Jennifer Brizzi is in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts, where there is no seafood.

Photo by Katy Harington

Hey, you … it’s great to see you here. Thanks so much for stopping by!

I hope you’ll want to stick around and be a part of this succulent-seafood-lovin’ community I call Seafood Tripping, a quickly growing collective of people in search of the world’s best seafood.

Are you the kind of person who says, “Where’s the best seafood?” the minute you get off the plane? Are you crazy for the fruits of the sea? Then this is the site for you. So come on in!

If this sounds like your kind of happy place, I hope you’ll join us!

If you don’t have time right now to dive into the site, I understand, we’re all busy! Just sign up here for updates, free recipes and seafood choosing and cooking tips.

Or just check out our Resources page now for info on choosing seafood, or our Recipes page for ideas on how to cook it.

I’m Jenny and I wanna be your seafoodista!

I pose with no makeup and a new travel hat.

Here I am with no makeup on (and I usually don’t even take out the trash without makeup!), trying on my new travel hat.

I’ve been binging on seafood and discovering new seafood spots around the world since I was six years old and sunk my teeth into crispy Calamares alla Romana in Barcelona. So I think I’m qualified to help you discover seafood around the world! 

Seafood jonesing

I never met a fresh vegetable I didn’t like, chioggia beet and I adore fruit,

These are pineapples.

These are blueberries.whole grains, nuts and non-piscatorial proteins, especially cheese, which I’m insanely addicted to.This is a plate of assorted cheeses.

In short, I’m food-obsessed, but seafood is at the top of my list. I crave it, I’m mad for it and I’m hooked on it (pun intended). I want to marry it! 

Do you, too, seek it out everywhere you go, even freshwater fish in the landlocked places?

But this is the About page, the only part of this site where you won’t find a single photo of seafood or the delectable dishes that can be made with it [well, those calamares … ] just too many pics of un-delectable me!

Since those first pureed plums Mommy gave me, my life has revolved around food, especially the “grandma food” of the world.

Jenny and Calico on the deck of La Flandre.

When I was six years old my parents and little sister and I traveled across the Atlantic by ship from Montreal, Canada, to Southampton, England.

On that particular voyage of the Flandre, the second class dining room was full, so we had to eat in the first class dining room for the whole week. Bummer! My pickier little sister didn’t care for the fine food but I dug into the caviar and pâté de foie gras with enthusiasm and a fervent appreciation for food that has not abated in the many years since. 

This is the day nursery on the ship La Flandre. I am second from right and my picky little sister is behind me, with the hairband.

This is the day nursery on the ship La Flandre. I am second from right and my picky little sister is behind me, with the hairband. Don’t I look just stuffed with foie gras! What a little porker.

 

 

 

 

 

Cephalopod revelation, or how I came of age as a seafood-obsessed person

A couple of months later, I found myself in Barcelona scarfing down thick, crispy, lightly chewy, impeccably fresh and sweet calamares alla Romana. I didn’t forget it, and I headed for it first thing off the train when I returned to the city 13 years later as a solo backpacker.

It took a while for fried calamari to catch on in the US. About five years after that seven-month backpacking trip, I decided to move away from northern Vermont’s deep chill and live somewhere less landlocked, to be closer to the ocean and fresh seafood. I narrowed it down to San Diego, Corpus Christi, New Orleans, Virginia Beach or Providence, none of which I had ever visited (yet). I selected Providence, Rhode Island, because it would be the shortest distance from my mom and sisters, and my new boyfriend Rex decided to move there with me.

Okay, back to the fried calamari … Rhode Island has its own version, topped with pickled peppers, and it was on every menu there long before it spread across the country.

Okay, sorry, I forgot, this is the About page, not the calamari page!

Squid and other cephalopods always distract me. I have ADD and OCD (probably) and once my mind veers off to them, I can think of little else. vegan cupcakes from the bakery at Mother Earth Storehouse in Poughkeepsie NY octopuses even in the showerI came this close to getting an octopus tattoo a couple years back but instead I got a grackle in flight on my left thigh. 

 

I’m working on a book on cephalopod cookery that may launch around 2049, shortly before or after the book on seafood soups and stews of the world that I started writing about 20 years ago. But really I’d rather interact directly with you guys, answer questions right away, and help you get sumptuous seafood dishes on your plate that way.

Other books that I’ve started, and sometimes finished, have included three and a half novels and a couple heavily researched but not yet started. One is a novel on women of the mafia and another on my eight-greats grandfather Sir John Harington, a protegee and godson of Queen Elizabeth I. Among other talents–like translating books from Italian and telling bawdy jokes to the ladies of the court–he was the original inventor of the flush toilet.

And THAT has nothing to do with seafood!

Besides being unfocused yet too focused, I’m a hedonist, self-indulgent and lazy. Speaking of queens, I’m the queen of procrastination; “Never do today what you can put off ’til tomorrow” are my operating words.

I’m a crazy cat lady, for real. If you want to see pics you’ll have to go to my personal Instagram feed, though. And while you’re in Instagram-land, go on over to my Seafood Tripping feed, too.

My spirit animal is probably a cross between the wallowing but kind of clever pig and the ravenous wolf. I don’t know the meaning of restraint or moderation, especially for things that feel, look or taste good. Some bad things, too. While I love a brisk walk on a sunny day or a bowl of cherries (local and in-season, natch), I like a belt of Spanish brandy once in a while and don’t get enough exercise. I’m not only too chubby, per my ex doctor, but too anxious as well.

Okay, so “about me” … if you’ve read this far, I thank you for your patience and I’ll tell you a few more things.

I’m (ack!) getting older–albeit still tall and buxom (is “buxom” even still a word?), but my memory is fading. Selectively. I can’t remember my gate number at the airport after I check in and get coffee, but I remember what I had for breakfast one random day in 1967. Although my doc says that’s normal, it still kind of freaks me out. My “wisdom lines” (a.k.a. wrinkles) don’t bother me, though. You can’t have too much character.

I go out and do a waddle and trot once or twice a week (more waddle than trot most times, and I’m working on increasing the frequency). I enjoy hiking, mushroom foraging and bike riding on rail trails. I love belly dancing and I do have the appropriate outfit but I will spare you the photo! This is a drawing of a belly dancer.Sometimes I just jig around the house when no one’s home. I hope you do that, too, dance around the house, alone or with loved ones, every chance you get.

 

On the road

I’m crazy about traveling and have a list a mile long of places I want to go–hoping this blog will help me get there. I love to wake up in a new city and experience its unique feast for the senses: the scent of the air, the faces of the people, busker music and other street noises, and especially the food. I wander for hours, discovering.

This is me in Mexico.

Me in Mexico 

I’ve been super lucky to have managed to visit Europe several times, a bit of the Caribbean and Southeast Asia (so far). There is not one single country that I’ve visited yet that I wouldn’t return to in a heartbeat.

Seas invigorate me; my love for them goes far beyond sun, sand and seafood. There’s something intoxicating about the salt air in your nostrils, the seabirds squawking in your ears, and the elemental, potent push of the tide. While soaking up the sun is undeniably delightful to hedonist me, I love strolling on beaches, even in the winter. I love aquariums, too … but they always make me hungry.

 

Yes, Jenny, there is more to life than seafood

I live to peer at art (esp. surrealist art from Dali to Kahlo) and architecture (Gaudi and anything with flair and personality). Fortunately, most of the cities I travel to are full of galleries, museums and beautiful buildings. I love music–Bach gives me the chills–and I love world music of all stripes. A couple years ago I  got myself a beautiful electric bass (lifelong dream) but have not yet mastered it. I play it poorly but with gusto, not a great combination.

I love nature, from winter woods to crows to wildflowers.

I’m not artsy-craftsy but I like drawing, making jewelry out of beads, and batiking clothThis is me wearing a batik dress that I made.. I like vintage cars.

I love to read, although it’s often at the bottom of the to-do list, although I know it shouldn’t be.   

I’m a co-chair for my local Slow Food chapter.

I speak French, Italian and Spanish (in descending order of skill) and am working on Portuguese, German, Greek and Turkish.  I’m not bragging … but to be able to ask “where’s the bathroom?” in at least four languages does come in handy as a traveler. Not to mention that it gets you closer to the locals.

My greatest passion and fiercest avocation is cooking. I don’t even want to tell you how many cookbooks I have because it’s kind of embarrassing … I could have used the money to work for world peace, you know.This is a cutting board with veggies.

Cooking is an ephemeral pursuit, whose results disappear in moments but whose memories never die. I do it when I’m exhausted, when I’m super stressed. I do it after a long work day, to relax. I love the planning, the procedure, the end results.

I’m a slow cook and a sloppy cook, never quick and neat, but the food’s good. Or so I’m told.

Although my confidence and creativity has grown over the years, I still love to study traditional dishes of the world and recreate them in my kitchen. Better yet is sharing my passion for cooking with other people in the form of demos and classes. 

Here I'm Teaching a cooking class at Warren Cutlery in Rhinebeck

Teaching a cooking class at Warren Cutlery in Rhinebeck, New York, USA.

The fam, etc.

Another wonderful way of sharing food with people is to feed them. Love that! I also love my beautiful, sweet, nearly perfect kids–teenagers Sally and Mick (names changed to protect the innocent). Although my kids are not seafood fans–one will only eat fried calamari and the other is vegetarian–they have traveled a lot since they were very small.

 

 

I have the best sisters in the world, with pure hearts of gold,

Here are my sisters and me ... er, last week. Actually this was my 30th birthday (definitely not last week) and the gift bag contained Silver Fox shampoo, pitted prunes, denture cream, bunion cushions and adult diapers!

Here are my sisters and me … er, last week. Actually, this was my 30th birthday (definitely not last week) and the gift bag contained Silver Fox shampoo, pitted prunes, denture cream, bunion cushions and adult diapers! 

and a mom full of character and creativity. My late father encouraged me in everything I ever did and was a prolific indie novelist who used magical realism to spin tales set (mostly) in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas. He published 14 books, all but one a novel, and I’m immensely proud of him and miss him very much.

Daddy and me visiting Millbrook, New York, on the grounds of Bennett College, where he taught the first year of my life.

Daddy and me visiting Millbrook, New York, on the grounds of Bennett College, where he taught during the first year of my life.

I have a bunch of gorgeous, sweet cousins, most of whom have gorgeous, sweet spouses and kids.

Four of my lovely cousins (the Frenchies). Aren't they handsome?

Four of my lovely cousins (the Frenchies). Aren’t they handsome?

Although we’re far apart, spanning California to France, I’m lucky to be able to see them at reunions on a regular basis.

I have the coolest friends, both near and far, all of whom enrich my life in so many ways. That includes my ex, Rex, who is still family to me (even though we split seven years ago) and always will be, even if that’s an annoying-little-brother kind of family sometimes.

This is me and my ex-husband back in the day.

Rex ‘n me in NYC, back in the day.

 

 

 

Piscatorially yours

Recent DNA findings revealed a surprising coastal heritage that I’m quite pleased about.

These are my DNA results. I love that I'm part Iberian, part Greek or Italian and part East African. all surprises to me. I definitely recommend having this done!

I love that I’m part Iberian, part Greek or Italian, and part East African, all surprises to me. I definitely recommend having this done!

And guess my zodiac sign … Pisces the fish, of course!

If you’ve read this far, kudos to you! Yet another fault of mine is I tend to be verrrry long-winded. Actually, if you write me at seafoodtripping@gmail.com and put “I read it all” in the subject line, I’ll send you three of my shrimp recipes and a short guide to choosing the tastiest shrimp.

I hope you’ll join me and other seafood lovers on this tasty journey. We can learn so much from each other!

I love to hear from you guys. So if you have any questions, requests, comments, or you want to give me some love or just say hey, please write me at seafoodtripping@gmail.com

 

PLEASE before visiting any of the restaurants, seafood markets or any other seafood source that I share with you,  confirm that they are still in operation, as businesses close and busy people can forget to update websites. Call or email before you set out.