Like many humans, fish present me with something of a personal dilemma… sometimes they can look so damn good, but alas, in the end, you just have to follow the lead of cats… and eat them. But, before you do, it helps to pay people who know how to present them for eating. This was certainly the least of our problems on a recent trip to southern Italy.
Take Naples, for example. It may well have been a city totally consumed by its recent football success as Italian champions for the first time since the Maradona infused party of 1990.
But not even that could diminish the opportunity for several acquatic species to leap onto our plates in search of a fulfilling end of life! Even if it was a wobbly table in a back street port district car park. Fried calamari, octopus, grilled calamari, fully tooled-up squid, and more docile looking swordfish were simply leaping off the menu to accompany the local white wine.
Taking a boat trip across the Bay of Naples around the Amalfi coast in order to maybe witness dinner in its more usual and natural habitat proved a futile challenge. Ultimately, the coastline is far too distracting.
In the end, it seems the best place to see these fellas is on a plate a few hundred metres above sea level. Ravello provided the ideal place to sample some more octopus. The location also provides breathtaking views out across a coast that could well be the starting point of your dinner’s own journey.
Meanwhile, a boat trip back around the peninsula to Sorrento offers plenty of man-made structures from which you may wish to indulge in dangling your ‘string on a stick’ trap for catching the more stupid of local fish.
While the adventurous were finding ways to source their own sustenance, we preferred to respect the more interesting and apertising welcome offered by a trinity of tuna, grilled calamari, and swordfish pasta…
Until we speak again, carnivores need not worry. Should you drift on by the amazing coastline of southern Italy, you will be catered for with the same vigour and probably a collective sigh of relief from the local fish population!