Best of 09 Blog: New Food

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Note: Every day thru December 31 I’ll be posting from this list. Feel free to join the fun. Just post your link in the comments section so I can follow you, too.

Back in September during my 21 Days of Fearless, I tried a new sushi. Eel. That certainly did not become my new favorite food. Unagi is u-no-good. I also recently found out that green tea lattes do not suit my fancy either. As it turns out, finding a new favorite food is harder than just trying a couple new things and finding bliss. But with a little more digging into this aging memory of mine, I remember the crab cakes.

A friend who lives within walking distance of us invites a group of friends over once a month or so for a cooking lesson. This isn’t your regular kind of cooking lesson. This is where she gathers a bunch of ingredients together in preparation for making a meal and then invites us over to show her how not to ruin the meal. At least, this is what she tells us.What really ends up happening is that she makes an awesome meal and all pretend to be surprised she didn’t kill us.

One such time was the most recent, when she had a New England theme to honor a recent trip to Maine and Boston. While she couldn’t bring herself to boil a live lobster in her home (we were all grateful for that because she would have made one of us do it), she did manage to make the world’s best crab cake. I know, you’re thinking, Crab cakes, that’s not new food!! Oh, but it is for me.

I’ve tried crab cakes a number of times. And each time I’ve taken one bite and tried to figure out the most polite way possible to spit it out in my napkin and then rinse my mouth out with soap just to get the taste out. I know I don’t like crab cakes. But one of the rules at these “cooking lessons” is to try everything and then tell her how she can make it better. I watched the cakes come off of the pan, onto the plate, and made sure everyone else had one before I finally gave in. In the most unsuspecting package, I found heaven.

This cake was like no crab cake I’d ever had before; it was good. Light and delicious, melt in your mouth, hide-all-the-rest-from-everyone-in-sight kind of good. I didn’t ask what was in them, I simply asked for another and then another. Had it not been for the other food at the lesson (and the fact that we ate all the crab cakes), I might have never stopped eating them. I’m told that “lump crab” makes all the difference, but who knows for sure. What I do know is that those crab cakes were the best “new” food I had in ’09. Who knew?

  • anti_supernaturalist

    Perhaps you should find a better sushi bar. Unagi when fresh, properly grilled and seasoned brings welcome warmth to an otherwise raw menu.

    At least you ought not characterize the sea eel as unappetizing — that you do not like it is an idiosyncratic fact about your tastes which doesn't merit being elevated into a critique of a type of sushi which is apparently relished in both in Japan and in the US.

    the anti_supernaturalist

  • Fair enough, anti_supernaturalist, perhaps I should find a better sushi bar. I'm certainly no food critic, and I do get that unagi may be all that you described when properly prepared. It still may not change the fact that the texture is what makes it unappealing to me—which may also be part of the very thing that makes it such a relished type of sushi in both Japan and the US. At the very least, I'll give it another try.

    Thanks for commenting

  • anti_supernaturalist

    Perhaps you should find a better sushi bar. Unagi when fresh, properly grilled and seasoned brings welcome warmth to an otherwise raw menu.

    At least you ought not characterize the sea eel as unappetizing — that you do not like it is an idiosyncratic fact about your tastes which doesn't merit being elevated into a critique of a type of sushi which is apparently relished in both in Japan and in the US.

    the anti_supernaturalist

  • Fair enough, anti_supernaturalist, perhaps I should find a better sushi bar. I'm certainly no food critic, and I do get that unagi may be all that you described when properly prepared. It still may not change the fact that the texture is what makes it unappealing to me—which may also be part of the very thing that makes it such a relished type of sushi in both Japan and the US. At the very least, I'll give it another try.

    Thanks for commenting

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