Saturday, February 06, 2010

[Off Topic:] Beware the Tuna Tartare!

I have never cared very much for sushi, being of the opinion that if God wanted us to eat our food raw, he wouldn't have given us fire. But last night, in Dallas, I was treated to one of the most delectable meals of my life—multiple courses with palate cleansers between the courses, that included an orange-raspberry sorbet between the appetizer and entrée and an orange crème brûlée between the main course and dessert. (Heck, I thought dessert was supposed to be the palate cleanser!)

So we began with an apéritif (that's a French word that means having a snort before dinner). Notice how the French come up with such elegant-sounding words for ordinary and, sometimes, even repulsive things: like Escargot, which is French for "slimy garden pests simmered in butter."

With our apéritif we were served an appetizer before our appetizer—I am sure the French have a word for that too, but I don't know what it is. Our Italian server described in painstaking detail each French concoction we were being served. And somewhere in the description of the appetizer before our appetizer I catch the words "Tuna Tartare."

Being no stranger to things gastronomical, I know that Tartare is French for "cold, raw, dead meat, finely chopped." But if the mention of Tuna conjures an image in your mind of Star-Kist-in-a-can, forget it. Before me appears this tiny, walnut-sized delicacy of fine, pink sushi tuna, mixed with amazing seasonings, accompanied by fresh greens, drizzled in varied streaks of sauce, and looking like a work of modern art. Setting aside my aforementioned prejudice against sushi, I take the plunge.

Fast forward a few hours: I awake after a night of all-too-little sleep, rising early to catch "The Best Care in the Air" back to the Frozen North. Lingering in bed is not an option, as I suddenly find myself setting a new world's record for the 25-foot dash from the bed to the bathroom. Charlie the Tuna has his revenge.

Well, as I have often said—especially following a good 5-alarm Chili cook-off: People who aren't willing to suffer a little pain don't deserve to eat good food.


Jill said...

Other than the end result of your gastronomic adventures, I trust you had a good visit to the Republic of Texas, and are feeling better soon!

(You should've brought some snow down with you! ;)

Robert S. Munday said...


Most Texans would say you have had enough winter weather this year. But I would be glad to send you the foot of snow we are due to get tomorrow night.

I am always delighted anytime I am in the Republic of Texas (except perhaps in August). But I usually have BBQ, chili, and Mexican food, all of which are hard to find in Wisconsin--and the end result (no pun intended) of those trips is about the same as this one. :)