Posted by: travelrat | June 30, 2010

Shrimps at Flookburgh

We arrived at the Hope and Anchor in Flookburgh in search of a seafood lunch. After all, that’s what you’d expect to find in a fishing village. Even the village’s name comes from ‘fluke’, which is the local name for any flatfish.

But, it’s a rather odd fishing village. It’s about a mile from the sea, and there are no boats. Maybe it did once stand on the shores of Morecambe Bay, but the build-up of sand probably pushed the shoreline further away.

There are no boats because they do their fishing with a specially-adapted farm tractor. They go out on to the sands at low tide pulling a trailer with swinging arms from which their nets are suspended … you can see one of the trailers in my picture. Further north, on the Solway Firth, they actually wade in and cast the nets by hand; a process known as ‘haaf-netting’

But, all the Hope and Anchor could offer in the way of seafood was scampi, which I don’t think is native to British waters. However, we could have a local delicacy as a starter. Morecambe Bay potted shrimps.

Here, I have to break off to define a shrimp. It’s not what Americans would call a shrimp; we’d call that a prawn. To us, a shrimp … or at least a Morecambe Bay shrimp … is only about half an inch long.

The shrimps are simmered in butter, with the addition of a home-made spice mix. They came with a side-salad and two rounds of toast and, as befits potted shrimps, in a pot. But what pots! Only about 3 inches in diameter, at £5 a serve, we thought it might be best treated like caviar, and spread on the toast … although I suppose it could have been mixed with the salad, to make a sort of shrimp cocktail.

I wanted to buy some to take home, and did find a shop which sold them. But, unfortunately, it was a Public Holiday, and the shop was closed. And, we were leaving the following morning. But, we will be back. Who knows, I might even get a ride out on to the sands with the ‘fishing fleet’!


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