Fish & Seafood/Seafood

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QUESTION: In general I like Cod, Salmon, and more lightly flavored fish but things like crab have never appealed to me. Perhaps because they look like giant bugs. I've never had Lobster either. Last time I went to Red Lobster I ordered the steak. lol. After hearing a Jim Gaffigan joke about seafood I tended to see his joking point. Do lobster and crab and the more multi-limb creatures taste good without butter and a ton of embellishment?

ANSWER: Hi James,
I never met a fish I didn't like, however I've developed an allergy to crab, shrimp and lobster in recent years and miss the pleasure of enjoying them.  
Having been in the seafood restaurant industry for 40 years, I've met a lot of people that didn't like specific types of seafood and some that didn't like any fish at all.  With some of them, I tried to identify what they did and didn't like, then do a taste test to find out which they prefer, for example if they liked tuna salad, I would make some crab salad, tuna salad, shrimp salad and lobster salad and have them try each one.  Usually they would find a new favorite or at least find something acceptable that I could work with from there.  
I had one girl that wouldn't eat raw oysters, so I shucked small ones with 6 different condiments and I put a lot of the condiments on them and she picked one she liked and now she eats raw oysters.
Sorry this story is taking so long.  Anyway, try slicing a pocket into the cod and filling it with crab stuffing made with maybe ritz crackers, a little sherry, maybe some spinach or roasted peppers and bake it.  Lobster salad is easy, just a little mayo, chopped celery, salt and pepper on a toasted roll.  
As I did with the people who were wary of seafood, make the crab or lobster 3 or 4 different (but simple) ways and see if there's any you like and go from there.
I had one waitress who didn't like any fish at all, by the time I was done with her, she was buying a pound of fresh Tuna steak, grilling it to rare and eating it all herself.  It's a matter of perception.
By the way, I love Jim Gaffigan, especially the bacon bit (I just made another bacon joke!).
Let me know how you make out.
Thanks,
Chris

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: You make it sound like condiment and embellishment are the only ways to make most sea food taste good. Maybe it's the condiments that makes it tolerable?

Answer
Another story, sorry. My dad knew I guy that built fireplaces out of stone. They'd be walking on the job site and the guy would rip a random dirty rock out of the ground and exclaim "just what I needed, it's beautiful!"  To my dad it was just a rock, but this guy would use it as part of a beautiful fireplace. Many people like Caesar salad and Worcestershire sauce but turn their nose up at anchovies, the key ingredient in both. I appreciate what they make, so I love them by themselves. Sometimes you have to experience a food that you're not familiar with incorporated into something compatible that you already enjoy. To me the joy of eating is tasting interesting combinations and you learn to appreciate the ingredient. My first experience with sushi was a combination of the fresh fish, sweet yet vinegary rice, seaweed, soy sauce and wasabi. But a sushi master will get joy from just tasting the fresh tuna, right out of the water because he knows what a wonderful dish he can make with it.  

Fish & Seafood

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Chris A. DiNunno

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding the preparation of seafood as well as most general culinary questions.

Experience

I've been in the seafood retail and restaurant trade for 38 years. I owned my own restaurant for 22 years (150 seats, 2 locations) as well as a catering operation.

Organizations
Past member of American Culinary Federation

Publications
Seafood Leader Magazine

Education/Credentials
Johnson & Wales University, N. Miami, Florida, Associates in Science, Culinary Arts.

Awards and Honors
Previously Certified Executive Chef (expired), ACF Competition Medalist

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