Today’s blog writing is being done whilst on my lunch break in my work place canteen! And it’s been an interesting shift so far, cleaning Whole Trout and Whole Mackerel and heading Whole Sprats..a kg of Whole Sprats!!
It has made me smile though as it reminds me why I do the job I love. And it is all thanks to the training I received from Mr.Chris Parker and the fun we had as a group a long the way.
We watched and listened as The Torrey Scale was explained to us, and demonstrated quite ably by 2 Whole Haddock. We checked the quality of both and had to mark it. Initially I thought that there would be no way I would want to get very up close and personal with a Whole Haddock, but I took a breath and got very hands on. The texture, firmness of the flesh, the gills, the eyesocket, clarity of eye was checked. It was almost as if something had fallen into place. I loved doing it..I loved getting involved and there would be no going back for me.
After checking all the quality and discussing the history of The Torrey Scale and an overview of fishing methods, it was cooking time.
Haddock, Cod loin, Salmon and Scallops were cooked simply but to great effect by Chris, to show us the type of recipe we could pass on to our customers and to try ourselves. I had to admit the plates looked very tempting. The others tried little pieces. I reached out and tried the haddock..and it was beautiful! The taste and freshness was outstanding. I clearly remember Chris grinning as I nibbled on the scallops cooked with chorizo. “I didn’t think you liked fish?” He asked with a very wry grin.
We went back up to the classroom and studied some more on pelagic and demersal species, best in season for fish and the general running of fish markets and reviewed our thoughts on the scoring of quality on the Haddock via The Torrey Scale. At the time I didn’t realise how much it would effect the way I work. I thought oh it’s all very technical and amazing to learn. Now, every shift I set up my fish counter, or close down my fish counter, and every piece of fish I serve I realise just how important it is to be able to give our customers the very best. The next day was to be a full day of prep work. A full day learning and working on knife skills and a day that will stay with me for as long as I continue to fillet, clean, canoe, pocket and skin fish. And that will be tomorrow’s blog.
A massive thank you to you all for taking the time to read about my feelings and experience.