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Something Smells Fishy on the December 14th Chat Thread
I think that you will agree with me that this is a somewhat fishy day. It's National Bouillabaisse Day, a day to celebrate a tasty Mediterranean fish stew or soup. Bouillabaisse is believed to have originated in Marseilles, France. It is extremely popular all around the Mediterranean, and is a specialty in ports across the region. Bouillabaisse is a fish stew or soup. All agree the fish should be white fillets. Recipes call for variety of fish, including cod, snapper, flounder, halibut, sea bass, monk fish, and more.
History and Legend
"According to tradition, the origins of the dish date back to the time of the Phoceans, an Ancient Greek people who founded Marseille in 600 BC. Then, the population ate a simple fish stew known in Greek as 'kakavia.' Something similar to Bouillabaisse also appears in Roman mythology: it is the soup that Venus fed to Vulcan."
"The dish known today as bouillabaisse was created by Marseille fishermen who wanted to make a meal when they returned to port. Rather than using the more expensive fish, they cooked the common rockfish and shellfish that they pulled up with their nets and lines, usually fish that were too bony to serve in restaurants, cooking them in a cauldron of sea water on a wood fire and seasoning them with garlic and fennel. Tomatoes were added to the recipe in the 17th century, after their introduction from America."
"In the 19th century, as Marseille became more prosperous, restaurants and hotels began to serve bouillabaisse to upper-class patrons. The recipe of bouillabaisse became more refined, with the substitution of fish stock for boiling water, and the addition of saffron. Bouillabaisse spread from Marseille to Paris, and then gradually around the world, adapted to local ingredients and tastes."
"Three of the best-known restaurants in Marseille for traditional bouillabaisse are Le Miramar, on the Vieux Port; Chez Fonfon, at 140, Vallon des Auffes, and the Grand Bar des Goudes, Rue Desire-Péléprat."
"The name bouillabaisse comes from the method of the preparation - the ingredients are not added all at once. The broth is first boiled (bouillir) then the different kinds of fish are added one by one, and each time the broth comes to a boil, the heat is lowered (abaisser)."
Celebrate National Bouillabaisse Day with a cup or bowl or this tasty stew.
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