FRESH FROM THE SEA

As a born and bred landlubber, I have never been enamoured at the sight of ‘fresh fish’ – albeit often frozen – for sale at supermarkets. I am more familiar with the ready crumbed or battered fish that come in brightly coloured boxes, ready to be popped into the oven. My early experiences fishing in the farm dam with my brothers didn’t endear me to fresh fish either: I preferred using yellow mealiemeal ‘pap’ as bait instead of threading earthworms onto the hook; the gutting of the fish was not my favourite occupation – nor did I enjoy scaling the fish. All in all, I have not been groomed to enjoy food from the sea and have tended to regard it all with a degree of suspicion.

Suspicion lurked deep within me when one of our party ordered a fish from one of the Arniston fishermen. Not long after the boats had come in with their morning catch I saw two of them walk up to the house we were staying in, one carrying a long fish by the gills.

“What kind of fish is this?” I asked brightly whilst finding a sack for him to lay the fish onto.

“Dis ‘n Geelstert,” he replied. I have heard of Yellow-tail of course. In fact I can rattle off the names of several fish species if answering a quiz, but don’t ask me to identify them.

He didn’t mind me photographing him at work – I had no idea he would move so quickly or deftly.

Naturally enough we agreed to his suggestion that he fillet the fish for us.

He wrapped the leavings in the bag and took them away with him. I eyed the fish suspiciously. How was that going to feed twelve people? It spent the day in the ‘fridge. I wondered idly if I should cook another dish to go with it: it looked so ‘flat’ and thin. Then we had a fish braai … I thought of the parable of the loaves and the fishes … I smelled the delicious aroma as the fish cooked … I took a small bite … and enjoyed every mouthful. There was plenty for everyone and I am now convinced that fish fresh from the sea tastes like heaven on earth.

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8 thoughts on “FRESH FROM THE SEA

  1. You had me smiling here. Despite the fact that I grew up inland and was raised on a daily diet of lamb/mutton, I now prefer fish. Whenever I find West Coast snoek or Yellowtail (freshly frozen 😄) in the shop, I fill my freezer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Anne – I am so glad you had that experience. That yellow-tail was fresh from the sea – that makes all the difference. My hubby is a recreational fisherman and we have a regular diet of fresh fish. Today being Good Friday I hoped he and his friend Ray would go out to se and bring home a fresh yellowtail. (It’s a Catholic tradition to eat fish on Good Friday) But alas the rainy weather put them off – so no fish for Good Friday for us! And no – I won’t eat frozen fish – too spoilt with fresh from the sea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘Braai’ in South Africa means the same as ‘barbecue’ elsewhere i.e. cooking food over hot coals. In this case the fish was wrapped in foil and cooked outside on the hot coals.

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