The Power of Fish Sticks

“The only kind of seafood I trust,” Dave Barry, the humorist, once commented, “is the fish stick, a totally featureless fish that doesn’t have eyeballs or fins.   That’s as good a reason to eat fish sticks as any.   Trust.

Four fish sticks. Photo by: Timo Kirkkala

Clarence Birdseye developed the technology for fast freezing fish.  Gorton’s is credited with first introducing the product here in 1953, winning the Parents Magazine Seal of Approval.  With the widespread adoption of kitchen appliances over the next decade, including the freezer, fish sticks were a hit!

But do fish sticks taste good?  Add a bit of lemon and some tartar sauce, and just about anything tastes good.

As an alternative, sprinkle fish sticks with shredded parmesan cheese and top with spaghetti sauce.  Voila!  Italian.

For a more exotic palate, try Asian Fish Stick Lettuce Wraps.  Add some veggies, carrots and such, to your favorite brand.  Serve with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, coconut milk, and a dash of crushed red pepper.

Concerned about the nutritional value of fish sticks?   Make your own, suggests celebrity chef Rachael Ray.  Start with boneless cod or halibut fillets cut into strips, dip the strips in eggs, and coat them with panko seasoned with a dash of salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Bake at 450 degrees for ten minutes.  It’s easy.

Kids like fish sticks, too, especially the fourth-graders on South Park.

Working on his comedy routine, Jimmy spawned a joke, asking Cartman whether he likes fish sticks.

Do you like tartar sauce? Photo by: Girl Interrupted Eating

Yeah, I like fish sticks,” Cartman replied.

“Do you like putting fish sticks in your mouth?” Jimmy then asked.

“Yeah,” answered Cartman.

“What are you?  A gay fish,” pronounced Jimmy, delivering the punch line.

“Fish… sticks.  Dude, that’s funny as shit.  Let’s try it on the gang,” Cartman shouted, rushing out the door.

The gang liked it, and the joke spread.  A teacher told it to the principal.  A neighbor repeated it at the supermarket.  Jimmy Kimmel, Dave Letterman, and Jay Leno told a version to their audiences, eliciting huge laughs.

A television anchorman commented, “The fish sticks joke crosses all borders, all races, all ages and ethnic groups, and is slowly uniting our country.”

The joke couldn’t fail because the set-up was perfect.  Everyone likes the frozen comfort food.

Know any jokes about hot dogs?  We could use some about now.

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


  1. Any interest in lobbying a campaign to bring back Dinty Moore stew? Fish sticks may be all that you said and more, but haute cuisine they aint! Is one required to use a white cloth serviette when eating fish sticks? Operator, get me Emily Post, stat!

  2. louisa may alcott says:

    The real challenge would be jokes abut gefilte fish, an old new england staple.

  3. I am a fish stick fan. Right up there with tater tots.

  4. Maybe I’m hungry, but this looks really good. Yay, for fish sticks!

  5. Fishing is a wonderful method of maximising the use of of free time, why not try it?

  6. love fishsticks.

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