When we lived in Spain, I used to pride myself on heading out every now and again and buying a whole 'lubina' (bass) to do 'a la sal' (salt baked).
This is the best of the Med, I used to think to myself, as we all tucked into lusciously moist, white flesh.
More fool me.
The bass, it turns out, was all from British waters.
They do farm bass in the Mediterranean, but - like pretty much all farmed fish - it's an abomination; the marine equivalent of battery farmed chicken, with everything that entails.
What's more, it tends to decimate wild stocks.
The bass you see in supermarkets is nearly all farmed. You can tell, actually - it's all the same terrifyingly uniform size, and it's small (they're allowed, somehow, to harvest them at the size of a small pond goldfish. Shocking).
There's absolutely nothing 'sustainable' about this, and the idea that it's some sort of acceptable alternative to industrial scale fishing is for the birds.
What is sustainable, though, is what Ben - below - will be doing later this week.
Armed with just a rod and line, he’ll be heading out into the beautiful waters off the Rame Head Peninsula to see what he can find.
Of course, he doesn’t always catch.
But when he does, oh my!
His are the most beautiful bass I’ve ever seen. They literally sparkle. And they eat so well too.
That’s partly because they’re just so damn fresh, and partly because he dispatches them using the Japanese Shinkei Jime method.
Now that the season has opened, you simply have to try this bass.
And cooking it 'a la sal’ is a fantastic - and fantastically easy - way of doing so.
Here’s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall talking you through the technique(personally I’d manage without the bay and garlic, but each to their own).
The Spanish say preheat the oven to 200 degrees and reckon on about 20 minutes cooking per kg of bass (but you’ll know it’s ready when the fish’s eye turns white).
You know, I’m all about that bass….