Scotland has the best seafood in the world. My father Johnny Di Ciacca always said that because our waters are crisp and cold and the lobsters, crabs and crayfish have to fight harder so they taste better. I think he was right.
Beside the seaside…
Living beside the sea, well it was on the shores of the Firth of Forth, brought huge respect for nature. The winds and the tides could change the course of your promenade on gale force day but in the summer with beautiful clear blue seas and skies, there really isn’t anywhere that beats the East Coast of Scotland and the fabulous shellfish and fresh fish that the sea gives you.
The fishermen that my family grew up with from the 1920s to the 1990s would all be fans of haddock. Mussels were rarely eaten by the locals and anything as exotic as lobster or langoustine would be thrown back or sold abroad. No wonder today it is such a valuable industry. The shellfish industry alone is valued at £9.8 million with farmed mussels alone valued at £8.4 million annually.
Farmed salmon is in a league of its own it values of over £500 million per annum in exports.
As the only Italian (and probably one of the few foreigners) in the village at the turn of the last century we were always are beneficiaries of any of these exotic lobster, mussels and what we call prawns. We were brought up on all varieties of fresh fish even sprats, those tiny little anchovy tasting fish that are great deep fried and enjoyed whole.