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Mackerel Pate (in Chile)

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2012 13:57:14 -0400

One of the weird / frustrating / interesting things about living in another
culture is that values and asumptions - about the most common things - are not
always consistent with expectations.

For me, mackerel - particularly smoked - is something of a delicacy, used to
make a declisious pate, or part of a breakfast treat.

Here in Chile, it turns out that it's considered a "poor person's food" and is
sold in large (the size of soup cans, or a tin of beans - 4 times the height
of a tune can,although not as wide, for comparison).  So it's not something
I've met in restaurants, or when eating with others.

But since it's an important source of oils (and omega 3, whatever that is),
and I am trying to keep my cholesterol in check, I decided it was worth
investigating.

It turns out that you can no longer buy smoked mackerel in Chile bceause the
last smokehouse was damaged in the big earthquake of 2010.  I think I've seen
it sold "fresh" in fancier supermarkets, but today I bought a can (San Jose
brand).

Opening the can, it's absolutely packed with meaty fish!  So packed that you
can drain the can without losing the contents.  The fish itself is pretty
"fishy", as you'd expect, and cooked much like sardines (with bones in place,
but soft).  The meat is surprisingly like tuna - same colour, almost as solid.

I emptied the contents into a bowl and added a pot of cream cheese (100g of
Santa Rosa Alouete - and yeah, I don't normally eat cheese, given the
cholesterol issues, but I'm sure it's more than balanced by the magic omega
3...).

Mixing with a fork, and adding salt and pepper to taste, I soon had a pretty
good fish pate.  Some fresh bread, a glass of Tamaya 2012 Gran Reserva Syrah
(a birthday present), and I'm pretty content!  :o)

Andrew

PS A little poking around on google suggests that "mackerel" is a whole bunch
(not even a family) of different, locale-specific, fishes.  And that in the
USA something similar is called "chicken of the sea" (which I have seen there,
near the tuna, but never bought).

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