Each year, the Ministry of Health of Egypt warns: stay away from the use of pesikh. This traditional Egyptian dish is made from dead or fermented fish. This strange mullet delicacy has been around for thousands of years. But any slightest violation of cooking technology can lead to poisoning with botulinum toxins, and in the most severe cases – to death. What makes the Egyptians risk their lives every time they use this dish?
The History of Pesikh in Cairo
For some specialized stores, the Ministry’s warnings only helped to quickly sell products. Sabri Shain, the owner of a family-owned fish shop, laughs: “We consider this a positive advertisement.”
This business has a rich history. About a hundred years ago, the patriarch of the family, Mohammed Shahin, arrived in Cairo from Minya, located on the banks of the Nile River, in upper Egypt. In 1912, he created the eponymous store and became the first fasakhani – a man who specializes in the production of fermented fish. And so began the story of a family franchise. Now the largest store, opened in 1955, sells caviar, herring, squid and other seafood. Continue reading