Friday, 2 April 2010


I challenge any home cook or chef to attempt to recreate manufactured taramasalata, that salty sweet electric pink gloop that is sold in plastic tubs in supermarkets and Greek delis.  I think they would fail without access to special machines (contraptions from the back of Mr Whippy Bedford vans, circa 1970, spring to mind) and access to special chemicals like agent E120.  If they tried to use grey mullet roe or, in this case, smoked cod's roe, olive oil, garlic, parsley and lemon juice they would end up with something like what's pictured above which bears absolutely no resemblance to the bought stuff.

What I don't mention in the video is that bread is often added to the mix.  I personally prefer the stronger, breadless taste but as cod's roe is expensive (grey mullet roe even more so) it can be a useful padder.

Great wines to drink with this salty, smokey, fishy paste include Fino or Manzanilla Sherry, Retsina if you like pine resin, and old fashioned white Rioja (in this case Marques de Murrieta 1998 Gran Reserva) if you prefer oak.  A curiosity from eastern France would work too: Château Chalon vin jaune from the Jura.  At any rate, you need something quite robust to cope with the strong taste; ersatz pink tarama only deserves bland plonk.


  1. Nice post. My kind of food, simple and made to share. I'm a big fan of sherries and love a chilled fino which you recommend. Will try soon :) What's frying temptingly in the background?

  2. Thank you Ailbhe. I think what's frying temptingly in the background are some duck breasts I'm rendering to subsequently use the fat for sauté potatoes.