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Monday, 3 August 2015

Smell my fish!

'Smell my fish!' is perhaps a title which negatively belays the actual true tone of this blog post. What I meant by 'Smell my fish!' is something far more positive and relates to my job as butcher/fishmonger on the Tesco counter at Beeston in Nottinghamshire.

Whilst setting up the counter  in the early morning with the fresh and smoked fish products one has the distinct pleasure of opening new fresh boxes of fish products. Fresh fish does not smell in an obviously 'fishy' way i.e. strong and off putting and this is always the case on our counter where everything has a strict date monitoring code and practice. The things that have an especial aroma (a much better word than smell) are the smoked items, the shell fish and the marinated items. Sometimes it is a total olfactory joy just opening the sealed packs of a morning. I, for one cannot resist a sniff. The ozone scented mussels are like smelling the perfume of the sea.

My personal favourites are the newly opened packs of mussels that smell of childhood visits to the seaside; most smoked fish but for me the smoked bark scented kippers and kipper fillets and in the past the sweetly scented orangey-pink langoustines.

I put the question to Tesco counter colleagues across the country through a Tesco forum on Facebook and these are a selection from over thirty answers from some of our fish counter friends in the company.

"I love the smell of smoke fish. I love it when I serve it from the counter."

"My fave is when you open a box of undyed smoked haddock. They smell divine."

"Smoked salmon fillets are the best."

"I love the smell of mussels. Always makes me think of harbours and summer holidays on the beach."

"The Chinese kebabs and undyed smoked haddock are the best."

"Most of us fishmongers are a bit tapped in the head but we love our job!"

"The best has to be chilli lime and ginger mackerel and  garlic and herb salmon."

"Smoked salmon."

"Scallops in the tubs. As soon as I open them I have to stick my nose in. Utterly fantastic!"

"Whole salmon is another fave of mine... they smell like cucumber."

"The garlic salmon portions and definitely the mussels."

"Fish pie smells like sweetcorn!! lol. And I love sweetcorn!"

"Haddock smells great."

"Fresh haddock block (young haddock) smell great!"

There was one thing that wasn't so popular amongst the fish counters staff and that was the smell of the prepared squid that has a rich, rather masculine accented, iodine smell which does tend to go once cooked.

Many thanks for your thoughts from our responsive Tesco fish counter operatives across the UK; Rupert, Emma, Lucy, Gavin, Jo, Jock, Jack, Dan, James, Kathryn, Louise, Regine, Lynda, Joey, Joanne, Pete, Iain, Scott, Jane, and Lynne.

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