I Love the Fishes 'Cause They're So Delicious

I saw a food meme, “The Omnivore’s Hundred,” over at The Kilowatthour and found it pretty interesting.  For one thing, I love thinking and talking about food, and for another thing, I love trying new dishes, so the meme got me thinking about all of the things I haven’t tried yet, but would like to (like sweetbreads – I still haven’t gotten a chance to try them, dammit).

It’s also interesting that the blogger who compiled the list is British — the things that seem exotic or a “must try” there are assuredly different than the things that would be so here, so it’s fun to see what made the list and what didn’t.  Catfish, where I grew up, is simply de rigeur, but It might not be so common there.  (I also wonder whether they really meant “crocodile,” or whether that should be “alligator.” DO people eat crocodile?)

And that brings me to this: do you know that there are people out there who don’t eat seafood? Because they think it is gross?  And they have only ever tried one or two types of fish? And are terrified of sushi because it may contain raw fish? Well, there are, and it makes me feel blue.  I started thinking about all the fabulous kinds of seafood I have tried and loved over the years, and I realized that in comparison to some, I might be considered a fairly adventurous eater.  Here are some lists of fish and seafood-type things I have eaten:

Shellfish, Molluscs, Reptiles, and Other Weird Things That, Okay, Might Not Be Seafood, Technically: lobster, shrimp, crab*, softshell crab, crawdads*, oysters, mussels*, scallops, clams, squid, octopus, eel, escargots, alligator, shark, salmon roe, sturgeon roe.

Regular Fish-Type Fishes: salmon, halibut, catfish, many kinds of trout*, tilapia, pollock, sturgeon, mahi mahi, amberjack, anchovy, plaice, cod, flounder, herring, sardines, monkfish, orange roughy, sole, sea bass, snapper, whitefish, a million kinds of tuna.

*I even caught these myself, and I will thank you to keep your crabs jokes quiet thank you.

I’m sure I am forgetting a few things there, and I’m also sure I have eaten things either at sushi restaurants or while in Europe that I couldn’t have identified, or whose names I didn’t understand. Nonetheless, that seems like a lot of kinds of seafood, doesn’t it? I’m not trying to brag here; rather, my point is that there are a LOT of different things out there, and they all taste different and can be prepared in a million different ways. There’s just so much to try, and I bet everyone, even the squeamish, would find something to like.

Things I have Yet to Try: sea urchin, langoustine, conch, blowfish, spiny lobster, sea cucumber.

What about you? Do you share the love of all things that swim, crawl, or slither underwater? Feel free to make your own list here or on your own blog (and then post a link to it in the comments so’s I can take a gander).

What is your favorite? I am really into seared tuna and softshell crab lately.


  1. The French do amazing things with Langoustine. It has a taste something between lobster and shrimp. Not strong, but fantastic with a white wine sauce from the Jura or Bourgogne region, for example.

    Fried eel from northern England is also fantastic but it has to be fried until the skin is crisp and not leathery. Match that with some mashed potatoes and a tart white wine vinegar sauce and mmmmm mmmmm. That’s good!

    The other interesting food the French are good with is sausage (I know, it’s not seafood). I love their boudin noir (blood sausage) and regularly buy it fresh at the market. I have yet, however, to make my way through an entire piece of andouillette. I thought I was a real man, but I can’t claim that honour until I make it through a whole one.


  2. I, too, am a big seafood fan, and I HAVE had conch. Good flavor, just a little chewy. Best in a fritter (but what’s NOT good in a fritter?), especially with a good sauce, especially ESPECIALLY if you’re in Key West or at a Ballyhoo restaurant, but I’ve also had it in a spicy sushi roll, which is fine.

    I just went scalloping for the first time — it’s like an underwater Easter egg hunt. Thank god I didn’t have to clean them, though. Even my salty, manly husband was a little grossed out.

    As far as what I’m eating, I’m digging just about any flaky white fish marinated in a chipotle-lime flavor and made into fish tacos. Mmmmm …


  3. I’ve had sea urchin roe. Looked like an orange tongue, sort of. Didn’t enjoy it. It was sushi; not sure if it was raw or not. Very disappointing, because John McPhee raves about sea urchin roe.

    I ate a conch once, too. It was chilled, and I think it was raw. Very bright blue color. I think it was a young one. I named him before I ate him (Harold, IIRC); he had a toothpick through his little head. Not half bad! At the same meal, there were tiny little dried fish on the salad. Those were good, too.

    Monkfish liver (sushi, again): Delicious.

    Flying fish roe, sprinkled on shrimp tempura maki at some place on Wickenden St. in Providence: Really nifty.

    I passed on the “crab guts” in a place in Tsukiji. Not gonna apologize for that one.

    Am I the only one who likes raw salmon even better than raw tuna?

    What you do with trout, is you sear it with a very little black pepper and after it’s out of the pan, make a quick garlic/lime/cilantro butter with the pan scrapings. I mean, garlic/lime/cilantro butter would be delicious on gravel. But it’s even better on trout.


  4. You guys are making me hungry!

    It’s sad what the selection is at my New Wye grocery places, but I think I shall go try to find something new to try this weekend — at least something I haven’t cooked before.


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