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BigG | Jun 23, 201901:06 AM     10

Marine life generally doesn't succumb to muddiness, in flavor, as does aquatic life. Those of us who live waaaay inland and have only freshwater fish as our fresh fish sometimes have to take an extra step to reduce muddiness.

My brother once lived south of Omaha NE, and when we went out for a Friday fish fry, my bro kept his trap shut because he knew I'd be shocked to find carp on the menu. I ordered the walleye, but our hostess was kind enough to throw in a little piece of carp for my perusal (I tipped her well.) Now, I'm not saying it beat out the walleye, but it was much nicer than any carp I'd ever attempted to gulp down my gullet (though Asian carp is pretty dang good, albeit invasive here.) So, when I returned home to WI, I asked a very nimroddy friend how to make carp palatable like that. He said, like with snapping turtle, one must allow the living animal to stay in clean water for a period of time before dispatching for food. Sooo, next carp I caught, I kept alive ( carp are very tough) and steeped in a copper wash bin, with clean well water in it, for a couple of days. Sure enough, I could eat said carp after the cleansing time.

Sometimes the real prep happens before the cook's knife ever touches the ingredient.

I know friends who insist that coffee grounds yield better flavor from their garden veggies. I toss mine in the garden now, but really don't notice much difference.

Does anyone have experiences like this, in which the ingredient must be cleaned up through a natural process before consumption? I do believe in "saveur de la terre." What are some tricks the French do to make this happen? Chinese, Russians, Native Americans. I know cassava takes some work to make it edible; but much of that is human labor. It's artificial, in essence. I suppose putting a carp in a tank is somewhat artificial; but it seemed to make such natural sense.

An old friend once told me that the trick to picking a perfect guanabana is to never pick a guanabana; it's only perfect if it falls off the tree. Other foods, like bananas, are often best kept if harvested very green and immature and allowed to mature off the plant.

Good thing we're a species that's good at learning.

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