My company apparently really likes parties, and so we went out one night for chicken sashimi. I didn’t know what chicken sashimi meant, but I like chicken and thought this would be a great opportunity to get to know my coworkers outside of work.
The restaurant was very traditional; we had to take our shoes off before sitting around low to the ground tables and being served by waitresses wearing traditional gowns and footwear. Because I am the new member of the lab, I had to sit in the center as a person of honor, and it took quite some time figuring out where else needed to sit in relation to me depending on their rank in the company. Once seated, beers arrived to toast and, as the second round of drinks were passed around, our first course arrived. At first glance, I thought it was raw fish. But as the waitress began to explain each type of meat on the plate, my jaw dropped and I was mortified; I was about to eat raw chicken?
Thank goodness I had not read all the food poisoning possibilities before coming to dinner that night, otherwise I would have been much more hesitant trying the raw chicken. As everyone happily chomped away, I slowly picked a piece of uncooked chicken breast and threw the whole piece quickly in my mouth. The texture was bizarre, not horrible but not particularly pleasant either. After my first taste, I was just considering just waiting for the next course but everytime my mouth was empty, someone would politely offer me another piece of sashimi. By the end of the course I had tried almost every part of raw chicken on offer: breast, thigh, heart, kidney and liver. The only part I didn’t try was called “old chicken” which was grey because the chicken had been killed so long ago!
After this course, the other chicken courses were cooked and much more palatable to me. They also began to serve sake after the first two rounds of beer. I am very glad I tried the chicken sashimi, but I don’t think I will be voluntarily eating chicken sashimi again!