A few weeks ago, I flipped on the television to watch Lisa Van Cise gripe about the weather (“I wanna kill myself cause it’s sooo clowww deeee!”) when something unexpected happened.
The newscast cut to a live feed of an airplane landing, and I assumed that a VIP was arriving. Was it Barack? Was it Sarah? Was it Anthony Weiner coming to do damage with his massive johnson?
No. It was not any of the above.
The airplane taxied, the door flipped open, and the pilot emerged from the cockpit carrying a gigantic fish. Yes, a fish. The crowd on the tarmac erupted in applause, and one man even kissed the fish. I stared at the screen incredulously until the talking head off-camera finally explained the importance of this event.
You see, Copper River Salmon season had just begun, and the pilot was carrying the very first fish to arrive in Seattle from South-Central Alaska (which I’ve been told is overrun with violent turf battles between the Eskimo Crips and the Eskimo Bloods).
Now, why was the arrival of Copper River Salmon season so important? Because, as the TV audience was later told, Copper River Salmon is the best fish in the world.
Heh, it was quite a statement. I was also pretty sure that it was untrue. I mean, is Scotty McCreery really my American Idol? Is the deep-bore tunnel really the best solution to Seattle’s transit woes? Is the iPad really “magical”?
Hell no on all accounts, but the same TV channel spoon-feeds this information to me each and every day. I was pretty sure that Copper River Salmon was just more yuppie hype to provide social cohesion amongst the Redmond set and to provide cover for yet another lackluster news month.
Still … I was intrigued.
A fish arriving by airplane to a hero’s welcome? Lisa Van Cise putting down the razor blade and braving another cold front on the day of its arrival?
Maybe, just maybe, there was something to this fish. I filed it in the back of my mind, and decided to think about it on a future date.
Well, yesterday, that future date arrived.
After heading down to Pike Place Market to grab a bag of nuts and a cup of chowder, I decided to try this “best of all fish”. I purchased a couple of pounds of Copper River Sockeye Filet, then I ran up Pike Street with the fish held aloft shouting “I got it, I got the best fish in the world, and hallelujah Lisa Van Cise is still alive!”.
When I got home, I immediately realized that I had a dilemma. I don’t know how to cook. Sure, I microwaved a burrito once, but I’m pretty sure you can’t microwave Copper River Salmon.
Fortunately, there’s an app for that. It’s called a mother-in-law (rimshot). She was here for a family birthday, and I decided to put her to use in a completely non-sexual way. I hate early afternoon refractory periods. I handed her the fish, threatened to eat it raw if she didn’t cook it (apparently it has worms that will kill you if eaten sans-heat), and she acquiesced.
“That’s what I thought, bitch, don’t make me use my ring hand”, I mumbled under my breath because I am too much of a coward to say it out loud.
An hour later, we all sat down to dine on what was ostensibly the best fish in the world.
I cut off a piece, put it in my mouth, chewed a bit, then swallowed. What can I tell you, I like to narrate obvious bodily functions.
After swallowing, I thought for a moment, looked up, and said “you know, I believe that this truly is the best fish that I have ever tasted”. I was serious. Copper River Salmon has a buttery texture that’s hard to describe, and it’s not overly-dense like regular salmon. It’s almost like a completely different fish. I ate a few more bites, and I was hooked. This stuff was almost as good as I had heard.
I am easy to please, though. My mother-in-law, on the other hand is not. She is from Korea natively, and she lived half of her life in Japan (where all hipsters go to teach English). They eat a great deal of fish in Asia, and my MIL is a bit of a sushi connoisseur.
“Let me see”, she said, at which point she grabbed a fork and scooped up a piece of salmon. She put it in her mouth (I’ll spare you the mechanics this time), and when all was said and done, she uttered “hmmm, it’s not the best fish I have ever eaten, but it’s the best fish I have eaten in America.”
“You condescending, racist, America-hating elitist!”, I mumbled under my breath, once again hoping she didn’t hear me.
Now, even though she didn’t consider it the best in the world, she did concede that “Best in America” was quite an accomplishment. She even finished an entire quarter pound by herself without once telling me to get a real job (you know, at Microsoft or Amazon) or to cut my hair. She was clearly impressed.
Everyone else present also lavished praise on the fish, and a unanimous conclusion was reached:
While the local news and their insincere yapping heads certainly hyped the fish to a comical degree, their antics were at least somewhat based in truth.
Was the fish “amazing”?
No, despite Generation Y’s (the “Y” stands for “stupid”) incessant declarations, few things in this world are “amazing”. The fish is somewhat overpriced, and like most Apple products, the hype markup is significant.
That being said, Copper River Salmon tastes good. Very good. Excellent, even.
Tomorrow, I’m going back to get some more.
P.S. I just glanced out my window, and it’s drizzling. Has anyone seen Lisa Van Cise today?