My dad was from a small landlocked village in Italy where lamb and beef were plentiful. And although he naturally preferred a Mediterranean diet, with figs, olives and nuts high on his list of favourites, he ate fish only on Friday nights when it was deep-fried at my aunt’s restaurant. My octogenarian mother has always disliked fish, although she still gamely tries to acquire a taste for it by frequenting the local Red Lobster with her Red Hat posse.
Consequently there were no feasts of the seven fishes as I was growing up, no sweet shrimp, succulent scallops or briny molluscs of any kind. Most of my family wrinkle their nose at seafood, but I am nothing if not the gourmet of the group. The first real fresh fish I ever ate was on a trip to Boston when I was 18. Since then, I have come to embrace seafood of all kinds, even calamari, although I prefer the little round rubbery rings over the somewhat frightening tentacles. Seafood is quick and easy to make; fresh and frozen are readily available, and it’s a healthful choice for dinner.