Little Fiddies

The school of fish will be familiar to you – they’re the soy sauce bottles for sushi.

Small, cute, convenient. They are decried by environmentalists who would have you send them money to enable them to decry, but welcomed by people with rolls of rice and tuna. Made in many factories and available filled or empty.

A Japanese author has published a scientific book classifying them according to characteristics and found group and genus slots into which to put them. I would read it, but the only issue is in Japanese.

We are told that the plastic tail of the fish is perfect for spreading wasabi paste on the sushi…possibly, but that may just be invention. What is undoubted, however is that most of the solid-tail fish are numbered. And the numbers change.

At a recent meal we found various numbers moulded into the tails from 3 to 55 and were puzzled as to what that indicated. Several explanations were posited:

a. It is batch code for various production runs of soy sauce.

b. It is some way of machine counting for packaging.

c. It is a way of identifying an individual mould into which the plastic is blown.

I am inclined to the last-named as it would allow inspectors to pinpoint a mould in an automatic multiple machine that might have a problem.

Any real account of this number is welcome to this columnist.

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