Yet again, our European counterparts are all over it like a fat kid on a cupcake. There is much talk in the UK of eating what’s fresh, local and in season. Somehow, somewhere along the line we are still consistently missing the best of it. The Perch is very rarely covered in English culinary circles, the only time I have seen them on TV was in the form of that pathetic attempt at a wild food program; ‘The Wild gourmets’. Whilst watching the equally disappointing Guy Grieve & Thomasina Miers desperately flailing a rod around for the best part of a day, they pulled out one tiny perch and put it back again. Well done! Sadly their banter was shockingly bad. I’m not quite sure what that program was trying to achieve, as far as I know (judging from its ratings and reviews) it didn’t achieve a lot! As for their book as a comprehensive wild food guide...you would be better off with a copy of the London paper, or you could buy the book just in case you ever run out of loo paper.
Enough of talking crap TV. The Perch is the star of this show; quite why we, as a country don’t eat more I cant understand. This beautiful fish was a massive part of my early fishing days, I often used to head to a stream above Weir wood reservoir in Sussex armed with a hand line, float and pot of worms. It was an absolute joy to spend long summer days pulling out hundreds of them as well as the odd wild card of bream or trout.