My Year of Adventurous Eating

The Origin of My Fears…and an Invitation May 17, 2011

Filed under: Next! — PhobicFoodie @ 10:15 am

My fear of fish is so deep-seated it’s practically instinct.

I remember this horrible, recurring dream I had as a child.  I’ll try not to bore you with the details, but it involved a struggle over a starfish on a rocky beach that ended with two individual starfish halves, the white flesh quivering paley on each torn half.  I would wake with a gasp, so horrified to have done such a thing to a living creature!

Maybe that’s where the terror of white fish began.

Or maybe it began with the time my cousin was fishing in our family friend’s pond and caught a trout.  I have vivid memories of him beating the struggling thing over a stump to kill it before he gutted it, there were scales and blood and fish insides everywhere!

Don’t even get me started on fish scales.  I really have a thing about fish scales.

(See, you thought all this food phobia was just me being picky up until now.  My fear of fish extends beyond fish as a food all the way to fish as anything!)

My cousins also used to microwave whole fish with the heads on and eat them.  They would hold their plates up to me so I could really get a good look at the eyeballs.

(Remember my rule about the legs?  I also have a rule about eyeballs.  I refuse to eat anything that can gaze reproachfully at me while I’m eating it.  And that’s something that’s never gonna change!)

Or maybe the whole thing can be blamed on the fact that I live in a landlocked state, and have since I was a baby.  I grew up on fish experiences like processed, frozen fish sticks (remember those little bits of grey, silvery skin that would get into the processed, mealy insides? *shudder!*) and canned tuna (tuna casserole, tuna salad…a disaster considering the fact that I also don’t like mayonnaise!!  I used to pick the pickles out and leave the rest.  Not very filling.)

Pretty soon my distaste for fish (the kind with gills and fins) began to extend to all things seafood.  Cephalopods (I also have memories of platters of tiny cooked octopi, tentacles hanging limply, suckers in full view, also at my cousins’ house.  It was like a house of horrors!  They, suffice it to say, are not picky eaters. ), bivalves, crustaceans…

I think there may have been a time that I would actually willingly put pieces of imitation crab meat in my mouth, chew them, and swallow them with minimal protest.

And then I found out it was all just white fish with imitation crab flavoring and red food dye.

Seafood is disgusting.

On that note, I am begging you to help me overcome my fear of fish.  Even though this is just a baby step into the world of seafood, it’s a considerable leap for me!

Keeping that in mind, it’s ocean fish (the kind with gills and fins…again, I’m not going to eat the gills and fins, it’s just a way of refining the selection), cooked (thank you) on May 27th!

Should I try it in a restaurant?  Should I bring a slab home and cook it here?  What’s the best way to cook a piece of fish?  What shouldn’t I do?  The first six people to respond with their suggestions in the comments below are invited to join me for a fish feast!

Here’s the rules:

1) You post your suggestion in the comments section below.  You must give me a suggestion, or I can’t count it as an RSVP!

2) Your recommendation can be a restaurant, but please keep it within 10 miles of the Boulder, Colorado area.  In the interest of continuing with taking baby steps into the world of seafood, the restaurant must be a place that cooks their fish.  Suggestions for sushi will not be considered at this time!

3) Your recommendation may also be your favorite preparation or recipe.  Please include what type of fish if you choose to go this route.  Red listed fish are not on the menu.  Again, the plan is to eat ocean fish (with gills and fins), no suggestions for other forms of seafood or for freshwater fish can be considered.  Yet.

4) I will choose the method of fish ingestion that sounds most appealing to me!

5) I will post the plan next Wednesday, May 25th.

Please have your suggestions posted by no later than Sunday, May 22nd!

All that being said, I’d like to leave you with this parting shot:

Mmmmmm.  Enjoy!


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