I Live in Seattle & I Hate Salmon. There, I Said It.

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.

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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20 Responses to I Live in Seattle & I Hate Salmon. There, I Said It.

  1. marque says:

    love your tags. too funny.i have to say i do not share your distaste of fish. i love it! especially shell fish. but – i do see your point about re-heating it..that is just nasty.actually, here in charleston right now, we are celebrating oyster month and i am going to my second oyster roast this weekend. oh gawd…yummmmm…slippery oysters slipping down my throat, hot sauce, and beer. oh..sorry..just lost in a moment.

  2. I hear your pain Kirk, I lived a year out in Vancouver, BC. Though I love salmon, especially sockeye sashimi, yummy.But like marque I agree the smell of reheated fish in the microwave at the office, should be a crime punishable by death.

  3. Fattypants says:

    I grew up in Seattle, too, and I didn't like salmon until I was 27, and now I love it. Go figure.FYI, on the deep fried salmon front, Rock Bottom Brewery (across from the 5th Avenue theater) has "salmon and chips." I assume you don't like sushi, given the above, but Wasabi Bistro in Belltown has a "Seattle Tempura roll" which involves salmon, avocado, rice, and some other things, and they tempura batter and fry the whole thing. It's on the happy hour menu, too.Finally, cooking smelly items in a work microwave is rude.

  4. bernie says:

    I used to think I didn't like fish because I grew up in the south, where almost all fish I encountered was fried. As I grew up and started to experiment with foods, I found that I really like fish. I just don't like fried fish, with the occasional exception of some fast food versions like Captain D’s (and it’s questionable if there is even any fish in the fried wads grease). I still don’t like fishy tasting fish, like trout, but will devour mild versions like mahi-mahi.

  5. sonyaseattle says:

    I was going to suggest that you try really fresh sushi salmon, but I'm guessing that wouldn't go over any better. I love the stuff. But I fully respect your anti-salmon stance and promise not to attempt to beat the crap out of you for it should we pass in the street. I will attempt to beat those fish-nukers, though.

  6. my husband is a fellow fish/seafood hater. he can tolerate the breaded whitefish at Long John Silver's but that is it. nothing that once swam will touch his lips, e-v-e-r. he thinks that shrimp look like maggots and that crabs look like spiders. luckily he is also allergic to the iodine contained in most shellfish as we live in the deep South and he would have been battered and fried a long time ago if he had to state his opposition to fish/seafood as the reason he does not eat seafood.funnily enough, i on the other hand L-O-V-E seafood! i will eat fish, if it is fresh and cooked by someone i know. but i don't love fish. i love crawfish & shrimp. have you tried either of these delicious items? i dislike that fishy smell that all fish seem to have, but i don't find the smell of either crawfish or shrimp offensive in any way…btw…i totally feel your pain with the microwaved fish smell. there are just certain things that do NOT go in the microwave!

  7. My other half absolutely hates seafood (especially the smell) and can only stomach it as fish-fingers or battered flake (I think flake here is mostly gummy shark, but who knows really) both of which essentially are as close to fish as a McDonalds hamburgers is to cow. Since I have a vegan diet our home is happily fish free. I wish you luck in your quest to rid Seattle of salmon.

  8. Timshel says:

    Let's trade food related to geographic location…in the hearty midwest you can't go anywhere without having steak shoved in your face. I, on the other hand, have a twisted pleasure in eating seafood, it's really the only thing I enjoy eating "meat" wise…I'll deal with chicken or turkey, ever so often eat red meat, but I abhor pork, don't ask…I just really love all things seafood. I'm strange. Sending you steaks from Ohio right this second and every other meat loving state between here and to you will add one as well.

  9. Budd says:

    My Japanese teacher, from Japan, did not like fish. I don't like fish either. My wife calls me a redneck because I don't eat it. I love tuna though. I like tuna salad, tuna sandwiches, and tuna sushi. I haven't tried tuna steak and am afraid to. I don't want to not like it.
    I can't eat seaweed (nori, kim) because it tastes like fish to me.

  10. crankypants says:

    So wait…you'll eat shrimp but not salmon?
    Shrimp is soooo much stinkier. Of course shrimp grosses me out because i used to have to peel trays and trays of steamed shrimp at my summer job in HS….
    I like salmon, and it's good for your cholesterol but for me it gets really blah after a couple of bites unless it has the right seasonings. But for me it is fish– yes, shellfish–gack!

  11. Kirk says:

    marque: My skills with tags are matched by your skill with euphemisms. ;)fallen angel: I'm amazed at how many people have commented that microwaved fish is a no-no. With how much it happens, I thought I was the only one so offended by it. Glad to know even fish lovers hate nuked fish.Dustin: I live in Seattle so, trust me, I've had hella fresh fish. I might hate it just a little less than other fish, but I still hate it. I personally think it smells bad the very instant you pull it from the sea.verbminx: Yup, those SmartOnes fish meals really get me peeved. Why trade calories for mercury? I don't get it! And thanks for all the [this is goods]. :)Fattypants: My daughter read your comment and told me she's been to RBB and had the deep-fried salmon you speak of. I didn't know she'd been to a brewery. She';s 17, for crying out loud! When did that happen!?sonyaseattle: Sushi is right out. Raw doesn't make it any better, IMO. :Pcandace: Karin loves fish and I hate it, so it would seem the "fish dichotomy" in relationships might not be all that uncommon. Good to know. And as far as crawfish go, I've never eaten any. We used to catch them in the stream out back when I was a kid, but we just threw them back. They smelled, too. :)EWQ: Being a fish-hater in Australia must be just as hard as being one in Seattle, I'm sure. Tell your man to keep fighting the power. Fish-haters unite! We will have solidarity!Timshel: If only I could send you ALL of Seattle's salmon, I would. I so would!Budd: Japan seems like another place where you're probably cast out if you dislike fish. How do you say "I hate fish" in Japanese, anyway? And yeah, I'll eat tuna, too, which is weird considering it's one of the stinkiest fishes there is. I think it's because my mom gave tuna sandwiches to me from a very young age and I just learned to like them.crankypants: No, I won't eat shrimp. I do the prawns if they're way battered and deep fried, but shrimp is a no-go.

  12. Budd says:


  13. Budd says:

    actually ski ja nai des is rude. you can say Sakana. . . Choto. or fish. . . well. . . This is far more polite and acceptable.

  14. IG says:

    aww, poor kirk. i'm with you on salmon prepared most ways, but it's yummy smoked imo. and like you i've been known on occasion to put away quite a bit of shellfish…which only proves that we are godless heathen brethren.

  15. Aubrey says:

    [this is better if marinated correctly] Long ago, when I worked in advertising, I was put in charge of ordering meals for the day-long Media Director's Meeting. As some of them were coming in from New York, I thought it would be nice to order a plate of lox and bagles for breakfast.
    However, I didn't consider the fact that some hours would pass before I could creep back in to commandeer the clearing away of plates. And I think I should mention that the conference room had no windows.
    Oh, well, they thanked me for the thought.

  16. Sol says:

    [ciò è buono]

  17. Sol says:

    Candace, your man is absolutely right: shrimps DO look like maggots and crabs look like spiders out of the sea! (only the taste is worse) :))))

  18. J says:

    Just reading this reminds me of this chick in my office who cooks fish sticks in the toaster oven. It makes me gag EVERY time.

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