January 17, 2020
MUCH ADO ABOUT FISH
It’s quite difficult to eat fish these days. Either you imagine eating microplastic that the fish ingested or where the fish was grown (our fishponds are legend). I remember going to a crab farm where they fed doughnuts to the crabs! Horrors! No wonder the crabs were all fat and less meat! I wonder how the fish survive on such “fast food” diets!
So, when I get the chance to travel, I look for fish. Maybe they don’t have fishponds like ours. Maybe they have more naturally-farmed fish. Maybe, just maybe, the fish comes from the ocean and not from the lake.
I took the chance to try a sushi place in New York that had a wide choice of fish—either from the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific. What a treat! My niece and I tried yellowtail or Hamachi so reasonably-priced and done in temaki, sashimi, and sushi. She had her fill of Bluepoint oysters topped with Uni or Sea Urchin.
On another occasion, we had a seafood sampler with OYSTERS from the Pacific and the Atlantic. I just love the choices they present of even shellfish, crabs and lobster. The Atlantic Ocean where New York is at grows a different variety and species of marine life. It’s what you can also find when you are in the coastal regions of Spain and Portugal.
And of course, since I was in New York, I had to have lox and bagel. My late father taught me how to eat salmon or lox and bagel with cream cheese and onions on one of our trips to the Big Apple. We could have it in almost every breakfast place in New York as many of the Jewish residents preferred to have this for breakfast.
Every time I get the chance to visit New York, I have bagels from different shops. This time I went to Ess-a-bagel and had their Signature Favorite, then took home a baker’s dozen of their bagels (to get a taste of every kind they baked).
For the salmon fix, my friends brought me to Zabar’s. It’s a popular grocery for appetizers which are Jewish style. It’s an assortment of cream cheese, tofu scallion spread (vegetarian) and lots of salmon. They had different ways of smoking, curing and preserving salmon.
I watched as each gourmand placed his or her order, like “a quarter pound of Sable, please”, a half-pound of Irish cured”, and “belly loin”. I imagined a toro or tuna belly. They make you taste a sliver of the salmon you are considering and after you nod your head, they slice it so gingerly, thinly and removing all the unnecessary middle dark meat, the scraps on the sides, and you get only the best of the best sable and nova kinds. I had a salmon feast at breakfast, savoring each kind that I bought—making my taste buds get familiar with sable vs double-smoked vs belly loin (that is a salty one, not like toro).
This is one salmon experience I will always remember! We were tasting each kind: smoked, cured, sable, nova, double cured, and let our palate have a party. To end our grocery shopping, we stopped at Zabar’s café and had a salmon and cream cheese bagel sandwich and their famous Zabar’s brewed coffee—at 6 pm. Who says you only eat this at breakfast?
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