illustration by mark stivers

Passover Ranch, the sustainable fish seller that has recently come on the scene at the Sunday farmers’ market in Sacramento at Eighth and W streets, has been one of the most exciting bits of food news in the city recently. The live fish being plucked from the tank is one of the best bits of drama to be seen under the freeway.

After you and the stars decide what fish is the fattest and, therefore, most fit to die and be served for dinner, Michael Passover will scoop it out with a net and give it a firm tap on the head, killing it. This past weekend, I observed him giving a carp the coup de grâce while a nearby a parent, who was buying the fish, turned their child (maybe 10 years old) away so as not to witness its humdrum death. The parent then brought the child back to reality, took the fish, which was now safely wrapped in a plastic bag, and gave it to the child to hold—hoping, I assume, the kid was properly sheltered from his food. Or stupid.