How Sushi Helped Me Overcome Fear and Try New Things

A spicy tuna roll.
As hard as it may be to believe, I didn't eat sushi growing up.  The thought of eating raw fish was kind of scary to me.  All of the fish I ate was fried or baked in some fashion and eating it uncooked was definitely not in my comfort zone.  Eating something I've never tried before was really intimidating to me.

In college, I met friends who told me that sushi was their favorite food in the world.  One of them told me that he could eat it for days and not get sick of it.  Hearing that made me curious.  There must be something about it that makes it delicious.  I was curious enough to want to try it, but not curious enough to actually try it.

Then during my sophomore year, my biology lab partner invited me to a sushi tasting with him. Since he was part Japanese, he grew up eating plenty of sushi and was really familiar with its variety. I thought to myself, "Why not?" and decided to try something new.

After class, we went to a local sushi bar. There I tried almost everything. I was introduced to salmon, tuna, unagi (eel), and other seafood in ways that I've never tasted before. I can still vividly remember trying wasabi (a type of Japanese horseradish) for the first time ever. The flavor gave my tongue a kick, but not something my Americanized palette found appealing. Sushi is very complex with various fish, ingredients, and combinations that affect both the flavor and texture of every bite.  The cool part was that John explained to me what each dish was before we tried it. I enjoyed the whole experience. After lunch, I had a whole new appreciation for sushi, Japanese food, and food I haven't tried In general.

Now I love sushi. I love tuna rolls, mackerel sashimi, and salmon.  I like exploring different flavors that I can only taste through expertly prepared raw fish with vinegar flavored rice.  Ever since that experience, I've been more able to try new foods and ingredients that were once considered foreign to me.  I'm still a long way from trying frog legs or escargot (snails), but maybe I'll get there one day soon. 

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