A Confession

Sonia - July 10, 2014

I have a confession to make.  One that is tough for a fisherman’s wife and fish-monger to make publicly.

I used to HATE fish.  There.  I said it.

I was born into a British-Austrian-Catholic family where fish was served on Fridays and was, generally speaking, some nameless, sourceless white fish, overcooked in the extreme, and that made the whole house stink for days. I hated fish.

I used to sit at the dinner table, stubbornly refusing to eat anything from the sea, much to the dismay of my parents who would leave me glumly sitting before a cold plate of smelly fish until bedtime. As a teenager, I had some unexplained allergic reactions and suddenly, I had my out: I was ALLERGIC to seafood! Yes, that was easier than saying I just hated the stuff, especially living in Vancouver!

And so this was how things remained. . . until I fell in love with a fisherman.  Ah, one of my  life’s great ironies.


We had been married for over a year by the time I was brave enough to actually confront my fear of seafood. I went to an allergist who proved that, if anything , I seemed to have some sensitivity to mollusks, but that it was practically impossible for me to be allergic to all seafood since the allergens found in one species are not found in the next. It would be like being allergic to peanuts and dust mites: wholly unconnected and random.

And so it came to pass that, armed with this new medical data and seated next to my extremely patient fisherman husband, I tried smoked salmon for the first time. And it was good! I felt like a character in a Dr Seuss book: “Say . . . I DO like salmon, Sam-I-Am!”

Within a year, I was enjoying all the finest sustainable seafood a fisherman and his family could catch, still being cautious around the shellfish. And I realized that what I AM, in fact, is not allergic to seafood, nor a hater of seafood, but rather something of a seafood snob. Good fish is good. But bad fish is really, really bad.

So, if you have any friends or family who are committed haters of seafood, feel free to share my story!  I feel better having gotten that off my chest.  And if they are brave enough to trust you and try seafood, make sure you give them premium quality, wild, fairly-traded, sustainably harvested seafood, preferably direct from a fisherman.

And who knows, in a few years, they may end up starting a CSF!

Sonia - July 10, 2014

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A Confession

Sonia - July 10, 2014

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