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Fermented Fish

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In rural Alaska, some lucky newcomers get the privilege of enjoying a special Eskimo culinary delight. Fermented fish is something most people in the lower 48 would never think to try; and that is a shame, because countless people have been enjoying it as a regular part of their diet for millenniums. Fermented fish is prepared by first digging a hole about two feet in the ground. The preparer places a freshly caught fish in the hole, covers it with earth, and lets it stay buried for a couple weeks to a month or longer. After the fish reaches a desired level of fermentation, the preparer unearths it and immediately freezes it until someone is ready to eat it. Fermented fish tastes best raw and frozen. The picture (see URL below) shows part of the fish I recently ate. It makes a very satisfying meal and keeps you feeling full for a long time. Fermented fish is only dangerous if enclosed in plastic during the fermentation process.


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About David Miller

  • But what did it smell like? (Pace my recent book review.)

    Isan, the east of Thailand, also has a fermented (for which one might read rotted) fish speciality. I had to evacuate the office – and no not in a joking manner – the one time someone brought some in. The smell was almost indescribably awful, and produced in me an entirely visceral aversion.

  • razak.alimbar

    Nothing added to make fermentation? Such as salt, and how much into a specific amount.