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Hungerford fishmonger Simon Rhodes is a big fan of barbecued fish

Quick and easy, try barbecuing swordfish, a tasty alternative to steaks and burgers.

Wow! What a roller coaster of a year and a half we have had – sadly it has not been a pleasurable ride and there have certainly been more downs than ups. Our whole food industry has been thrown directly under the spotlight due to much of it being imported and with all the restrictions, we have seen a significant increase in prices.

However, there is a glimmer of good news, we have seen a return of customers using local, more independent shops and seeing the benefits of shopping there. A friendly face, a community spirit where you catch up with people you used to see all the time at recreational clubs or even at the pub. Discovering local products, food that actually tastes more wholesome and less processed. A feeling of relaxed shopping, perhaps how it used to be or more importantly how it should be.

Simon Rhodes
Simon Rhodes

What we have also discovered during our restricted months is that time is important – time with our family and for ourselves.

A need for community spirit has never been stronger. Us humans, as a rule, don’t like to be solitary for too long. We are social animals and love nothing more than a good story or a natter or even some great gossip.

So maybe, just maybe, we may see a big shift in the way we shop. Maybe, just maybe, we may see lots of small independent shops open by young entrepreneurs and the High Street may once again be a bustling, interesting and vibrant place to visit.

With this optimistic approach for a return to traditional independent shopping I have decided to open The Lobster Pot Fishmongers in the High Street in Hungerford – right next door to an old fashioned butchers shop and opposite a bakery. I can see some serious gossiping coming on.

Anyway as I write this the sun is pushing hard through the clouds and the temperature is getting higher by the minute. Which can only mean one thin – it must be barbecue season once again.

Does fish go well on a barbecue? –you betchya it does.

In fact, fish is something that tastes totally amazing and will definitely step in from the subs bench should you be thinking that you want to try something a little more adventurous on your flames.

Juicy steak white sea fish grilled and grilled vegetables
Juicy steak white sea fish grilled and grilled vegetables

Recipe: Barbecued swordfish

Let me suggest a nice piece of swordfish, simply seasoned, lightly oiled and placed on the grill for about 6-8 minutes.

Remember to get the griddle marks crossed over at 45 degrees (it’s an OCD thing for chefs, but does look amazing)

Accompany this with a little herb dressing. Forage a bunch of mixed herbs from your garden or someone else’s garden, blitz it all together with some olive oil, garlic, a splash of white wine vinegar, a hint of Dijon mustard and a good squeeze of lemon, and season to taste.

If you are feeling totally continental why not go for the griddled fish platter?

Prawns, tuna, salmon, and scallops all seared on the flames and served with some quality smoked salmon, a few oysters, a wedge of lemon and hey presto with the help of a little sun, and a bottle of chilled Sauvignon you’ve just got yourself a cheap (albeit brief) holiday in France, Spain or Greece – and no need to quarantine.

Fish mixed grill
Fish mixed grill

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