To the sea! To the sea!

cod and country

The urge kicks in no later than Memorial Day: to hear the ceaseless roar of waves, to sift the sand between your toes, to eat of the shelled and the finned (maybe washed down with a pint of the foamy).

Here in the land-locked portion of Massachusetts, I often just have to make do with the eating part.  Luckily, it’s high tide for new seafood cookbooks–at least three good ones that I know of.

There’s Good Fish, a West-Coast oriented book (think Arctic char, wild salmon, sablefish) with smart and simple recipes for more widely available shellfish as well.

There’s the paperback reissue of Jasper White’s The Summer Shack Cookbook, which tells you precisely how you go about drawing butter and pushes you to try all the pit, plank, and kettle recipes you might have shied away from before.

Then there’s For Cod and Country (somewhat oddly titled, as near-extinct Atlantic cod is one of the fish the author warns you to steer clear of)–an attractive, upscale tome filled with slightly-involved, showoff-for-a-date recipes arranged by season.

No seafood cookbook is complete without a discussion of sustainability, and all of these will tell you what you can and can’t eat in good conscience.  It’s a good thing they do, too, because if you’re like me, all higher reasoning (including moral differentiation) disappears with the first forkful.

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