Sitting on the dock of the bay, well at least on the quay in Schiedam. Once known as “Black Nazereth”, so poluted was the air in the 19th century from the many brandy distilleries. The air had cleared by the time I was a young boy angling for minnow, (voorntje in dutch), in this canal rich city. I caught a few, but then I dropped my shoe in the water. Sent back to the quay by my mother to retrieve it, I angled for hours it seemed. But let me tell you once that shoe was on my hook I feld so good and releaved!
The lesson I learned is that you best angle yourself for a good catch. Whenever you have the oppertunity to go outdoors, with your head in the wind, rain or sun, sit at the waterside and have a dialog with nature. Be patient, concentrate and get hypnotized by the waves, and then when time seems lost, your float (dobber in dutch) goes under and you know the fish is hooked. Fishing by yourself is one of the most honest ways to gather food, here nature is talking directly to you! You feel the timeline penetrating history to far off places and long lost civilizations, who fed their families with the catch of their own hands.
Or you go to the fishmongers, in this case the dutch fishmonger “Marost” in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. But wait, I thought this was a Dutch fish shop, with the nice little Dutch flags and people walking on wooden clogs, but here they speak Maroccan … and Dutch ! Here you will find the Mediterranean sun in the middle of Rotterdam!
My neighbour at the counter orders some fillets from a fish I never heard off. For him it is his weekly order of Corvina, or Cilus gilberti in Latin. This fish is no kid stuff I tell you, it is a serious hunter. Up to 70 centimaters I estimate, and with a row of teeth to scare your dentist away. Alltough dead it puts up a fight with the fish seller, telling him off if the guy wants to cut a piece of him. He resists with his scales and almost uncuttable backbone, but at the end his fillets are on the balance.
This beautifull half frozen creature comes from the seeshores of upper South America, and so is his consumer. Dennis, he is from Surinam. Familiar with prepared Corvina from the time living there he is a specialist. Since he is doing the cooking in the house now, he selects his ingredients with care. By the smile on his wife’s face I can tell you, it’s not only with man that love goes trought the stomach.
The recipe you’re asking? Ehhhhhh, simple, just fried, with some vegtables and potatoes, Dennis says.
Marost Vishandel- Zwaanshals 355 3035 KL Rotterdam
Links for recipies :