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Heart & sole of the nation; SEAFOOD WEEK 100 VARIETIES FOR SALE ON OUR SHORES Three leading chefs tell us why we should take the plunge and try the huge range of fish available - and why it's good value and great for our health.

Byline: LARISSA KEMMET AND KAREN BALE

MOST of us enjoy a plate of fish and chips - but how many of us cook seafood at home? Fish is nutritious - it's full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, it's low in calories, high in protein and an excellent source of omega 3 essential fats.

There are more than 100 types of seafood available to buy in the UK and, as a nation, we spend PS3billion a year eating 357,000 tons of fish.

More than 12,450 fisherman are working in the UK to bring our fish and chips to our kitchen tables - including 4700 in Scotland alone.

Yet many of us only ever eat haddock or cod, when there are so many exciting seafoods out there to try - ranging from carp to catfish.

Derek Marshall, head chef of Glasgow-based UK Seafood Restaurant of the Year, Gamba, said: "Scots are becoming more adventurous when it comes to eating seafood.

"But it's about educating people. Since we won Seafood Restaurant of the Year it's bringing in even more people, and they're listening to what we're putting on the menu.

"Our raw fish is really popular, our yellowfin tuna, a Japanese-style dish, and our tartare sea bass with a Bloody Mary sorbet and goats cheese sells well.

"I can't stress enough the health benefits of fish, they're full of protein."

Giancarlo Celino owns Catch fish and chip restaurant in Giffnock, Glasgow.

He ensures both his customers and his own family eat fresh seafood as often as possible.

He said: "We are a gourmet fish and chip shop and specialise in fish and chips.

"Our sales of haddock and chips probably outsell everything else, but we sell a huge choice of seafood from cod and lemon sole to seabass, lobsters, scallops and king prawns.

"Living in Scotland, we have the best fish in the world on our doorstep, so people try new seafood and realise they love it."

Giancarlo revealed his own family are as big seafood fans as his customers.

He added: "My kids eat fish three times a week, for us it's purely the omega 3. "They love salmon, seabass, mussels and my own posh home-made fish fingers.

"Fish is so good for you in terms of development, it's so low in fat. If you think, a portion of fish and chips maybe has 850 calories, but a takeaway pizza would have 2500 calories, and a fish supper is half the price."

Calum Richardson runs the award-winning The Bay Fish and Chip Shop in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire.

The chef urges Scots to eat more fish - reminding us that a portion of fish and chips can provide vitamin C, vitamins B6 and B12, and omega-3 fatty acid, to name a few nutrients.

He added: "When you take all the elements of a fish and chip supper apart you'll just have fish, potatoes and flour. As long as you're using a good fryer then it's a very balanced meal.

"In the Bay we are griddling and baking a lot more fish now, as people are becoming more health conscious."

Calum ensures his famous chippy serves the freshest possible fish, straight from the sea.

He said: "Our fish are caught daily in the North Sea and we choose the freshest in-season fish.

"Our menu is constantly changing, we serve coley, haddock, hake, langoustine, monkfish and mackerel. As long as it's in the MSC Guide, it's Scottish, in season and fresh, then we're serving it."

And Colin Cromar, whose Cromars shop in St Andrews was this week named Scotland's top fish and chip shop as part of the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards, said: "Fish and chips are part of the staple British diet.

"It's classless. You get guys in for fish and chips who sell the Big Issue, then you get the well-to-do folk. It was one of the few things never rationed during the war.

"There are no additives in fish. If you don't add salt, there is no salt.

"All our fish is responsibly sourced, none of the fish on our menu are endangered.

"We are pushing mussels and chips just now, and we're pushing coley as a good sustainable option to cod. Both are selling well."

For more information on Seafood Week, which runs from today until October 16 and is organised by industry authority Seafish, go to www.seafoodweek.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

TASTY AND HEALTHY Seabass and langoustines are among many types that taste wonderful and are very healthy sources of protein

SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS Calum Richardson says fish can be battered but cannot be beaten

BEAUTIFUL Fishmongers have a fantastic range

MAN ON A MISSION Derek Marshall wants to educate us about fish
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 9, 2015
Words:781
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