So even when I was a meat eater, I never really liked fish. I loved shrimp, lobster and scallops, but never fish. When I stopped eating meat altogether in 2000 it wasn’t an issue at all to not eat seafood, as I rarely had it anyway.
Last year, this changed. Deep in the throws of adjusting to my gluten free/celiacs status, I was suffering tremendously from eating out and remaining vegetarian, but still getting glutenized and being sick for weeks. My solution was to eat out less, but when we came to Maui last Summer, we found ourselves eating out more, and in a moment of malnourished psychological desperation, a deep craving erupted in me and I asked a waitress for a plate of pork. Just like that. A. plate. of. pork.
There are no words for how good that pork was. And it wasn’t about contradicting the reasons I had chosen to become a vegetarian all those years ago, it was about letting myself have. And that process is one for a lengthy post at another time, but suffice it to say that I have been dancing with eating meat since then. I don’t think its something that I will do for much longer, but its been a relearning of what my body needs and responds well too.
One of the things that Jon, a pescatarian, encouraged me to do last year was try different fish. More then anything it was the fishy taste I didn’t like. And although many tell me that if its fishy it isn’t good, I can’t ever remember trying fish that wasn’t fishy. Here in Hawaii, however, there are all these fish that you don’t hear about on the mainland, and the culinary artistry here is mind blowing. Each time Jon got a dish, I was enticed to try his fish just simply by the appearance and smell of his food.
I’m learning to eat fish. And honestly I’m not sure to what end. I know that if we travel to Asia, I will surely need to eat fish in order to eat, as the rice and soy sauce content of most Asian food will make it impossible for me to eat much. So for now, its a tentative practice.
So on to the Ono. Ono is also known as Wahoo, and its light, firm and one of the few fish I loved when I tasted it last year. This last week we went to the Lahaina Yacht Club and the special was Ono with a miso butter sauce over garlic mashed potatoes. I was nervous ordering a whole fish plate for myself, because typically I eat off of Jon’s plate as a precaution to not liking it. I ordered it, and savored every last morsel. Isn’t it a gorgeous plate of food?
My body seems to take fish in well. I never feel the heaviness I feel after eating red or white meat, and I’m grateful that I have an alternative to meat when we travel overseas. I’m still in process with it all, and that’s OK. For now, I’m grateful that I’m in a place with such amazing and fresh food and that I’m able to allow myself the time and space to explore. And wow! Was this an amazing meal!