List Item: Try 500 of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die
Settle in, this post is going to be a big one in terms of foods being checked off. All of the following items were part of a lunch with my mum and my engagement person (yes, I am sticking with this) with not that much left over if I am completely honest.
The night before lunch I thought it would be a good idea to prepare the smoked trout that has been in my cupboard for the last month. I figured that I wanted to make something spreadable out of it rather than eating it just as it was. I DID have a bit of it straight of the tin and noted the smokiness, meatiness and just how easily it flaked.
However, I find it very hard to leave things be sometimes so made a smoked trout by whizzing the whole tinned fillet with two teaspoons of Dijon mustard, a few pinches of black pepper and a whole 170g tub of Philadelphia Light with cucumber. After spending the night in the fridge I was left with a light and creamy smoked trout moose which I will be wheeling out again at Christmas.
Right, this is a big one so I thought that just to make this a bit easier on me to write and on you to read that I would break this down a bit more.
Green tomato – These were sweet and firm but not as filled with juice as the red or yellow tomatoes. The skin too was thicker than expected. I can really see these making for a nice change of colour in a salsa or as a way to make an ‘alternative’ Caprese salad.
San Marzano tomato – A lot sweeter and juicier than the green tomato and more acidic than regular cherry tomatoes. These would make for a good ragu if you can get larger tomatoes than I did or those that are already tinned.
Sardine – The moment we opened the tin the smell just hit us right away. I was adamant that I had never had a sardine before and then I tasted it… fish paste. When I was younger we used to get fish paste for sandwiches and I never knew what the fish was. It took me back immediately to my younger days as I mushed it onto the crusty white loaf (taking care to de-bone it first) and shoved it down my face hole.
Rollmop – My nan used to make these, my mum and my partner both really like them… but I am yet to be completely sold on them. In fact, as fish go, I found them rather confusing. The fish is buttery, the onions are soft and sweet and the gherkins are rather dominant. Everything should work for me apart from the knowledge that this is a very large piece of (what looks like raw) herring that is entering my mouth. I think I’ll try again at Christmas since there was a lot about it I liked but… it made me feel a little odd eating it.
Potted Shrimp – This is one of those things on the fish list that I have been curious about for ages, but no longer… it was not good at all. The thing is that I don’t like things that are too buttery or too creamy. That is why I don’t get on with mashed potato or anything that calls for melted butter to be poured over, actually makes me feel a little sick. So the taste of solidified butter and some brown prawns didn’t really stand too much of a chance.
Westphalian Ham – I think I have said before on this blog (no clue where) that, when it comes to meat, there isn’t much that can beat a good bit of smoked ham. The finocchiona salami is a bit of an exception to this rule since the power of the fennel seeds make this truly delicious and I am trying to introduce it to as many people that will listen. Anyway, the Westphalian was a fairly regular smoked ham, if I had the choice in smoked hams I would stick to the Black Forest ham.
Two different cultivars of plum, both with French origins and both rather delicious. Firstly there is the larger greengage which in texture is a bit like a slightly under-ripe plum but still sweet and juicy… but it does pale in comparison to the mirabelle. Small and yellow this plum cultivar has a small pip and a honeyed sweetness that means you can’t eat too many of them in one go (although you’d probably give it a good college try).