A fishmonger is like a hairdresser – a gal is only meant to have one at a time. Bristol Farmers’ market is blessed with two wet fish stalls, each in sight of the other. This makes any pretense of exclusivity hard to maintain.
On Wednesday my mission was to buy the ingredients for a fish soup, including mussels. This meant a visit to both fishmongers.
I went first to David Felce‘s (see above). I bought raw monkfish cheeks (enough for one and a half people) and smoked haddock (two fillets) smoked by the fishmonger himself.
Feeling disloyal to David, I sidled over to the Handpicked Shellfish Company. Outside a gale threatened, so both stalls were huddled in the same area, even closer together than usual. (The above pic was taken the week before when David’s stall was outside, as normal).
The mussels are well scary. They can cause food poisoning if they not fresh. So, you have to buy fresh ones, alive. Why did I take on this dish (because Nigel Slater inspired me last Sunday)? Read on.