I did try to like fish — I really, really did. Despite growing up hating it, I took my tastebuds on the seafood campaign trail a few years back and let fancy shrimp do their deed, gave fancy tuna steak a really good go, and even ate sea bass that Simon Rimmer from the U.K. TV show Sunday Brunch cooked for me in his kitchen. (It was for a feature. Simon Rimmer is not a close personal family friend. More's the pity.)
And then, just as I was coming around to the idea that maybe seafood wasn't the enemy, the great food poisoning of 2012 happened. After eating some cod "bites," I was the sickest I've ever been. I got taken to the hospital in an ambulance and was put on an IV. I vomited non-stop for 12 hours.
Since then, fish hasn't really appealed to me. I know there are other people out there like me who think that seafood is an unnecessary part of your diet. You guys are the sensible ones. Then there's the rest of you who can eat a tuna mayo sandwich without blinking an eye, order fish with a straight face when you could have requested steak instead, and those of you who actually like the idea of a fish stew. YOU guys — you guys are the weirdos.
Here are a few other things you can relate to if you hate seafood:
The texture is the greatest evil of all.
No seafood has nice texture — no seafood at all. Whether it's slithery little bits of tuna; slick mussels and oysters; or curiously chewy squid, octopus, and prawns, there's something a bit "off" about the constitution of seafood in a way that makes me think it wasn't really meant to be eaten.
Non-fishy fish is still fish.
If you don't eat seafood, people develop obsessions about getting you to change your mind — like, I know what I like and what I don't like, but if you come along waving that shrimp in an encouraging matter, I'll totally chop my tongue out and take it down the local mouth shop to exchange it for a new one with fish-loving tastebuds (that is how tastebuds work, right?). No. And while I understand there are varying degrees of fishy-ness (I can gauge the difference between cod and anchovies, I'm not a total moron) just because some fish are "less fishy" doesn't mean I'll like them. It just means I'll dislike them slightly less. And I could have a burger instead.
You know when you were little and everyone used to have a pet hamster or gerbil? And if you held said gerbil, you couldn't stop thinking about how it had so many little bones in it — and what would happen if you went full Lenny of Of Mice And Men and accidentally crushed it in your little chocolate-covered hand? Fish have even more delicate bones than a gerbil. And, by eating fish, you are willingly playing with death and risking getting those little bones somewhere in your throat.
Seaside vacations are a double-edged sword
While you get to lie on the beach and generally do nothing on vacation, eating out is a hassle because basically every place is a seafood restaurant — a fact that everyone in your group is totally stoked about. For you though, there's one thing on the menu: the kids' hamburger with french fries.
Battering a fish does help.
But that's mainly because battering everything instantly makes it more delicious. You could batter an old shoe that hasn't been worn in years and I would probably eat that. Batter for everyone.
This post was written by Ellie Wiseman. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.