When I was writing my 30 before 30 list, however many months ago it was now, I had originally come up with mainly food-based life goals. In fact I’d go so far as to say all 30 were things like “discover best burger ever” and “discover the best cake ever” and “discover the best pizza ever”. Basically a list of “discovering” the best [insert food here]. And all I meant by “discover” was go around eating lots of burger/cake/pizza and deciding which, in my opinion, is the best.
It’s not that my list of food sampling tasks didn’t appeal (although it was less 30 before 30 and more Man V Food), but eating a massive amount of food didn’t exactly tick the big empty box marked “life aspirations” so a redraft was in order.
Whilst most of my non-ambitious eating goals got scrapped, I kept a couple of food-based things on the list and one of those things was to eat lobster. Thinking about it now, I can’t think of more specific reason for putting it on the list other than “because I’ve never eaten lobster before”. There’s a sort of hype around this clawed… *checks Wikipedia*… sea crustacean, perhaps because it’s notoriously expensive, and perhaps that’s because it’s insanely delicious. Whatever the reason, I wanted to try it for the first time before I turned 30 and it made the list.
And so, during a recent holiday to Rhodes, Greece the moment presented itself. During our stay, we’d had a few good meals, and a few not so good meals, which was mainly due to a mistranslation on the menu – meaning that when I ordered the food I wanted, I got something else entirely (like a crab salad without crab and a greek salad without the salad). Sometimes, I just didn’t know what I was ordering – even when the menu had pictures to illustrate.
So when it was lobster night at our hotel, I siezed the opportunity and booked a table. The meal was a whopping seven-courses. The main course (somewhere around course number four) was Lobster Thermidor – lobster flesh cooked with other stuff and baked in the shell (I think). I can confirm that it was most certainly delicious. Although half a bottle of wine and a glass of Champagne may have influenced my final judgement and I almost certainly can’t remember what it tasted like. But I remember enjoying it. So that’s a good thing.
When I arrived home, I did that thing everyone does when they come back from holiday: I bored my friends and family to death with holiday stories and showed them all 450 of my holiday photos. A couple of hours in I retold the story of the lobster night to my mum:
Me: So, the hotel was having a lobster night, and we went because I’ve never eaten lobster before…
Mum: Except for that time in France…
Mum: When you were little, and we went on holiday to France…. Mind you, we might have told you it was something else so that you’d eat it. Like when we told you calamari were “round fishfingers” and that duck wasn’t the same as the ducks that swim about on the duck pond.
That round fishfingers/ducks not being the same as ducks on the duckpond story is one of those family stories that has been told approximately 2000 times, and accurately conveys exactly how gullible/non-questioning/overly-trusting I was as a child. And as an adult approaching 30, I’m not sure what the long term damaging effects of these lies are. Chickens you eat and chickens that run around clucking are the same thing, right?
To conclude: I added eating lobster to my list of things to do before 30 and now I have knowingly eaten lobster (even though I can’t really remember what it tastes like) I can strike that off the list. Yes, I’m still counting it even though I unknowingly ate lobster as a child, possibly under the guise of “scampi but without the breadcrumbs”.