Rosh Hashana begins Monday night, marking the start of the Jewish new year 5769. As with most Jewish holidays, it is customary to eat certain types of food as part of the religious ritual.
Many Jews have a tradition to have a fish head on the table, in addition to the apple, honey, pomegranate, carrots, spinach, etc. Being an angler gives you an opportunity to have unique fish heads on the table, from species you wouldn't be able to find at most fish stores or supermarkets.
A couple years back, my wife asked for the smallest head possible, as it isn't something she likes to eat, see or smell at our table. I obliged and beheaded a 3 inch perch, placed the head in a ziplock bag and brought it out for the meal. My in laws had a good laugh, wondering if I couldn't catch anything bigger for the holiday.
Last year, my kids all wanted something more impressive, I kept the head of a 9 lb Northern pike for the occasion. I froze it with it's mouth open wide, as nothing impresses kids more when it comes to fish heads than a nice set of teeth. They ended up shoving an apple in it's mouth too. Needless to say, my wife was less than thrilled with this pike staring at her just as she's getting ready to eat.
This year, we are invited to my parents for that meal, so I won't be beheading any fish, I'm sure all you catch and release fans are thrilled. Conservation aside, what fish heads have you used for you Rosh Hashana table?