Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Foil

I used a pair of scissors to crack open a writhing sea urchin and suck out its gonads.

I felt the pulse of a beating chicken heart on my tongue, before chewing it up and swallowing it.

In a live sweet shrimp, it's the brain, not the tail, that's sweetest.

My long-standing dream is to stand in a rushing river in Alaska and catch a leaping salmon with my bare hands, stun it with a rock, peel away some skin, and take a huge bite.

Suffice it to say, there's not much alive out there that I won't kill, eat, and enjoy.

But this weekend, I finally met my match:


Also known as mirugai, elephant trunk clam (I need the Chinese script), and I'm sure a lot of other names.

There's nothing quite as disgusting to prepare. It smelled like sea and sand and vomit. It had a squishy sack of guts I had to wrench from its body. I peeled what looked like a foreskin from its siphon, which looked like a pale, flaccid, very crooked penis. It's texture when raw was what I imagine dried mucus feels like between the teeth--a bit of crunch followed by salty sliminess. When cooked, it felt about the same (but warmer).

Still, I ate the whole thing.