Things have been a bit quiet on the Provence Calling site, the reason being that I have been working on a film in Seattle and have had little time to do anything besides.
Seattle is surrounded by water, the Puget Sound to the West and Lake Washington to the east and there is a lot of excellent fish and seafood to be had, much of which is on display at the famous Pike Place Market.
This is the famous market near the waters edge overlooking the Elliot Bay where local farmers and fishermen have been selling their wares since 1907. It is also home to the first ever Starbucks.
There are around 500 stalls selling all types of local produce, vegetables, fruit, flowers, spices, teas and crafts, but it’s the stalls selling fish and shellfish that are the main attraction,
especially the stall where the fish mongers throw the fish to each other to the delight of every photo snapping tourist.
However as I was staying in an hotel, I wasn’t able to cook anything and had to rely on restaurants to prepare my food and my favourite place to eat seafood soon became Taylors Shellfish Farm at Melrose Market, 1521 Melrose Ave (cross road Pike), Seattle, WA 98122. Taylors farm all the seafood themselves and supply most of the restaurants in the area as well as exporting beyond. They used to only be a wholesale supplier but you can now buy their seafood to take home or eat in at their store which is within the foodie mecca that is Melrose Market. The live seafood is kept in tanks and there is plenty to choose from:
There are mussels
and Manila clams, of which Taylors are the biggest producers on the West Coast.
And crabs. Who knew that crabs like to cuddle…..
There is a large selection of oysters including Olympia, Kumamoto, Shigoku, Fanny Bay Small and Kusshi and you can order a mixed plate; I had two of each.
And the pièce de résistence the geoduck, pronounced gooey duck. These are clams that live in the depths of the ocean off the Washington coast. They have long necks, or siphons which can grow up to a metre in length. They are popular in Asian countries where they command a high price. Whilst I was there I was given a demonstration of how to prepare one.
It is first dropped into boiling water and left for a minute or two and then plunged into ice water.
Then its outer skin, or siphon has to be removed.
Then it is cut into various sections, some of which gets discarded.
And then expertly sliced
To create this beautiful and tasty dish of Geoduck sashimi
Who would have known that something so un-appetising could end up so delicious. If you are in Seattle I urge you to go and try some for yourself, just don’t be tempted to take one home and prepare it yourself, it needs expert handling.
And from the city known for its coffee, this is where I bought mine in the mornings on my way to work, Tully’s the ‘other’ coffee chain from Seattle.