Saturday, 10 May 2014

School shark (Γαλέος)

I was at the street market today where I spotted some γαλέος, a member of the 'big fish' family, selling at €7/kg. Galeos is a good choice for fish because what you buy is all edible, except for the round bit in the middle of the steak, which is a bone. Very little bone comes with each steak, and the bone is easy to pick off.

There were four medium sized pieces, a small piece, and a scrappy end piece. I asked the stall holder for the four large pieces. I could tell that the fish would weigh in at about 2 kilos. I got out my purse, and it was at this point that I noticed that all six pieces were missing from the display: the dirty rat fink has stuck them all in my parcel!

- I'll give you the lot for €15, he said.
- No scrappy ends for me, thanks, I said. And take out that small bit - it's not even a fillet. 
- I can't take that bit off, he insisted. It's attached to one of the fillets. (Indeed it was, by a thread.)
Forgiven, I thought, but I still didn't want the scrappy end bit.
- How much do the four fillets weigh? I asked, looking sideways at the display sign on the electric scales.
- They're just a little under 2 kilos (ha! I was right!), which makes it €13.50. 
- Perfect, I said.
- And if I add the scrappy end bit for €0.50, you'll pay me just €14.
- OK, I said, lips pursed

I didn't bother to remind him that he initially asked for €15. I know a bargain when I see one. And I love the way I can always land a good price for whatever I buy these days. This goes for anything, from food to household items. Life is as cheap as you want it to be.

The fish was baked in the oven, with a tomato grated over it, some sliced fresh onion from the garden, a spot of olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper. And the special ingredient, to stop the fish from burning on the top: I placed fennel weed from our orange grove ont he bottom of the pan, and on top of the fish (this was removed and discarded at the end of cooking time), which gave the fish a very alluring Mediterranean aroma. The fish served the five of us very nicely - Yiayia said it was really good.

The fish was accompanied by a garden-greens salad (artichoke, onion and purslane), with some of the tomatoes I bought from the street market. My son also made the tzatziki, now that the cucumbers are back in season.

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