Book review: For the Love of the Sea II

08 June 2023 by
Book review: For the Love of the Sea II

Jenny Jefferies' For the Love of the Sea II is about supporting our seas and fishers of the British Isles

As an island nation with a coast offering an abundance of fresh fish and seafood, we should be wholeheartedly supporting our fishermen and women, is the sentiment that flows through Jenny Jefferies' For the Love of the Sea II.

Jefferies has a valid point. Last year, House of Commons UK fisheries statistics estimated that between 60%-80% of our seafood landings are exported, while the ‘big five' most popular species of fish and seafood – prawns, salmon, tuna, cod and haddock – account for 60%-80% of all fish consumption in the UK.

Following the course of its predecessor For the Love of the Sea, which won the Guild of Food Writers Award for Best Self-Published Work in 2022, Jefferies' latest book illustrates the importance of the people behind the produce, as well as those who transform it into our favourite dishes in restaurants, cafés, and seaside shacks. The book features recipes that inspire and educate its readers as well as stories about each fisherman, woman or fishing operation which precede the recipe they have contributed to the book.

A recipe for oat fried herring, in which the fish is elevated simply with a butter and oatmeal crust before being drizzled with lemon and butter, follows the story of Laura Wilkins Mourne, written by the fisherwoman herself. And a twist on a beloved British snack comes in the form of Ewing Seafoods' pale smoked haddock scotch egg. The dish's crisp golden exterior, with its jammy orange yolk, presents chefs with a delectably different idea as to how they could incorporate British seafood on the menu.

In keeping with her book's focus on education, Jefferies is donating 10% of the net profits to the Food Teacher's Centre ‘Fish In School Hero' programme. The scheme gives secondary pupils a chance to prepare, cook and eat fish in a bid to develop more positive attitudes towards the UK's fish.

For the Love of the Sea II pays tribute to Britain's waters, inviting chefs to travel along our shores to discover the communities bridging our homes and the sea as well the bounty of produce they provide.

For the Love of the Sea II by Jenny Jefferies (Meze Publishing, £22)

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