Saturday, 27 August 2011

Hoki

Nothing to do with the hokey-cokey, left arm in and all that, but a fish served regularly in the village restaurant in France. A white fish reminiscent of cod or pollack (or pollock for that matter. Pollack and pollock are two similar but different species of fish.) which I have seen nowhere else. According to the various interwebby sources I have been looking at, hoki is a New Zealand fish and has been placed on a red list by Greenpeace, which is a shame as I particularly like this fish and I usually choose it when we eat chez Nicholas. The words of that old song come true again:

It's illegal, it's immoral or it makes you fat.
It really dosn't matter what you're aiming at,
If it's something you enjoy you can be certain that
It's illegal, it's immoral or it makes you fat.

Florence serves hoki with a delicious sauce. It was at one time a buttery confection, then it was a sorrel sauce, now it's Provencal. The sorrel sauce was particularly good and the Old Bat decided she would like to try her hand at making it. First, though, we had to find some sorrel.

None of the supermarkets she uses regularly here in England ever seemed to stock it. Nor did the French supermarch├ęs. We decided (I say "we" but it was really SWMBO who made the decision; I just went along with it) to try and buy a plant. We looked in several garden centres small and large. In fact, I think we visited every garden centre within a 20 mile radius of Brighton, but without finding any sorrel. Eventually we found a few plants in a French garden centre and so we now have a pot of sorrel in the garden. It's been there now for several months but we have yet to have sorrel sauce on the supper menu.

Ironically, I was in Stanmer Park the other day to walk the dog and I decided to visit the Council nursery where they sell plants. This just happens to be the nearest nursery to us but we hadn't gone there during our search. Stocks of plants were pretty low, but they did have plenty of sorrel!

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