Monday, August 22, 2011


Eastside Road, August 22, 2011—
sa lmon.jpgAS A GENERAL RULE we eat our salmon on Saturday, having bought it that morning from Dave the fisherman, at the farmers' market in town. Saturday and Sunday, though, we ate out, as you'll have seen. Lindsey put Saturday morning's salmon purchase in the freezer, and broiled it tonight.

Freezing the fish definitely affected its texture. It was as if the fish were somehow more detached than usual, less involved with its primary duty, pleasing us. The flavor was just as good, I thought — perhaps a tiny bit stronger, but then it's late in the season, you expect that. The texture was okay, perhaps a little drier than I'd grown used to. It just seemed a little, I don't know, remote. It's hard writing about such things.

With the fish, to drive the elegiac note a little deeper, probably the last delicious lima beans of the season from Nancy's stall. They're so good: chest nutty in texture, grassy in color and on the palate, both garden-fresh and somehow wild-tasting, abandoned. I'll miss them this winter.

Then a melon, a melon just big enough for the two of us. When I was a kid there were only two melons, watermelon and cantaloupe. Oh, and something they called muskmelon, or muskmelon: though they always seemed like another name for cantaloupe, perhaps at a different stage of ripeness. Later came the green-fleshed melons, and the honeydews, and later still the Crane and crenshaw; finally the heavenly Charentais. Now there's something called Tuscan melon: but it seems like a cantaloupe to me. I like it, whatever it is.
Pinot grigio, La Famiglia (Monterey), 2009 (clean, good varietal, dry, very pleasant)

1 comment:

Curtis Faville said...

When I was as kid, I couldn't abide the cantaloupes. My stepdad would torment me. "Eat your melon!!" And I would take another bite and suppress my retching. There was some acid or protein in it that induced vomiting in me. I had the same problem with asparagus and spinach and beets and avocado, and especially mushrooms. Slimy and poisonous! "And the list goes on. . . ."

But we do grow up and develop our "taste." My favorite melon now is the pale green one, the Honeydew. It has the clearest, purest texture and flavor of all of them, and no troublesome seeds in the flesh!

I was never very big on watermelons. As a kid, we were expected to take a big wedge in hand and smear it all over our faces, spitting black seeds everywhere. It was picnic food. I used to wish it could be seedless, so I could appreciate the taste without dealing with the nuisance. I had the same problem with trout.

Innvista ( lists many kinds which I've never heard of. But I've never gone out of my way to taste them, either.

I love the new varieties of grapes we keep seeing at Berkeley Bowl. One kind--small, intensely purple-red, seedless, which cling to their stems stubbornly--are fabulous.