Sunday, September 11, 2011

The first time I tried sushi

 My dad had been introduced to Yohan's by his coworkers. The place was the biggest Japanese marketplace in the greater Chicago area and had a large food court with several restaurants as well as packaged sushi to go. Perhaps he had brought home California rolls first for us to try but as far as my memory is concerned, the first piece I ever remember was octopus.

The thing about octopus sushi is that octopus, in my humble opinion, is not meant to be eaten. The piece consisted of a small bit of octopus tentacle wrapped on rice with some seaweed.

They will.

Unlike most fish sushi, octopus is very tough. It's not just a chew a few times and swallow. It's more chew until you're bored and then hope that it won't stick in your throat on the way down. I don't know how else to explain it - it's just not good.

The second piece I remember wasn't technically sushi. It was one of those bundles of large fish eggs. My dad popped one in his mouth and asked if any of us wanted to try one. They looked terrifying. About the size of a fingernail, round, orange and semi-transparent, the eggs looked very much like a tiny fish could be living inside.

Also true.

I have since come to love the tiny masago on and in my sushi rolls, but have never, to date, tried one of the larger ones. I remain terrified of the size of the "pop" that might accompany it.

From these humble beginnings, I have somehow cultivated a love for sushi.

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