Posts Tagged ‘L’odeur’

The culinary delights of the anchovy.

March 17, 2018

 

IMG_0013Anemones

When we went for our daily walk along the river’s edge I noticed a man sitting on a bench. Sitting on a bench in our neck of the woods is popular. Many of the Southern Highlands inhabitants are retired.  Shire’s planning department must have heeded some advice from a bright young person just out of the University having studied Social Comfort & Welfare. (SCW) She might well have suggested a liberal sprinkling of slatted bench seats throughout the municipality.

I don’t know who the sadist was who invented those concrete benches many years ago. Were the councils afraid of them getting stolen?  Soon after our arrival in 1956 my dad noticed bus stops with the concrete bench on which hardly anyone ever sat. Perhaps that was the aim. You know, the Anglo Saxon’s avoidance of too much comfort making you soft and girly-like! We, in Australia like to be seen as a nation of men and men.

This man looked sadly serious which seemed out of place. The morning was beautiful and the cockatoos gave it a helping hand by hanging upside down from the willow tree under which this serious solitary man was sitting on his wooden slatted bench. We are blessed with so many varieties of parrots. The orange, and green to yellow and even black and yellow feathered ones. They give the black crows a good lesson by chasing them as much as possible. I can never forgive crows for pecking out the eyes of just born lambs back on our days of farming. Why do they do that?

However, the man on the seat did not seem to care about the concert with acrobatics that the cockies were giving. Free of charge too. And if that was not enough, down at earth’s level there were the ducks. They too were in a good mood, just happily paddling about after surviving the night from the cruel red-beady eyed killer fox. Our neighbour lost his chickens for the third time. The foxes, like the crows, seem to take delight in senseless killing. Why chew off the heads of chickens and then just leave them flapping about on the laneway?

I wonder how many go through life without ever realising how much joy a simple anchovy can give. I don’t mean in an aquarium but more on a ceramic plate and cooked. We seem to cook more and more using those little fishes. For those that complain about their fishy pungency; what do you expect? A rose by any other name etc.? So, it is with oceanic life.  Each to their own identity and long live l’odeur l’anchvy.

Perhaps the man on the slatted bench has missed out on the anchovy. Perhaps he should have been told that when anchovies and garlic are chopped up with lots of fresh rosemary and then deep fried in blue smoky hot oil it makes fore one of the most tantalising sauces. Add and mix in some mustard and one is in heaven. Try it in a pasta. Flavour development in the ripening of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicholus) and used when mixed with other herbs is a bit like the art of winemaking.  There will be endless varieties and flavours. A truly amazing little fish.

I buy the little jars of anchovies from the local supermarket and might use about five or six of them with four of five cloves of juicy garlic and a heaped spoonful of fresh rosemary which grows in abundance in our garden. One can muck about with adding a little chilli and different mustards, fresh cream, coconut milk and much, much more.

Next time I see the sad man on the slatted seat I might introduce and give him an anchovy.

Do you think it would help?