To Each Her Own
Posted by Shannon on 01/22/2011
Unique eats I like them, many think are yucky. I say, to each their own!
Ketchup: tomatoes, vinegar, lycopene. A healthy dousing of Heinz was the only way I would eat burgers, hotdogs or any meat as a kid. Today, it goes on macaroni & cheese, scrambled eggs, and I dip carrots+celery+other raw veggies in them at lunch.
Amaebi: Japanese literal translation is “ama” for sweet and “ebi” for shrimp. This is nigiri-style sushi served raw and atop a pat of sushi rice (slightly seasoned with rice wine vinegar.) The shrimp does have a noticeably sweeter finish than commercialized varieties offered to the mass market, with a smooth and buttery feel. My first order of amaebi was in 2005, on vacation in Arizona and wanting to push my foodie boundaries. I tackled the raw shrimp easily, but I anxiously awaited the arrival of the rest of the amaebi. A waitress approached with a small, slate-colored plate, with two newly deep-fried shrimp heads…. beady black eyes, long/sharp feelers and all…gazing at me. Bringing the first bite to my face, I truly felt my stomach seize briefly. But, “never try, never know” is a motto I believe in, so I carried forth. The whole form looking at you may be unsettling, but I worked my way past it once I crunched it a bit and found my way to its true flavor. The only issue now is the “MP” (market price) tag on these bad boys!
Uni: sea urchin. I get it. Texture, color, initial scent. The first time I had this I can only assume it was sub-par quality, while on a date in Tangletown (neighborhood in Seattle.) Fast-forward to 2010 at Chaya Venice with co-workers. Will, trusted foodie from NYC, added uni to the group’s order and asked who else was interested. I hesitated and recapped my previous uni trauma. He urged me to try again, and because previous conversations established my trust in his foodie-word, away we went. Chaya’s uni still looked like a mini orange lobe of brain. But orange is my favorite color and a piece of spiny sea-life wasn’t about to best me. This time, the bite was a cool, subtle taste reminiscent of the ocean. The texture was the same but my opinion forever altered.