Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Went out for a very posh lunch yesterday. My main course was salmon with 'scallop' which turned out to be just that: a single (albeit delicious) scallop, used as a garnish. And no wonder. Commercially, they cost a fortune.
Which took me (inevitably) back to Gigha, earlier this summer. We were given a large bag of cleaned scallops by a fisherman friend. We took them to our self catering cottage, and Alan cooked them, flash frying them in a little olive oil and pressed garlic. We ate them at the picnic table outside the cottage, looking down into the bay, at the turquoise blue waters from which they had been dredged. We divided them between five of us, one each, and another, and another, until they were all gone. Fortunately the teens in our party didn't like the look of them. We didn't press the point. We must have had about seven or eight each. They were completely delicious, tender, and with a real tang of the sea about them - that faintly astringent taste of really fresh shellfish from clean salty waters....
Afterwards it struck me that all my most memorable meals seem to have been fishy: sardines with salty potatoes and spicy sauce in a small restaurant in Candelaria on Tenerife, mussels in Bruges, and again, this year, in the south of France, fresh crab on Gigha, and now scallops from the same place. But the scallops were most definitely the winner.

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