20 Years of SAVEUR: Fishing Around

In honor of the 20th anniversary of SAVEUR, we asked some of the people who taught us the most to each peruse a year's worth of issues and to reflect on them. Here, Nathan Myhrvold on a story from our December 1997 issue.

Ryan Matthew Smith/Modernist Cuisine LLC

I've always been drawn to local fish markets. They're windows into the relationship between a given culture and the wildest part of the natural world, the sea, and amid the blood, guts, and funky smells, there's a breathtaking world to be captured on film. The December 1997 SAVEUR article by Kenneth Wapner, “Fishing Around,” discusses bluefin tuna, one of the most coveted sushi fish, and the drama of its procurement. I've been to Tsukiji market in Tokyo, a clearinghouse for most of the world's bluefin tuna. I've seen giant hunks of that same tuna frozen in liquid nitrogen for transport, and the long swords used for filleting it after the daily auction. I am drawn to fish markets as an eater but also as a photographer—which is why I always take my camera with me, even when I'm just grocery shopping. There's drama and beauty to be discovered in the deep red of a tuna steak, the pink flesh of filleted salmon, or the black ink and unfurling tentacles of an octopus.

Nathan Myhrvold is the author of_The Photography of Modernist Cuisine (The Cooking Lab, 2013)._