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Breaking: It’s not true that you shouldn’t order fish on Mondays, says the man who popularized the idea

Reuters/Sergio Moraes
Go ahead, have the fish.
  • Zachary M. Seward
By Zachary M. Seward

Editor-in-chief of Quartz

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

“Don’t order fish on Mondays” is one of the best-known rules of culinary lore, but it’s not true, according to the man who popularized the idea.

“I never order fish on Monday,” wrote Anthony Bourdain in his 1999 memoir Kitchen Confidentialexplaining that restaurants typically work with supplies purchased the previous Thursday. It was a vivid insider’s detail in a popular book, and it took hold.

But questioned about the advice 17 years later, Bourdain admits it’s no longer accurate. ”That was 1999,” he said in an interview with Anderson Cooper at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in Cannes, France. “The world has changed now.”

“Maybe if you’re eating in an Irish pub, don’t order the mussels on Monday on special, but in most places…” Bourdain said, his voice trailing off. Restaurants now are more likely to use fresh ingredients, he said.

“‘Don’t eat fish on Monday’ will unfortunately be on my headstone.”

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