Amuse Bouche

The downstairs bedroom next to the kitchen in our house, Polventon, would often be used for storing live lobsters, crab or crayfish which crawled over the floor, bubbling and making cracking noises. I loved the crab meat and quite liked the crayfish, but the lobster was too intense. It’s firm, white, sweet-salty flesh was too strong for a child and the bright yellow mayonnaise too pungent with the olive oil that my mother always used. How special now are those flavours that I couldn’t take then; the beer tasted horribly bitter, particularly the Whitbread Pale Ale which some of the workers on our farm drank. I can still recall the black, heavy screw stoppers with red rubber seals, and the men sitting with their glasses on the just-filled barley sacks at lunch break during harvest time.

from Under a Mackerel Sky by Rick Stein.