I could blame my situation, having been raised in Western Pennsylvania, which is not really known as a hotbed of Seafood dining. There are only two culinary feats associated with the Pittsburgh area: First is Primanti Brothers, known for putting cole slaw and french fries on their Deli sandwiches (which, if you pardon my lack of literary embellishment, are awesome). The second culinary feat is venison mixed with whatever ammunition that may have found its way into the deer. There’s been more that one occaission in my youth where I had to spit out some form of buckshot while eating some form of venison stew, or venison jerky, or venison brisket,or venison…well…you get the picture.
The best thing that can be said about Pittsburgh is that the really good food there comes from somewhere else. Being that the Western Pennsylvania area had a great amount of immigrants from Italy, Germany, Poland, the Czech republic and Yugoslavia, I was never at a loss of trying something different while I was growing up. Pierogies, Risotto, Wienerschnitzel all found their way onto my young plate.
But there was one area of cuisine which escaped my exploration: seafood. I’m afraid to admit it, but my exposure to fish when I was younger was limited to Mrs. Paul, Long John Silvers andStarkist. So although I have no problem breading veal, or diving into the intricacies of pasta making, seafood remains a bit of a mystery to me. As such, I find it a tad bit intimidating.
Luckily for me, I now live in a seafood town. There are at least three reputable fish mongers at Pike Place Market alone, probably more within the city itself. I now have vast resources to allow me to try new and unique fishes, and figure out what goes good with this sauce, and which goes well with this wine.
Over the next few weeks, I hope to increase my comfort zone with fish, and I will share with you some of the things I learn.