Sunday, September 18, 2011

A tasty fish with an interesting background.

As you may or may not know, we are nearing the end of The Great Southern Road Trip. I haven’t been a very good girl about documenting things you might have found interesting because this has been a very laid back trip I mean, hey, we’re in the South, right?

 Now we’re in the Floriday Keys. Tom thinks he wants to retire tomorrow and move here, but I’m pretty sure that some of the beer he drank in the water-front bar whilst watching a lot of football today may have fogged his mind a bit.

Anyway, we took a tour out to Pigeon Key yesterday. It is on the former railroad line paid for by a Mr Flagler. There’s some interesting history there, connected with the Bingham family, newspaper high mucky-mucks in Louisville, my home town, but that will be for another day.

It was a work camp for a while and housed several hundred men tricked into coming down to lower Florida to work on the railroad bridge. There’s a lot of very interesting history and you can find some of it here.

While we were there, we were shown an aquarium with a few small but really beautiful fish. They were immature lionfish. We were told that they were introduced in the the local waters, probably by folks who’d brought them from their native Indo-Pacific home as aquarium fish.

They are voracious eaters and have no predators, so they’ve spread, much to the detriment of native fish. And while they are indeed beautiful, they have spines that carry a toxin that can be very painful if touched.

Now you probably are wondering why I’m telling you all this, especially when I’ve been remarkably lazy about telling you about earlier culinary wonders of the trip but the reason is that I had lionfish for dinner tonight, at Lazy Day Restaurant in Islamorda, The Keys, Florida.  What better way to get rid of an invasive critter but to eat it, right?

It was a very mild flavored fish, which made it perfect for the almond crust and key lime butter sauce with diced tomato and sliced scallions.  Really yummy!

In the interest of fair reporting, Tom had the whole Florida lobster Mediterranean, with capers, diced tomato and lots of other goodies, as you can see  for yourself. 


I promise to make time to fill you in on some of the other culinary delights of our trip.  Tomorrow.  Or the next day.  Or sometime next week.  It’s amazing what being down in the Keys does to one’s sense of urgency.
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