Interview with an enceser – Part 4

When we say that at BonAmb we respect and enhance our environment, we are not only talking about working with local products, preparing a cuisine with minimal waste, and being a sustainable restaurant. When we say that we want to honor the culture of the Marina Alta, we do so by learning from its tradition, meeting its people, and listening to the great protagonists who have written its history. For our 2023 season, we have immersed ourselves in the world of Les Pesqueres, unique and dangerous fishing spots on the cliffs of our area. We talked to Ximo Pastor, one of those brave encesers who fished in these fisheries spots for a better life.

Was fishing easier in the past than today? Was there a greater abundance of fish in the sea?

Abundance goes by periods; it does not depend on one decade or another. Many times there was little or no fishing as well. Look, once a friend came with me and the fishing was a success, more than thirty kilos. The next day we returned and decided to catch fish to eat and not to sell. As soon as we got there, we saw a cuttlefish, we thought it would be easy that night, and I let him catch it. He was not able to catch it for several hours! Either we caught something, or we wouldn’t eat anything that day, so we changed the light several times, switching it off and on, and with a lot of effort, in the end, we managed to catch 4 cuttlefish and a couple of squids. Fishing was not easy.

And how did you cook those cuttlefish you caught?

We cooked the cuttlefish in several ways. There is a way that I love. You take the uncleaned cuttlefish, the cuttlefish d’Encesa, and remove only the stomach that has some sand in it. You put it directly into the fire, with the cuttlebone facing the fire. After a moment remove the cuttlebone, turn the cuttlefish over, and add a little oil, lemon, and salt. When the tentacles are cooked, they are cut off and eaten. In this way it is delicious. We also used to put it in stews, but instead of meat, we used cuttlefish.