Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Two First-Timers Give It a Try

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Two First-Timers Give It a Try

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Macdonald, Times-Union staff writer

Want to be a sushi eater?

All it takes is that first bite.

To show you non-sushi eaters out there that it can be done, we took two eager volunteers (OK, they had to be pushed a little bit) to Fatty Tuna to see if we could hook them on raw fish.

Actually, Karen Brooks and Mary Wagner, co-workers at an accounting firm, had always wanted to try sushi, but never could muster the raw courage to take that first bite. But once armed with chopsticks, they didn't just nibble. They took big bites of everything offered. And for the most part, they enjoyed their dinner.

We started them off with the easy stuff: A Lobster Roll (fried lobster, cucumber, avocado, shrimp sauce and raw flying fish eggs) and a Dragon Roll (tuna, salmon and yellowtail battered and deep fried, topped with shrimp sauce, flying fish eggs and scallions).

The Lobster Roll proved to be Brooks' favorite of the evening. She liked the crunchy texture, calling it "warm and comforting."

Wagner enjoyed both, especially the crunchy Dragon Roll ("It harkens to the Southerner in me; we like everything fried") and the shrimp sauce ("Shrimp sauce is Japanese ketchup; it tastes good on everything").

With the two cooked rolls devoured, the women were clicking their chopsticks in anticipation of the raw rolls -- Tuna Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Rainbow Roll and Yellowtail Roll.

Brooks decided to dab a bit of wasabi on her tuna roll. Her eyes popped with that bite: "That really opens you up and clears the sinuses." She later mixed the wasabi with soy sauce and better enjoyed that flavor experience.

The tuna roll was a hit.

"The tuna doesn't have a fishy texture. It is just right."

Both women were hot for the Spicy Tuna Roll. Flavored with chili sauce, it had an intercontinental flavor. Brooks described it as Japanese food that tasted like Mexican.

Neither, though, thought much of the Yellowtail Roll. "That tasted fishy," Brooks said. "It makes me want to chew some gum. It's not as clean and fresh. The others were subtle tasting."

The Rainbow Roll combined salmon, tuna and yellowtail, wrapped around avocado, cucumber and crabsticks. …

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