Friday, October 23, 2009

Foodie Fail: Grilled Tilapia

The tilapia was delicious, actually.

I'm the one who gets the fail.

You see, I call myself a foodie; I get paid to write about food. I cook for fun. I blog about cooking and eating. I think the Food Channel is wonderful…

In fact, it's because of Food TV (and the Husband-of-Awesome, who's also a foodie), that I realize the extent of my failure.

I can't stand food that looks at me… that looks like it might be alive.

Raw doesn't bother me; I can scarf down most sushi with the best of them (except tentacles… but that's a different story. Prawns that still have heads, though… that fits this blog post). I love raw oysters (they don't have eyes). I can do tartar and carpaccio.

And then I had to review this African restaurant last night. My meal included "grilled tilapia," which I imagined would be a grilled filet.

Nope. It was a full fish, head and tail hanging off my plate. It had an eye. It was looking at me.

In most countries, the more alive the food looks the better. It means the food is fresh and high quality. I get it, I really do.

Husband-of-Awesome refused to trade plates with me. I had to face this fear.

Fish are ugly mother-frakkers, too…

"Can I eat the skin?" I asked, wrinkling my nose. I do hope the staff - if they were watching - found me more amusing than offensive.

Dearest didn’t care. He wore an evil grin and laughed at my discomfort. "Yes, you can eat the skin!"

Poke. Poke.

"Just eat it!"

Mind you, I'm also one of those horrible New Englanders who likes Lazy Man's Lobster… or baked lobster… or lobster tails…

So I don't have to actually face off with the cockroach of the sea as I indulge in its succulent flesh.

I cautiously poked pieces of the fish off in bits. As I said, it was delicious and extremely moist and tender. The flavoring of ginger and tamarind and other spices I didn't recognize was excellent!

It still felt like biology class as I carefully picked out the bones, fins, spine… delicately manipulating my fork prongs to salvage the meat from around the pointy and icky bones.

Dearest Hubby grabbed the cheek meat off one side of that perpetually frowny fishy face… right below the eye. I flipped the head over and tried the other side. Not bad, but I'm also not a fan of fish-oil flavor. (Probably another foodie-fail on my part).

I finally finished - and enjoyed - the taste of success in overcoming this fear of eating food that looked at me. Until… until my beloved gouged his fork into the eye… and ate it!

As he swallowed, he informed me fish eyes are a delicacy.


At least it wasn't looking at me anymore.



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