Saturday, December 10, 2011


Lucky me. I just happened to hit New Zealand during the annual white bait run, when tiny fish known as galaxids migrate from the ocean up freshwater rivers and people with fine-mesh nets line the riverbanks trying to catch them.

The season lasts only for a few weeks with most of the white bait taken home for private consumption. It's a pricey delicacy, fetching about $30 a pound, and isn't that common on restaurant menus. I sampled it at the restaurant at Hotel D'Urville in Blenheim, smack dab in the heart of the Marlborough wine region. Chef Maree Connelly prepared it as a light fritter using only egg whites to bind the fish together.

Bottom line: White bait tastes about a million times better than it sounds especially with a hoppy beer to wash it down. I figure there musta been a couple hundred tiny little fish in the entree I downed. And ever since then my stomach has been rising and falling with the tides.


Jim T said...

And you can always go fishing with the leftovers.

Victoria Allman said...

They remind me of Portugese Baby Eels, another pricey, yet super-tasty delicacy at this time of year.

Andie said...

It looks like what i imagine Titiri to look like.
Bob, I just love your books and share your deep appreciation for serious eating, quality rum and beaches. You have served as a lifeline to keep me going through the cold and gray New York winter. When some perv is feeling me up on the subway, I'm usually reading one of your books. But I haven't read Gut Check--will you really send a freebie? Cool!

Hope to run into you on a beach or in a bar somewhere.

PS - please send the book to