Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Seafood Conundrum

Many of you who know me personally know that I have a hard time with fish. I've been deathly afraid of them since I was a small child (due to reoccurring nightmares - I'll spare you the plotline) and therefore have refused to eat seafood. All seafood. I think my mom used to make me eat fish sticks when I was very young, but that was most likely before the onset of the nightmares.

As I've grown up, I've really worked to become a less picky eater as a whole. I eat and love tomatoes now. I started drinking orange juice. I will eat any type of steak, anytime. Mexican food has become my favorite. I love vegetables (O.K., I still don't like plain peas - only sugar snap!) and as you all know, I have a weakness for all kinds of cheese - from stinky to American!

Seafood, however, is a different story. It's not that I don't want to like it, I just get nervous about it. It was never too much of an issue at home, since my family isn't huge into seafood. No one really ever noticed, actually. The real problems arose when I met my boyfriend, though - he is from Florida. As you can guess, he absolutely loves all things from the sea, more than anyone I know. And he thinks it is utterly ridiculous that I don't eat it.

So, I've been working on it. And not just because of Wright, but because I love food, and I love cooking. I want to enjoy it, to understand what everyone else sees in it, to get over my fears and stop being so picky. It's a lofty ambition, though, so I'm starting small. I began eating cocktail shrimp three years ago. I now can officially say that I truly enjoy and love it.

I know, you're probably dying of laughter. Cocktail shrimp?? That is a step? Well, it was. And I've moved forward: I also eat (and enjoy) crabcakes. And some other shrimp dishes, as long as they aren't too fishy. The ultimate test as to whether I have truly overcome and begun to enjoy an item is whether I'll order it. Cocktail shrimp and crabcakes have passed the test. My measly tastes of lobster at various bakes, however, have not.

A few weekends ago in Maine, Wright tried to convince me to order a lobster roll. He knew I'd like it; I was deathly afraid of taking the ordering step, though. I mean, that would be my full meal - what if I really didn't like it?! Wright's came and my mouth started watering. It was beautiful. Plump, fresh lobster meat, doused in sauce, and served over a toasted Barnacle Billy's bun. It was everything I wanted to love about seafood. I had a bite.

This weekend, we're headed up to Maine again. I am definitely ordering the lobster roll and checking it off my list! It may take me 12 years to get to salmon, but that's okay. I'm learning!


  1. Try a lobster roll at Pearl Oyster Bar - once you have one of those, you'll never be able to stop!

  2. You forgot one of your big seafood milestones...mussels!

  3. I'm feeling better about my reoccurring nightmare about snakes -- at least I don't have to eat those. However, I don't really like seafood either so you are several steps ahead of me, ha. Congratulations!

  4. Calvine I'm the same way... I used to be the pickiest eater, and have made great strides, though fish is sometimes still a hurdle. I've conquered most sushi, salmon, swordfish, oysters, tilapia and sole, I make scallops all of the time, and can get on with cooked shrimp. My most daring adventure to date was the Baccahlau in Portugal, which I later found out was a "cod scramble" (sort of glad I didn't know the translation beforehand).

    I'm going to an annual lobster fest on a caye off of Belize this weekend... it'll be my first time. Wish me luck!


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