By Harold McGee
Like meats, fish can be chopped or pounded or ground up and mixed with other ingredients to make balls, cakes, sausages, pâtés, terrines, and so on. This is an excellent way to use small scraps or cooked left-overs, or fish that are bony or otherwise unsuited to serving in large pieces. While meat mixtures are often tenderized and enriched by chunks of fat, and firmed by conversion of the meat’s connective tissue into gelatin, fish contain little connective tissue and no fat that is solid at room temperature. Instead, many fish mixtures aim for a distinctive lightness, and have for many centuries, as is clear from Anthimus’s early version of the classic French dish quenelles de brochet (see box).