This week, I've been reading the best cookbook to come my way in years: The Salmon Recipes. This is a recipe book for anyone wanting to get a West Coast taste into their meals. More than just a list of recipes, this book has short notes from the contributors on their experiences living on the north coast of British Columbia, as well as their memories.
As it says on the back cover: "In this book the people of the north coast reach out in celebration of our rich culture of food in a bountiful region that has supported the gathering and sharing of sea resources since the beginning of time."
The recipes include many ways to prepare salmon as well as other kinds of seafood. But that's only one part of this book's appeal. Taken in series, the paragraphs and stories on pages facing the recipes are a heartfelt invitation to understand more about the lives of people living on the coast. The many colourful and informal photographs alone are worth the cover price!
Many of the stories involve beachcombing or going out in small boats. I particularly liked the story "One of his eight arms" by Luanne Roth:
Once in our prawn trap there was a small octopus holding a prawn. He was a bit scared and disoriented, but the whole time we had him out of the water, tipping the trap to have a better look as he pulled himself around, he kept one of his eight arms outstretched with the end carefully holding his prawn.
The Salmon Recipes: Stories of Our Endangered North Coast Cuisine
by the Prince Rupert Environmental Society
New Society Publishers
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