The scales are falling from our eyes
We used to be afraid of cooking fish, but that's changing, says Lucinda O'Sullivan, as she talks with two scions of fishmonger families
Have we finally got to grips with cooking fish ourselves at home? I actually think we almost have, for certainly there are more cool fishmonger's shops and fishy eateries popping up around the country. It's quite extraordinary really, for an island nation, that down the generations we have been so reluctant to do something as simple as toss a couple of fillets of cod or hake on a pan in butter or olive oil to produce one of the simplest, healthiest and most delicious of dinners.
It's not that we don't like fish, for we have no problem churning out the old breaded poisson, be it a fish finger or triangular shape, of something unknown from the far away deep, and feeling we are feeding our kids quite virtuously. When it comes to the naked fish, I have heard every excuse from 'it smells out the house' to 'scales' and 'bones', but actually I think some people are just afraid in case they make a mess of it.
Some older people still have fish on a Friday - and maybe a Wednesday - for religious reasons. However, the idea of fish being associated as almost a penance really wasn't good. I had a brother-in-law who used hide his knife and fork on a Friday in case they even touched fish!