little oily fish
one of the challenges, and one of the joys, of learning how to live in this part of the world has been my gradual evolution as a fish eater. i grew up in a romanian household with pork sausage, calves liver, stuffed green peppers, beef stew, and chicken paprikash. and i have a trigger gag reflex when it comes to fish that is not shimmeringly fresh. so i spent our first few visits here confounding the strong smell of the little oily fish people eat near the mediterranean with fish that had gone bad. now, almost ten years later, i can eat mackerel, and anchovies, and sardines, and what i smell is not “fishiness” but simply the sea in its strength and iodine-salty sharpness.
anchovies from the mediterranean near valras plage, france