Monday, August 31, 2015

Sea Cucumber

A sea cucumber on the Sanibel Island beach last March; not a plant—but a starfish with its arms connected by flesh. Sea cucumbers are close to Erika and my hearts. When we were in college, Erika spent a summer taking marine biology at Santa Barbara, while I studied birds at LSU. I returned to California just in time to participate in her biology class’s culminating feast, wherein the students ate the marine life they had been studying.

Sea cucumber recipe: spread salt over animal’s body until the echinoderm eviserates its digestive tract (an escape strategy for sea cucumbers in the wild). Cut the creature into tire-shaped pieces.  Marinate in vinegar for several hours, and, voila, its ready.

When it came to sea cucumber, Erika promised me, “If taste it, so will I.” I chewed, and chewed—the poor creature tasted like salty rubber—but Erika reneged on her promise and, to this day, has never experienced the delight of sea cucumber salad.

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