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« IMBB15, Has my blog Jelled: sugolo, or better, grape glue | Main | Mole Poblano... from scratch. »

May 24, 2005



fascinating. that's one thing about enjoying food. at a certain point, you simply have to be responsible. as a member and eater in a "developed" world, you have a huge impact on resources. trends aren't merely trends...especially when it comes to food, it will always leave an impact somewhere on the planet and in someone's livelihood.

good for you, alberto. glad to know there are folks who think about what they put into their mouths...

on another note, when i saw the photo, i gasped. Not in horror, but revelation. The rosamarina bears a striking resemblance to a lot of korean fish kim chi. Yes, i speak of kim chi, that pungent and spicy fermentation (i prefer, curing, thank you) of most notoriously cabbage. seafood is huge in korea and tiny fish are often part on the menu (the pacific, though larger in scale, too is succumbing its abundance to over-fishing). they take dried tiny fish, and add them to a kim chi mixture of dried red chile flakes, vinegar, garlic, salt and sugar and let it age.

it's texture is chewy, the flavor spicy, sweet, briny, and with a trace of that stuff now known as umami. it's like all the elements in one bite. it's deadly good with nothing but a mound of hot rice.

but yes, it looks gross.

clare eats

I did not know this existed, but I know I would love it ( Have you had Sambal terasi?) but as an ecologist I can not eat it.. when this is going on... :( :( :(


This is so relevant especially to developing countries where food is not easily available and species may die out due to human need rather than choice.
Most tribals and fisher folk have their own traditional systems of preserving the forests or seas and species on which they depend for their livelihood though.But maintaining biodiversity is of real concern here in India.
Actually fish pickling is being encouraged in several areas in India as a value added product for fishing communities to raise their income.
We have some wonderful fish and prawn pickles especially from Goa, Mangalore Kerala and Orissa. Most use grown,large and oily fish as these preserve better.A hair raising amount of red chilli is a must and the picture on your blog looks amazingly like prawn pickle from Goa. Absolutely mouthwatering.
I have no record of Indian 'neonata' being used for pickle.
Also am a bit doubtful about herring, anchovies and sardines being endangered by the production of 'rosmarina' as this species "Clupea harengus harengus" (Atlantic herring) has been certified as well managed and sustainable.
It is true they were overfished at one time in the 1990's but the situation is stable today.
Do check on a great site for bio diversity of fish called "Fish Base" http://filaman.uni-kiel.de/search.cfm and also "Larval Base" http://filaman.uni-kiel.de/LarvalBase/search.cfm.
It would be a pity to stop eating a good old Roman pickle if it is not imperative.


Wasabi, I love kimichi! A few years back, in the UK, I had a Korean colleague who would from time to time get food from home, especially kimichi. I got to know this preserve through him and after the first tongue searing experience I learned to appreciate the few different kinds he kindly made me try.

Clare, never had Sambal Terasi but I'll look out for it from now on, sounds tempting.

deccanheffalump thank you for the hindsight on biodiversity and food in India, I appreciated it very much. Concerning anchovies, sardines and sustainable fishing: if you look back at my post you notice I never used the word "endangered" but rather spoke of fish stocks, in particular those in the Mediterranean sea. I was not making a general point, rather talking about the very specific issue of the fishing situation in Italy. While the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) is not endangered, according to different sources (WWF but also a few more enlightened Italian fisherman associations) if the fishing pressure on this species remains to the levels it is today it is easy to foresee a collapse in fish numbers in the very close future.

clare eats

If you would like a recipe for Sambal Terasi I would be happy to supply one :)just email me at

clarexican at gmail dot com


Just as you put it: rosamarina is a real delicacy and yet an ecological disaster. I tasted just one time, never had the occasion again since there and from there I remain with the whole question.
Thanks for you great blog


Patrizia, thank you for your compliments. Glad you like the blog.


Little fish? I love them. Check out my webblog too. I have a dish called "Sambal Ikan Teri". Ikan teri are tiny little anchovies. Sambal is Indonesian "salsa".


Where do I get this....thanks...email me at [email protected]

Sardella Lover

I've read that you can buy this in carrefour grocery stores in the regional specialties section. You should read the above article to make sure you really want to buy it though.

If you know of a mail order place that sells it, please post it here.

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