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Fish in Umbria

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July 25, 2016 / Italian / By

Even in a close family, arguments can arise over food. I try to be considerate about other people's food issues. But grouped together, we have plenty among our friends and relations: a genuine cheese intolerance, a dairy intolerance that depends on how delicious the dairy product looks, a part time vegetarian, a loathing for melon, a refusal to eat preserved meats, a basil and a garlic/onion intolerance. If all these people visited at once, I would leave home.

 The one I find particularly hard to deal with is anyone who refuses to eat or is allergic (perhaps) to fish. Recently, I served green salsa to someone who was dismayed to find anchovies on her pizza the following night. I pointed out that she had happily and unknowingly eaten them the day before because they were not identifiable, but this did not shake her conviction that she could not eat them. I swear I did not know she thought she had a seafood allergy.

As I am sure I have mentioned before, we have a very good fish restaurant in Bevagna that we can only visit with a few friends and relations, as others have issues or are suspicious of eating fish in a landlocked province. But, this is not the middle ages; even Umbria, despite its terribly maintained roads, can transport fish in refrigerated trucks from the coast in under two hours.

Recently, three of us sneaked off to tempt fate by eating seafood. We started with mussels. They weren't actually on the menu, but when I made a tentative enquiry, the restauranteur made an Italian gesture that indicated that of course he had mussels. After all it was a fish restaurant. They were delicious in a lightly garlicky tomato soup.

Next came the fish platter (see header photograph) - a very decent spread with a small unidentifiable fish, prawns, squid, octopus and langoustine on each plate. Washed down with a crisp white wine from Friuli, it was delicious, but by Umbrian standards quite expensive.

A few weeks before we had had a fish lunch at Castiglione del Lago with a fish-friendly group. Because the town is situated on Lake Trasimeno, the restaurant specialises in river or lake fish.

The restaurant was situated up above the lake with a lovely view across the water. It was a very hot day so the cooler air off the lake was welcome and the fans also helped to keep us cool. We were seated back from the best of the view in deep shade for which we were very grateful. A big family christening party had the prime position but also the sun.

The fish dishes had a mild flavor unless served in a rich sauce. The white polenta was almost tasteless and really only served as a vehicle for conveying the fishy sauce to the mouth. For that purpose it was very efficient. I believe The Tall Guy struggled with the volume of little bones in the little fish. I know I did.

So on the basis of this small sample, prices being about the same - (around €30 per head) - I prefer to risk the quality of the seafood in landlocked Umbria rather than fiddle about with lake fish.

Ristorante La Cucina

Country: Italy

Province/State: Umbria

City: Castiglione del Lago

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: N/A


Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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