I love fish…and I don’t mean just swimming with them. I love having them on my plate as well! Nothing beats a good tuna or salmon steak on the grill. Alternatively a whole fish like sea bass or a gilt-head bream would win my smiles! And I take all fish on my plate seriously…no leftovers. It’s my way of showing respect and appreciation for the life taken.
On this trip to Salina, we made 2 visits to the local fisherman for fresh fish. Located at the heart of Santa Marina is Pescheria ‘A Lampara, a small family-run shop with an excellent selection of fresh fish and seafood. On the morning of our first visit, the place was filled with chatter and movement! We didn’t really have any idea of what we wanted. We just knew we wanted fish for dinner. We stood behind an old man waiting for our turn while admiring the fish laid on ice and trying to make a decision.
The man behind the counter wearing an apron with a fish in his hands is Alessio Follone. He was talking to the old man in front of us and since everything was spoken in Italian, I had no idea what he was saying. But just watching the exchange was like being at an opera! The hand gestures, the tones of their voices…for some reason, I knew the old man was bargaining and Alessio was not giving in.
Before we knew it, with the old man still standing there, we were being served! Right behind Alessio, on the chopping board was a big tuna cut in half! “We should get some of that!” I whispered to hubby. A few seconds later, 2 thick tuna steaks were on the weighing scale and Alessio was recommending the squid. I am not particularly crazy about squid but decided to try these…they did look good. According to Alessio, the female ones were the softest, the best. And man was he right! We loved it so much that we went back for more. On our second visit, there weren’t any female ones and had a male squid instead. It was not as soft but still fresh and excellent!
From our first visit, we made the mistake of eating the tuna steaks AND squid in one meal. We were so stuffed that we had difficulty sleeping that night and even suffered from meat sweats!!! Who on earth gets meat sweats from eating too much seafood?! But I guess that’s what holidays are for, right? 😛
On our second visit to Pescheria ‘A Lampara, we bought mackerel fillets in addition to the squid. Alessio did the filleting on the spot as the mackerel was too big for us both to finish. I would like to think we had learnt our lesson about overeating. 🙂 What is also great about this shop is that they know simple ways to prepare fish as well; asked how best to prepare our purchase and we were recommended a recipe of marinating the fillets in olive oil, lemon and oregano. Since we didn’t have oregano to make our marinade, we even got a small portion of home-grown oregano from the shop. Right off the grill, the fillets were superb!
On Salina, I would definitely recommend a visit to Pescheria ‘A Lampara although you might not find Alessio there all the time. He divides his time between Salina and DUMO (Brooklyn, New York), spreading the love for fish to the USA through CA’PISCI. So, anyone over there that’s lucky enough to be in the region can get a taste of the wonderful Aeolian tradition!
Pescheria ‘A Lampara
via Cristoforo Colombo, 3 – 98050 Santa Marina Salina (ME), Isole Eolie, Italy
Disclaimer: Our visit to Pescheria ‘A Lampara was of our own accord. I am not financially compensated for this post but I do love fish!