When I was growing up, fish was something I had to eat, in stick form, every Friday. I was not a fan. I really had no idea that seafood could be a varied and delicious experience. This continued well into being an adult. When I met my husband, he was not a seafood lover either, so this was never an issue.
Then my cousin, Laurie, moved to eastern Virginia. She wanted to be close to the water and she succeeded. Summers became a time when I looked forward to trips south and time spent with Laurie. We sat by the water and talked for hours. We explored the tastes of many wonderful restaurants. Now I don’t know if you have every been to Newport News, Virginia Beach, or Williamsburg, but there is an abundance of good fresh seafood available. I didn’t have any of it..at least not at first.
During one visit, Laurie posed a challenge. She proposed that we eat out as many meals as we could during that visit, which was almost every lunch and dinner, and we would do this: Laurie ordered a seafood meal which she thought was delicious, and I ordered my usual fare. Then I had to taste her food. And if you have read any of my other posts, you know we function on the two bite rule. If I liked her meal, we switched. If not I had something safe and ‘non-seafood’ to eat. Poor Laurie. She missed a lot of good seafood that week.
I was amazed by what I had been missing. Each meal was a new and wonderful experience. I discovered that fish didn’t taste fishy. In fact, I now know that if it smells fishy, it isn’t fresh. I found that one of my favorite fish was something I had never heard of, wahoo. I had so many wonderful seafood delights: lobster bisque, salmon (still a favorite), tilapia, shrimp (yum!), and more.
I guess the funny part of this is that my husband is still not a seafood fan. Making seafood at home is not worthwhile unless I have someone else here to eat it with me. Now, though, when we go out to eat, I will often choose seafood. I have convince Barry to try coconut shrimp, but put a crunchy coating on any meat and dip in it sweet sauce and it should be good, right?
The bottom line is to be adventurous in your eating. Find new flavors. Don’t scrunch your nose at something you haven’t tried. There were so many foods that I had no experience with growing up that are now foods I eat often.
Make a promise to yourself that you will try a new food every week, or every month. Try buying a new fruit like I did with the girls when they were little. Go to your local Farmer’s Market and find a new vegetable. Visit a buffet type restaurant (not my favorite, but has a purpose) and try some new things in small bits. Or do what I love most. Go to a restaurant and order from the appetizer or small plate portion of the menu. I almost never order a full entree unless Barry and I are going to share. If you order small, you can try something new with minimal risk.
Be a flavor seeker. Actively pursue new tastes. Keep them fresh. Keep them real. Enjoy!