One of my favorite Dr. Demento songs is "Wet Dream in the Gulf Stream" — a bunch of fish and seafood puns from Kip Addotta. You groan through the rapid-fire puns, but the other emotion you get at the end of the song is hunger for seafood.
Last week, we profiled the temptation of eating meat on a Friday during Lent. So we thought we should give equal time to the fishy creatures of the sea.
Theologians can recite the tale of why creatures of the sea are OK during Lent but not those who live on land. After all, fish and seafood are alive and can feel pain, especially when a lobster is placed in boiling water.
Vegetarians consider fish and seafood to be "meat" — what comes out of a crab leg looks nothing like a cow steak, but they still come from animals.
Since we get the all-clear, our society associates fish with Fridays, such as fish frys. Or the fact that Filet O'Fish sandwiches get more publicity during Lent. You don't have to be a Catholic during Lent to appreciate a seafood dinner on a Friday.
Growing up, most of the seafood I ate was fish sticks and fried clams at Bill Knapp's. Well, canned tuna was also on the list. I had a deprived childhood, seafood-wise.
Since then, I've learned to love not-fried clams, calamari, mussels, lobster, smoked salmon, crab, fish, scallops, shrimp, prawns, and so much more. Still trapped in the Midwest, the seafood isn't as good as it would be fresh from the ocean. And the vast majority of seafood I've eaten, even as an adult, was cooked by someone else.
Those who grew up in seafood-friendly areas might feel the same way about steak. Even at this point, cooking fish and seafood isn't as instinctual as cooking hamburgers and steak.
Fish and seafood, when properly prepared, provide better nutrition (Omega 3s) than meat and still provides a lot of protein. Like Regis Philbin during his Prince Edward Island seafood adventure, too many Americans love seafood only if it's deep-fried.
If you are one of those people, experiment with seafood. Try a spice-filled recipe. Cajun a fish. Saute some scallops. Find a way to make fish and seafood a true temptation of the week.