Friday, October 13, 2006
Hooked, Pirates, Poaching, And the Perfect Fish by G. Bruce Knecht
Here is the good news: If you didn't know about Chilean Sea Bass, you are in for a treat. Here is the bad news: You can't eat it anymore. This book is a fascinating tale about the discovery and subsequent marketing bonanza of the Patagonian toothfish, re-named Chilean Sea Bass. If you have eaten this fish, then you know how good it is...juicy, great texture, nice flavor, but not too strong. Strangely, the book starts out with the premise that the fish really doesn't taste that good and is really bland--great for those unsophisticated Americans.....well, I have eaten fish in many countries, and I think it is great, as does my Swedish husband. If you haven't eaten it, then go to the store and try it...although it is expensive. It tastes great just simply fried in butter. Of course, after that, you need to read this book, and then, as I said, you can't eat it again. You see, these fish live up to 50 years, which means that they also take a long time to grow. So, you can imagine that over-fishing is the next step. Yup. And the author does a great job of making you see how that happens by telling the story of an exciting boat chase between a determined and ruthless pirate fish poacher, and an honest, righteous policeman chasing through storms and open seas. Throw in some courtroom drama, and the biggest culinary success in years, and you have the makings of a good story. Read it for the story, and then stop eating the fish. Sorry.