Where did you catch that weird-looking fish?

After living in cities most of my life, I feel Sunset Country must be the most beautiful place in the world to live.
I do have a complaint, however. The grocery store shelves here aren’t overflowing with things like seaweed, smelt eggs, raw fish, and pickled ginger.
Life is tough as a sushi fanatic.
So this past week, my husband and I drove to Winnipeg, where we gorged in a Japanese restaurant and bought supplies for making sushi at home.
The city was dirty and noisy, but those heavenly 10 minutes in the specialty food market made it all worthwhile.
At least at the start. I’ll admit it felt like we’d committed sacrilege when we were almost back, or to be more precise, when we strapped our saltwater fish to the back of our snowmobile and passed the ice-fishing shacks along the way (we live on the non-road access side of the lake).
We didn’t tell the people fishing our secret, however. They don’t know that while they were reeling in their luminous beauties close to our front door, we drove eight hours to stock up on fish which probably was farmed in a tank by strangers and then trucked in a grungy vehicle all the way from the Pacific.
Not sure the people fishing would understand.
Anyway, I’ll try to explain myself now. Definitely fresh walleye is the better-tasting fish, but it’s not meant to be eaten raw.
Believe me, I’ve tried. But all the talk about how cooking is needed to destroy the worms in freshwater fish wrecked my appetite.
As well, walleye isn’t salty enough as a sushi fish, and it doesn’t complement seaweed nor hot wasabi seasoning (but, of course, it is delectable fried in beer batter and served with lemon).
The main reason I eat sushi is its uniquely amazing flavour. And after the first few times, now it’s my favourite food. I love how it melts in the mouth with all its blending of texture.
Also, I think it provides context to what I used to consider “normal” food.
Back in the ’70s, for example, I considered The Colonel’s “secret” recipe of nine herbs and spices an exotic experience, especially because we had to travel to the “big” town of Fort Frances to get it.
“Spicy” chicken was a change from what we usually did when we “went out”–roasting hotdogs around a campfire.
And each time I push myself to eat something yet a little more challenging, I realize there is no stopping.
Even sushi on its own offers amazing variety. And variety is the spice of life, they say.
Or should I say that fish is the spice of life. Lots and lots of fish.
Time to dig in.

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