I’d always meant to go to Billingsgate but the early start would always succeed in dissuading me. After seeing fellow food blogger, Ala’s post on her tour and having Adam Whittle of the seafood school visit school last term I decided I’d better make the effort. A few of my classmates and I made our way to east London for 6am, donned our white fishmonger jackets and CJ from the seafood school took us for a tour.
Thanks go to CJ, who was very tolerant of our dozy silence and informed us of everything from origins of species to price per kg. It wasn’t all high yield ‘pretty’ white fish for the UK market, British tastes have been influenced by all settlers here with increasing sales of carp and tropical snapper fish. Here’s a few snaps of what was on offer:
It was really surreal joining the commuters in the city to make our way across London after our tour, them starting the days of their grown-up careers, us scoffing scallop and bacon rolls and and memorising distinctive features of pollock (lateral lines that look like stitches). I suppressed as many yawns as I could during the school day that followed, but Billingsgate was appropriately timed for a day of roasting pollock and a shellfish demonstration in the afternoon. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine we have such an abundance of seafood surrounding us, even though I am well aware we live on an island so I was very happy to have visited the market and am enthused by all the new species I have available to cook.