Template talk:Seafood

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WikiProject Food and drink (Rated Template-class)
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WikiProject Fisheries and Fishing (Rated NA-class)
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Selection rules for 'Seafood dishes' in this template[edit]

I added Paella, which is often considered kind of national dish of Spain, to this template. However this was reverted by User:Epipelagic who claims template is for broad categories of dishes only. However, it currently includes a number of specific dishes which may be popular in (some parts of) the USA, like Cioppino, Chowder, Fish and chips, but rather uncommon elsewhere in the world. It also includes the selectively chosen Bisque (food) and Shark fin soup which may have their own story but are definitely not broad categories.

On the other hand, from those included articles which are really broad categories like Fish soup etc. I was unable to find one which would include Paella. This would also hold for any fish salad like Dressed herring.

In contrast, the page Fish_(food) has a section Dishes which includes what different editors consider to be worth mentioning and this section tries to include a selection of most popular or interesting dishes from different cultures all over the world. --Off-shell (talk) 21:55, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

There are so many seafood dishes that discrimination has to be used to trim them to a manageable level. I agree Cioppino should not be there (it was slipped in by an IP and not noticed). The items that are currently on the template refer either to groups such as fried fish or fish soup, or to methods, such as bisque or chowder. Fish and chips is included because it is an iconic dish throughout the English speaking world. Shark fin soup is notorious, and warrants inclusion for that reason. I think a factor in making decisions should also be how many page views an article receives. On this basis, Paella seems to have a case for being included. On the other hand, it seems that it is a regional dish in Spain, and is often not made with seafood at all. Do you think it really ranks with fish and chips? Alternatively, you could write an article on fish salads and then include Paella in the article. I wouldn't place much significance on the section on "Dishes" in Fish (food). I'm the main writer of that article, and I just didn't get round to trimming that list. --Epipelagic (talk) 09:05, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, Paella is not a salad, but a warm main course. I just mentioned that seafood salads are also not covered by the other overview articles. I have an impression that in the current form, the list is systemically biased to what is well known in the UK and/or USA. I see there mostly dishes common in the British and US cuisines but mostly unknown elsewhere. Even something sounding like an overview, e.g. Fish pie or Seafood boil appears to be another traditional British and US dish respectively. Also, Bisque and Chowder seem to be just specific types of fish soup which already covered by the overview. The list must be balanced to represent the world view. Therefore I included Paella which is considered a national dish and is not covered by any other review page. I think one should better choose a few dishes which are kind of iconic in different parts of the world. --Off-shell (talk) 14:12, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Systemic bias[edit]

When writing about seafood dishes, there is bound to be bias towards the dishes of English speaking people since this the English wikipedia. I want to make some remarks about this "systemic bias" that may be viewed by some editors as wikipedically or politically incorrect. Let's take Korea as an example. Why would a Korean look up the English wikipedia for articles on Korean seafood when they have their own encyclopedia? And who else apart from Koreans are likely to want such articles? Conversely, as an English speaking person it would not occur to me to look up the Korean wikipedia for information on English seafood dishes. Surely details like this belong in the language versions where there is likely to be interest. If as an English speaking person, you want more details on Korean dishes, there is always the option to look at the Korean entries translated by Google.

In any case, it is going to be difficult for editors on the English wikipedia to write about all the different seafoood dishes in non English speaking countries. I don't think that is a practical option... it's just not going to happen. Personally, I don't know how to write about the seafood specialities of countries I know little about. The information may be in books written in other languages, but I comprehend very few languages. I wouldn't write the articles anyway, because I'm unlikely to encounter those dishes in my own life, and because hardly anyone else reading the English wikipedia will want to read them. There are so many more pressing articles waiting to be written. It's a matter of effectively using what knowledge resources we have for writing Wikipedia, and not squandering that energy trying attain some utopian but impractical balance across all countries.

If this quest for lack of "bias" is to be carried to its logical conclusion, then all the other language wikipedias must also include everything about seafood dishes from all round the work. The Koreans will have their own encyclopedia clogged with things like how New Zealanders source and cook their whitebait and fish and chips. That is a matter which might interest me, but would surely be of little interest to most Koreans. For me to demand that the Korean encyclopedia caters in this way to the interests of New Zealanders would be bordering on abuse. I imagine Koreans editors already have their work cut out trying to build their own language version, and would resent demands that they redirect their energies and write about what New Zealanders do with seafood.

That said, there are some seafood articles that should not show a systemic bias. Examples would be some of the overview articles, such as the main Seafood article itself, and most particularly the History of seafood article. I mostly wrote those articles, and I'm happy to cooperate with you and improve their balance. I think the best way to resolve the issue as far as seafood dishes go, would be write a few overview articles specifically on seafood dishes. For example, there is an article giving a global overview that is simply called Seafood dishes. However at the moment it is little more than a stub. Perhaps you would be willing to expand it so it meets your concern about inadequate coverage? In addition further articles could be written that that give regional overviews, such as Seafood dishes of Asia. --Epipelagic (talk) 22:03, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

I would probably disagree with your view. Let's split your arguments in who would read it? and who would write it?.
Who would read it? You ask "Why would a Korean look up the English wikipedia for articles on Korean seafood...?". My question is: "Where would a Swedish tourist who visits Korea look up for Korean seafood?" For example, when I visited Marceille I liked their bouillabaisse, and when I was in Spain I saw Paella in many restaurants in almost every town. So I wanted to read in Wikipedia about these dishes. I don't speak spanish and my french is just rudimentary. In fact many articles on particular dishes of different countries appear to be written in very different language sections of Wikipedia. E.g. the bouillabaisse and paella articles are available in more than 30 different languages. However, since english is nowadays the lingua franca of the world, most of such information can be found on the English Wikipedia.
Who would write it? First of all, for this particular template I didn't ask to include each and every seafood dish of the world. I would be happy to see global overviews on basic topics linked here, something like fish soup, fish pie/cake, seafood salad etc. And for the choice of the few selected dishes I suggested to choose the most "striking" ones from all over the world which surely have already been written, because these are important cultural elements for the respective communities.
Now in general, my dream is indeed that all language sections of Wikipedia have almost the same content with just little deviations reflecting the language and the local background. (E.g. in the English section, one would write that pirog is a general kind of Russian pie, and in the Russian section one may write about British rybnyi pirog (fish pie) because pirog is just the Russian for pie.) I know it may take 1000 years for this dream, but currently the project seems to have no time limit. The editors come and go, the stubs get filled with more information, the quality gradually improves. For some people cooking is just an unimportant trivial thing, some others write whole culinary encyclopedia. I saw long edit wars on the question who was the inventor of Caucasian matzoon, the Georgians or the Armenians, or who invented manti. In Category:Dumplings or in Category:Skewered foods you will find a huge number of articles on the respective local styles of these foods. And as so many editors from so many regions write in the English wikipedia, many readers often prefer the English one to their own language section, even on their local topics!
Finally, coming to your proposal on the global overviews. I would be interested in reading them, but I cannot contribute much to their writing. I know the subject too badly. When I saw this template, I just wondered, that although I have lived for long times in three different countries, and travelled to some other 20 countries, most of the dishes on this list were unknown to me. Therefore I wanted to add at least paella, because I knew about its status in Spain. Actually it's rather funny, that we have here such a fundamental discussion out of such a minor thing as a navigation template. It's nice to get this experience of intercultural communication.;) --Off-shell (talk) 11:43, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I like your dream of having just one global Wikipedia, translated and tweaked for each local language version. That would make a lot of sense. But wouldn't the mechanics of trying to keep all the language versions up to date be a tedious nightmare? --Epipelagic (talk) 18:54, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I think it would be extremely difficult, if nont impossible, to have a global wikipedia. There is a current, rather heated, discussion on Talking birds about whether the birds "utter" or "mimic" human speech. It seems the advocates for "utter" do not have English as their first language whereas advocates of "mimic" do. ...and this is over just one word! To my mind, there might be an over-riding interest in a foreign dish such that it should be included in English wikipedia, but it depends on the subject of the article. For instance, I recently started an article Eating live animals. The majority of these are served in Asian countries and would not be eaten in the Western world, but they are of interest to English-speaking readers, perhaps for their shock value to our culture. However, if I had written an article on rice dishes and included Asian examples, I suspect the list would have been huge and of limited interest to English Wikipedia readers.__DrChrissy (talk) 19:09, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry to see you are still having to endure the great affliction of the odious IP hopping troll. You must be turning into a Wikipedia saint! --Epipelagic (talk) 20:32, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it is becoming rather tedious. Would not be surprised if the Troll turned up on here!__DrChrissy (talk) 00:01, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
I also agree that a global Wikipedia would be quite a challenging task. From time to time some articles are just directly translated to the other language sections. I can imagine, that at least the topics which do not need continuous development (e.g. articles on history, classical arts, older parts of science, and yes, on traditional cuisine ;)) may at some time converge to common versions. Those which need regular updates, like modern politics, will probably never be global. --Off-shell (talk) 21:57, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Selection rules for species of fish in this template[edit]

I added some species to the list in this template, but most of them were deleted by User:Epipelagic claiming that this is only for widespread and highly commercial food fish. Now which criteria are applied to classify it as widespread and highly commercial? Just to illustrate:

  • European sprat: "Canned sprats (usually smoked) are available in many north European countries, including the Baltic states, Scandinavia, Ireland, Germany, Poland and Russia. They are an important Latvian export." In Russia they have kind of cult status, there is even a monument to canned sprats in Kaliningrad.
  • Gilt-head_bream: "is widely used in Mediterranean cooking...", "In Spain, it ... is both commercially fished and raised in fish farms." Actually it is consumed everywhere throughout Western and Southern Europe.
  • I would also like to include Zander, which is highly popular in Central, Northern and Eastern Europe. But I suspect it may also not qualify.
  • Pacific_saury: "Saury, or sanma, is one of the most prominent seasonal foods representing autumn in Japanese cuisine." Canned saury is also widespread in Russia, similar to Sardine in Western Europe
  • Haddock: "is a very popular food fish, sold fresh, smoked, frozen, dried, or to a small extent canned. Haddock, along with Atlantic cod and plaice, is one of the most popular fish used in British fish and chips."

I would say the role of these species as food is not smaller than say that of shark which is already included in the template. --Off-shell (talk) 22:30, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

There are thousands of commercial fish species which are used as food fish. The template would be overbearing and cumbersome if discrimination is not used to confine it to the more important species or species groups. The fish currently on the template have been chosen because they are widespread and a very high tonnage is used annually as food fish. The basis for those decision are in the FAO fact sheets which summarize the world capture and aquaculture of different species as officially reported by governments around the world to the FAO. For example, you included haddock, which is indeed a somewhat commercial fish, but it is entirely overshadowed by the importance of the closely related cod fishes. Sprats are commercially minor compared to the related herrings and sardines. There might be a marginal case for Pacific saury, but gilt-head bream is well out of the running (140 thousand tonnes annually from aquaculture, confined mainly to the Mediterranean), as are zander and walleye. --Epipelagic (talk) 08:11, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
OK, let's look at the tonnage:
  • Some of the currently included ones in the template:
    • Sturgeon - I couldn't retrieve current tonnage data. Probably rather small nowadays, because most of the species are endangered, and because it is rather difficult for growing in aquaculture? But you would probably anyway argue that it is specially important due to its caviar.
    • Shark - 500-600 kt (taken from the plot on the page), though taking into account that very often only fins are used for cooking, the actual significance as seafood is probably lower
    • Eel - < 300 kt? (FAO Japanese 260 kt + FAO European 10-15 kt + American_eel < 10 kt)
  • So these should qualify:

--Off-shell (talk) 13:45, 18 January 2014 (UTC)