As the little fish dry out they become thin, papery and have a rich golden hue. In my painting I show some people deftly gutting and skinning the fish. It is good to watch them for a while as you can then have a few bokkoms weighed out and clean them yourself at home. The meaty part is then cut into tiny strips. About these workers: no assembly line here as each worker makes him/herself comfortable on an upturned crate and sit either in the shade or in the sun.
Later I strolled up and down the Berg River looking at every bird, boat, bend and island in the river, and still the lady in the yellowish t-shirt concentrated on her task, never moving, maybe because the knife was very sharp. "Her back!" I thought, and tried to paint the tension in those back muscles.
So how do we eat this delicacy? No doubt, the great cooks will invent some interesting pates for us, but here on the West Coast bokkoms are either eaten as a salty snack with ice cold beer or wine, or the other way, the high calorie way, which is how I and most people prefer it: Take home-baked oven-warm white bread, plaster it with real butter, add a good dollop of sweet apricot preserve and arrange the bokkoms on top. Pour a cup of the best coffee with it. Now I know how I am going to celebrate the completion of this week's post!