So, I guess I owe you guys a story about deep-fried shrimp heads. Sure, I could save it for another day, but why not go ahead and tell the tale.
I Shall Try Anything Once
When I was in college, I went out with some friends to a local sushi restaurant for a evening of delicious eats. I expected fun times, but I didn’t expect a dare so shocking that it would shake up my entire outlook on trying new foods. You see…somewhere in my early twenties I decided that life was too short to not try new things – namely in the food department. I thought I should be adventurous! My eats-motto became: I shall try anything once. As it turns out, this motto can take you on quite an adventure…especially at a sushi restaurant! I’d tried some pretty interesting things over the years: from pheasant to rattlesnake. But on this night at the local sushi restaurant semi-awkwardly located in the deep south (South Carolina), my motto turned against me.
I was out with some co-workers from Macaroni Grill and the rowdy bunch were all about having a good time and getting a little crazy. Things started out ok with the usual suspects – edamame, hot tea, and maki rolls. But things took a turn for the worse when the topic of crazy sushi-restaurant appetizers came up, and one of my co-workers/friends raved about the deep-fried shrimp heads. “They taste like buttered popcorn!” he exclaimed. My friends and I looked around with much skepticism and plenty of raised eye brows. We didn’t believe him. Maybe it was his spikey hair? Maybe it was his tilted grin. But, when he ordered said deep fried shrimp heads, none of us wanted to taste the things to validate his claim. That was…until he dared us to try them with dessert being the prize for successful downing the bizarre appetizer. He turned to the only two girls at the table and bargained with us, “If you and Anne share this deep-fried shrimp head, I will buy you both dessert!”
Remember now, I’m a waitress in college. Read – I’m broke. Free dessert sounded pretty awesome. I always wanted dessert, but I didn’t always want to pay for it. Plus the boys at the table were looking at us like they didn’t think we could do it, and I just had to prove them wrong! So Anne and I looked at each other, and with a shoulder shrug, decided what the heck. Let’s go for it. I mean…I said I would try anything for once, and that should mean anything, right? Riiiiiiiight? I remember looking at that giant bowl of shrimp heads with their deep-fried-golden-brown coating and crispy looking whiskers pointing tauntingly at me and thinking…how bad can it be? Anne and I slowly picked up one of the shrimp heads and started to pull it into two pieces so we could share. *Warning stop reading if you’re squeamish* I was actually looking forward to trying the shrimp head and all it’s “buttered popcorn” goodness until just as the shrimp head was almost in two pieces, a tiny black mound fell out and onto the plate below. “It’s the brain!” shouted the boys at the table. As I stared at the tiny black “brain” of the shrimp, I could feel my desire for not only the shrimp head, but also for dessert slowly drifting away.
But whether I actually wanted dessert or not, at this point I was committed to the dare. We said we’d eat that shrimp head and by goodness, we’d do it! I gathered all the courage I could and placed the golden brown shrimp head in my mouth. *crunch crunch crunch* And the flavor? Did it taste like buttered popcorn? I certainly didn’t think so. I think I was still too freaked out by the “brain” to think much of the shrimp head. I chewed as quickly as I could and gagged the shrimp head down. I did it! I ate the shrimp head! I sat back, smiled at the boys like “I told you we could do it!” and admired my bravery. Anne and I looked knowingly at each other. We sure proved those boys wrong! I was proud…and yet…also slightly disgusted. What had I just done? I’d just eaten a freakin shrimp head!
And although I wasn’t really feeling hungry any more at this point, we went ahead and cashed in our on free desserts. Anne and I suffered our way through bowls of green tea ice cream with confused half-grins and turning stomachs.
We may have lost our appetite for dessert, but at least we’d gained the pride of successfully completing our deep-fried shrimp head dare.
Moving on to a more fun topic – I got a new oatmeal bowl!
Ok, it’s a mug from Anthropologie, but eating oatmeal in mugs is the cool thing to do, ya know?! 😉
I had rice milk oatmeal with chia seeds. On top – sliced banana, coconut flakes and some of my homemade Honey Roasted Cinnamon Wink Almond Butter.
Have you made this almond butter yet? It’s aaaaamazing! Do it!
I taught my second Zumba class at my new class location on Wednesday. It was so wonderful! I had 53 people in my first class, but that one was free. I wasn’t sure how many would actually want to come back for round 2. I’m happy to report I had a stunning 27! Hazzah! I couldn’t have been happier. We have a lot of new participants in class, so I’m looking forward to getting to know them more. So far, I’m seeing lots of smiling faces and that is wonderful!
After teaching Zumba and then going to “secret dance class”, I went out to dinner with my friend Sarah at Hawthorne’s Pizza.
And instead of blogging, I decided to take some me-time and relax on the couch with Bailey, hot tea, and a book.
I’m reading First Things First by Stephen Covey. I’ve heard great things about this book over the years and actually started to read it several years ago. I’m excited about picking it back up. I hope to learn some good time management skills. 🙂
Reader Question: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten? Was it for a dare or just for fun?
23 thoughts on “The Time I Lost My Adventurous Eater Side”
Oh man, I’ll try anything but I’m a bit more careful with seafood. I think I’d try the heads though, brain and all! I had steak tartare for the first time a few months ago and while it was tough to get over the squishy texture, it was delicious!
Ahhhhh that’s such a crazy story! I’m really good about trying weird foods – ill give anything a go too! I’ve had cactus and alligator…haven’t really had too many other opportunities for odd things but I’d totally pop a bite of whatever I was offered
I’ve had alligator, too. It tasted like chicken.
When I lived in Louisiana I tried a piece of alligator…it was SO gross. Especially for a vegetarian! I don’t know what possessed me to try it…probably the taunting of my coworkers as well 🙂
Wow, you’re a vegetarian and you tried alligator? Daring! A little peer pressure goes a long way. 😉 Maybe you should make them try tempeh? hehe
I was told after the fact that I once ate Fried Cow Blood in mexico. Tasted like ground beef to me:)
I, for one, love fried shrimp heads! I’ve eaten some weird stuff: Hearts, gizzards, beef tongue, monkfish liver, live clams, raw egg, salted cod roe, sweetbreads, and probably a few others I’m forgetting. There’s very few foods in this world that I wouldn’t be likely to try. Just because I’ve never tried them doesn’t make them weird.
Do you think the shrimp heads taste like “buttered popcorn”? lol
You are a very brave eater! You could hang with Anthony Bourdain!
I had lunch with Stephen Covey once. 😉 The craziest thing I’ve ever eaten doesn’t compare to yours, but I ate a dog biscuit when I was a kid. This mean girl told me it was candy and started to laugh as I was chewing. Needless to say, it did not taste like candy!
Oh goodness! i wouldn’t have been able to!
Aw…I love your cup! 🙂
Thanks sweetie! 🙂
My husband and I were on a sushi date one night and accidentally ordered shrimp heads. We’re brave, but not quite THAT brave. We sent them back, much to the chagrin of our server.
wow! that’s intense. when i studied abroad in cameroon we had to eat a lot of unknown things… mainly in the meat dept. 🙁 also, when you ordered chicken you got a WHOLE roasted chicken: head, feet, and all. not my cup of tea… but i did have alligator once in new orleans, it was really good!
Oh wow! That must have been quite the experience! I would probably try more stuff if I just didn’t know what it was. Like if I were eating it in a foreign country. lol
Haha gross!! I’m usually pretty adventurous when it comes to food but once I ordered some kind of crazy raw fish appetizer at a sushi restaurant and I almost puked over the octopus. That was a little too much for me.
Ewwwwww raw octopus!? That would freak me out, too!
shrimp head is fine with me…but i couldn’t eat fried bugs, snakes, frogs…i’ve eaten dog when i was a kid … sorry i was just 7 that time
taking time for relaxation….very important 🙂 your breakfast looks delish
Yuck! Can’t imagine eating shrimp heads. I was once at a crawfish boil which is common here in Louisiana (where the tails are eaten and the juice is sucked from the heads if you’ve never been) and I witnessed this Asian couple peel the shell off the crawfish head and were eating the entire heads aside from the outer shell. That was pretty gross! On aother note, I like the Anthropologie bowl.
Yea, I don’t think I’d do too well at a crawfish boil. lol