I completed goal 64 (try 5 new foods) without any intention of doing so.
My husband and I went to a Brazilian steakhouse this weekend for his birthday dinner. Spencer, being the red-blooded American he is, decided that the best way to celebrate would be to consume copious amounts of meat, which was fresh sliced at our table with a huge knife (sword?) from a giant skewer.
After a breakfast of cinnamon rolls, we attempted a “fast” of sorts in order to save room for all of the food to come. I was starved by the time we got there, the meat was slow in coming around, so I went to get a salad.
When I got to the salad bar, I saw the weirdest things: there were little itty bitty eggs! Turns out they were quail eggs. I didn’t know if they tasted any different than your run-of-the mill egg, but I knew they were small and I remember that they were really expensive at the UDistrict farmer’s market back in Seattle. I figured I’d put two or three on the side of my salad to try out. I bit into half of it. It tasted like a regular chicken egg, though I do think it had a creamier yolk. It was then that I remembered my goal to try different foods. I told Spencer that if any “different” meat came by the table, I would take it.
Now, when I said different, what I really meant was some sort of specialty Brazilian meat. And by specialty meat, I mean a regular hunk of beef spiced up in some sort of Brazilian fashion. My first three “new” foods were relatively normal. The first was Chinese hum bao made in the most authentic, hole-in-the-wall spot in the International District of Seattle. I’d tell you the name, but I can’t read Chinese. My second food experience was with a sushi dish from Mashiko in West Seattle called the “Dancing Queen.” While the name was not traditional, the roll was – it was made with “yamaimo,” or a slimy potato. Yes, that’s right. A slimy potato. It tasted about as good as it sounds. My third food was a Vietnamese soup called pho, and the fourth was a quail egg. So, when preparing for my fifth meal, I thought I would be consuming some type of wildly spiced beef. I did not intend for a skewer of chicken hearts to be making rounds through the dining room.
Yes. Both Spencer and I grabbed a heart. He counted to three, we opened our mouths, and I put it down. A heart? I could tell by placing my fork in it that it was tough. I mean, it’s a muscle that works 24/7. How could it not be tough?
Without looking at the little brown bulb on the end of my fork, I placed it in my mouth. As an aside, I wish you could see my face as I type this. I’m leaning back, face in a grimace, brow slightly furrowed…just remembering that first bite is enough to make my stomach turn. I chewed and chewed and chewed. I could just imagine every artery caving and vesicle popping. Every time I wanted to swallow, I ended up suppressing a gag (yes, yes – that’s what she said). I knew that if I really wanted to count this food, I’d have to somehow get it down. I smiled, swallowed a small amount, and spat the rest out in a napkin which I then hid under my uneaten salad.
All-in-all, a totally undignified way to finish goal 64. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about and enjoy a variety of ethnic foods, though I feel that I’ll be staying away from anything chicken-related for a while.