Aside from being incredibly relaxing, my time in Pass-A-Grille, Florida, has provided many opportunities for culinary adventures.
You see, I subscribe to the theory that if the food is a local speciality or delicacy (and isn't completely disgusting like fried spiders) then there is absolutely no excuse for not trying it.
We can see this when I was still in Hingham, Massachusetts last weekend. My chaperones (different from the ones in Manchester by the Sea) and I walked down into the the town to a speciality ice cream shop. I had the option of getting something boring but delicious - cappucino chip - or something entirely surprising like Mister Christian's Bounty or Hingham Harbor Sludge. I ended up going with the Harbor Sludge because Mister Christian's Bounty had too much chocolate on it for my tastes. But this amply demonstrates my philosophy.
Last night, my philosophy was put to the test. My dad's parents and one of his sister (plus her family) live in Tampa Since my family left for the Everglades today, the extended family got together to eat at Crabby Bill's, a local seafood restaurant. My uncle ordered Aligator Bites as an appetizer with a fiendish look in his eyes.
Now, I thought the name "Aligator Bites" was just some cute name for, say, popcorn chicken or another standard plebeian restaurant appetizer. Wrong. When the food got to the table, my uncle revealed that the deep-fried tidbits on the plate in front of me were, in fact, pieces of fried aligator tail.
In hindsight, I can say it's the only food that honestly tastes like chicken. Chewy chicken. Mmmm.
But that wasn't all. My dad, being a southern gentleman born and bred, was very excited when he saw Crabby Bill's also served frog legs. I did not realize Dad had ordered them until I happened to glance over in the midst of my scrumptious dinner - about which I shall inform you shortly - and saw him holding the battered and fried tail end of a frog. It was, in fact, a frog.
Dad extended the frog to me, but seeing the distaste on my face, instead took a piece off the legs and handed it to me. It was white, but looked kind of like fried chicken that's been peeled from the bone.
All I know is that frog legs taste like frog. They're kind of fresh-watery and fishy and taste slimy even though they're not actually covered in slime. Frog legs taste kind of like really fishy rainbow trout.
But enough about culinary adventures that others started for me. Last night, I chose to eat sugar cane.
I had shrimp skewered on sugar cane for dinner last night. They were covered in key lime honey mustard and red peppers, and served with savory rice. The sweet and savory and spicy and salty all combined into one beautiful explosion in my mouth. The sugarcane made the shrimp very sweet, which contrasted with the salty and savory rice, and the spicy mustard. I loved it!
I should probably stop talking about my dinner last night because I'm making myself hungry and the car shows no signs of stopping.
In other news, I got to try another icecream flavor today. It was called Captain's Butterscotch. It had vanilla and butterscotch icecream with Heath bars, caramel cups, peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, caramel swirls, toffee chips, and toffee chunks. Yum. Homemade icecream is the best.
B, who is headed off to the Everglades with her tan and her beach hair.