It's National Bouillabaisse Day Again Already!
Seriously, where does the time go? It seems to me we just celebrated this two minutes ago, but it seems to have come back around on us...
I would like to capture my thoughts for you, but too many dazzling impressions of this MOST PRETENTIOUS OF RECRUITING TOOLS, from so many tasting parties over the years, leave me quite dizzy. As some complete asshole once said, "Who can describe the taste of a bouillabaisse? Some remember clams, others mullet..." Just like a serial killer, to befoul THE PINNACLE OF FISH CUISINE by comparing it to recreational homicide. What was that guy's name anyway? Ted something? OK, back to the point. I think this dish, originally an emergency, potlucky, throw-in-whatever-you-have-lying-around soup, may have brought more Europeans into our finny grasp than even Lutefisk, AND THAT'S SAYING SOMETHING.
Something I read once in a cookbook suggests that it is still something of an emergency ration, with no set recipe except that you must add tomatoes in some form and have at least three kinds of operatives added. Visually -- as the photo above illustrates -- I think it is nothing without the Mussels. But you do need a variety of textures and colors, not just shelly things. I, personally, advocate for the addition of more Octopus.
Keep those recipes pouring in! I never get tired of taste-testing them.