When I was growing up we had very little in extras and usually just enough to get by. We raised or traded for almost everything we ate. My father loved to go fishing and his favorite was salmon fishing. He would spend days tying roe in netting and we would help him as we sat around the kitchen table making stacks and stacks of the bait bags.
It was never a question as to whether he would actually catch a fish as he always came home with one and it was usually about 40 pounds or more. It was because we had so little the salmon was a precious commodity to our family.
My mother however had no imagination when it came to cooking. She would make salmon patties for breakfast, salmon like tuna for lunch and salmon steaks for dinner until the entire 40 pounds was gone.
When I left home at 18 I refused to eat salmon. But in 1985 I went to France to ski and when we got to the small town of Age we found a small castle which had just reopened the week before.
My girlfriend and I came down to the dining room for dinner that evening and the waiter and Maitre’D came to our table spoke in broken English to greet us and then recommended their house specialty.
Wouldn’t you know when they brought out our dinners, it was baked salmon. They were so proud of their presentation and stood near our table to watch up enjoy our first bites.
As I placed the salmon on my tongue I was astonished! I had never imagined salmon could be so succulent or flavorful. It was the most amazing thing I had ever tasted!
It was what I had never known salmon was meant to be!