The Mystery of the Orange Underwear
By: Chef Cristian Feher
I was reluctant to write this article, but after realizing that it would be a public service, I decided to do it.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a chef - let’s call him, Daniel. He had some friends over for dinner one night. The beer was golden, the shrimp cocktails had quickly become extinct, the steamed fish was applauded, and dessert was relished. All in all, an excellent dinner was had by all.
The next morning, after running some errands around town and coming back home from the bank, Daniel went to the bathroom. He pulled down his pants and sat on the toilet. He was surprised to see the back of his khaki pants full of orange-colored oil! Had he sat in something? Car seat.... sofa.... nope. “What did I sit in?” He wondered. This was highly irregular. It appeared as if he had sat on a really oily slice of pizza. But there was no pizza around, nor had he recalled sitting on anything.
He threw his laundry in the hamper and changed into a new pair of pants and underwear. Still wondering what he had sat in, he quickly realized that the back of his new pants had become saturated in orange oil again! Was this a joke? This couldn’t be. What was happening?
After consulting WebMd and Google (while sitting on a plastic shopping bag), he came to the conclusion that he was experiencing what medical professionals refer to as “anal leakage”. He furiously Googled the items he had eaten in the past 24 hours, and it wasn’t long before the perpetrator was discovered - Escolar.
Daniel had purchased a few pounds of escolar fillets for the dinner party, and also for some of his customers a few days prior. This was a new fish the seafood market had introduced. It turns out that escolar is a bi-product of the tuna fishery. Against recommendation by the FDA, it is sold in many markets as an edible fish. Escolar has a clean taste and firm, white flesh. But it has one problem.
It contains large amounts of a waxy, oily substance called gempylotoxin. In some people it can be digested with no problems, but in others it can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and orange oil that will leak out of your butt, onto your pants, unbeknownst to you, for the world to see. If you like to play Russian roulette with your keister, I highly recommend this fish.
A chill hit Daniel when he realized that he had fed this, not only to his dinner guests the night before, but to some of his customers a few days prior. After some hasty emails, he got word from two dinner guests who were less than pleased about their new, albeit temporary, condition and stained pantaloons. But the worst part for Daniel was having to write one of the most embarrassing and awkward emails he had ever written to his customers.
Try writing this in a polite and professional way. “I’m sorry, but I fed you toxic fish. By now you’ve probably realized that orange oil has uncontrolably leaked out of your butt - that’s from the fish. Won’t happen again. My bad!”