Friday, June 12, 2009

The Guillotine

**Warning: gratuitous photos of piscine decapitation follow below.**

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she has to take the next step. A major, defining moment that proves her mettle and ability to face adversity and unexpected discoveries. That leap, of course, is the first time she buys a whole fish and chops off its head.

When the day started, Trofie Wife had no idea it would take such a momentous turn. My plan was just to make it to Voltri for some Internet-related business and then head back. Yet as frequent readers of this blog know, there’s no way of escaping Voltri without heading into the grocery store (I swear, they have a large magnet). Usually, I avoid purchasing perishables as I’m never quite sure how long I’m going to have to wait for a return train. But that fateful day was different. I lumbered over to the fish counter and saw that there was a sale on alice (that would be one way to say “anchovies”). Before I knew it, I had uttered enough Italian to leave with half a kilo and made it home, where I located an interesting recipe for baked anchovies, which seemed as though they would mask the usual overpowering taste (stench?) of these wee fish.

I’m happy to report that I managed to decapitate, gut, and debone all of these buggers. The dish turned out great (Martello even enjoyed it!), and I feel as though I’ve passed a major culinary hurdle. I even went on to buy a large whole fish from a stall a few days later and communicate well enough to get them to remove the head and guts. I baked the whole thing in the oven—so tasty!

Here’s the evidence, just in case you don’t believe Trofie Wife (now's the time to close the tab if you don't want to see fish guts).

The newly purchased (and intact) alice.

The weapon.

After the first one, you get used to it.

Collection of bones.

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife

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