What the heck is salmonetta?

Our local little prix fixe restaurant is a bit of a bargain. 19 euros for lunch for two – in total that is. Olives, cenoura salad, mixed such, bread, bottle of wine (vino plonko obviously, but entirely fine) water, amuse guele for dessert, coffee, plate of grilled fish, plate of the best chicken piri piri for 50 km, chips – the last being made from real potatoes, our shorthand for somewhere doing something right. Portion size on the chicken is half a bantam, the Portuguese still eat properly.

And chicken piri piri comes from these parts. It’s “estilio da Guia” more formally, Guia being a village just outside Albufeira. That Nandos is exactly that filtered through colonial Mozambique then South Africa.

There is always the chicken and then whatever fish seems decent that day. Sea Bass, Sea Bream, Golden Bream, sardines, mackerel, horse mackerel, all have been on offer – but usually only one on any particular day.

Saturday there was “salmonetta” and I am struggling to find out what it is. Google gives me a couple of pictures of it from Spain but nothing else. No English name for it. It might be small red mullet – it’s got the pinkish tinge to the skin.

Anyone actually know? That it’s most yummy might not aid all that much in identification….

14 comments on “What the heck is salmonetta?

  1. Salmonete, in Spain. Done right more than OK. And doing it right is grilling it and little more.

    And yes, Red Mullet, which I have never seen on a Sainsbury Wet Fish Counter…..

    Oh and you are right, the restaurant is a bit of a bargain!

  2. Since I’m over your way, often, do you want to share a go-to on the restaurant? We usually go to one similar, near Quarteira, so it’d make a change.

  3. And chicken piri piri comes from these parts. It’s “estilio da Guia” more formally, Guia being a village just outside Albufeira.

    Are you sure? I would guess this is a rationalization. Piri piri was invented in Portugal? It screams Africa and perhaps South-East Asia to me. If I had to guess, I would say it is more likely to have been called “estillio da Guiné” – after Guinea meaning African. But over time it dropped the “n”. The village just happens to have a similar name.

  4. When a certain hot beverage origin India and before that China is dried in insanitary conditions you get salmonetta, the ‘T’ being a clue.

  5. I spent 3 week in Portugal a few years ago and ate not one bad meal ever, no, nor drank one bad bottle of wine.

    Why was I not told about this place earlier?

  6. My in-laws have a place in Guia. The chicken roundabout amused me. Not convinced it’s the birthplace of Piri Piri but the restaurants certainly do very nice ones, for very reasonable prices.

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