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By Anne Willan

Published 1989

  • About
Fish is at once the most challenging and rewarding of all foods. The challenge is posed by the care with which it must be cooked. Different types of fish can be adapted happily to almost every imaginable cooking method, and a large number of creative techniques are involved in their preparation. Here lies the prize, in the vast array of fish dishes, simple and sophisticated, classic and contemporary.
In recent years, the increasing efficiency of refrigerated transport has revolutionized the availability of fresh fish and created a true world market in seafood. A superb Atlantic salmon on the slab in Hawaii may have been caught in Norway only 72 hours earlier. As consumers, we benefit not only from refrigerated air transport but also from major advances in processing technology on harvesting vessels. Although freezing does affect the texture of fish, in many cases it does less damage than would occur naturally through bacterial growth. If well-handled fish is frozen immediately, at its peak of quality and at the right temperature, then correctly stored and delivered to the point of sale, deterioration should be slight. Commercial canning is a successful alternative, especially for oily fish such as salmon, tuna, anchovy and sardine.