Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, September 01, 2021

When the buzz started up over Labor Day weekend, some three weeks ago here in the New York metro area, I thought everyone was jumping the gun big-time. Why such a fuss over a fairly nondescript holiday?

So naturally, now that the extended weekend is here, it caught me completely flat-footed. So unaware was I of the unofficial end of summer that I have no plans whatsoever from now until Monday.

Which turns out to be just as well, for a couple of reasons. One, the remnants of Tropical Whatever Ernesto are primed to drench us something fierce for the better part of the weekend, so that’s a literal damper on the weekend fun. Two, I’m dead tired today — I’ve already declined two invitations to hit the town. These power-packed workweeks tend to wear you down.

I guess the chief thing I’ll have to adjust to is the already-noticable cooldown in the local climate. The last couple of days, while registering in the low 70s, were noticably chilly. I’d gotten accustomed to the Florida seasonal churn of blazing-hot summer transitioning to mildly-hot autumn; now, I have to readjust to a true shift of seasons. Around here, Labor Day truly is a dividing line between summer and fall!

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/01/2021 09:15pm
Category: New Yorkin', Society, Weather
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Hungry? How does a nice plate of Patagonian Toothfish sound?

Not particularly appetizing, is it? Maybe you’d prefer some Chilean Sea Bass instead.

Of course, the toothfish and sea bass are one and the same. As recounted in Bruce Knetch’s “Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish”, clever rebranding made an oily, unappealing fish the chic du jour in upscale eateries across the world:

The Patagonian toothfish-which can live up to 50 years and grow to six feet long-is an ugly creature considered too bland for eating by most South Americans. Its high fat content, codlike texture and lack of a fishy taste convinced a Los Angeles fish merchant who found the toothfish in Chile in 1977 that, given an exotic new name, it would do quite well in America. By 1998, “Chilean sea bass” had become the hottest restaurant craze: “[e]veryone had to have it.”

Of course, it took some 15 years for the Chilean moniker to catch on. And now, in 2006, the Sea Bass craze has largely passed. But it was an impressive run for what’s essentially a bottom-feeder in its native region.

The fish trade seems to have an affinity for this species brand-tinkering. And it’s not just the eating kind of fish — in the aquarium trade, you’ll find loads of questionable renaming. For instance, the popular rainbow/red-finned shark is, in fact, a minnow. But because people like the idea of owning a shark — miniature and freshwater notwithstanding — it gets marketed that way.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/01/2021 08:51pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food
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