Cornish Fishing and Seafood by Carol Trewin – review

Fishing is Britain’s most dangerous peacetime occupation. Now, there’s a thought!

Cornish Fishing and Seafood This is a gorgeous, full-colour volume (photographer Adam Woolfitt does fantastic work) that I hesitate to describe as a coffee table book. It’s glossy and lovely but it’s a book you should read. It’s a serious, worrying and inspiring book that I had to wrest from the hands of my husband. He was born in a fishing town and so understands the changes that have been forced upon the industry over the past years.

This is a book about fishing, yes, but it’s about community, heritage and the future. Each section contains the personal views of people at the sharp end – the fishermen who risk their lives working in an industry that seems to be dogged by bureaucracy. These are the histories that add real warmth to the subject.

Cornish Fishing and Seafood isn’t quite a recipe book but it is a book that any serious food enthusiast should read. We, the fish-buying public, can make a difference to policy and attitude, but we need to be well-informed.

Andrew Pasco is a fisherman and the Vice Chairman, South West Handline Fishermans Association. He says “…I think it (the fishing industry) has been poorly managed over the years. As far as the government was concerned, the fishing industry didn’t mean that much to the country, there wasn’t that many votes in it. Whereas in France and Spain, because they eat a lot more fish, fish and fishing and fishermen are very important because of the money they make and bring into the area, and they are treated in a different fashion than we are in this country.”

On the subject of quotas, Rick Stein says “One of my arguments was that maybe if we all ate a much bigger variety of fish, we wouldn’t be targeting a specific species”.

On a less political note, there’s a whole bunch of lovely fish recipes for monkfish, mackerel, red mullet and many other kinds of fish. Rick Stein contributes Herring Recheado, Katchumber Salad and Pilau Rice. It’s a curry and sounds delicious.

This is the book to give you a real insight into the industry. Buy it and read it. It will still look good on the coffee table!

Cornish Fishing and Seafood
Author: Carol Trewin, Forward: Colin Warwick,
Published by: Alison Hodge Publishers
Price: £14.95
ISBN 0-906720-42-7


Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018


See more books by Carol Trewin here