Me and seafood . 我和海鮮 / Markus
My name is Markus and I was born in Switzerland, a landlocked country in the middle of Europe. Because my home country is far away from the ocean, the only seafood I tasted as a child was frozen fish sticks (fish fingers) that have this yummy batter and are deep-fried.
In my family we usually we ate fish every week on Friday, because that’s when Christian people (Protestants) are supposed not to eat any meat… Except for some fresh water fish (Switzerland has many rivers and lakes) which are usually eaten in cooked or fried form – and arranged with mayonnaise, butter sauce, slices lemons and rosemary herbs – seafood isn’t a big thing. I remember when I was about 10 years old and encountered for the first time octopus rings in a Spanish dish (called Paella) and mistook them for rubber rings…
Swiss people live in the middle of many hills and mountains with lush meadows and grasses, they raise many cows, sheep and goats to make delicious milk, yoghurt, butter and – of course – CHEESE! Every little valley, every little mountain produces its own kind of cheese: soft, semi-hard, hard, nutty, smoked, tardy, even moldy (blue cheese type).
You go to an ordinary supermarket in Switzerland and can chose from at least 30 types of different cheeses. That’s where Swiss people get their protein. And the good thing is that the cows in Switzerland help make the landscape high in the Alps beautiful and useful because farmers can’t grow anything up there except fine herbs and nutritious grasses.
Love of Fish . 魚之愛 / Madoka
We Japanese love fish and I am one of the them. What I like most is the Japanese way of preparing and cooking seafood.Even if you don’t like to eat fish in Sashimi-style (fresh and raw), you might find it tasty simply roasted with a little bit of salt or Tempura (deeply fried in batter), or Mirin-boshi (dried with sweet rice wine, roasted lightly to serve).
Since not all fish dishes taste subtle in your mouth, we have other ways to cook them like Kamaboko (fish cake sausage) pasted on a piece of wood and steamed.You can find them in a various shapes and decorative cuts, but they are the same tasty Kamaboko sausage.
Do you like Octopus by the way? We like them as snack food, because its delicious when put into an Octopus ball ( Takoyaki ) made from batter and chopped octopus, seasoned with spicy, savory sauce! Besides buying them at the shop, you can make Takoyaki yourself with a special frying pan. We do Takoyaki parties around this pan, and enjoy preparing them with various ingredients that are mixed into in the batter.
I have shown you some fish dishes in different shapes which does not look like fish… we have the opposite too. In the following images, can you find patterns of fishes in these Japanese sweets made from jelly, sweet bean paste, and rice cakes?
They are served for tea time usually with green tea and also in the formal Japanese tea ceremony.
Hope you can enjoy these treats someday by yourselve!