by John Doyle
In one of the opening numbers of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, Oklahoma!, Curly tries to persuade Laurey to go to the box social with him by promising to take her there “in the slickest gig ya ever seen” – the surrey with the fringe on top.
It’s a sweet ride. The wheels are yella, the upholstery’s brown, the dashboard’s genuine leather, with isinglass curtains you can roll right down, in case there’s a change in the weather.
When I first heard about isinglass curtains during rehearsal for our high school’s rendition of Oklahoma!, I pictured an exotic, delicate roll-able crystal sheet. Turns out isinglass curtains are actually made from the dried swim bladders of fish like sturgeon or cod. Not as romantic, of course, but certainly nothing to fear.
Until now. Fish bladders are all over the news this week, striking fear into the hearts of beer drinkers everywhere. Why? Well, according to food blogger, Vani Hari, some beer brands “are trying to slowly poison us with cheap and harmful ingredients,” like fish bladders.