So, living in Montreal you’ve gotta be a little weary of what you eat because of the whole pork and halal issue. Cause I’m, uhm, you know, Muslim? (which is LITERALLY my auto-response to all the non-Muslims who dine with me and stupidly go ‘Oh my GOD, why don’t you eat PORK? YOU’RE TOTALLY MISSING OUT ON PORK!”) Anyhow, unless you’re in the mood to constantly ask if the food is halal or kosher (and getting the occasional self-righteous eye roll that accompanies it), your options are basically limited to either shawerma or fish.
Now, I would not consider myself a particularly adventurous kind of eater. I mean, I really do enjoy food and I relish and I savor and I take part in all those appetizing kind of terms people associate to, you know, eating. I look forward to trying new recipes and experiencing exciting new tastes. Really, I do. BUT! Once I’ve made my mind up on something that I am not going to eat then it can be pretty hard to change it. Animal feet? Tongues? Brains? SCROTUMS? (What?!) Never going to happen. Camel and monkey meat? NO (and go watch Tarzan or Mighty Joe Young, you heartless goon!).
Another thing that I used to be pretty adamant about not trying? Sushi.
I don’t know what it is about raw fish… It really puts my gag reflex in motion. I mean, raw fish already smell like armpit anyway. Why would I pay to have smelly armpit fish odors lodged into my taste buds and in my teeth? I’m sorry but the thought never really computed with me. Also, sushi just feels a little under-worked for me. And somewhat unhealthy (HELLO! SALMONELLA IS ON THE RISE PEOPLE.). So, despite the wild popularity of this dish and the constant badgering of all my well-meaning family and friends in Kuwait, I have abstained.
Anyhow, given the fact that my food is usually limited between fish or shawerma, my need for variety overpowered me today. And, yes, after MUCH coaxing and prodding I tried sushi. My sister did all the ordering for me (because she was so excited that I finally took the sushi plunge and just went NUTS) but I think I had a California Roll, a Philadelphia Roll, and a Crispy Roll? Maybe? I’m really not sure. These could just be the only names on the menu that I remember.
Point is I tried it and really only one word comes to mind when trying to recollect the overall taste and feel of sushi… Uncomfortable. I don’t know why but, for all the bad attributes that I associated with sushi before, I always thought it would feel light and succulent. Maybe a little spongy? Like, I imagined it would be one of those foods that goes down easy. Well, with my experience this was not the case. It just felt a little chewy and the taste wasn’t bland per se, it just tasted like fish and rice with maybe a little heavy cheese thrown in. It wasn’t necessarily bad, just… Uncomfortable and not spongy.
Its too bad cause I honestly went into this with an open mind, but, unfortunately, I was not pleasantly rewarded for my little spurt of bravery. I doubt I’ll have any other such spurts in the future.
But, at least now when I go back to Kuwait and I go out to Maki’s with my girlfriends and complain at them offering me a bite of their sushi (“shfeech yuba kila simach! 5ibla entay ti7a6amain ou matjarbeen shfeech?!”) I can at least say that I’ve given it the old try and that I have an uncomfortable (and so not spongy) point of reference.
All my love!