In celebration of the holidays, I was invited to go out to eat with family friends. I knew to clear my plans because they already confirmed the reservation with the restaurant; however I found out later on that they weren’t calling to see how many people were attending, they were calling to confirm how much soup to reserve.
Reserving soup? Yeah I know, it sounded strange to me too. Apparently they had to put down a deposit to reserve soup for 8 people and I thought, “Wow, this soup must be really good.”
When the soup arrived, I took glanced at it, got my shot and admired what I thought were pretty clear noodles in the center.
The staff served us with individual bowls, and then they put the ham and chicken (from the soup) on the turn table.
When I took a sip, the flavors tasted familiar, but a distant familiar. Maybe it was the salt from the ham? Maybe I was too busy enjoying the tender pieces of chicken. Baffled by the combination, I inquired about the clear-noodle like ingredient… and that’s when I heard, “Noodles?? These aren’t noodles! That’s shark fin!”
I looked down at my bowl and it all started to make sense. The soup reservation. The price tag. The celebration. The status symbol. With a head nod, a smile and a thank you, I put down my spoon and placed my bowl of soup gently back on the turn table.
It’s not that I’m a vegetarian…
I think we all know this by now.
It’s not that I was full…
It’s because I’m not supposed to eat it. Mama Ma said so.
Why? Well when I was 10 or 11 years old, Mama Ma heard a report about sharks becoming endangered because of this particular soup. Killed and wasted solely for their fins, she told me to remind my father not to order Shark Fin Soup during dinner. And I’m pretty sure I said, “No soup for you!” more than the Soup Nazi in Midtown…
So what would you do? Could you refuse this prestigious bowl of soup? Or would you devour this delicacy?