Friday, 21 April 2017
Stuff Greeks Eat
This is a lump of salted fish roe, Greek caviar. These are the tiny fish eggs, from grey mullet, that are the base of taramasalata, mainly eaten during Lent. The best taramas is a dark pink bordering on beige. The cheaper it is the brighter the pink, due to artificial food colouring.
Fish eggs are a terrific source of Omega-3 and when mixed with virgin olive oil it becomes a super food. My father-in-law made taramasalata with the roe, lots of olive oil and lemon juice, all pounded in a pestle and mortar. Strong flavours, very salty and acidic. We now use a blender and add lots of soaked bread or boiled potato as well as some onion. The resulting puree is agreeably smooth and mildly fishy.
This fish in Greek is called a 'smyrna'. I'm pretty sure in english it is a moray eel. It certainly is a fish to keep clear of and not one that many people like to eat. It has a long eel-like body and a mouth full of very sharp teeth.
Often other fishermen will give one to K because they cannot sell them. We chop them into slices and fry them till the skin is very crisp. They are a great tasting fish but have a sort of jelly-like substance next to the bone which some find a little unpleasant.
Yuk. Searching in the freezer today for some cuttlefish I came across something wrapped in supermarket paper. I opened it up of course to see what it was. I shudder even now. Look what I found. Two chicken feet. They are absolutely disgusting, yellow and scaly and with what looks like long fingernails. They were speedily rewrapped and returned to the back of the freezer.
I may take a photo when K eventually gets round to cooking these but it will be a very fast photo and a swift retreat!
My father-in-law used to enjoy eating chicken heads and feet, at the dinner table. Not an experience I want to recall.
A sink hole, the Grand Canyon, the black hole of Calcutta.
I baked a cake yesterday, a lemon cake, a cake I've made a dozen times with great success. In the middle of the baking our neighbour popped in to say 'hi, what's going on?" We had the Albanian cleaning the garden. I should have spat three times. I should have crossed myself, turned around and shaken the evil eye out of my clothes. I should have at least crossed the cake when I put it in to cook.
The cake sank. As I took it out of the oven it gave up the ghost and collapsed in the middle. It was perfectly cooked. The cake was one of the most delicious I've ever made. It didn't really matter that it sank. But that's the 'evil eye'. Believe it or beware!!