Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Revelation in Raw Fish

My introduction to sushi happened when I was 23.  California Roll, like you do.  "Just put the whole thing in your mouth," my boyfriend told me.  uh huh.  shut up.

Anyway, adventurer that I am, I did.  But I was never a fan of soy sauce.  I was brand spankin' new to wasabi.  Throw in the raw ginger and roasted seaweed... all piled on this unwieldy hunk of Krab and whateverthehell else is in a California Roll?  gack.  No more sushi for me thanks.  No really, looks delish and all but me and my tempura carrot will be just fine.  That's right, more for you!  My loss!  etc!  Y'all have fun. *shudder*

For the longest time I turned my nose up at sushi with a sense of pride.  I'll not succumb to your faddish food trends.  I'm no lemming.  It was the same with martinis (referred to around here as "big bowls of loudmouth soup")   You keep your fancy fish and powerful vodka drinks, I'll be over here slurping my oysters and beer.  Keeping it real.

But every so often I'd try sushi anyway.  Just to see.  And every time I was still pretty sure it was awful. 
"Is it the raw fish?" everyone would assume.  Not wanting seem like a scaredy cat, I would assure them, "No.  Not that.  I just don't like all the other crap that goes with."  "Oh!  Then try sashimi!" they'd insist.  shrug.  okay.

No.  If I've got that much raw meat in my mouth...the protocol is NOT to chew. *ahem*  No sashimi for me.

moving on.  Then I tried tataki.  Good tataki practically melts in your mouth.  That's a goal with which I'm familiar.  Things on the sushi scene began to look up.

And more friends would insist that I try this or that, promising I'd like it.  So, I trusted them.  Tried more.  And actually did like it.  but I could never remember the names of what it was because they were the experts, they were the orderers.  I was just the tagalong trying new things; no confidence that these experiences could be repeated on my own.

I tried to pull that card again last night out with a gang of friends for my youngest sister Cindy Brady's birthday dinner.  At a sushi place.  Because she's always been way cooler in this regard than me.  "I don't know what to get," I tried to claim.  No one cared.  If I wanted to eat then I had to pick something.  Tataki.  standard.  I hesitated a moment and almost wimped out with the tempura.  Could you imagine? 

Snatching myself from the jaws of defeat I had some kind of lightbulb moment and picked the Earthquake Roll.  I forget what's in it.  Salmon I think?  Krab?  other stuff too.  It was even from the "spicy" list.  oooo!  daring!

It was fantastic.  I tried a piece of the Fuji Yama, the Great Neck, something else that was really citrusy...all of them were...great!  To pull a line from the old dubbed Iron Chef judges, "The flavors exploded in my mouth!"  I miss the old dubbed Iron Chef shows.  Anyway, if I'd thought of it last night then I might have equated it to a Green Eggs and Ham revelation.  Instead it was just nice to be part of the group and not feel so much like I was on the outside looking in.

It's weird when you run into a moment that crystallizes the concept that you're no longer who you used to be.


SHAbang said...

yay you are sushi convert! where did you go?

Silver said...

We went to Fuji Yama off Great Neck. It's in the new building at the shopping center where we did the SH Ben & Jerry's day. Very good.

Always Home and Uncool said...

Eel. Try the eel. Shockingly yummy. Trust me.

Silver said...

I hear good things about eel. I'll mark that down for next.