I just ate a mussel.

So today, I did something that I have never done.

Well three things actually.
1) I went to The Four Seasons on University Ave.
2) I ate tofu.
3) I ate a mussel.

Here’s some back story: 

On Friday, I texted my roommate, Cate, and asked her if she would accompany me on a woman date to go to a restaurant I’ve never been and eat something I’ve never eaten. She replied: Dear Marie, Have u ever had sushi . . . Or Chinese hot pot? I hadn’t eaten either before, so I agreed.

This afternoon, we hopped into her green jeep, turned on some decidedly American music, and drove to a Chinese restaurant. The Four Seasons to be exact. We entered a room, all decked out in Chinese paraphernalia. with many tables bearing hot pots. A Chinese man came to greet us. He invited us to sit at a table for two on the opposite wall from his only other patron. He asked us what kind of soup we wanted: a little spicy, medium spicy, spicy, or very spicy. Cate loves spicy food. I am less of a fan.

Cause it always makes your nose run. 

And then people stare at you. As you fruitlessly try to get the snot off your face without touching it.

So we got the little spicy variety. Because Chinese hot pot comes with dipping sauces . . . which are really spicy . . . and make you cry.

If you’re a baby like me.

After he brought around the soup, we went to the ingredients bar and chose several things: pork, chicken, potatoes, zucchini (my mother will be proud), broccoli, potato noodles, rice noodles, tofu squares, and then two little mussels (one for me and one for Cate).

We brought all of our ingredients back to the table and slid them carefully into the pot of now boiling soup so as to not splash scalding juices onto our faces (which because I’m clumsy, I did anyway). Then we waited. Cate taught me a few simple Chinese phrases (she’s in a Chinese class) and because I didn’t know any Chinese, and I felt all out of place, I taught her a few Korean phrases which I learned yesterday from my co-worker.

I don’t know if they are legit phrases. Or if he was just messing with me.

And then we ate. The moment of truth was here. The mussel was already on my plate. Looking all menacingly and gross. Like a bottom feeder. I imagined that all sorts of nasty things had been through its organs. And I was going to put that in my mouth!! Then I poked at it a little bit, and actually saw its organs. Looking all organ-y. It reminded me of my first visit to Tucanos. And the chicken heart that I had reluctantly tried. As you bite into it, you can feel yourself crunching through its aorta. That is the grossest feeling of EVER!! And I imagined feeling that way as I squished through this bottom-feeding mussel.  Cate, nervously poked at hers, then looked at me and said, “I don’t think I can eat that.”

That was the worst part.

Imagining it.

Turns out, mussels aren’t so gross. They aren’t delicious. I don’t want to line my refrigerator with them. I won’t be starting a mussel farm anytime soon. But they aren’t gross.  I know.  I ate the whole thing.  Cate was impressed.  I am Super Woman.

And tofu–I thought that stuff was for vegetarians and people who hate themselves–Not bad at all.

I will probably invest in a return trip to The Four Seasons.

Things I learned about Myself:
1) I ate a whole mussel. I am Super Woman.
2) I could earn a lot of free meals by eating stuff other people won’t.
3) I like trying new things.
4) I am more concerned with texture than taste.
5) I need to learn Chinese.

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