Fishing like there’s no tomorrow

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  • Published 20100201
  • ISBN: 9781921520860
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

IN THE CITIES and the suburbs of the affluent world, the fish are waiting. Across the cold counters of supermarkets and specialist costermongers, fillets lie translucent on the ice, sparkling like champagne; effete king prawns in pretty pink piles, squid in creamy ringlets, mounds of scallop cushions and whole fish – pan-sized to please and fanning out in geometric formation – give the very impression of a living shoal twisting and dancing above the ocean floor.

Octopus tentacles crowd through pots of vinegar and oil; tuna steaks as dark as red wine lie next to white swordfish, mackerel with skin of shining blue tinsel and flatfish patterned as intricately as a Persian rug. Down the aisles are cans of tuna and herring in reassuring rows, sardines playing sardines, sumptuously greasy quilts of smoked salmon in cling wrap; and in the freezers, seafood so coiffured, quiffed and made-over that the balls, nuggets, patties, fingers and sticks are a pageant of taste and form.

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