Raw Fish 101
I'd tried Sushi when I was about 18. And I tried just about everything in a Sushi bar. There are some things that are an acquired taste at best; and some I haven't yet acquired, nor am ever going to. But there are many things that are really very good. And the more you eat it, the more you get addicted to it.
My addiction started with recreational usage. Just once a year or so just for something different. But when I started at Rockwell, down the road they had a Benihanas that not only had good, fresh, Sushi, and a reasonable chef; but they started an all-you-could-eat lunch, at a fixed reasonable price.
We started a Friday lunch ritual, with just taking a few people from work, and it grew a cult-like following.
The first time we went, there were these two girls from work that decided to go with us. It kept getting bigger over time.
One of the Girls (known as voom-voom Veronica), was not exactly shy. I found out how non-shy at the first Sushi lunch.
So there we are, sitting around ordering different things. I generally like the Tuna and light tasting fish (Halibut, Flounder, Snapper, and so on); but do not like the oily or strong fishes (Mackerel). And I'm cautious with the in-betweens: Salmon or Yellowtail. Most of the rolls are good. And I was mixing it up with some Octopus and Squid.
So there I am, peaceful trying Squid; which is kind of crunchy compared to Octopus rubbery/chewiness (but similar mild tastes).
I had a piece in my mouth, when one of the girls I'm with says to the other; "I can't stand squid". The other girl asks, "why not?" To which the reply was, "because it tastes just like cum". Ptooy, ack, pthth. Out came the squid that I was eating into my napkin. And I pushed the other piece aside. Suddenly, my serving was far less appetizing. While I'm doing that, the other girl says to the first, "Oh, so that's what Squid tastes like".
The rest of the group that was in shock over the first statement, completely lost it at the second one's innocent, or not-so-innocent, response; as well as my little choking and spitting fit. Someone pointed at me and said that I was a spitter, and they laughed to tears; at my perturbed expression.
Then they ordered Saki and Beer, and the conversation got much more racy.
While there is often some innuendo in some comfortable work conversations; or any for that matter, these people were outright raunchy. Something about one of the girls confessing she avoided Saki, since her first experience with it also ended with her first experience in anal sex. Well thanks for sharing. I was a little more priggish back then (at work), part of being the youngest anywhere I worked, was that I probably over compensated. But learned to lighten up more later, and care less about others over-sensitivities because of my over-restraint at work for the first 8 years of my career.
One of my favored hand-rolls, was something called a Dynamite Roll. There are variants of this at many places; and seems a little Americanized. But basically it is some fish, with this really hot crushed pepper sauce in a rice and seaweed cone (now they use Sriracha, back then it was even hotter). I used to eat really spicy foods occasionally. I loved these things, and they were a weekly ritual.
Anyways, I thought I was loosing my mind. Week after week, I felt like I was getting wimpier and wimpier. My ability to eat them without feeling the effects; both at the time, and later, was lessening each week. Finally, by like the 4th week, I was breaking out in a sweat, my nose was running, and it was going past good, and into painful. The next week, I ordered my usual, and turned back to my conversation -- when I heard a person that I'd previously been calling my friend, saying to the Chef, "My friend said you never make it hot enough, and that Japanese food is too bland". The Chef has stopped using a little fork to put a little of the pepper paste on, and he had graduated to a spoon to shovel the stuff.
That treacherous bastard, I caught my friend red handed. What did he have to say for himself? He just laughed - he'd been doing that for weeks. He had been secretly doing it to both of ours, but he'd given up eating them when they got too hot... and had kept going (for me) just to see how far he could take it. The Sushi chef laughed when he realized what my friend was doing.
Sushi is still a fun thing for me: though I've lost the intestinal fortitude to eat many dynamite rolls. And I figure if I like spoiled milk (cheese), or Chicken menses (eggs), then I can try other cultures foods. So to this day, I'm still pretty food experimental.... with a slight psychological barrier to eating raw squid.