Thursday, August 8, 2013

The fishmongers of Maine

My mom and I went to buy fish a couple of days ago while on vacation on the Maine coast. Mom was very nervous about this endeavor, because usually my dad is in charge of fish purchases. All afternoon she talked about how hard it would be to buy fish without him. I countered by telling her, "We can do this, Mom. We are two capable women, and we can figure out how to buy a tasty fish."

We went to one store. The fish did not look promising. We took one look and backed out of the store.

We weren't sure where to go next. "You could check your Google," suggested Mom (that's what she calls the iPhone).

"Or you could check YOUR Google," I said.

"I'm not sure how to," she responded. It turns out that we were out of cell phone range, so neither of our Googles worked.

We tried another store -- your run of the mill grocery store, like the downeast Maine version of a Stop 'n Shop. This was definitely NOT the Whole Foods. However, the fish didn't look terrible like at the last place.

"We need to ask some questions about it," Mom said. "That's what Dad does."

We found a woman who worked there. "Has this fish been previously frozen?" asked Mom.

She felt the fish. "It feels like it's maybe just a little frozen," she responded with a heavy Russian accent.

"Is it farmed or wild caught?" Mom asked.

The woman gave her a confused look.

"I have to text Dad to ask what we should do," Mom said. She got out her Google and tried. The text wouldn't go through.

We decided to try one more place. The fish there was very fresh, they told us, and also wildly expensive. It was so expensive we didn't even bother to ask all of our questions. This fish was made of pure gold, obviously. There was no way it didn't match our criteria. We bought it.

Dad took one look at it and pronounced, "This salmon is from a farm. Wild caught salmon is much darker."

Mom groaned.

The fish was delicious, but by that point it didn't matter. We had failed. I suspect it will be many years before Mom undertakes another fish-buying mission.

No comments:

Post a Comment