As a child, I hated seafood. Put anything fishy in front of me and I would gag, flail my arms about and fall out of my chair in my efforts to get away from the atrocity placed before me. To this day, the memory of my mother’s salmon cakes with undiluted Campbell’s Tomato Soup sauce fills me with dread. Frozen fishsticks were bearable, but they were always ruined by the accompanying frozen peas and plain rice.
In my teens, I discovered jumbo shrimp sautéed in butter and garlic and baby shrimp on a fresh French stick with bechamel sauce and swiss cheese under the broiler. At university I added tuna melts and the occasional white fish in cream sauce. Lobster also became tolerable but only in small doses.
I never gave up trying to like more, however. Periodically I’d sample something fishy (like calamari or caviar) and give it a thumbs up (calamari) or thumbs down (caviar). With any thumbs down, I’d wait a year or so and try it again.
In France, I found out that I like most fish and almost all seafood (it’s still a no for the caviar). The one thing I just could not do, however, was salmon. The fish oils in salmon would coat the inside of my mouth and stay there influencing the taste of everything else for days, despite repeated tooth-brushings and mouthwash rinses.
Imagine my trepidation, therefore, when Raul bought salmon steaks this past weekend. "Muy rico a la plancha," he promised me and Saturday night we plugged in the indoor grill and threw the salmon steaks on the sizzling hot surface. Immediately our small kitchen/living room filled with the most intense fish smell.
"Oh god!" I thought. "How the hell am I going to be able to eat this? I can barely breathe!"
So, did I eat it? Or did I gag up several euros’ worth of high quality salmon? Come back tomorrow to find out…
- Just because you don’t like something today, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever like it.
- Nothing is absolute – stay open to change.