Thursday, March 27, 2014

Allan's beer pusher in Moscow, Part Two ... salting the roaches.

When my friend Allan wrote to describe the new Russian beer "growler" filling station doing business in his Moscow market, he made it a point to include reference to fish sold there, too, presumably in lieu of peanuts or nachos.

Allan did this in part because it echoes our experience in the Russian countryside in 1999, but it also prompts an exceedingly dim recollection of visiting a beer hall of some sort, all metal and tile, somewhere off Kalinin Prospekt in Moscow in 1989, and having a couple of draft beers (Zhiguli?) with salted fish, and as many fish rinds on the floor as peanut shells in a Texas Roadhouse.

I replied to Allan: What about a recipe for salting those fish?

He answered with the video (above) and voluminous instructions, and before I pass along two excerpts, the first thing to remember is that when you initiate your google translation of Russian-language passages devoted to explaining how to go about salting fish, there'll be a common word come back to you: Roach.

First, the skewed snippets, followed by an explanation that will still your queasy stomach.

In the early 70s, I once bought a porter fishmarket "Lighthouse" that Leningradke for "Falcon", two bags of roach. By ruble twenty per kilogram. Here it was summer! We ate roach continuously. Beer for me was free and make profit (standing in a pub drinking beer and chewing dried fish - every one suit and ask the price. Took the tail or a couple of beers, or fifty dollars, it was very cheap). In Odessa, I rented a room for three in the Carolino Bugaz per bag roach month. And the hosts were extremely happy and accommodating.

Or this:

You have successfully went fishing and brought home a solid catch roach. Note: to run for beer and invite friends early conversion of fish notable roach take more than a month.
Take a bucket or large enamel pot. Pour on the bottom layer of coarse salt and put a layer of fish. Then another layer of the layer of salt and fish. And more. A top placing oppression. Roach under the yoke should prosalivatsya a week. And a pot or bucket is better to put in a cool place - for example to the balcony. But not in the refrigerator.

Roach: It's neither a clip for curing river creatures nor the common American insidious insect, but is, in fact, a fish: Vobla in Russian.

Vobla (Rutilus caspicus), also termed the Caspian roach, is a species of cyprinid fish inhabiting the Caspian Sea and inflowing rivers. It is closely related to the common roach (Rutilus rutilus) and often considered its subspecies, Rutilus rutilus caspicus.

Salt-dried vobla is a common Russian meal or snack that goes well with beer. It is popular in many Russian households and beer restaurants.

Salted, jerked roach. Sounds like the perfect menu item for the new generation of star gastropub chefs. I'm checking the Ohio River for carp as we speak.

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