Thursday, June 28, 2007

Food Bartering: Wild Strawberries for Freshly Smoked Flatfish

Careful readers on my blog may have noticed a discrepancy in my strawberry posts. I claimed here to have picked a good kilogram of the best and sweetest strawberries in the world (this doesn't include all the berries - and there were many, oh so many, let me tell you - that ended up straight in my mouth as opposed to the basket), yet I only used 750 grams to make wild strawberry jam.

What happened to the rest? Well, we bartered them for 8 gorgeous fresh hot-smoked flatfish on Sunday night. And not just any flatfish, but eight lovely specimens of European flounder (Platichthys flesus trachurus), to be more precise:

Aren't they gorgeous? They're picked by a fisherman in our suburb, and hot-smoked by a kind friend who lives just around the corner. They're still small, as their peak season is only in August.*

I'll be eagerly waiting for August, as 'suitsulest' (that's smoked flounder for you) is the smoked fish with the softest, tenderest, tastiest and most delicate flesh imaginable..

* Which means that the special foodblogger who's coming for a visit in August is in line both for a jar of wild strawberry jam, a guided tour to pick her first ever cloudberries and some unusual edible wild mushrooms, as well as eat some freshly smoked flatfish when they're at their best. Lucky her, let me tell you :)


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Pille what an incedible treasure trove of goodness. Wow! and that flounder fish sounds totally fantastic and to think it came by way of strawberries!

lobstersquad said...

this only gets better and better! I´m doing some foraging here, too, never fear. I think it will be stuff of the tinned variety, but that shouldn´t be a problem.

Lydia said...

That's a wonderful barter. Now you need to trade some catfish for some of the bagels the Daring Bakers have made this month, and have some wonderful smoked fish with bagels!

Lauren said...

Hot smoked fish...yum! I'd never eaten anything smoked that way before I came to Scotland, and now I much prefer it.

The only thing stopping me being extremely jealous is that I can pick up some hot smoked trout on the farmer's market on Saturday. (If it hasn't sold out again, as happened last week - grrr.)

joey said...

Mmmm...I love smoked fish! It's a common way of preparing fish here as well (tinapa refers to smoked fish here), although I buy it already smoked and am not quite so lucky as to have a friend who smokes her own :)

Your guest is very lucky indeed!!!

Susan said...

What an eye-catching photo this is, Pille. I've read so much about cloudberries recently but have never seen them around here. I've got to start hunting for them (or be your next guest). ;)

Figs Olives Wine said...

mmm...reminds me of the Arbroath Smokies I had when I was small in Scotland. Lovely photo.

katiez said...

And you thought I'd drool over the strawberries....
I want the fish - both of them!
A nice cold beer, some dark bread and butter and those fish!

Stephen said...

I'm so jealous. I want some smoked flounder! ;)

ann said...

Man, all you need is some cream cheese and a few raw onions, pop some fish on one of your awesome bagels, and you've got brunch on the Upper East Side!
what a wonderful barter! More people need to barter... It's so much fun!

Pille said...

Tanna - thank you! We were invited to the flounder party, but as we spent our St John's night elsewhere, they offered to save some fish for us. How nice of them, wasn't it!?

Lobstersquad - "exotic" tinned goods are always most welcome ;-)

Lydia - I'd need to make new bagels :)

Lauren - I know - I used to buy hot smoked trout at the Edinburgh market occasionally. I often didn't make it in time, however, which was frustrating. I miss that market - such lovely vendors!!

Joey - so you hot smoke your fish, too, rather than cold smoke?

Susan - you'd be most welcome here :)

Figs Olives Wine - Arbroath smokies are great, I had them few times in Scotland. Though I never had them fresh from the smoker, which would have been even better, I imagine..

Katiez - I must admit that although new small potatoes, sour cream and smoked flounder is my first choice, then home-made dark rye bread, salted butter & smoked flounder is a close second!

Stephen - what's keeping you?

Ann - oh, yes, food bartering can be quite fun:)