Thursday, January 26, 2006


At the Public Market fish counter today they had a whole monkfish in the display. I had never taken a good look at one of these guys (though I've eaten them a bunch of times) and was impressed by their legendary ugliness.

Sometimes monkfish are called "allmouth" because their huge heads are mostly mouth. When the fishmonger pulled its jaw open it was at eye level with the little man sitting in his stroller. This sight didn't interrupt him from his snacking on goldfish crackers for more than a brief moment. He seemed to find it neither scary nor cool.

And the fishmonger pointed out to me that the monkfish has teeth in the back of its throat. Nasty.

We took home a nice piece of escolar, which I've never tried. Monkfish will wait for another time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those little teeth in the back of the throat are pretty gross! I love your pictures though. We don't have monkfish here in Aust, but I've seen them on British cooking tv shows. I'd love to try monkfish, its flesh looks lovely and meaty.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That fish-face bears a striking resemblance to your toy elephant.

6:43 PM  
Blogger mzn said...

Thanks, tfp. Its flesh is lovely and meaty. Doug: the fish appreciates your kind words.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't they serve escolar at your wedding?

8:36 PM  
Blogger Admin said...

you haven't cooked yet lol!! Have tagged you..

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does your little one enjoy the fish counter?

We've calmed many a grocery-store tantrum by taking the three-year-old to look at the lobsters in the tank.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One ugly (and delicious) fish. You have a brave child.

In general though, I don't think Mr. Monkfish is a good candidate for the petting zoo.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, "the fish appreciates [my] kind words".

I've never prepared or eaten it, but I remember that during perhaps the 80's, it was being marketed as "mock lobster" or "poor man's lobster". During the 80's I remarked on this point to a friend who was even more geezerly than myself, and he pointed out that lobster was at one time (before my time, but within his memory) regarded as something only poor people endured on their dinner plates.

4:53 PM  
Blogger mzn said...

My sister: it was on the menu but I had something else.

Anthony: I did this one already but thanks for thinking of me.

Stacie: my little one loves the market because he is a glutton for free samples. He especially likes the offerings from the bakery and the cheese counter. So far, though, he has been indifferent to the lobsters. I have to pick him up to look at them and usually don't find it to be worth the trouble. But thanks for the tip should a tantrum strike.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

That is one ugly fish. Shudder.

I miss monkfish and yes, I was lurking in the markets in the 80s buying monkfish when it cost less than a pound for a humongous fillet big enough to feed 4. Since I was a poor starving student then, it just fed me for a week. I wish we could get it here in Singapore.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

That fish is U-G-L-Y. Is it OK to say that?

2:08 AM  
Blogger Deb Schiff said...

My goodness! That's frightening. Just the implications of that! Imagine being chewed twice on the way down. Thanks for the education.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's my monkfish skeleton. Just to creep you all out a bit more.

6:57 AM  

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