Friday, November 5, 2010

Can you guess?

In this era of incivility and assumption, it would be wrong to make a snap judgment about an unfamiliar foodstuff, especially one recommended by an elderly auntie, without even trying it. Even if it looked really weird but came from a reliable source. Right?

I'm generally suspicious of food that most people won't touch by hand -- like dark, slippery beef liver, which even hearty butchers generally pluck from a sloshy container with a long-handled prong. Tonight's presumed delicacy, a pale buttery orange in its semi-natural state, came sheathed in a baggie to keep it apart from its famously scrumptious other parts.

For me, that's about as much a deal-breaker as a finding the word fennel in an otherwise intriguing menu option. Not so for Tim. These tubular oddities intrigued him.

Since he'd started a charcoal grill for the desirable main course, he figured he'd toss these on as well. Nicely charred and apparently cooked, he carried them in for sampling. Gamely setting one on his plate, he sliced off a chunk and chewed. Then he ate another. "Not bad," he said. "Interesting."

I think a man describing something as "interesting" is akin to a woman saying something is "fine." Nontheless, I took a portion of one and gave it a try. On the bright side, I can now honestly say I have eaten jumping mullet gizzards and lived to tell the tale.

It may be that grilling is not the best technique for cooking fish offal, but the only ones who really enjoyed it was the dogs, both of whom are especially keen on salmon. Tim described it as a cross between sweet potato and liver. I found it grainy and flavorless. Graham, who refused to try it, said it looked like a couscous sausage, which is oddly accurate.

Not surprisingly, there are those who sing the praises of jumping mullet gizzards, which I've also seen labeled as roe. A posting on Walking Fish, our awesome community-supported fishery that provided said jumping mullet this week, shared this tip:

September 22, 2010 @ 6:43 pm
Hi All,
A few people said they’re going to try using the Jumping Mullet gizzards this week! If you’re one of them, but you’re are sure what to do with them, here’s a little info from Debbie’s aunt:
“I called my 85 year old Aunt (born and lived in Beaufort all her life!) and asked her advice. She said to split one side and clean out the ‘innards’, rinse and pat dry. Dredge in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, then deep fry. Now I am going to have to try to find her some as well. Got her thinking about how good they are!!” ~ Debbie
If you try them, let us know what you think!!
So here's what I think: Blech. Bring on the jumping mullet, a somewhat boney but deliciously tender catch, but feel free to save these nasty bits for those who truly appreciate them.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting about the plagiarism story. I really think that if we all routinely searched the web using such tracking tools, we might actually put a damper on some of the "borrowing."