What would you do if someone close to you had never eaten any of your favorite foods? Either you unfriend them or force them to eat the food.
This is no hypothetical scenario. It’s a very real one with a close friend of mine, who we’ll call Ed. No matter the restaurant or occasion, Ed would manage to find chicken fingers and fries on every menu and exclusively eat those. I’m sure you know this type of child. Maybe it was even yourself. Recently due to my influence, Ed has begun to expand his palette.
My extended family has roots in Acadia and other fishing towns, so I’ve grown up eating fish and crustaceans, which have become some of my favorite meals. A staple meal we frequently have for family dinners is salmon. Our salmon recipe isn’t anything crazy, but trust me when I say it’s good. My sides of choice to accompany it are rice pilaf and butternut squash. I believe they elevate the meal and add flavors that complement the fish very well.
If fish isn’t your thing, I would recommend trying salmon before completely writing it off. The flavor isn’t as strong as other seafood and the texture is much easier to handle. It’s also a great introduction into the world of seafood, which is exactly why I’m beginning this series with it.
Ed’s replies were negative when I asked him about eating fish, so I was very doubtful about going into a tasting with him. His main concern was that it would reek of fish, leaving a fishy taste in his mouth. Texture is a huge component to whether or not Ed likes a food, so he expected the fish to be too slimy for his liking.
As I placed the plate in front of him and he could fully take in the sight of the meal, he looked a bit skeptical. Normally just the sight of fish would lead to a red warning light in his mind telling him to run in the other direction. It was sort of a fight or flight response, but on a less intense scale. After all, he would never actually fight a piece of food, right?
Rather than having a negative reaction upon taking his first bite, his face remained pretty neutral. He also noted how the salmon just fell apart and didn’t need to be cut in order to create bite-sized pieces. Bite after bite, he kept going back for more until his plate was completely cleaned. I would like to note he also finished the rice pilaf and veggies (unfortunately we had no butternut squash left, so we’ll save that for another week).
Some of his final thoughts were how the seasoning added just the right amount of flavor to a relatively plain taste and how no fishy taste was left in his mouth. I think the lack of “fishy flavor” was the reason he enjoyed the meal so much.
Now the most important question that I’m sure you’re all on the edge of your seats waiting to hear. “Would he eat it again?” He glowingly responded that he would. I can’t even describe the feelings I felt upon hearing that one word. Joy? Elation? Relief? All of the above?
Until next time…