Thursday, November 17, 2005
I was in the midst of my first social gathering with Gert's entire family when I tasted raw Herring. It would have been rude to say no and so, as with the special liver dish in Edirne, Turkey, I did as the natives were doing and ate.
It was superb! I'd always had this idea that raw fish would be tasty. I grew up near the beach, and was more than familiar with mouthfuls of salt water ... and so, it seemed to me that anything that grew in it had to taste good. Bluff Oysters confirmed it, and later, Scallops and Mussels, Blue Cod and Gropher convinced me.
But raw fish ... You know, growing up in Mosgiel did place some limits on my culinary development. World cruisine didn't really hit town in those days of my childhood, and my Southern Hemisphere, South Pacific upbringing may have caused me to look with suspicion (and a naughty jaundiced eye) on all things that emerge from the dirty ol' Northern Hemisphere seas. I imagine many a nuclear submarine, wrecked and leaking its poison, and then there's the sheer mass of population on this side of the world... what's a girl to think?
So here I am, living in Belgium ... enclosed by some of the big name countries that specialised in acid rain and the like, and I'm eating raw fish from the North Sea. As I sit here, I can see the nuclear power plant, about 3kms from me as the crow flies, belching it's 'condensation clouds'. And just across the river from the 'twin towers of evil', I can see the flame flare of the worlds' second largest maritime petro-chemical centre burning off whatever it is that it has to burn off sometimes.
But the Herring is so good ... and what's the problem with a little glow in dark if one is amongst friends.