NEW COLUMN! The Berfooda Triangle: Wet Wednesday writings

Wednesday is Windsurfing Day (as a fussy dweeb I’m a fan of nothing-less-than-almost-pleasant conditions, which is obviously practically unheard of in England) and, seeing as today was the first time on the lake for a while, I’m going to make this entry water themed.

Also, a quick plug, if you are any of the following: a) a student at the University of Warwick b) not afraid of neoprene or c) the owner of a charitable heart, then please join Warwick Windsurf and endeavour to become a Highly Active Member, as we are dangerously close to the worst end imaginable of fizzling out.

So anyway, the watery recipe for today is actually not at all watery, as I imagine that would be unappealing. However, it does feature fish, which we all know need the water to survive, so therein lies the link.

The focus fish of today comes in the form of the extortionately-priced-but-ever-so-scrummy tuna steak, a piece of fish that has been famously described as “the fundamental taste of the sea” (Eccles, Hattie. Tuna Steak and All its Merits, Priory Publishing, Leamington 2012).

And, seeing as tuna steak is so sp├ęciale, I have picked a recipe that does it justice, with many twiddly cheffy things (such as making your own oregano oil?!) but do not be put off, as the end result is delicious and beany. .

(Obviously I didn’t cook this today as I got back a hungry bungry and so raided the fridge for quick food (omelette, chips and salad – quite comforting in a hearty and mountainous way, but nowhere near as thematically neat as Jamie Oliver’s chargrilled fanciness). One day (maybe) I’ll be one of those high-flying women who can have thousands of immaculate children, hold an important and stressful job, whilst also having enough time to host sophisticated dinner parties at which tuiles and fricass├ęs are eaten, but for the time being, I’m scatty and incompetent, so a good windsurf and a good meal are mutually exclusive.)

In terms of feeling well and truly underwater while you are preparing this, I would recommend listening to Teardrop by Massive Attack, which has pattering rain in the background and is pleasantly chilled for when you are stressing out with the oregano oil. The whole of Mezzanine (the album, not the intermediate floor) is lush if you want an eerie wind down, especially the song Black Milk, so whack it out when culinary times get tough.

And now, repping the reading corner of The Berfooda Triangle, is The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh, a novel that focuses on the Indian tide country.

An initial warning: the dialogue is, for want of a better word, cringey. In fact, the dialogue is so cringey, especially at the classic man meets woman on train moment, where desperately awful small talk that is meant to be doused in sexual tension but instead remains merely a parched portion of cringe is exchanged.

However, and it is a big however, I think the majority of the book’s significance lies in what is not said, as the two protagonists, American born Piya and native Fokir, cannot communicate through the spoken word, so have to use their knowledge of the water to express themselves instead.

I ended up writing one of my essays on this book and actually really enjoyed studying it, which I think says quite a lot for its depth and imagination.

It’s a good place to start if you are wanting to read more Indian writing without wanting to hurl yourself in at the deep end (ah, inadvertent water pun, HUZZAH!), as it is written in a very ‘Englishy’ way, but the subject matter is all very unknown and exciting.

So go forth, be fine and be fishy.

The Berfooda Triangle Column is selected each week from Polly’s daily blog. For more great evening plans, visit [](


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