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Wild Food Cookery
Ponassing - An Ancient Way of Cooking Fish

Ponassing is an 'old as the hills' technique for quickly preparing and cooking fish, and is ideal for anyone who finds it difficult to fillet a fish with a knife. I caught this demonstration by Rowly Jones at the annual Cornwall RV which is run by Footprints of Discovery.

The method begins by cutting behind the gills downwards towards the spine [1, 2].

wild food cookery [1]

[2] wild food cooking

Using the tips of your fingers work down towards the spine and create a working space [3].

wild foo cookery school [3]

Work your hand along the spine towards the tail, separating the flesh from the bones [4].

[4] ponassing salmon

cooking salmon [5] [6] fire-cooked salmon
Repeat the process on the other side [5] and then remove the head and spine [6].

You should then end up with a couple of connected, butterflied, fillets and the head-spine [7]. This can be used to make fish stock or soup, ensuring that nothing goes to waste in your wild food cookery session.

[8] Slits are then cut through the flesh and skewers of wood (from non-toxic varieties) then threaded through.

[8] [9]

The fish is then sandwiched between the split ends of a pole [9] with the end secured with some natural cordage (green cloth tape used in the images). All that remains to do is cook the fish over your fire. Wild food cookery at it's simplest - and tastes wonderful too!

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