the underbelly


My First Poisoning
October 27, 2009, 12:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

There are many things in life I fear: heights, cockroaches, flying, sharks, gum, centipedes. No food was ever on that list. As a young child I regularly ate raw hamburger meat off the counter. I am not proud to say that I sampled many a cat food. I ate ants off a Los Angeles sidewalk (I was three at the time and curious). I’ve eaten cheap sushi, cafeteria food, fast food, pizza that sat in a fraternity basement for hours. And I have never gotten food poisoning. Well…had never gotten food poisoning. While on assignment for a certain weekly New York publication I was dining at an Upper East Side establishment (I won’t say where on this blog but if you really want to know leave a comment and I will email you) where I ordered the tuna tartare. The first bite I had I thought, that doesn’t taste right. So, having no fear of food, I took another bite. Nope, I thought, definitely doesn’t taste right. Is it the weird avocado accompaniment? I asked myself and took another bite. No, I answered. That is most definitely not fresh fish. And then I finally stopped eating it. 

Cut to the next morning at the gym when i am collapsed on a mat, feeling like my stomach is trying to rip itself from my body. I spent the rest of the day either in bed or vomiting or on the floor when the bed seemed too far to return to. Damn you, Tuna, I thought. Well at least I’ll get some work done…oh wait! My work entirely revolves around writing about food or booze, the two things that caused my stomach to attempt to jump out the window. So I laid there and watched reruns of Dharma and Greg (the stark differences between them are just so hilarious! She’s a free spirit and he’s  a conservative! Pure creative genius!) and sleeping. The next day I woke up and had a deadline to meet. I wrote about food, but without any joy. I let my blog readings pile up. I tried to eat a pretzel and failed. 

The next day faired a little better. I was able to eat a pretzel. 

Two weeks later I have obviously recovered physically but mentally I’m not sure if I’ll ever be the same fearless eater. Sushi still holds no appeal for me and I love sushi like I love, well….sushi. There’s not many things that top my love of sushi. Street carts make me slightly nervous now. I am also hesitant to order steak tartare. And I love steak tartare more than I love sushi – it’s one of those not many things that tops that love. There is hope for the future, though. I was able to order and enjoy a rare burger (post coming) the other day. Don’t worry, my friends. One day I will eat recklessly again. Or I’ll die from salmonella. Either or.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Eating raw hamburger is insane.

Comment by Richard

I had a similar experience. But with a different meal. Like you wrote, I noticed instantly that something tasted off. I guess we’ll both know for next time.

Comment by Chris




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