Friday, November 06, 2009

Why People are Frightened by Nourishing Traditions

Nourishing Traditions is a cookbook/diet (way of eating, not weight-loss diet) book by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. Some people are scared off by some of the recipes in it, this likely being one of them:

Fermented Fish Sauce

(I'm scared of the copyright, so I'll just tell you the ingredients)

small fish, including heads, cut up
sea salt
filtered water
bay leaves
lemon rind
tamarind paste

You put the fish and salt in a jar and press it down with a pounder/hammer. Put the rest of the ingredients over it, plus enough water to cover. Cover the jar tightly and leave it out for 3 days. Then leave it in the fridge for several weeks. Then you strain the liquid and store the sauce in the fridge.

Doesn't that sound appetizing?! I think it actually sounds like a good idea to make this frequently. I mean, think of all the possibilities. An annoying visitor/relative comes to see you? Just ask if they'd like some fermented fish heads and I bet they'll be gone in an instant! A burglar tries to steal something? Open the jar and throw it on him and he'll be gone too!

Now, I shouldn't be so rude -- I haven't actually tried this recipe. It probably tastes great. I bought some Thai Kitchen brand fish sauce for a recipe. It is the most vile-smelling thing I have ever smelled. It smells SO gross. I can't remember which recipe I bought it for, but I think that I should have reduced the amount or left it out. I also have Thai Kitchen green curry paste. The coconut curry recipe on the back calls for the paste, fish sauce, and brown sugar. I tried the full amount of the fish sauce in the curry, and it tasted fine. But I'm still scared to leave fish heads in a jar on my counter for 3 days. I can only imagine what the kids would do with it if they found it. The house would smell for weeks.


Chandelle said...

When I checked out that book, I read some of the recipes out loud to Jeremy just to make him sick. Just for fun. Basically anything with brains would do it. Seriously, the instructions for preparing brains are both hilarious and grotesque.

Katie said...

I can't believe I forgot about the brains!! You have to commend them for using all parts of the animal though :-D

Marly said...

I will add myself to the frightened list.