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The One Meal You'll Never See Served At A Blue Bloods Family Dinner

Pandemic or no pandemic, there's one thing viewers have been able to count on since 2010: The Reagan family on Blue Bloods will always be there in New York City to clean up crime. Every episode, there's a new incident to investigate, and considering most of the Reagans work in law enforcement, they pretty much all get a chance to shine at least a little bit. But one way in which the show has managed to differentiate itself from other police procedurals is with the increased focus on the familial connection, which is emphasized with the Reagan family dinners that take place every episode. 

Within the show, no matter what kind of crazy cases the Reagans have had to deal with earlier in the episode, they always manage to come together to enjoy one meal a week as a family. This gives them an opportunity to discuss issues they faced earlier and share different points of view. For many fans, the family dinner is the best part of any Blue Bloods episode, and People has even gone so far as to call it "the heart" of each episode.

The Reagans' weekly family dinners also exemplify their Irish-Catholic values, which even helps inform the kind of food they eat. Prop master Jim Lillis told People more about what goes into preparing a meal: "It's usually a meat or chicken, always some version of potatoes and a vegetable, salad and rolls." There's a lot of variation you can get with that simple formula, but in a separate interview, Lillis said there's one food that you'll never see pop up at the Reagans' table.

Salmon is never on the menu for a Reagan family dinner on Blue Bloods

In an interview with The Virginian-PilotLillis spoke at length at what goes into filming one of the famous dinner scenes, and by the sound of it, it's one of the most intensive shoots in the entire show. It may not seem like much since it's just a bunch of people sitting around a table, but when you take into account the fact that all the main actors have to be there and their eating has to look natural the whole time, it becomes quite the ordeal. Then there's the matter of the food itself. That's not Hollywood magic; the food is real, and considering filming can take several hours (if not the whole day), the actors can't afford to fill up too quickly. 

Since the food may be out for hours, the meal shouldn't really consist of anything that will start smelling funny. According to Lillis, there's one food in particular they don't mess with. "We avoid [salmon]," he explained. "That's because the shoot may take hours. Fish is fragile." 

The Virginian-Pilot also mentioned how salmon was served for a dinner in a single episode, and that was probably enough to convince everyone involved with production to never use it again. Anyone who's ever had to work in an office where someone stunk up the break room by reheating salmon can attest that it's best to keep the fish away from others. 

Instead, the crew tends to use roast chicken or pot roast as the meal's protein, but there's also been duck, prime rib, and all kinds of other good stuff. Apparently, no one in the Reagan household is a vegetarian.