Friday, January 27, 2012

Lessons in Food: Paying it Forward

As I mentioned the other day, I recently gave lessons on bread making to some friends. This was an absolutely fantastic endeavor and yielded some lovely bread some of which I gave to them, and some of which I bought to my fellow classicists, who sincerely enjoyed it. The friends who I taught discussed what they might have to trade for the lessons, but we could not think of anything particularly at the time (although both of these women are quite talented knitting, photography, etc. lessons required equipment that was not present). Little did I know that my "paying the lessons forward" would pay off very quickly.

A few nights later, a friend of mine whose father is quite a gourmet chef, invited me to a sushi party. Unfortunately it was one of the nights were I was burning the midnight oil working on translating Antiphon's speeches. However, she decided to drop by and bring me a taster plate of sushi (along with some crème brûlée).
Sadly, my pictures are not very good.
I confess, I am not a fish person, so I was not particularly excited, but I decided to try it anyway. I was absolutely fascinated. Some of the sushi fish was amazing. I didn't learn the names of everything just as I didn't take very good pictures because I was right in the middle of reading Antiphon. However, here is what I remember:

I first tried a spicy tuna mixture which went on some kind of strangely colored cracker. It was fantastic. Next was a salmon cooked with mango and some kind of sauce-- interesting but not my favorite. There was also an uncooked salmon in some kind of sauce that was decent, but once again not my favorite (see a pattern?). Then there were two of the same red snapper, which were pretty good. Finally, on the taster plate, there were two different types of scallops. Both were good, but the slightly sweeter one was better. Finally, the pièce de résistance, was the little dish in the back. I have no idea what it was, but it was fantastic.

This friend also brought me lunch for the next days: miso black cod (cooked) and an asparagus-mushroom dish. The black cod was both buttery and sweet, which was interesting, but I couldn't eat a whole lot of it.


  1. I'm not a huge sushi fan but that's probably because I haven't given it a chance. The miso black cod sounds really good.

  2. I didn't like sushi at all for two reasons: (1) I hate seaweed and (2) no one was going to get me to eat raw fish. However, this was just sushi, not sushi rolls so the first problem didn't apply. Second, this sushi was made by the father of a friend, who is quite a gourmet and who very carefully chooses his fish (and knows what he's doing). I don't think I would ever order sushi at a restaurant or make it myself because I simply don't know how to chose fish that won't give me food poisoning. However, when it was so graciously offered to me it was hard to refuse...

    Basically, if you do choose to give it a chance, find someone to make it for you who knows what their doing and I have a feeling you will be pleasantly surprised like I was. It turns out, when prepared well, raw fish neither tastes raw nor like fish. Go figure.