I hate salmon. In fact, I hate just about all fish. (Not on an individual, personal level or anything, mind you, just having to eat them.) And there's no trying to understand why I'll eat this type of fish and not that type fish when it's obvious that that type of fish is less offensive than this type of fish. Confused? Good.
I hate fish because it smells bad, for the most part. Smells bad fresh. Smells bad cooking. Smells bad cooked. Smells bad as it passes my nose and is, therefore, inedible.
And I could go off for hours about people who use the office microwave to heat last night's seafood dinner for lunch. Now there's a stench I am sure infects some plane of Hell. I'm not kidding. Brimstone is perfume by comparison. If I were to somehow end up as one of Satan’s eternal playthings, I'd be in line at Hell's front gate hoping beyond hope that I'm assigned to a torture-floor with rotting goat carcass or cancerous dog fart as the aromatic. Anything but that microwaved-fish smell.
So anyway, I hear people all the time rave about salmon being the Greatest Fish God In His Infinite Wisdom Was Kind Enough To Place On The Earth. Well, good. It's still fish. It still stinks. It also stinks that I live in the one state in America where the salmon is nothing short of holy. Walk into any bar along the Seattle waterfront and state that you wished all the salmon would just die off so you didn't have to smell them anymore and see what happens to you.
I'd eat salmon once in a while if they breaded the crap out of it. I can eat the heavily breaded fish like cod and halibut. I can actually stomach a meal at Skipper's, as sad as that sounds. But then, that's just a testament to how innately bad fish is. Right? I mean, it takes a bunch of sorry batter to make it even remotely palatable to the mass populace.
Reminds me of when I was around seven or eight years old and my parents would be amazed how, every time we went out for Chinese food, I could consume an entire plate of deep-fried prawns by myself. My dad probably said something like, "He gobbles deep-fried prawns like they were deep-fried candy-bars!" Yeah, he’s a real comedian, my dad.
"But he won't eat salmon."
Hell no, I won't. And, yes, I have tried it. Many times. And on all but one occasion the event ended in my extreme disappointment. I guess the problem is that no one ever breads salmon. They call it sinful. They call it the act of a heretic. They say breading salmon is akin to saturating prime rib with A-1. But, see, I enjoy A-1 on prime rib.
Now, I’ve heard the whole "well-you-just-haven't-had-salmon-prepared-correctly" diatribe more times than I can count and let me assure you I don’t care. I’ll tell you why…
Growing up, I used to go camping on Sinclair Island (one of the San Juans) every summer with my best friends who were brothers and whose father just so happened to own land there. One of the main activities in the San Juan islands is, as you might guess, fishing. I absolutely abhor fishing and did it only under extreme duress. You know, the "fish or miss out on dinner" kind of duress. I usually only caught dogfish and bottom debris, anyway. One year, though, I reeled in a monster salmon.
NOTE: It was the early eighties, as evidenced by my hideous shorts. I sincerely apologize. Do forgive me; I was young and stupid.
Far be it from me to impale and then suffocate the unfortunate bastard and not actually do him the proper honor of eating him. No needless killing. I'll eat what I kill. Vermin excluded, of course.
My friends’ dad prepared the fish by filleting it and then doctoring it in some special way that involved spices which, like everything else at the campsite, were kept in annoyingly unmarked canisters. The fish was then wrapped in foil and put right in the campfire. Not on the grill. Not in a steamer on the grill. But right on in the fire. Wacky.
But I have to say that when it came out, it looked fabulous. Smelled great. Edible even. I devoured my portion out of extreme hunger, but I freely admit that I did not have to pinch my nose shut while I ate, nor did I once wince from the taste. This is because it was salmon done at it's finest. It was a meaty substance that tasted just like real butter and a gob of seasonings. No hint of fish at all. Just buttery, spiced flesh.
So, in the end, I guess it was a disappointment, too, because it could have been buttery, spiced tofu for all it mattered. There was nothing horrible about it, but nothing remarkable, either. Just a plateful of butter-seasoned blah. The fish itself never even contributed to the flavor. And you know what? It was the best salmon I ever had and ever will.
My name is Kirk. I live in Seattle and I hate salmon. I am okay with this fact. Could somebody get me a T-bone and a bottle of A-1? Thanks.