict, and if you look carefully at the biological world, you’ll see that the predictions of evolutionary theory have been borne out time and time again.

I’m not sure what Martin Wagner meant (of course)

That’s pretty much it.

Comment #95787

Posted by KiwiInOz on April 9, 2006 9:56 PM (e)

Sir Toejam, as our resident ichthyologist, would you concur that the intelligent designer is Cod?

Comment #95788

Posted by KiwiInOz on April 9, 2006 9:59 PM (e)

In fact, I see the hand of Cod at work in this drunken fish and Tiktaalik.

Comment #95791

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 10:08 PM (e)

well, i dunno if the designer is a cod, but if it’s any vertebrate at all, it’s certainly likely to be a fish.

near 40000 spp and counting…

If the big ID ain’t a fish, it certainly seems to prefer them as vertebrates go.

of course if we go by sheer numbers of spp, the big ID is an arthropod of some sort, probably a beetle However, it’s harder to anthropomorphize invertebrates, so I’m gonna stick with fish.

besides, “Saving Nemo” outgrossed “Bugs Life” and “Antz” combined, and that’s gotta mean something, right?

Comment #95797

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on April 9, 2006 10:18 PM (e)

it’s still “pseudo-fish beer”

There’s never any satisfying Sir_Toejam, but since there is some question as to the effect of ethanol concentrations on fish, there’s fish in sake from Japan”.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #95799

Posted by KiwiInOz on April 9, 2006 10:23 PM (e)

I’m talking the one true Cod, not one of your run of the mill cods.

Comment #95800

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 10:25 PM (e)

better, better.

I still would expect actual “fish beer” from either scandanavia or Japan.

they do ferment fish as a snack in some parts of scandanavia; a norwegian buddy of mine used to describe something his home town made that would make just about any american reconsider eating for a week or so.

some sort of “pickled fish” dish that consisted of herring with seasonings, left to rot in a barrel for several months, then used like peanut butter.

bonus points if somebody can remember the name of this delicious dish.

mmmm mmmm good.

Comment #95801

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 10:34 PM (e)

ahh, i think i am confusing the swedish dish Surströmming with the norwegian one i was thinking of, which is actually made from trout:

Raake Orret

details here:

http://www.weird-food.com/weird-food-fish.html

Comment #95802

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on April 9, 2006 10:37 PM (e)

That doesn’t sound like lutefisk - all the details are wrong, at least according to what I learned from college (there was a large Swedish community, including a community college that took pride in the Swedish origins). But it might be a regional difference.

Comment #95804

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 10:40 PM (e)

But it might be a regional difference.

yes, it does seem to have become a pervasive method of “preserving” fish in just about all of scandanavia. Why that is I am sure is a worthwhile source of endless debate.

Comment #95805

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on April 9, 2006 10:45 PM (e)

Ah, that makes sense (Raake Orret). Being allergic to fish, I only learned the names so I didn’t accidentally order it in a restaurant or sample it at an ethnic festival.

Comment #95807

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 11:05 PM (e)

Being allergic to fish,

my sincere condolences.

Comment #95815

Posted by R. M. on April 10, 2006 2:18 AM (e)

It is not difficult to understand why these special fish dishes surströmming, rakørret and lut(e)fisk (with e in Norwegian, without in Swedish). I can think of the following factors. (1) An abundant but seasonal supply of fish (2) a fairly cool climate
and (3) a limited supply of salt. Taste is something that you learn.

The process when making surströmming and rakørret is one of lactic acid fermentation. A similar process is used when making gravlax, a delicious fermented salmon dish. There are several traditional unappetizing fish preservation methods in the Nordic countries which have now got out of use. I have heard of one called “rødfisk” where the preparation was so unpleasant that it was kept more or less secret.

The danger of botulism has been mentioned. It is real if one tries to do the fermentation oneself without knowing how to. Surströmming, with the worst possible smell, is bought ready-made and is always perfectly safe.

Lutefisk is of course a different story. It is dried cod soaked in lye and thoroughly rinsed in pure water. One important difference: The fermented dishes are made of fish with a high fat content while fish for drying (cod and relatives) are lean and apparently cannot be easily fermented.

One may well think that the traditional fish preservation methods have been subject to darwinian selection. Only those dishes which did not kill off their eaters survived. Intelligent design had no part in it.

Comment #95816

Posted by R. M. on April 10, 2006 2:47 AM (e)

The first sentence in what I just posted should be

It is not difficult to understand why these special fish dishes surströmming, rakørret and lut(e)fisk … were developed in Scandinavia.

Sorry.

Comment #95822

Posted by B. Spitzer on April 10, 2006 6:54 AM (e)

delicious fermented salmon

When I see the adjective “delicious” appended to the words “fermented salmon”, all I can think of is this .

Comment #95823

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 10, 2006 7:19 AM (e)

If it makes Sir_Toejam happier, lutfisk and surströmming aren’t snacks but usually served at special festivities, just like crayfish. Large servings of vodka helps with these machismo meals. Except lutfisk, it doesn’t taste much of anything and the usual sauses doesn’t help me.

Of fish meals, I prefer sushi, gravlax, pickled fish or surströmming. I can’t abide fishytasting cooked or fried fish, I like my fishes roe.

Comment #95824

Posted by wamba on April 10, 2006 7:43 AM (e)

I’m talking the one true Cod, not one of your run of the mill cods.

The only path to the one true Cod is through the Son of Cod.

Comment #95829

Posted by windy on April 10, 2006 9:15 AM (e)

The crucian carp is actually a fairly common fish in Europe and also in Asia. In Swedish (my native tongue) it even has a name of its own, “ruda” with no obvious meaning, indicating that the name is old.

Probably from the same root as Finnish “ruutana”. The ability to tolerate high blood alcohol levels for the greater part of the year also points to a Finnish origin ;-)

Among the known feats of the crucian carp is to go hibernating in the bottom mud of shallow lakes and ponds where the water may freeze completely. It survives as long as the mud doesn’t freeze.

I think this is the best explanation for the evolution of anoxia tolerance. It couldn’t go air-sipping during the winter like those Amazonian fish.

Comment #95848

Posted by roophy on April 10, 2006 10:56 AM (e)

delicious fermented salmon

you must be referring to “sake” :-)

Comment #95859

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 10, 2006 11:41 AM (e)

(3) a limited supply of salt

yeah, that’s probably the key feature.

thanks for the explanation, R. M.

I think this is the best explanation for the evolution of anoxia tolerance. It couldn’t go air-sipping during the winter like those Amazonian fish.

you’re quite right; I hadn’t noticed the adaptations to cold before.

Comment #95862

Posted by BWE on April 10, 2006 11:59 AM (e)

The dead sea and titicacca don’t have anything that has adapted specifically to their respective anoxic environments though do they? “Dead zones” appear in lots of places in the oceans usually due to algae blooms or other oxygen depleting events (temperature inversions and I think others) I’ve never heard of a creature that has adapted to any of those situations. My guess would be ice. Trapped at the bottom of a shallow pond under thick ice. Does anybody know where these little buggers developed this neat trick?

Comment #95886

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on April 10, 2006 1:34 PM (e)

Selective pressure for the development of hypoxia tolerance would require repetitive anoxic events. Any mechanism that allows a fish to escape, swim away swim away, wouldn’t experience significant anoxic selective pressure, so I don’t think algal blooms or temperature inversions would qualify. Cyclic anoxic environments that trap fish would be where I would look for additional species with hypoxia tolerance. Clinal variation in hypoxia tolerance within species would be expected in freshwater species trapped in lakes subject to freezing versus ice free lakes at lower latitudes. I would expect general mechanisms that lower metabolic rates in these fish but some variation in aspects of the crucian carp specializations might be observed.

I would look at desert pupfish maybe, fish endemic to other desert environments where water supplies can be variable? Perhaps some of the cave adapted fish species have hypoxia adaptations as part of their generalized metabolic adaptations to cave environments. Lots of neat experiments present themselves.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #95888

Posted by BWE on April 10, 2006 1:44 PM (e)

but in the desert, we get things that get air from the, er, air. Caves maybe. But carp? Where did these guys come from? Are they the members of the Rare Greenlandia Carp family?

-And, as far as the Black sea, there are a lot of reasons that that ability would be valuable. The dead zone is around 20 fathoms or so. Being able to swim below that would give you access to a lot of detritus. As far as I know (I’ts been a while since I learned about it) no fish have managed it.

Comment #95892

Posted by windy on April 10, 2006 1:58 PM (e)

but in the desert, we get things that get air from the, er, air. Caves maybe. But carp? Where did these guys come from? Are they the members of the Rare Greenlandia Carp family?

They probably originated in Asia. I don’t know if anyone has done a phylogenetic study, but the distribution of related species such as goldfish and common carp seems to point that way.

So, if the overwintering theory is correct, they may have originated in some cold little pond in Northern China :)

Comment #95895

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on April 10, 2006 2:03 PM (e)

but in the desert, we get things that get air from the, er, air. Caves maybe. But carp? Where did these guys come from? Are they the members of the Rare Greenlandia Carp family?

This is why Sir_Toejam is here, to keep us all on track.

Being able to swim below that would give you access to a lot of detritus.

What about the detritus rain? Is there such a thing as detritus rain? Does food fall from the fish sky?
I don’t know. Isn’t science fun, it’s ok to say I don’t know.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #95898

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 10, 2006 2:18 PM (e)

Yes, pupfish are usually found in very shallow pools, often spring fed, so the water volume isn’t all that variable for the most part.

They DO have a lot of interesting features to cope with very HOT water however.

as to my mention of titicaca and the black sea…

Let me clarify that they were specifically in reference to the idea that hypoxic aquatic environments aren’t rare.

However, the hypoxic zones of both mentioned bodies of water have been little studied; it wouldn’t suprise me if someone did in fact find a fish species in one or the other that had some adaptation to deal with that specific type of hypoxic environment.

40000 and counting, remember?

fish NEVER suprise me anymore. They do just about anything you can possible imagine a vertebrate doing.

[start cheerleading for fish]

just for a VERY quick list, for example:

-they exhibit all forms of reprodcutive strategies known to man (oviparity, ovoviparity, viviparity - including some examples of placental development)

-all forms of sexual behavior anyone has ever imagined: monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, leks, bowers, “sneaking”, and even piracy. Also both internal and external fertilization, and even protogyny and protandry (ontogentic change of sex). Heck even a form of “parasitism” in the case of deep sea anglers, where the males attach themselves to females and essentially degenerate to just a set of testes (which often sparks the joke of “that’s a pretty good description of my husband/boyfriend”)

- a huge range of parental behavior, from “fire and forget”, to care of eggs in a nest, to actual real parental care of young (interestingly, there is some evidence to indicate parental care in the Coelocanth as well).

-just about every variety of color and shape you could possibly imagine, applied to just about any niche you could possibly imagine

-full range of feeding behaviors from herbivorous to carnivorous to parasitic, even some that literally farm their own food.

look, i could go on and on, but I hope the point is clear:

If you want to study just about any prediction regarding the expected evolution of a trait, you will probably find it in a fish somewhere.

but i guess near 500 million years of being the most ubiquitous vertebrate group on the planet will do that for ya.

[/end cheerleading for fish]

:)

Comment #95899

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 10, 2006 2:34 PM (e)

What about the detritus rain? Is there such a thing as detritus rain? Does food fall from the fish sky?
I don’t know. Isn’t science fun, it’s ok to say I don’t know.

yes.

oddly enough it’s called “snow”; probably because it falls slowly in small bits and is usually light in color.

The study of marine snow has been developing since the early 80’s, and has lead to some important theories regarding nutrient flow and carbon sinks, for example.

There are, in fact, numerous ecosystems based on detritus as the base food source.

For example (but not the only one) most (essentially all, excluding the tiny areas of vent activity and sulfur brines) of the benthic abyssal areas of the ocean are based on a detrital food chain. The abyssal plane also covers the largest area of any specific “habitiat” on the face of the planet.

Of course, the amount of detritus produced is entirely dependent on the productivity of photosynthetic based food chains above.

Comment #95900

Posted by Steviepinhead on April 10, 2006 2:38 PM (e)

And, of course, now they have TOES!

Then there’s that little offshoot lineage, the lobefins, and THEIR little offshoot lineage, the tetrapods, and–skipping seeral offshoots–THEIR little offshoot lineage, the mammals, and THEIR little offshoot, the primates > apes > homonids > sapiens.

It’s not so much a case of embracing our INNER fish. We ARE fish.

Ought to really be: Sir_Finrayjam!

Comment #95902

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 10, 2006 2:47 PM (e)

And, of course, now they have TOES!

Bloddy splitters!

oh, wait.

Comment #95912

Posted by harold on April 10, 2006 3:55 PM (e)

Wow.

Talk about some INTENSE cultural bias.

As if only Scandinavians eat fermented fish.

Hasn’t anyone ever even eaten at a Vietnamese restaurant? Fish sauce, people. Tastes good. Delicate and delicious. Not strong and fishy. Has never made me reconsider eating. I’ve heard that the preparation involves intense-smelling stages, but the final product is smooth and subtle.

Very similar to the ancient Roman staple “garum” (a sauce made from fermented fish). Probably similar to the Vietnamese sauce, at least in the sense of NOT tasting the way rotten fish smells.

No doubt there are many other such products in the world.

As for this anoxia-surviving fish, you can’t cook it - that will cause the ethanol to vaporize.

You have to serve it as sushi!

Comment #95913

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 10, 2006 4:10 PM (e)

Hasn’t anyone ever even eaten at a Vietnamese restaurant? Fish sauce, people.

not the same thing, really, even tho produced in a similar fashion.

I can recall some arctic circle populations that relish rotted salmon heads, but even then, scandanavia does stand out for it’s sheer ubiquity and variety of rotted fish products. Even in Thailand, you might find fish sauce, but that’s a far cry from surströmming, which I’d place money on you not finding as pleasant.

cultural bias?

perhaps cultural ignorance, but not bias, as far as I can see.

it would be kinda interesting to see all the cultural recipes for rotted fish that are “floating” about.

Comment #95923

Posted by Canuckrob on April 10, 2006 5:37 PM (e)

So if we built fish holding tanks into our vehicles and used them to raise these little ethanol producers and could then extract that ethanol to run our engines would that count as the legendary car that runs on water? If so should we expect the big oil companies to search out and make these little fishies extinct?

Seriously this has been an excellent thread, lots of good ideas and explanations and good fun too.

Comment #95924

Posted by AJF on April 10, 2006 5:41 PM (e)

so why not fish beer?

If we identify the gene responsible, couldn’t we just splice it into the human genome (a-la the anti-freeze gene in GM tomatoes?) That way, we could all walk around generating our own personal ethanol supply? Think of how much college students could save if they didn’t have to buy alcohol anymore :)

Comment #95929

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 10, 2006 5:52 PM (e)

damn! i think you’re on to something there AJF!

unfortunately, wouldn’t triggering the ethanol pathway involve holding your breath for a bit longer than most would like?

hmm, otoh, i suppose you could generate lactic acid fermentation if you excercise sufficiently enough to create relatively anoxic conditions in muscle mass.

but then that would kinda put a damper on a good drunk.

hmm, requires further thought…

Comment #95932

Posted by BWE on April 10, 2006 5:58 PM (e)

That’s the thing about evolution though. We evolved to the point where we can scrounge for enough change to get a good drunk. Really pretty easy from an evolutionary point of view.

Comment #95937

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on April 10, 2006 6:00 PM (e)

If we identify the gene responsible, couldn’t we just splice it into the human genome

First, I would be out of a job. As grand quartermaster of Delta Pi Gamma, I’m in charge of the beer. Second, it’s bad for the economy think of all those beer trucks that won’t buy any more gas. Finally, only foreigners like beer at body temperature.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #95944

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 10, 2006 6:08 PM (e)

Finally, only foreigners like beer at body temperature.

LOL.

hmm, I guess we would have to design a more efficient evaporative cooling system?

maybe an internal system of storage vats just under the skin, with a counter-current heat exchange system built with a rete mirabila of blood vessels just above it?

sure, i can see it now: folks running about with pouches just under the skin on their legs; all you’d need is a straw.

the more you run/excercise, the more ethanol you produce.

the econmony would take a double hit if folks who were mostly tee-totalers decided to use the excess ethanol to fuel their cars.

oh, and also the hit to the companies that sell diet pills, since almost everybody would be in great shape from the extra excercise.

hmm, this IS starting to flesh out in interesting and unexpected ways.

Comment #95948

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 10, 2006 6:13 PM (e)

As if only Scandinavians eat fermented fish.

Hasn’t anyone ever even eaten at a Vietnamese restaurant? Fish sauce, people.

The Romans produced it by the ton. It was a major trade item for them.

IIRC, there were several fish-sauce shops buried in Pompeii.

Comment #95956

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on April 10, 2006 6:53 PM (e)

hmm, I guess we would have to design a more efficient evaporative cooling system?

How DaveScottish of you…..sorry, to easy

maybe an internal system of storage vats just under the skin, with a counter-current heat exchange system built with a rete mirabila of blood vessels just above it?

Perhaps something that looks like this.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #95957

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 10, 2006 7:10 PM (e)

I was thinking something a bit more streamlined :P

Comment #95976

Posted by Henry J on April 10, 2006 9:30 PM (e)

R. M.
Re “Only those dishes which did not kill off their eaters survived.”
The irony there is it’s the ones that keep getting eaten that survive - the ones that don’t keep being eaten die out. LOL

Bruce,
Re “Does food fall from the fish sky?”
It does if they’re in an aquarium. ;)

Steviepinhead,
Re “We ARE fish.”
Uh oh, does that mean eating a fish sandwich would make one a cannibal? Good thing the cafeteria was out of the fish filets today, then. :)

Henry

Comment #95989

Posted by Walter Brameld IV on April 10, 2006 10:37 PM (e)

Regarding that one-eyed kitten to be displayed at the creationist museum as evidence that mutations can only be negative, that kitten has a birth defect called cyclopia:

http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/cyclopes.asp

What’s stupid is that cyclopia isn’t even caused by a genetic mutation. It’s a birth defect caused by the mother’s ingesting certain toxins during pregnancy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclopia

This bozo is putting it on display as an example of a harmful mutation! He is either ignorant or dishonest.

Comment #95991

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 10, 2006 10:46 PM (e)

This bozo is putting it on display as an example of a harmful mutation! He is either ignorant or dishonest.

actually, both, and then some.

Comment #95999

Posted by R. M. on April 10, 2006 11:46 PM (e)

About “gravlax” which I called a delicious fermented salmon dish, something some of you Americans thought was funny:

Eating gravlax requires about the same amount of bravery as eating yoghurt, a fermented dish which is known and eaten also in the United States.

Going outside Scandinavia, is there anyone who knows of “fermented black beans” used in some Cantonese food. They are not for beginners. I have got some from my Hong Kong-born daughter-in-law. A problem if you want to try them is that they are cheap and are sold in packages of about 1 kg. About a table-spoon is enough each time.

Comment #96019

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 11, 2006 8:18 AM (e)

It’s interesting to see different fish meals from diverse cultures.

However, I don’t understand the persisting insistence to call fermented fish “rotted”. If there are any rotten food products out there, I probably wouldn’t want to eat them.

BTW, surströmming fermentation gives a distinct smell and taste, but while the smell is quite bad the taste is nice and spicy. The vodka is good for dissociating smell and taste, or to brave the first chew for the uninitiated.

Just be careful to open the can under water. Especially since the can is pressurised after the fermentation, so you wouldn’t want to get smelly fish juice over your clothes. That *is* a rotten experience. :-)

Comment #96020

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 11, 2006 8:32 AM (e)

Oh, I forgot to relate my favorite anecdote about surströmming!

When a student, I come in contact with US students doing summer schools here. One in that group related the mistake of buying a surströmming can by relying on the fish depicted on the label like any tuna can.

He claimed he wasn’t deterred by the smell but proceeded to fry them in a pan. Fermented fish has much of the structural integrity removed. His fishes shrunk quickly to mere residues…

Comment #96024

Posted by wamba on April 11, 2006 10:21 AM (e)

As usual, microbes are ahead of the curve.

Undersea Microbes Active But Living On The Slow Side

Deeply buried ocean sediments may house populations of tiny organisms that have extremely low maintenance energy needs and population turnover rates of anywhere from 200 to 2,000 years, according to an international team of researchers….

Comment #96046

Posted by Dizzy on April 11, 2006 3:16 PM (e)

“Fermented black beans” are basically what give soy sauce its flavor. Soy sauce is sort of just fermented black-bean juice (with some other stuff added). Nothing gross about them!

Comment #96052

Posted by jmitchell on April 11, 2006 5:19 PM (e)

regarding fermented fish sauce(s)- my favorite is that most exotic of fermented fish sauces- Worcestershire-yup good ol’ Lea and Perrin’s - main ingredient - fermented anchovies!

Comment #96104

Posted by RavenT on April 12, 2006 1:20 AM (e)

Well, this seems to be the preserved fish thread, so perhaps someone here will be familiar with what I’m asking about.

When I was in Iceland some 25 years ago, I was introduced to a snack which was a kind of dried fish, pale in color, and somewhat fishy-smelling, but not obnoxiously so. When I’d break pieces off, it was kind of a cross between flaky and fibrous. I haven’t thought about it since then, and I’ve long since forgotten the name my host taught me for it.

Do Icelanders eat lutefisk, and is that what this description sounds like, or is this not enough information to go on?

Thanks!

Comment #96105

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 12, 2006 1:26 AM (e)

not lutefisk, but that’s as far as i could go to help you on that one.

try the link to the “fishy foods” i posted earlier. it might be there.

Comment #96109

Posted by Renier on April 12, 2006 3:14 AM (e)

When I was in Iceland some 25 years ago, I was introduced to a snack which was a kind of dried fish, pale in color, and somewhat fishy-smelling, but not obnoxiously so. When I’d break pieces off, it was kind of a cross between flaky and fibrous. I haven’t thought about it since then, and I’ve long since forgotten the name my host taught me for it.

Sounds like something we in RSA call “bokkoms” - dried fish (mallet)

Comment #96135

Posted by R. M. on April 12, 2006 11:10 AM (e)

Dry fish is eaten as a snack also in Northern Norway. I think it is just dried cod - the raw material for making lutefisk - which has been cut and probably hammered to make it softer.

I have tried both the Norwegian and the Icelandic variety but it was many years ago. As far as I remember the taste was the same. When you start chewing it feels like cardboard but it is easy to become addicted.

Comment #96523

Posted by Henry J on April 14, 2006 3:37 PM (e)

But how many of those fish dishes taste like chicken?

Comment #105200

Posted by Courtney Gidts on June 12, 2006 12:09 PM (e)

I’ve managed to save up roughly $24238 in my bank account, but I’m not sure if I should buy a house or not. Do you think the market is stable or do you think that home prices will decrease by a lot?