I have already written about the fact that local bazaars inspire me for culinary travel (I recommend an article about peaches link). This time it was similar, but the direction was different.
Winter, cold, I can only dream about a motorcycle. The best time to stand by pots and try new recipes. Like almost every weekend I went to a nearby bazaar. I did not know that the “Little Ukraine” sector had already begun there. Well, but what does this have to do with motorcycles and the kitchen?
Some travel because they like it. They visit new places, meet people and discover local customs. Some people simply “leave for bread”, emigrate and check if the grass is more green somewhere else. They take with them the suitcases of the most necessary things, but also their culinary habits, favorite flavors from childhood, from home and longing for how the grandmother and mother cooked. In my neighborhood, more and more neighbors live from across the eastern border, and with them new products and food items have started to appear.
My express “journey” to Ukraine was a kind of revelation. In the cold, among other stands, behind the folded tourist table (from where we know it) stood a man. He spoke Polish well but with a pronounced eastern accent. He had … fish before him. Dead, dry, whole and not gutted. I really felt the “eastern atmosphere”. It is the middle of winter, and the guy in front of me sells dried fish whole, telling what a great snack. “What to do with it?” “Nothing, just remove the skin and you can eat it whole. And the best is when the roe is inside. This is the tastiest one. “ I believed the word and bought a few pieces to try one, because if they are good, I will regret that so little, and if they will suck, a few zlotys is not a pity). Information: the fence costs PLN 2, white beam for PLN 3 each. As for the names of other fish, I will make sure with the dictionary.
As the seller ordered, so I did: I took the fish off the fish (no problem) and took out the unnecessary thing from the inside. I started with meat, which was dried, it was not dry, rather fragile, it was easy to divide and to bite. According to the seller, the fish are kept in brine before drying, so the meat is of course intensely salty, but not enough to suppress the pleasant taste of the fresh fish, which has been perfectly preserved in meat. It is intense, pleasant, well perceptible, but not insistent. One fish also had roe. Well, you will like it or hate it. If you like caviar and roe in general, you will definitely find something new in this version of “fish dairy”. In my opinion, it can be ideally used as an aromatic additive, a kind of spice, a flavoursome “theme” of, for example, a caviar paste.
However, I found this simple eating of dried fish too obvious. The next week I bought a few more fish, of which I made soup. Before putting them in a pot, I took off the skin and gutted it. After removing the bones the meat went to a decoction, the taste of which was complemented by a large leaf of tarragon (preferably fresh). This is one of the many versions of fish soup that I know and like. Another is enriched by the taste of forest mushrooms or champignon mushrooms, which are available whole the year.
And again, I found out that sometimes you do not have to look far for find something new and original. It’s enough to have your eves open, because surprises and new flavors are really waiting just around the corner, and the abroad is closer than we think.