Shrinking Fish

I like food. Homecooked, Chinese takeaway, delivery pizza, even a burger from the big M place, I chew it all away happily as long as I don’t have to eat the same two days in a row. I hate to be bored. Yes, I do like food and it shows. So a while back I had my blood pressure checked and after asking me whether I had funeral insurance the good doctor ordered me to lose weight and cut the salt. Immediately.
So I change my diet: less takeaway, less saturated fats, less salt, more vegetables and… more fish. Fish has healthy fats and I happen to like fish so I’m cool with that.

So the supermarket around the corner offers two for the price of one of ‘ready for the oven’ fish products of a well-known brand. What the package says (after translation) is “Grilled Fishcuisine” and “mediterranian fish filets marinated in olive oil with rosemary and sage”. Now I’m a bit suspicious of anything called ‘mediterranian’ since pesto stormed the Dutch kitchen a few years ago and you couldn’t buy anything unless it was drowned in pesto – that is, the Dutch version of pesto which has very little resemblance with the real deal. But two for the price of one fits my limited budget so I decide not to be too critical.

After opening one of the packages I’m staring at the two “mediterranian fish filets marinated in olive oil with rosemary and sage” because they’re none too large but then I never agreed with the recommended tiny amount of meat one should consume per day. And, I did save money by getting two for the price of one so I’ll just cook both pieces and have a party! As I mentioned before, I like fish…

After cooking the fish in the oven for 25 minutes following exact instructions, I’m totally dumbfounded. I see a LOT of pale watery sauce and two tiny pieces of fish, less than half the size of before they went into the oven. The fish has shrunk! And it tastes exactly like the pale watery sauce looks: pale and watery. There’s nothing of the promise made by “marinated in olive oil with rosemary and sage”. An authentic Italian recipe? To quote a dear friend of mine: I don’t think so!

I wonder, do cooks who work for food manufaturers ever cook their own end products following their own instructions? I doubt it. And they can’t be real cooks either, no self respecting cook would want to be associated with a disgusting product like this.

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