I have always heard that ones tastebuds change every seven years. I don’t have a clue whether or not this is true (I suppose I could google it…nah), but I do know that my tastebuds have certainly changed over the years. As I get older my palate continues to expand. I now enjoy foods that I used to loathe, such as fish. With my food horizons growing so quickly I have also become much more adventurous in the things I will try.
Which brings me to my story (well, actually stories).
My husband and I invited a friend of ours over recently to have a broil. She had recently visited her mother and had a bunch of fresh crabs that she wanted to eat, so she brought them with her. I had eaten crab before, but never while the meat was still in a very much whole crab shell.
I should probably take the time to mention that I am very squeamish when it comes to things that I deem “critters”. Bugs, frogs, lizards…you get the idea. I don’t do well with those types of things. In fact, when my husband and I went through our premarital counseling one of our exercises was to come up with a list of expectations we had for each other. At the top of my list: I expect you to take care of all bugs, reptiles, amphibians, and rodents.
What does this have to do with our crab broil? Well, about a month prior to this I discovered that this squeamishness extended to foods that still looked like an animal. We were eating freshly caught shrimp and when I picked the first one up and saw that it was still covered in soft, squiggly legs I nearly gagged. My husband, being the nice man that he is, proceeded to peel all the shrimp I wanted to eat for me.
Back to the crab.
I was very excited for this meal. We had broiled potatoes, corn on the cob, sausage, and (peeled) shrimp along with the crab and it looked amazing. So I boldly reach in and picked up my first crab. Obviously I knew that they still looked like crabs since they were broiled shell and all, but what I did not account for were the eyes.
I turned that crab around to face me and saw two creepy black eyes staring back at me with what looked like small whiskers sticking out of them. I promptly dropped the crab and screamed, “OHMYGOD, it has eyes!” Naturally, everyone at the table erupted into hysterical laughter at my outburst.
When I was thinking about this story and my much mocked exclamation it reminded me of another adventure in food I suffered.
Two years ago my sister got married. It was a destination wedding at the most spectacular all-inclusive resort in Mexico you can imagine. This place had multiple five star restaurants on its property and we ate at as many of them as we could. Since it was an all-inclusive resort I decided to be adventurous and try things I would normally be afraid to spend money on in case I didn’t like them. Most of what I tried I really enjoyed. But not all.
For the rehearsal dinner we ate at one of these amazing restaurants and since it was a special event they served us a bunch of special appetizer size dishes between courses. I had a really hard time understanding the waiter who was serving these dishes, so unless I could tell by looking at it, I had no idea what I was eating.
One of these little dishes was impossible to figure out. It was served in what looked like a miniature gravy boat and was this strange looking whitish blob with different seasonings sitting in some sort of liquid marinade. It made me very nervous, but I had determined I would try it all, so I picked up that boat and poured the unknown contents into my mouth. It was not good.
I didn’t really think about it again until after the meal. I went to talk to some of my sister’s friends and find out what they had eaten. They were discussing all the food and the things they tried when one of them came out with, “It was all good, but I just couldn’t even attempt to try the shark eyes.”
Me: “Um, what? Did you just say shark eyes?”
Friend: “Yeah. You know, what was in the silver boat.”
Me: “That was SHARK EYES??!!?!”
Yep. I ate the eyes of a shark.
What about you? Have you ever eaten something crazy or exotic? Do you have any funny food stories to share? Let me know in the comments!