eating seafood on top of the sea
setting: (because sometimes your surroundings when you are eating affect your eating experience) indonesia. ruralish – outskirts of the city. seaside. platform on top of the sea – not floating, but on stilts.
i wouldn’t normally say ‘i LOVE seafood, i’ll eat ANYTHING seafood.’ but sometimes in life, when you are served a table FULL of food that is only (save for one plate of vegetables (sayur) and one bowl of kimchee, you eat, almost literally, EVERYTHING seafood.
for the first time in my life, i willingly ate something new and foreign to me. i don’t even know what it is called. i’m pretty sure we were all calling it ‘the thing that comes out of the shell.’ the plate of shells looked like a decorative piece, not something for ingesting into my body. luckily someone at our table had eaten it before and knew what to do. step one: take a toothpick, and insert it into the shell’s opening. step two: poke the thing inside the shell with the toothpick and gingerly, carefully pull it out. step three: eat the weird squishy-looking substance that you just pulled out of the shell. apparently there was a sauce for dipping but most of us noticed that after the meal was finished. but i was creative and started dipping it into the chilli-crab sauce. i can even proudly say: “i ate more of the shell things than my dad.” actually, i can do better than that. i can say: “i was braver than my dad, because he didn’t even TRY any.” hah! take that, world. i’m pretty sure my dad has eaten monkey brains before. or pig intestines or something - both things i would avoid at all costs. i would probably even risk offending someone before i would eat either of those (sad to say but its true). BUT, this time, i tried something my dad didn’t want to try. i feel pretty good about that. (insert smug face here.)
the best part of the meal was the chili crab. sadly, those crabs were pretty small, and i only was able to eat one leg, since there were others at the table who ate a liiittle bit more than their share. ah well. kids will be kids i guess. i’m also a very amateur crab leg cracker. i didn’t know how to bite that sucker properly. so i was pretty slow at eating it. sigh.
we also ate fried fish, prawns, deepfried battered squid. the prawns were served whole, shell, head, and all. i never knew that some people ate those things whole. i’m a bit of a wimp and i left the head (i gave it to someone else) and the shell behind. if i want something crunchy to eat, i will eat chips, thank you. i’m a texture person. i’m surprised i ate 3 of those shell things.
the next best part of the meal was the coconut drink. seriously. in terms of aesthetics alone, the coconut makes the perfect drink. luckily it tastes good too. and it’s fun, because you get to scrape the coconut flesh out of the coconut once finished drinking. so out of the whole deal you get: refreshment, fun, and good looks.
all in all, it was a good evening. except for the shortage of chili crab. :)