I tucked the white cloth napkin into my shirt so that it hung like an oversized bib as the waiter placed a giant clay pot filled with seafood (clams, mussels, and prawns) in front of me.
All of this…for me?
I gingerly pulled a clam out of its shell with a fork.
“No, no, not with a fork, with your hands!” I was instructed in Italian to not only get my hands covered in tomato sauce, but to suck the sauce from the clam and mussel shells too.
Americans are no strangers to finger foods. We have hamburgers, French fries, fried chicken, and ribs smothered in sauce.
…But our finger foods do not usually have eyes or claws like the two giant prawns before me.
“How do I eat this thing?” I wondered out loud.
“Pull off then head, and then remove the shell like this,” my Italian friend demonstrated.
Shrimp and prawns are often served intact in Italy (I rarely see them served this way in American restaurants, except for maybe fine dining or seafood restaurants. But then again, fresh seafood is a rarity in Nevada!).
I feel that the way American food is prepared and served, we get a little disconnected from our food source. For example, did you know that scallops have 100s of tiny blue eyes? (I dare you to Google it!)
Even though it was a little shocking for me to see shrimp eye balls, and I had to learn how to eat them, once I let myself get messy I thoroughly enjoyed this meal. Teciada de pesse was one of the best seafood dishes I have ever eaten! It was a lot of seafood, but still light and satisfying. I was tempted to lick up all of that delicious tomato sauce!