Fat Tuesday came and went earlier this week, meaning that Lent got underway on Wednesday. And with it comes the beginning of fish fry season in Wisconsin.
All around the state, the devout and the just plain hungry have started their Friday migration to local bars and restaurants in search of golden filets hot from the deep fryer. Of course, the Friday fish fry isn’t unique to Wisconsin, but it is certainly where it’s been raised to an art form.
So as we embark on our annual feeding frenzy, we’d like to give a nod to those unsung heroes that make this local tradition possible: the fish.
Whether it be lake perch, bluegill, walleye or, in a pinch, cod, these luminaries of the lake spent the past year quietly growing fat and delicious, patiently waiting for just the right moment to be caught, then cooked and finally served to you.
To the untrained eye, they’re just swimming around, staring blankly into the middle distance and doing nothing in particular. But we know the truth: their tiny fish minds are singularly focused on making you rub your belly in the glow of the Friday night neon beer lights.
So the next time you are seated at your favorite establishment, surrounded by friends and the din of a lively dining room, remember to pause and raise your brandy old fashioned to the ones who make the magic happen. Thank you, fish. Without you we’d just be glumly eating tartar sauce.