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Would You Eat This? #1: Fish Balls
May 11th, 2009 by plumpdumpling

While riding the bus down 2nd Ave. a couple of weekends ago, I forced Dr. Boyfriend out the back door and into a shop called Schaller & Weber, thinking it was a cheese store. Because its sign is yellow and red, which everyone knows are the universal colors of cheese. But no, it turned out to be a totally famous and ancient meat shop that we later saw profiled on this Anthony Bourdain special about disappearing Manhattan culture (about two minutes and 45 seconds in).

One wall of the store was taken up by a display case of various sausages and terrines, the other wall was a refrigerated case of smoked whole fishes and cod roe, and the single section of shelves that filled the entire middle of the tiny room was stacked with foreign chocolates. Which is even better than cured meats, obviously. But there was one little shelf hidden around a corner in the back that contained this:

fish balls in fish-bouillon

And the question is: how much would I have to pay you to eat fish balls in their own bouillon?


8 Responses  
  • Noel writes:
    May 11th, 200912:27 pmat

    Oh my goodness this reminds me of a great story. I used to work for a major insurance company in the underwriting department. Late one evening one of our underwriters was on the phone with an agent. In trying to describe how large his client’s tumor was, the agent said, “It’s about as big as a fish ball.” None of us at the time knew that a fish ball was an actual food that people willingly consumed, so we were perplexed and laughing hysterically. I mean is a fish ball really the first thing you can come up with to compare a TUMOR to? It’s safe to say I have never eaten a fish ball for that reason, among others.

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      May 11th, 20093:52 pmat

      How weeeeeird. I guess we can safely assume this agent was German or Norwegian or one of those other -ans that grew up on rotted shark fin soup or whathaveyou.

      I vote that we start a sport that uses fish balls as its centerpiece. Basketball, football, fishball.

  • Tracey writes:
    May 11th, 20097:30 pmat

    I’ve seen “with salty fish ball” on the menu in a couple of Asian restaurants before. And boy, was I weirded out.

    And, no. I would NOT eat this.

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      May 13th, 20099:31 amat

      Yeah, I mean, that’s really the sort of thing you just don’t advertise. If you want to slide a fish ball in next to my chicken meatballs or whatever, I may be curious and actually take a bite. But if you tell me what it is? Not a chance.

  • kylie writes:
    May 12th, 200912:40 amat

    on my sixteenth birthday, a friend of mine who knows my phobia of fish gave me a can of fish balls as a present. the first thing i did was take them outside and set them on the deck so i wouldn’t have to look at them, but another friend who would put basically anything in her mouth for any amount of money decided to eat one for a penny. the friend who offered the penny threw it in the yard, and the friend who tried to eat the fish ball puked it up, and that is what my sixteenth birthday was like. true story!

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      May 13th, 20099:35 amat

      I love how classically Ohio that story is.

      Your friend who’ll eat anything for any amount should come work for my company! These guys love a good food challenge. If she can do six cans of Yoo-hoo in under a minute, I can guarantee her $10. And a whole gallon of milk in twenty minutes will fetch her even more.

  • spaghedeity writes:
    May 12th, 20098:27 pmat

    Wait, fish have testicles?

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      May 13th, 20094:55 pmat

      I’m starting an experimental steroid-dropping program in the Hudson and East Rivers, so . . . not for long.


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