August 18, 2005

Lunch time fun

Today for lunch, I decided to eat something I haven’t had in a long time. After speaking with my wife, we decided to hit a nearby restaurant to pick up some take out after we ran some errands. During our excursion, I was excited at the prospect of eating one of my favorite dishes. Even more appealing was watching people’s reactions to my eating it at work.

Sushi is one of those dishes that not everyone likes, or can stomach watching other people enjoy. Most of my minions fall into later category, they avert their eyes and cover their facess like it might magically leap off the tray and land in their mouths. This is part of the appeal of my getting sushi for lunch. I love walking around eating it; savoring the taste and texture, while people watching me in disgust. Their reaction makes the meal even better; it’s like a mental MSG that just enhances the flavor!

Today’s lunch was even better then I had anticipated. While ordering my normal spicy tuna rolls, I decided to get a couple of other items, White tuna and Shrimp. When the order came out, I checked the bag as I normally do with take out. Opening the bag, I peeked in and saw two shrimp heads peeking back up at me. Never before had I ordered the shrimp sushi from this restaurant before, thus I had no idea that when they make the shrimp, they fry the heads and serve it with the rest. The heads come complete with cloves for the eyes. To say I found this amusing is an understatement. I almost burst out laughing in the middle of the restaurant. I knew I was going to have fun with this one!

The two-block ride to work seemed to take an eternity. By the time I arrived at my desk I could barely contain my mirth and excitement over the ensuing hilarity. Since I had never ordered shrimp sushi from this restaurant before, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to eat the shrimp heads or not. While debating with myself on whether or not to eat it, I noticed that the heads appeared to be dipped in some kind of batter and fried. Okay, I decide that I should eat the shrimp heads.

Taking my tray of sushi, I start walking around; acting shocked and hurt when people will not accept my offer to try my sushi, especially the shrimp heads. By all that is good and right in the world I swear that one of my minions almost threw up upon catching site of the shrimp heads. Not all of my minions dislike sushi I do have a couple that genuinely enjoy it. When I came around to one of their desks, she took me up on the offer to have a piece. Right away, she noticed the shrimp head and asked if I was going to eat them. As if I knew what the hell I was talking about, I responded I was. She said she wanted to try the other one. All right, I have a partner in the shrimp head eating. She took one; I took the other and prepared to start eating.

The people sitting around her all stopped to watch. Looking at the shrimp head you could tell it still had the shell on… and the feelers and little legs where still attached. Yet the whole thing was battered and fried. I guess that technically doesn’t make it sushi, so I don’t know what the hell it was actually, but it came with my shrimp sushi (the tails over rice). Not sure exactly if how you are supposed to eat this, I just popped the whole thing in my mouth and crunched down on it.

My minions looked on in horror as if I had just eaten a baby. Apparently, the crunchiness of it made for interesting noises they could hear, which makes sense since the sound inside my head was deafening. One of my minions hurriedly turned her back on me and turned an interesting shade of green. Another squealed, “I can’t believe you ate that” Even my minion who likes sushi looked at me in horror. She was shelling the shrimp head and just eating the meat out of it. Multiple people uttered the phrase, “I think I’m going to be sick.” Me, I just smiled and pretended to enjoy it.

Yes, I said pretended. It was damn nasty. It crunched like… like… like hardened shrimp casings! I could handle the extra crunchiness, but the taste was horrible. It tasted like… like… like the smell around a commercial fishing pier. It also didn’t smell to pretty, it smelled like it tasted. Have you ever eaten something that as soon as you put it in your mouth you knew you where not going to enjoy it, no matter what? Well that was this shrimp head. Yet I continued to chew and swallow, I’ve eaten worse in my life.

Smiling the whole time while my brain screamed, “IF YOU DON’T GET THIS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH SOON, I’M GOING TO FORCE IT OUT FOR YOU!” Pretending to enjoy it, I swallowed. At this point my brain shouts out, “I meant spit it out, not swallow it… idiot!” My stomach handled it just fine; then again, my stomach probably was just happy there was food. After eating a couple of pieces of pickled ginger and a spicy tuna roll with extra wasabi, I was fine. My taste buds no longer had a residue of the vile tasting thing. My minions just watched mortified as I cheerily ate my sushi. The one that had the other head quickly threw it out stating she had lost her appetite.

I enjoyed the rest of my sushi immensely and I’ve been thinking about the shrimp heads. If I knew then what I know now, would I still eat the shrimp head? My answer would be yes, yes I would. Why? Just for the reaction, it was worth it!

Posted by Contagion in Things that make me go, "GUH?!?!" at August 18, 2005 04:03 PM | TrackBack

I have to get you a haggis somehow. If only so you can gross out your minions ;-)

Posted by: Sally at August 18, 2005 03:58 PM

LOL! Do they make 'spider rolls'? They take softshell crab legs and put them on the roll... giving the look of a spider. Don't know if that is just something they make at this resturaunt.

Posted by: VW Bug at August 18, 2005 04:26 PM

I'm thinking of actually making haggis out at an event.

Hanging the breathing tube of the lungs out of the pot while it boils so the waste products can percolate out of the tissue will just whet my appitite!

Posted by: Graumagus at August 18, 2005 04:38 PM

Sally, Yes you do!

VW. Yes they do.. I've never had them before, so I'll have to try them sometime.

Grau, That just sounds like good clean Scottish cooking!

Posted by: Contagion at August 18, 2005 05:31 PM

I think I'm going to place myself in that "I like sushi, but those shrimp heads sound nasty" category.

Posted by: S at August 18, 2005 06:23 PM

Heheh... woulda loved to have seen it!

Posted by: That 1 Guy at August 18, 2005 10:22 PM

I'd like to say I'd have enjoyed to be there with you, but I just can't stand pretty much any seafood (except tuna -- that stuff is great). Now haggis, on the other hand, I want to get me sum a that!

Posted by: Ogre at August 19, 2005 06:26 AM

I'm not a big sushi fan, but I eat these little dried fishies that are stir fried Korean style, and we eat them whole. Heads, tail, the whole shebang. I always get some interesting looks from that one!

Posted by: Oddybobo at August 19, 2005 07:11 AM

Actually, you are supposed to suck the insides of the shrimp head out, the shell is decorative. Another item that are absolutely amazing (if you went where I think you did) are the scallops. They drizzle this sauce over them that is just to die for. If you like rolls, try the philly roll, and the new york rolls also, oh and the mexican rolls are really ..really good too.

Posted by: littlejoe at August 19, 2005 04:52 PM

Never understood the attaction of eating things that smell like dead fish :-/

Posted by: Harvey at August 22, 2005 04:09 PM

I've been a sushi eater since I was 8 years old(23 now), and everyone I know likes to consider me somewhat of a connoisseur. I've had pretty much everything, and only recently had I seen the shrimp heads. I ordered amaebi(raw sweet shrimp), and they came with the heads deep fried; I was quite turned off of the whole thing, but I pulled out the eyes(no way I was eating those), and ate the heads which were actually quite good. For other commenters, a spider roll is traditionally a whole soft shelled crab, deep fried, and rolled with other ingredients. This is another of my recent discoveries, and is quite good as well. If you are really looking to disturb your co-workers, get a couple pieces of uni, which, nicely put, is sea urchin roe. In reality, it is the testes and ovaries of the sea urchin, and again does not sound appetizing. It had that effect for 8 years, but I actually tried it, and it has been the best thing to ever hit my taste buds. Give the odd concepts a chance, and I promise that you will eventually understand.

The psychosomatic effect of things like this have a great effect on your taste of them, but once you can get over that, they will be the best things you have ever tasted.

Long Island, NY

Posted by: Brett at September 8, 2005 05:45 PM