Trying New Foods

 I’ve found that the only way to grow as a cook and gardener is to try new things and stretch myself.  This results in eating some meals that I try to forget and killing plants.   Last week, I tried two new dishes at two restaurants that I enjoy and regularly frequent and I absolutely hated the food.  Only my manners prevented me from asking for some lemon water or soap to wash out my mouth.

Revulsion is a strange and fascinating response that is best shared.  As a teenager, our high school marching band went on tour to Victoria Island for a parade.  I remember the day that we spent exploring China Town.  A fellow student, a trombone player--if you can imagine, purchased a box of sugar cane juice and almost spat it out after trying it.  He exclaimed, “This is awful!  Do you want to try it?”  

And the box made it’s way around the entire bus and we all squinched our faces up in disgust and only afterwards did someone read the box and point out that it had passed it’s expiration date.  Ahh…that explains it, we all nodded together.  Whenever I taste something awful, I always offer to share the experience.  Fortunately, it doesn’t happen very often.
 I went out to lunch with my friend, Jill, last Monday and I led her astray when I suggested that we try the Spanish Posole for lunch at Roots Restaurant.  I’ve been wanting to try Posole after volunteering with a lovely lady from Spain that told me all about her cooking style as we weeded, and she said that Posole was her specialty.  So, when the young man on the phone at Roots, told me that Posole was the lunch soup special, I felt compelled to try it.  I took pictures of the dish and took my first bite and thought to myself, ‘ewww!’.  But, I tried to smile politely at poor Jill.  I really do hope that she forgives me.  It tasted like over boiled chicken with bland bits of hominy and unbalanced spice.  It tasted brown and weird.  Not my thing at all.  Poor Jill. I ordered their fantastic creme brûlée to try and make it up to her.  
 And then on Saturday, My Pirate and I dropped by Sushiland for like the millionth time.  I’ve been on a wild seared salmon and miso soup kick that even has the sushi chefs shaking their heads at me in bemusement.  Susie, the hostess, hugs me when I come in.  This is getting embarrassing.  Anyways, there we were eating our sushi, when the gentleman beside us asked for sea urchin.  I’ve always wanted to try sea urchin!  

So, I ordered the fresh sea urchin.  And it arrived quivering on my plate looking like the insides of a slug cut in half, with the definition of a monkey brain.  I threw it back, and it coated the inside of my mouth like raw liver with a strong bitter seafood flavor and I just couldn’t escape it.  People like this stuff?  Absolutely revolting.  And as I tried to chew my way through and swallow it, I offered My Pirate the other bite.  And he took it, the poor chump.  So, we both sat there trying to politely mask our revulsion.  We laughed in the car all the way home.

What new dishes have you tried lately?