Welcome to the latest Cookingbites Recipe Challenge - Mackerel, chosen because it's in season at the moment (here at least), it's available fresh, pretty much all around the world, it's a healthy and sustainable food, and it's.quite a challenge! With its sparkling, silvery belly and iridescent blue-grey stripes, the mackerel is an eye-catching fish, almost showy. It's bound to be the subject of enviously dismissive gossip amongst shoals of less flashy sardine and cod. The mackerel isn't a delicately flavoured fish and its richness doesn't always lend itself well to a simple 'lemon and herbs' pairing. But given the right treatment it is a fantastically moist, flavoursome fish that makes an inexpensive and very healthy meal. HISTORY The mackerel has been a consistently popular fish throughout European history. The Romans used mackerel to make garum, a fermented fish sauce similar to those essential to Thai and Vietnamese cooking today. I tried to total how many varieties of mackerel there are worldwide, but lost count somewhere north of forty I'm pretty sure most members will have access to it fresh, but if not tinned or preserved will do just fine. As an absolute fallback, other oily fish such as tuna or sardine can be substituted. The challenge will run for four weeks, ending at 12:00 GMT on Saturday 29th December. To enter, all you need to do is post a recipe as a new thread, tag it "CookingBites Recipe Challenge" and post a link to it in this thread. Challenge rules and a list of previous winners and ingredients can be found here.