It does seem extraordinary that Saint George, England’s patron saint has nothing whatsoever to do with these fair shores. Legend has it he was born in Cappadocia, now Turkey, in 3AD and later lived in Palestine becoming a Roman soldier – where the gallantry bit comes in no doubt. But putting dragons aside, perhaps it’s his foodie heritage we should keep in mind this 23rd April.
And, instead of rushing off to the nearest chippy to honour the ‘great man’, here at Fish Palace, we think it’s a chance to savour some of the fish that George himself might have eaten. Gilt-head bream, also known as çipura or çupra, is the Aegean’s most famous fish so this one heads the must try list, especially if you’re a fan of sea bass.
Or, if you’re feeling brave, like George, and fancy pushing the boat out a bit why not give bonito a go? Ours actually comes from Spain, produced by the iconic Ortiz tuna cannery, and are definitely worthy of a celebration, especially if you go for the revered ventresca de bonito. Had he been around today, George’s celebrity status probably would have seen him driving around in a Lamborghini, so this top-drawer product is more than fitting.
For a taste of Palestine, the latest book from Yotam Ottolenghi, Jerusalem has some wonderfully aromatic fish dishes, including pan-fried bream with harissa and rose. Middle East meets North Africa, but hey! We’re a cosmopolitan lot these days.