We help Harrogate’s seafood specialist celebrate its 40th year in business and spread the word about the delights of seafood, and why we should all be eating more fish
When we think of Harrogate in geographical terms, it’s not the first place that would spring to mind when looking for the finest seafood in the land.
However, think about it again, and it’s easy to see why it’s actually the perfect place to for fishmongers of the highest quality. It’s smack bang in the middle of our island, which means it can source wonderful produce from the shores of Scotland, as well as the east, south and west coasts, relatively easily.
So when Ramus Seafood Emporium invited us to join its guests in an evening of demonstrations, celebrations and tasting at Weetons Food Hall last night (an inviting and elegant deli and restaurant in West Park, Harrogate) we jumped at the chance to find out just what had kept it thriving for 40 years, and why it’s so passionate about getting us all to eat more fish.
Surrounded by a number of highly acclaimed Yorkshire foodies (Elaine Lemm, Catherine Scott, Stephanie Moon, Danny Mills – with his Masterchef hat on instead of football boots – and many more) we listened to Jonathan Batchelor, MD for Ramus as he showed us how to make some easy seafood canapés and told us why we should be experimenting.
As he prepared the tuna tartare, with a yellow fin variety that came straight from the Seychelles’ waters over the weekend, Jonathan spoke about how people were, unnecessarily, wary of eating lesser-known varieties of fish, and especially shellfish.
However, with the hashtag #eatmoreseafood, the supplier is desperate to get people trying more kinds of fish instead of the usual salmon, prawns, haddock, tuna and cod. Indeed, the Gigha Island halibut that was served up last night proved that something a little more adventurous is certainly worth it for the taste buds.
And learning little nuggets of information, such as how it’s been found that each lobster has more than 40 different unique flavours, certainly made me want to explore a more adventurous approach to seafood.
“Our most popular fish is salmon by far, then haddock, tuna, cod and prawns. But we have fabulous seafood in our shores and we only eat a small portion of it,” Jonathan said. Speaking about the fact that people are nervous about eating seafood because they are worried it will make them ill, he added: “If we can eat raw fish then we know it’s OK. In fact, the worst thing we can do to fish is over cook it. You can’t be made ill by white fish because it doesn’t have any bacteria in it.”
So as well as knocking down misconceptions about the ‘safety’ of seafood, it’s also worth a mention that fish is also incredibly good for us. It comes with protein, low saturated fat, vitamins, essential fatty acids and fish oils, and masses of Omega-3 oils. Cod has half the amount of calories than chicken and double the amount of Omega-3!
Well I certainly learned something last night, and I must say a huge thank you for a wonderful supper from Ramus Seafood. We’re excited to see whatever the next 40 years brings you and we join you in your quest in getting the good folk of Yorkshire – and Britain – eating wide varieties of beautiful produce from Britain’s and the world’s oceans. Happy birthday!
Log on soon for the Ramus Seafood recipe of our outstanding main course from last night – Pan Fried Gigha Island Halibut with Salsa Verde. Yum! (CLICK HERE for more recipes)
P.S. One thing that Jonathan Batchelor mentioned was the virtues of Yorkshire’s rapeseed oil, which is healthy and can be burned at a higher temperature than olive oil. Read more about it in our blog post here.