Or : Maxence the Fearless Eater
Maxence loves sushi. It is hard for him to decide which type is his favorite (I know, I asked), but it could very well be Uni, sea urchin sushi, which is somewhat hard to find in France. So when we spotted sea urchins at the rue Lepic fish market (which we don’t like very much apart from the good shellfish selection : bad service and overpriced fish) we bought five.
Back home, sitting on one of our bar stools, he set out to eat them. Thankfully, they are sold with their spikes all hammered down into submission, so he could handle them without quite losing his fingers to the cause. Cutting the tops off the shells with a knife (I was watching my darling little knife take this abuse, my heart tightening), he uncovered the coral colored flesh, laid out in the shape of a star inside the shell. It was pretty messy, as the urchins were leaking a kind of ink through the valve-like mouth they have underneath, and there was dark stuff inside the shells too, that Maxence had to be careful not to spoon out with the flesh.
He thoroughly enjoyed the experience : for the taste, but also for the kick he got out of eating something so alien. It did remind him of Uni, but it was still quite different. I was ever so slightly grossed out (can you tell?) and almost didn’t try it, until I thought I just couldn’t pass it up – what would my blog readers think? :) The taste is very deep and complex, unlike anything I have ever experienced : it lingers in your mouth and nose in a powerful way, and tastes almost perfumey, a bit like orange flower water or rose water. Utterly incredible.