The Bard once asked “What’s in a name?” And while Shakespeare may have believed that changing the name of the rose does not affect its beautiful smell, a lot of marketers (and much of their audience) do not follow the same logic. This aversion to unpleasantly named things, many of which have come to be misnomers, has made it difficult for certain things to be appropriately marketed.
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Take, for instance, the story of the fish scientifically known as Dissostichus eleginoides. It had been known in English as the Patagonian toothfish due to its hideous visage, and yet a fish importer had found that the palatable and oily flesh would fit in well in the American market, given its healthy nature. It was renamed the Chilean Sea Bass and became a surprise hit. Likewise, the common and perfectly edible dogfish (a family of very small sharks) had been marketed under the more palatable if euphemistic name “Rock Salmon.” The dogfish has since grown in popularity in Europe regardless of its name.
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Although the common names of animals usually reflect their nature, they are sometimes misleading and often have no bearing on whether they taste good. Exceptions, such as the Japanese Sweetfish, do occur where the fish needs not be renamed.
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Regardless of what their names are or what they look like, some fish species are underrated and make excellent food.