Friday, December 01, 2006


Cooksister has a great entry on snoek, a fish commonly eaten in the Western Cape in South Africa. In a way, snoek is to the W.Cape what salmon is to the Pacific Northwest. Cooksister was lucky enough to find some in the UK (despite most Brits not liking the stuff - it was imported in canned form during WWII, and probably didn't taste great. Plus it's associated with deprivation and hard times - a bit like SPAM). I haven't seen any for sale in the USA (not that I've asked around too much).

I really like snoek and have fond memories of snoek braais when I was growing up. There's nothing quite like a half snoek, basted with butter and garlic, grilled on a charcoal fire. My aunt's mom used to make a mean snoek pate too... And then there was the frequent outing to Hout Bay to buy snoek in all shapes and sizes at Snoekies (a large seafood processor that had a "factory shop" open to the public).

It was also common to see people selling fresh snoek from the back of their bakkies (USA: trucks) during the summer, but my mom could never bring herself to buy fresh snoek. She had a really bad experience once with a snoek my dad brought home from the harbour, the rule being she had to clean and cook the fish and he would take care of the fishing or buying. this particular snoek turned out to be full of worm-like intestinal parasites, the sight of which was permanently engraved on my mom's brain. Luckily my uncle and his friend Michelle provided fresh braaid snoek on several occasions after the gruesome event, or I would probably never have had any!

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