Friday, October 9, 2009

A Fishy Story

On my way home from the gym, I stopped by the fishmongers and picked up a nice looking whole trout.  There was a time when I would have turned around and run before buying a whole fish.
When I arrived in Spain, 6 months after Mark, he told me that he thought it would be nice to have some fresh fish once a week.  After all, we were a mere 60 km from the ocean and he felt we should take advantage of the accessibility to quality fresh seafood.  Besides, he had really come to enjoy a whole grilled fish.  An image of my Spanish Host Mother, from many years earlier, sucking on the heads of whole grilled shrimp came to mind, and I said "You have got to be kidding."  After all, I come from NM in the middle of the desert and had no idea how to buy or cook a whole fish.
I wanted to be a good wife, especially since we were newlyweds, so it was off to the fish store.  I held my breath as I entered and looked around.  Other than a couple of swordfish steaks, there was not a single filet for sale.  Just the whole shebang--head, scales, fins, and guts all included.  I approached the counter and was closely examining the fish.  At the exact moment that I realized some of the fish had teeth, I heard "Que te pongo?"  I can only imagine the look on my face, as I turned around and fled the store.
After several days on the internet, I learned all that I needed to know about cooking a whole fish.  The next time I entered the fish store I was able to confidently make a purchase.  The guy offered to clean it for me, but I told him I wanted to give it a try on my own.  I was surprised by how easy it is to clean a fish, and from that day on I have had no problem buying and cleaning a whole fish.  In fact, I now prefer buying a fish whole, since it is much easier to tell how fresh it by looking at its eyes.
That being accomplished, the next step is going to be getting a fishing rod and heading out to the Jetty.


  1. I much prefer them grilled whole as well. I've also recently been introduced to fish head curry where the cheeks of the fish are considered to be a delicacy and they were pretty darn good. I also tried an eye-ball which will be the last time I'll do that!

  2. @ Quickroute my parents eat Halibut cheek all the time--maybe when I visit them in a couple of months I'll get to try them. I haven't had a chance at the eyeball yet, and think I'll pass.