Whatever happened to real taramasalata?
Unfortunately, it has been eclipsed by the counterfeit, pink blancmange-coloured variety that is mass produced. There must be a whole generation who have never tasted the genuine article. Here it is – courtesy of my friend Pam Neil. You can make this a day ahead: cover it with clingfilm and keep refrigerated.
Before you start, soak the cod's roe in cold water for at least a couple of hours, then rinse and drain it thoroughly before peeling off the skin.
Now put the roe in a mixing bowl and mash it first to a pulp using a fork then, with an electric beater, whisk it at top speed, gradually pouring in the lemon juice. Now start adding the oils a drop at a time (still whisking as you would when making mayonnaise) and keep adding oil until the mixture becomes solid and dry – forming lumps and working its way up the sides of the bowl.
At this stage you can start to beat in a little boiling water, say 2 fl oz (55 ml) or just enough to turn the mixture into a soft mousse. (Don't add the water before the mixture has become solid or it will separate.) Finally add the crushed garlic and parsley, and serve with croutons or warm pitta bread and Greek olives.