Tuesday, August 11, 2009

So What’s With The Sushi?

I grew up in Kansas City, which, based on geography alone, is about as far as you can get from the ocean.  I’m pretty sure that for that reason I pretty much viewed seafood as something that other people do.  Don’t get me wrong, we did fish sticks in the oven and other natural delicacies from the sea like that, but that was about as far as I went, unless you count catfish or trout, which you shouldn’t.  If it doesn’t moo, oink or cluck, it didn’t speak my language.

In high school I first heard of sushi and I just assumed someone was yankin’ my chain.  A few years ago I actually tried some and survived, but still couldn’t understand the hype.  Fast forward to me now living in Seattle.  I have a great boss who’s taken it upon himself to help me get to know the area, including the local cuisine.  One day I found out that a nearby sushi place was going to be part of my Seattleization.  I was super apprehensive and debated stashing cooked meat (GNFARB) in a zip lock baggy to substitute when no one was looking.  But I went along and put on a happy face.

I expected lunch to be an endurance exercise where I just fought to hold things down.  My boss, thankfully, eased me into things.  I started with stuff that wasn’t really sushi at all, then graduated to chunks of tuna inside some ricey goodness.  Then I dared to do the big chunk of raw salmon/tuna on a little bit of rice.  AND IT WAS WORKIN’ FOR ME! 

Then I got a bit cocky, which is always the first sign of impending doom.  I went for the squid.  I took a bite and quickly realized that this slimy, pasty, chewy thing in my mouth was not something my body recognized as food.  The texture was real work for my teeth, and my stomach was not ready to “catch the pass” if you know what I mean.  My boss looked at me intently (while smirking broadly), and I tried to fake like it was good, but the face couldn’t lie…  He almost ended up with chunks of slightly-chewed, barely-dead, squid in his lap.  Thankfully it stayed put inside me (not always the case with me) as I swallowed with my eyes squeezed shut.

I have been back to the restaurant a few more times since then, and like it more and more.  I actually crave it (meaning sushi in general, NOT the squid) on occasion.  As a sign of change, I was in a restaurant in Atlanta a couple weeks ago and chose the sushi over KC Strip Steak…

Not to worry, we barbeque actual meat on the weekends!


Becca said...

My meat and potatoes hubby crossed over in much the same way - at the hand of a fellow employee. Peer pressure. At least you know its pretty fresh out your way. And, while I always prefer HOT food - I stand by my claim of liver being the only food I actually dislike - but I do have to say squid and octopus should probably be on that list.

Way to go HTF you've got guts!

Chickadeedee said...

Thanks for you comment. I laughed at your sushi experience--the surprise at how it was "working" for you and your description of barely swallowing squid.

While living up there, D and I got a gift certificate from a mentor in his program to Todai, a huge, famous sushi buffet in Redmond (you get a free meal on your birthday). I stayed away from the biggest chunks of flesh, but D and I were both pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed it all. Before, we had only had the common rolls.

Emmy said...

Yeah! Glad you like it. I LOVE sushi. I didn't really like it though until college. Now I would get it all the time if the good stuff wasn't so darn expensive.

Krista said...

I'll make you some when I come visit-but I'll stick with the California roll.

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