Ronnie Eunson and Uradale Croft

As the most northerly islands of the UK, Shetland is on latitude with Helsinki and St. Petersburg, which might not conjure up a cornucopia of culinary delights. Wrong! The seafood from Shetland parallels any I’ve ever tasted in the world. And, as noted above, Dave Parham’s smoked salmon is sublime.

Ronnie Eunson’s native Shetland sheep and cattle are in my humble opinion culinary treasures. A native of Shetland, Ronnie traveled far only to return home to pursue his passion of farming. Ronnie’s father, who recognized in his son academic abilities, wanted him to attend University rather than follow in his own footsteps as a butcher. With an engineering background and profound love of the sea, he followed his heart to fishing. Discovering that he was profoundly affected by seasickness, he returned to his birthplace and terra firma.

A non-conformist by nature, Ronnie is attracted to Shetland’s inability as an agricultural region to be measured by consistency and volume.

Ronnie thrives in being a crofter in Shetland because, “Shetland can not be tamed – it is a rock amidst restless seas and thus does not conform with global standards of industrial food production. Life in this part of the world will always be a compromise. The climate is harsh and the soils unrelenting. This is part of the Scandinavian periphery where people are fought with the environment and often each other,” says Ronnie.

Needless to say, meeting Ronnie Eunson and his lovely wife Sue was among my greatest pleasures in Shetland. I plan to expand upon this posting with a longer blog and more photos and submit it to thedailymeal.com. I’ll send you a link when it’s up.

Ronnie Eunson, his wife Sue and their daughter

Ronnie Eunson, his wife Sue and their daughter

In the meantime, let it suffice to say that Ronnie and Ann Johnson and others in Shetland have a huge job in bringing notoriety to their Shetland growing region. I wish them the greatest of luck and have promised to be helpful if possible.

Traveling is in my Blood

Traveling is in my blood. After 34 years of being relatively stable because virtually everything I need and want has been found in Sonoma County, California, I’m on the road again. Come September, I’m leaving with a one-way ticket to Europe. My cousin Susie lives in the Shetland Islands and I’ll begin there as we have a successful history of traveling together. In 1978, we spent three months on the Island of Hydra in Greece where she lived. The vibrant and diverse autumn hues of purple, fisherman who shared their daily catches, and older women in black who guided me in their kitchens while navigating me through ways of the heart left indelible impressions.  Greece in the fall is the one place in the world I am certain that I wish to return. So stay tuned.

Freedom is the theme of this trip. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the luxury of not knowing what to expect day after day, week after week, month after month….

I’ll keep you posted as I translate one culture from another using all five senses beginning in September…

Freedom!

Freedom!