“What’s in this one?” I asked, lifting the lid of the tiny porcelain jar. The contents looked unlike anything I’d seen before—a wet mass of squishy pallor sitting in something yellow.
“It’s raw squid,” replied my Japanese friend.
I hadn’t ordered this! But apparently, the mysterious letters on the menu beside me outlined not a list of meal options, but rather, a sort of culinary prescription.
Gingerly, I picked up my chopsticks.
I glanced across the table at my friend, her chopsticks swishing squid around her jar the way an artist might twirl a brush in paint. Following suit, I raised one limp noodlelike strip from my jar and held it dangling at a distance. Then I closed my eyes, popped it like a pill, and swallowed.
The squid tasted like it looked: wet and squishy, with a mild fishy flavour somewhat masked by the yellow something. It wasn’t too bad, but I’d rather stick with a stack of Canadian pancakes and maple syrup.
“I don’t really like raw squid,” my friend suddenly commented.
Now she tells me!