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Fried Mackerel in Croatia – Foodgasmic Tales From The Road

by Tony · 11 comments

A tasty treat from our neighborIf there is one constant about the beach, it is this:

After a sunny day in the sand and surf, after you are crispy from too much sun and salt, when the idea of a nap is just about the best thing you have ever heard… EVERYTHING tastes fantastic.

But don’t let this unimpeachable fact diminish the greatness of my choice for best thing I ate this week.

Fried Mackerel From The Grandma Downstairs

Happy and delirious from a day at the beach, I sit on the couch in my swimsuit debating the tough choices. You know… nap or movie?

With a whistle from the window and a knock on the door, my contemplation is interrupted as I go to answer.

It is our landlord’s 80 year old mother, who only speaks Croatian, with a big plate of freshly fried Mackerel for us.

The lack of overwhelming fishiness lets me know that these Mackerel must have been caught that day and the amount of burns I gather on my mouth and fingers from scarfing them down lets me believe they are freshly out of the fry pan.


Ridiculous simplicity.

Simply ridiculous taste.

Proving that good food does not have to be fancy food. It also makes me wonder how much place and timing affects our tastebuds.

Would these Mackerel have been Foodgasmic if I had eaten them anywhere else? Do you have to be in the right frame of mind for a dish to truly reach Foodgasmic levels?

What do you think? Is there such a thing as objective greatness with food or does it all depend on where and when you are?

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

Barb May 6, 2012 at 12:00 am

I think some foods and beverages are good no matter where or when they are eaten – e.g. a good rib eye steak, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, a Starbucks Latte, etc. However, these are things that are better, to me, when served at specific times and locations: pina coladas (only in the islands); hot dogs (only on a grill in the summer).

Tony May 6, 2012 at 6:44 am

Great point! Some foods are always great, but location can definitely enhance others. I would have to say the fried mackerel MIGHT have been enhanced by the beach side locale… Great call about the hot dogs, but I would have to say at Fenway in summer is my favorite place to eat them :)

Meg May 6, 2012 at 7:57 am

MMMMMM I miss Ben & Jerry’s!

JR May 6, 2012 at 11:13 am

Wow, what a treat. I believe part of this experience was the unexpected nature in how it happened. If it was a planned dinner I am sure they would have also tasted great. However, the sheer fact fact that you were probably really hungry and then this wonderful surprise showed up cooked by the grandmother heightened the whole experiecne. Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful. They looked great and my mouth watered.

Tony May 7, 2012 at 8:39 am

Great point about it being unexpected. DEFinitely enhanced the experience. We’re easy targets though… food is ALWAYS a good gift!

CR May 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I know firsthand that cooking for family at the beach is a cooks dream. Everyone is famished, everything taste better and everyone is more appreciative. That being said, these look fantastic. I hope you asked her for the recipe to include in your cookbook, which I so hope you think about doing. I would love to know what her story is too. Are you two able to communicate at all or only through food. Lovely actually, to think that food is the language.
Great post!

Tony May 7, 2012 at 8:42 am

She came by today with her daughter who speaks english. The grandma speaks none, but laughed a lot and had her daughter tell us that laughter is universal and that is all we need… a very lovely thought!

Hannah Loveplaywork May 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Aah, i can almost taste it, very evocative! I did a long hike outside Bergen which unexpectedly involved crawling through loads of really deep snow as each footstep sank a couple of feet in some places! Then we stopped by a beautiful frozen lake and my friend produced rye bread and Norwegian cheese sandwiches carefully wrapped in grease proof paper and poured hot chocolate from a flask, topped with a wee dram of whisky. It was so simple but in the fresh, cold air it was the most heavenly picnic I’ve ever had!

Tony May 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Not going to lie… I might have to say that hiking is almost equal to the beach for delicious meals. Plus the whiskey on a cold snowy day? PLEASE…. that sounds glorious. I’m going to have to think this over for awhile to decide what makes food taste better: The beach or a long hike?

Magz May 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm

This post gave me some serious flashbacks to feasting in Charleston after a long day on the beach – some of the greatest dinners ever!!

Also – When I first starting reading this article I thought you were talking about a restaurant called “the grandma downstairs”… LOVE that for a restaurant name!!

Tony May 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm

GREAT name for a restaurant!!! Aren’t charleston dinners the best? SOoooo good!

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