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I’m so hungry, I could eat a huss

Also known as spiny dogfish, blue dog, common spinyfish, darwen salmon, dogfish, grayfish, Pacific dogfish, piked dogfish, rock salmon, spiky dog, spotted spiny dogfish, spring dogfish, spur dogfish, spur dog, victorian spotted dogfish, white-spotted dogfish, and white-spotted spurdog.

In Sussex fish and chip shops, they are known as huss. They’re related to sharks. We always get cod or haddock, but tonight we had to wait for our chips and we struck up a conversation with the fishnchips man. He told us the huss was local today. Eh, what the hell. Batter-dipped and deep fried, I’d eat worse.

It was good. Finer-grained flesh than cod with a slightly stronger flavor. They leave the backbone in and you eat around it. I’m not terribly keen on finishing my meal with a spine on my plate, but other than that…yeah, I’d eat it again.

I don’t experiment nearly enough with local food. I’d be missing the point of being an alien if I didn’t try some unfamiliar gnosh from time to time.

Of course, I yearn to discover the British equivalent of Ho-Ho’s, Ding Dongs and Suzie-Q’s.


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 27, 2011, 11:39 pm

Well, if i’m not mistaken, Huss is one of the staples that got Britain through WW-duece, when the U-boats were running rampant…….

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: January 28, 2011, 12:50 am

Dang, now I’m hungry for fishnchips.

Comment from PJ
Time: January 28, 2011, 1:24 am

Go find a Tunnocks Tea Cake or Tunnocks Carmel. I would kill for one of those. I’ll eat a couple of Ding Dongs for you.

Comment from Oldcat
Time: January 28, 2011, 1:47 am

Its not spotted dick?

Comment from Skandi Recluse
Time: January 28, 2011, 2:06 am

Wandering around San Francisco one day, looking for regular US fast food, and found this Phillipino place where the fish still had it’s head attached …..I had a bowl of noodles.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 28, 2011, 2:51 am

You mean they usually cut the heads off ?!

How do you know it’s fresh? You have to look at the eyes to tell.

What? What did I say?

Comment from Deborah
Time: January 28, 2011, 3:48 am

Smooth skinned, like a catfish? No scales on a huss? (Do they eat catfish in the U.K.?)

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: January 28, 2011, 4:24 am

Ewwwww, bones creep me out, and I barely tolerate fish when it’s totally disguised with batter and ketchup.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: January 28, 2011, 4:25 am

I’ve had shark plenty of times, it’s one of those fish that grills up pretty well, being so firmly textured. As for spiny dogfish, I dissected one in high school Marine Biology, back in… uh, 1972. Mine was a male, but some of the students in my class got females – while sharks are egg layers, many of them don’t actually “lay” the eggs, but hold them internally so the little critters are more or less live born. Some of the female specimens had egg pouches in them still.

Anyway, shark is not as uncommon in the Yew Ess of Ay is is generally believed. Many generic battered fish is actually shark. I believe it is sometimes called “bluefish.”

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 28, 2011, 4:29 am

I dunno, Nina. MIMI’s restaraunt makes a KILLER hibachi salmon dish. No bones, just nice, sweet meat.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: January 28, 2011, 4:45 am

I was told years ago that you could always tell the people raised Catholic in that they didn’t like fish, being forced to eat it every Friday. 🙂

But I don’t like much, to tell the truth. Pickiest eater you ever did see, that’s me.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: January 28, 2011, 5:07 am

Shark is very good grilled. Meaty, for lack of a better word. I grew up catching leopard and cow sharks in the SF bay. You think you’ve snagged your line on a chunk of driftwood until they get near the surface…than BANG…away they go. Great fighters. I seem to remember some chains of lower-end fish-centric eateries getting busted in the US for passing off shark chunks as scallops a few years back.

That thing looks like a Sturgeon without the diamond plate armor on the sides. Pretty fugly fish.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 28, 2011, 5:37 am

I dunno, Grom. I ate Thresher shark once, and it was like sucking on stale mayonaise…..

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: January 28, 2011, 7:47 am

White is supposed to be superb, very similar to steak. Pity it’s a federal felony to possess, as they are Federally Protected. I want to try Mako, it’s supposed to be quite tasty, as well.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 28, 2011, 12:11 pm

Ohhhhh…lumme some catfish, Deborah. We’re not sure if they eat them here or not; Uncle B wasn’t sure. They don’t eat a lot of freshwater fish, for the obvious reason.

Back home in Tennessee, of course, that’s about all we ate. My grandmother was a great fisherwoman; she lived on the Amite river and used to run her catfish lines every day.

Long ago, there was a restaurant in Nashville called the Gersht House. Best damn pan-fried catfish and hushpuppies inna world.

Comment from steve
Time: January 28, 2011, 1:18 pm

Of course, I yearn to discover the British equivalent of Ho-Ho’s, Ding Dongs and Suzie-Q’s

Of course, there is no british equivalent of these tasty treats.

The Brits are forever tryihng to pass off inedible crud, with disgusting names like “tinkle” “smarmite” and “birdbath pie”, as some kind of special gustitorial piece of resistance.

Frankly, I think that they have been playing these horrible tricks on their children for generations, to the point that. as a nation, they just couldn’t know a decent Twinkie or Ring Ding.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 28, 2011, 2:04 pm

Gerst House. Wow. It’s open again in a new location.

I love the internet.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: January 28, 2011, 2:11 pm

Thanks to a Fawlty Towers episode, I decided to try buttered kipper for breakfast in London once. Limeys will eat anything, it seems.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: January 28, 2011, 2:39 pm

Look out for Mr Kipling as the UK soul food equivalent of Hostess cakes. There’s nothing says a 60’s English childhood like French Fancies, Angel Slices and Cherry bakewells

Comment from Gromulin
Time: January 28, 2011, 3:47 pm

Isn’t Carp fishing a big thing in the UK? I watched a show one time where they were launching balls of chum from the shoreline with some kind of catapult.

Comment from Deborah
Time: January 28, 2011, 4:06 pm

While I was taking chemotherapy, the only “flesh” food I that tasted ok to me was fish—so I had a catfish dinner at least every couple of weeks. (Chicken was barely tolerable and beef was just awful.) I don’t cook catfish myself (husband doesn’t care for it, and it’s fairly easy to find a good restaurant that serves it) but I have the world’s best hush puppy recipe—a blue ribbon winner. Sometimes I fry hush puppies for no good reason at all 🙂

Comment from David Gillies
Time: January 28, 2011, 4:08 pm

Wagon Wheels = Moon Pies
Cadbury’s Mini Rolls = Ding Dongs/Ho Hos
Equivalent of Suzy Qs – I got nuffin’, but as Anon says there might be something in the Mr Kipling direction

I saw swordfish on the menu in a fish and chip shop once. Mind you it was in Godalming (or to be more accurate Munstead, which is the even posher bit of a posh town.) My favourite fish with chips is halibut. Another very good fish, popular in France with frites is turbot. Also note that in British chippies, scampi (basically popcorn shrimp to you Murkins) is more often than not just breaded monkfish. Oh, and Stoaty, try a saveloy next time.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 28, 2011, 5:38 pm

You need a reason to fry hushpuppies? I think not.

Carp fishing is a very big thing here, Gromulin. They don’t eat them, though. I don’t think. Strictly for sport.

Spotting Total Carp magazine on the newsstand cracks me up.

Comment from Mono The Elder
Time: January 28, 2011, 7:21 pm

Sweas, the SOTU address was plagarisim according to steam boat magoo. and THAT figures. (link stolen from him) http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/alvin-felzenberg/2011/01/26/obamas-state-of-the-union-was-tantamount-to-plagiarism

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: January 28, 2011, 10:18 pm

You don’t get much tastier than a plate of Bluegills.

Comment from Deborah
Time: January 28, 2011, 10:20 pm

I’ve been poking around the Total Carp website and I am thunder-struck. I can’t imagine American sport-fishermen being so enthusiastic about carp fishing. Maybe American carp are not the same sort of fish as an English carp?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 28, 2011, 10:41 pm

It’s not as big, but it’s got a following in the States, Deborah. My brother fished for carp and other garbage fish at the foot of the Percy Priest Dam outside Nashville. I remember for years there were two shovel-mouth catfish in the basement freezer (I guess he was going to have them mounted).

Those suckers were, like, five feet long.

Comment from JeffS
Time: January 29, 2011, 12:49 am

Well, if i’m not mistaken, Huss is one of the staples that got Britain through WW-duece, when the U-boats were running rampant……

My father, who was a fighter pilot during Dubya Dubya Two, was stationed in England for a while. From then until the day he died, Dad loathed seafood in nearly all forms from eating it so much in the UK. The only fish that he would eat was tuna, from the can, and with lots of mayo and onions.

And we lived on the shores of Puget Sound, with neighbors who were professional fishermen, or had personal crab pots out in the bay. I grew up on broiled fresh salmon and crab straight from the shell. Mmmmmmmmmm…….

Dad? He had a steak or hamburger. Every time. Oh, well, more for us kids!

Comment from TimB52
Time: January 29, 2011, 7:11 am

I knew a girl in high school with the last name of Huss…

Unfortunately, she looked a lot like that fish.

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