The port of Paestum was famous for its fish hatcheries.
It was a resort where the Roman Emperors Nero, Hadrian & Vespasian owned luxurious and very expensively decorated villas.
Not only were there fish hatcheries but also well heated tanks where, during the winter, they could raise oysters, mussels, lobsters, prawns, crabs...
Those who had their premises on the shoreline threw lines from their door step, others not so fortunate had having pools and ponds to entertain their VIP guests.
Fishmongers were always negotiating higher prices with the captains of fishing galleys during the time of Imperial banquets, inaugurations ceremonies, & public feasts.
Let's remember that the receptacle that today we call a 'swimming pool', was then a piscinae -- a latin word meaning 'pisces' i.e. fish.
The city of Paestrum was called thus because of its swimming pools.
It was the Roman Empire's luxury resort for aristocratic seafood lovers.
A lot of glassware has been since unearthed depicting fish and oyster hatcheries as well as swimming pools. Similar 'digs' took place all around the Mediterranean ports which shows this was a very lucrative tourist attraction.
Unlike the fabulously rich Roman, who propagated their seafood and fish in swimming pools, I prefer to use my 'Loomis' and my fishing gear to catch my own fresh fish.
After catching your trout, here is how to prepare it.
- Two large fillets:
- Two large, brown finely diced onions.
- Three cloves of crushed garlic.
- One cup of virgin olive oil.
- Four sprigs of finely chopped fresh parsley.
- Four sprigs of finely chopped fresh dill.
- Two soup spoonfuls of tomato paste.
- Rock sea salt.
- Ground black pepper.
- 2 cups of (Chardonnay) wine.
- Two spoonfuls of red wine vinegar.
Cut the trout fillets into 25 mm wide strips, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat up a cast iron pot then add the olive oil ( do not boil ), progressively add in the diced onions and garlic and flash-fry until golden.
Dissolve the tomato paste in the wine.
Add the parsley, dill, salt, pepper and wine.
Lower the heat, distribute your trout portions evenly and add more wine if needed to cover the portions.
Simmer for 10 minutes with lid on, stirring occasionally.
Serve your trout portions with french fried potatoes.
The wine you should drink with this repast would be a chardonnay of course and we recommend any of the Chardonnays from the 'Cloudy Bay' vineyard - in moderation.
Please remember that in New Zealand it is illegal to trade or sell trout.
So make your friends happy by inviting them for a meal of trout or eat it yourself.