Friday, March 11, 2011

Nom inspired Chile wanderlust

Tonight I am donning my domestic hat once more (or perhaps the proverbial hat should in this case be a proverbial apron?) to make a fillet of Chilean sea bass in a Thai marinade with mango salsa.  Nom nom nom.  I thought I would take a look at the origin of my dinner and provide some lovely images of the South American country, as the images most recently burned into our retinas and consolidated in our hippocampi are of trapped miners and catastrophic earthquakes-- and I think we have seen enough of the latter already today.

photo credit: Richard T. Nowitz for National Geographic Traveler
This adobe church, San Pedro de Atacama, is probably the one my sea bass attended.  Regularly.

Photo credit: Jerry Alexander for National Geographic Traveler
My fish probably never swam past these mountains in Torres del Paine.  But I'd sure like to walk around them.  ¡mierda!   Somebody trek here with me please?

 Photo credit: Joel Sartore for National Geographic Traveler
My fish was definitely never in the Atacama desert, as it is arguably the driest place on Earth and I think I once heard that fish like water.  I might be making that up.  I recently did a little reading about the Atacama after seeing a preview for Nostalgia for the Light (viewed here), a documentary that juxtaposes the space observation conducted through the giant telescopes in the desert with the tragedies that many Chileans experienced during the August Pinochet dictatorship.  Fun facts: some of the most important astronomical observatories in the world are located in the Atacama desert due to the high altitude and excellent visibility provided by the lack of humidity.  I geek out over space things, so this is of great interest to me.  The desert is also dry enough to mummify bodies.  I used to mummify barbie dolls with paper mache.  Same thing.

Photo credit: Michael Dunning for National Geographic Traveler
Perhaps my fish swam past Easter Island on his travels, as he was probably an excellent swimmer.  I was once an excellent swimmer, but I have never swum to Easter Island.

Photo credit: Richard T. Nowitz for National Geographic Traveler
Well isn't that volcano just lovely and menacing.  If the Iglesia del Sagrada Corazon in Puerto Varas seems rather European, it is because it is modeled after the Marienkirche in Black Forest, Germany.  Fun Fact: only 5% of Chileans are indigenous-- the rest are of European descent

Photo credit: Rodrigo Anguita for National Geographic Traveler
Perhaps my fish ended up here in the port of San Antonio?

Another fun fact: Chilean sea bass is just the American name given to Patagonian toothfish

Another not so fun fact:  In doing some research I discovered that Chilean sea bass is not the most responsible fish to eat due to overfishing and environmentally unsafe practices.  Though the fish I bought did come from one of the only MSC certified "sustainable" fisheries that sells Patagonian toothfish, this information is definitely duly noted.  For tonight I'll enjoy him, perhaps paired with a Chilean wine for good measure, and I'll attempt to be more conscious of my seafood purchases in the future.  Nom nom nom.

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