Monday, September 20

We pay for this delicacy at the fishmonger but (almost) never bring it home


To the readers who have the suspicion prepared in the bedroom, I must say that no: this article is not an advertising content of the fish distribution chains. In fact, the purpose of it, to promote monkfish liver for its virtues and its gastronomic value, is a nuisance for fish companies and fishmongers themselves.

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The data is clear: almost all of this organ ends up in the trash systematicallyEither in the central, if the piece is already served without skin and entrails, or in the fishmonger if the merchant exposes it in its entirety.

Why this waste if, as stated in a 2010 study by the University of Almería the liver of some fish, including monkfish, has an almost perfect ratio of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as an interesting supply of retinol, vitamin D and iron? It is undoubtedly, like all offal, a nutritional gem.

Various causes of waste

Taking practicality and going to the source of the news, we have asked at the Rubí fishmonger in Sitges about the aforementioned liver. The answer is clear: “I will not sell it if you do not ask me the day before and if it is before, the better, because it goes by very fast and has a lot of risk“So if no one asks for it, it goes to waste.

They assure that they, from time to time, reserve pieces for their own consumption, but that to eat it requires that is cold from almost the moment of fishing. “If you ask me, I tell the fish market to keep them for me, because it can take hours until they reach the sideboard.”

We already know that the care they require is one of the reasons they are systematically discarded. Another is its flavor: “Whoever likes it, loves it, but whoever is not very fishy may disgust.” And it is not like the livers of mammals, which have a somewhat more neutral flavor. Monkfish liver flavor is quite strong, to sea, to fish soup, and you can back off children, for example.

For this reason, chef Abraham García, the soul of Viridiana, recommends this interview keep it in plenty of ice water for at least six hours, so that it bleeds properly – a measure that increases its preservation – and then cook it in pickle to refine its flavor. But the cook also gives the alternative of making it fried after pulling out the veins and the red, bitter cloth.

If I buy the fish, should I get the liver for the same price?

We ask this question in Rubí and they recognize that so it should be: “His thing is that you take the monkfish with its liver if you notify us in time and the liver is in good condition. And the liver is not charged.”

If not, for safety reasons the liver goes to the viscera bucket, “but if you ask me only for the liver, I will charge you, although at a not very high price, about five or six euros depending on the weight,” they clarify.

So, in effect: liver should be included in fish, as long as we give advance notice and its degradation does not give bad odors or food risks.

“The fault is also the rush we have today and the mania of shopping in large stores“They point out from Rubí:” If you go to your local and trusted fishmonger, you can always plan and anticipate your orders, so that whenever you want you will have a liver. ”

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