Sunday, 21 October 2007

Taramosalata !

I lived for a few bits of my life in Cyprus, Lebanon, and Jordan, and adore the local style of mezze meals; small bits and pieces of anything at all, set out on small dishes all over the table, and eaten with pitta bread chunks, very leisurely, preferably with a good ration of arak or ouzo.

One of the marvels of Middle Eastern food is that it looks good, and tastes wonderful. Good-looking food is a luxury idea that has not taken much root in the Philippines.

My section of Tayang-Tayang fish included the roe, so I whacked that into the smoker as well. It shrank a bit, but then I chopped it up, and put it into the blender, with some stale bread, lemon juice, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. I now had at least an approximation of taramosalata

Tasting it was a 'Back to the Future' moment; right back to those long lunchtime sessions in the harbour in Famagusta, the Istanbouli in Beirut and that place whose name I can't remember in Amman. (I can't remember the name of the one in Amman, because they were often deal-concluding sessions, and my customers filled me with so much arak and delicious food that I usually entirely forgot what I was there for).

Now I'm going to make hummus, tabbouleh, and babaghanoush, and maybe even arak. Watch this space.

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