Bouillabaisse is fish stew or soup. It can be made many different ways but it must include fish, otherwise, it’s not bouillabaisse. If you want to learn how to make a bouillabaisse dish, here’s a recipe.
Bouillabaisse comes to us from the Mediterranean Sea area where it is very popular as it should be since so much of the area’s economy comes from the sea and fish is plentiful. Generally accepted, Bouillabaisse should come from white fillets generally from cod, snapper, flounder, halibut, sea bass or monk fish.
It is generally believed to have been first made in Marseilles, France since it is a large city on the Mediterranean Sea. Of course the French are known for putting nearly anything in a bowl and eating it, however they are also known for making some of the finest sauces in the world and what is a stew or soup but a sauce!?!
Now I like fish, or at least some fish, but the idea of a fish soup or stew is not all that appealing to me. I suppose served with the right spices and including a fish that doesn’t smell too strong it is good. Since I have eaten a lot of food from Louisiana I have to assume I have had Bouillabaisse before. (See Louisiana was once French and they serve a lt of fish there.)
But then I have had fish eyes floating in a bowl of sauce before which I would not eat.
How to celebrate – Enjoy a fish stew of soup today. (I wonder if Clam Chowder is a bouillabaisse dish?) Travel to Marseilles and sample their cuisine. Go for a cruise on the Mediterranean where most likely you will be served bouillabaisse.
I had never heard of Bouillabaisse before today and I certainly had no idea what it was. But, I like my fish fried or baked and am generally not fond of it in a soup. However, I am told this soup is one of the best in the world and a delicacy in the south of France. Apparently , anywhere in France.
There are two legends of where bouillabaisse first came from. The first is a recipe of a Greek Goddess (which I find a little hard to believe), the other is of fishermen in southern France who caught rock fish that they could not sell so they ended up making a soup out of them (this one is a little easier to believe).
It’s main ingredients are: Rock fish, Saffron, Fennel Seed, and Orange zest – though the pictures make it look like there may be more involved. For those of you adventurous enough, here is a recipe.
It seems to be one of those dishes that just happens and no one is credited with actually creating it first… that is unless you buy the Greek Goddess theory. From the pictures, it also seems like you can throw just about anything you want into it as well (I guess being fish it helps if you add fish). It is credited with being first served in Marseille, France.
Fish tacos caught on, so I guess maybe Bouillabaisse will possibly too. And maybe I am the only one who hasn’t tried it yet. I am just a little afraid if it is French I will find a fish head floating around in it.
How to celebrate – Use the recipe in the link above to make your own Bouillabaisse (don’t they make something like this is New Orleans? Of course, New Orleans was French at one time so maybe the Greek Goddess visited there as well). Travel to Southern France just for a bowl of Bouillabaisse. Try making Bouillabaisse with Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks!