Monday, December 31, 2012

Placencia, Belize: Sea to Plate

In Placencia we decided to go snorkeling in the ocean. We thought it’d be a neat experience and found a local dive shop to set that up. We decided to go snorkeling in an area that was a little closer in the cayes nearby. It was only about a 20-minute boat ride away.

Our snorkeling guide brought along a friend who was going to do some spear gun fishing while we snorkeled. The friend turned out to be Sol, a chef at a local restaurant called Hidden Falls. He was going to try and catch some fresh red snapper to serve at his restaurant. That’s definitely the way to keep food costs down, by catching it yourself and then you also know it’s super fresh.

The waters were a little choppy and the boat ride was definitely a bit exciting with it popping up on the waves and getting a bit rough at times. The snorkeling was a new experience for mom and I have been once before. Our guide didn’t really show us much in terms of the underwater beauty; he was most interested in fishing for lobsters.

Fresh lobsters ready to boil.

It was pretty interesting to watch. He had a long pole with a little hook at the end. He found big rocks or coral formations that the lobsters liked to hang out underneath. He was use the pole to pull them out and try to catch them with his hands. He would catch them by these long thin tentacle things that extended from there heads. The lobsters were the spiny lobsters, which have a painful spiny shell and don't have big claws like other varieties.

Well, I ended up getting a wee bit sea sick, so we headed back to shore. But the good thing that came out of this trip was we bought two of the lobsters from our guide to have for our dinner. We bought two lobsters for $7.50 US, which is quite a deal. And they were about as fresh as you could possibly get.

Now that is truly sea to plate. We served the lobster simply, boiling it in salted water and serving it with melted butter. We served it with roasted carrots, mashed potatoes and a small salad. It was simple and very tasty and was a good meal indeed. And to think we got to see our dinner caught in the ocean earlier that day.

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