Ye Olde Fishe Breath

Tartar Sauce is a strange concoction; it looks like some sort of glue, tastes like some sort of fancy cream, and accentuates some sort of smelly critter baked in an oven or deep fried to bits. It is a traditional kind of sauce, something stocked in a traditional condiment aisle in your traditional grocery or on your traditional plate of traditional Scottish fish and chips…

I say “Scottish” because I recall seeing a little dab on a plate beside a dubious lemon wedge in a Scottish Restaurant in Jersey (as in “New,” not Olde) years ago. I was treating a Scottish companion to lunch, hoping the environment satisfied her more savage side…at 2 pm in the afternoon when one is ravenous after a little-bitty breakfast.

Well, we were visiting the Irish imports shop, where I bought a very nice cap, and where I lingered smelling Irish wool- hoping to smell “the homeland”- when she, le femme de Scotland, mentioned the fish and chips place across the street.

Ah yes, fish and chips! What could be more Scottish? So, we ambled across the street and into a nondescript restaurant with a bagpipe shop attached. Oh, and I glanced at a few kilts…nothing in my size…and then we encountered a strange looking interior. I say “strange” because I pictured a Scottish restaurant looking like…a Scottish restaurant.

I never knew that red and white checkerboard tablecloths were so popular in Scotland, yet they graced every table in this Scottish place with all the trappings of an American family restaurant circa 1960. We chatted awhile, counted red squares and waited…

Now when you are hungry, you might eat gargantuan sized meals, but nothing prepared me for the monster fish and never ending chip plate. I don’t know who caught the fish in this seaside port, but a small Gabonese family could survive a month on one piece. Trouble is, the ye olde fashioned tartar sauce sat forlornly in a corner of the plate, dwarfed by even the salt and pepper packets.

Now I’m a sauce man, truly I am, so I wasn’t amused at the size of the accompaniment. I called our waiter explaining my displeasure. He returned with another dab, fit for an amoeba. Then I called for honey mustard sauce, which flowed freely like a river on my plate. While I ate all our chips, my companion ate massive fish hunks and the two of us were happy enough- the Irishman with his pratai, the Scots girl with her fish. But later, as we climbed back into the car and I stole a kiss, I remembered the lack of tartar…and offered several mints. After all, ye olde fishe breath has killed many tender moments throughout history…

2 responses to “Ye Olde Fishe Breath”

  1. It is all randomness sometimes…and well fish tales no matter if there is fishing or just just eating always makes for a fine distraction 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving a comment that lead me back here for an amusing read!

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