That taste nasty
September 3, 2013 7:52 PM   Subscribe

From Star Trek (original series) to this evening, I have a burning food prep question?

I have vivid memory of watching Star trek, the original series, while eating Mrs. Pauls fish sticks and drinking Welchs grape juice with my sister and father. My sister and I nearly regurgitated in response to the combination of the fish sticks and the grape juice, it was clearly some sort of reaction and it was awful, in your mouth.

I have mentioned this people for the last 45 years from time to time , and no one has ever said, "Oh yeah, that happens because..." So I kinda gave up and stored it as a misbegotten memory of some sort.

That was until tonight when I was eating the dinner I had just prepared.

Trader Joes frozen Talapia
Baked with salt and pepper until just done
topped with a pan sauce of: chicken stock, white wine, lemon juice, sugar, and a little potato starch after reduction.

The final product did not make me gag, but it was pretty bad. My wife chalked it off as bad fish, but all I could think of was that night so many years ago, there was something about the fishiness taste, it seemed similar to my well worn memory.

I cook a lot and I have never heard of anything like this, what happened then and now?
posted by silsurf to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think I got something similar when I tried drinking coke with a Polish kielbasa sandwich in childhood. I remember the combination literally tasting like crap, but I've never repeated the experience since. For reference, I'm the kind of person who considers fish sauce a sipping drink. Might be something to do with acidity and protein, but that's just a guess.
posted by Nomyte at 8:12 PM on September 3, 2013

Fish with grapes is not a particularly common food combo, but Epicurious does have at least two highly-rated recipes using those ingredients. And lots of people drink white wine with fish entrees. Maybe you just had bad fish, twice?
posted by vytae at 8:16 PM on September 3, 2013

This Epicurious article suggests that the worst pairing for cabernet sauvignon would be a flaky fish, as the wine would "sour" in taste. I wonder if something similar happened to you?
posted by xingcat at 8:23 PM on September 3, 2013

Most likely you've associated the taste of fishy fish and grape juice with nasty. It's a psychological thing more than a food thing. You also can't discount the idea that you had bad fish sticks I cringe at the fact that that statement implies there are good fish sticks....

There isn't really much to explain. For some reason you barfed while eating that. My wife wants to barf at the idea of eating Chic-Fil-A because she got some raw chicken, and McDonald's because there were bugs in the food.

But with the recent instance, it could just be that talapia is nasty. Bad talapia is worse.
posted by theichibun at 8:24 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tilapia is, at best, junk fish, about like what is now marketed as basa in much of the U.S. Tilapia is raised, packed, and marketed under what amounts to the heaviest of economic pressures, and I wouldn't be surprised, at all, if the fish you ate didn't have some problems in handling, somewhere along the supply chain to you.
posted by paulsc at 8:25 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

I ate a piece of of duck at a chinese restaurant as a kid and had the most horrendous case of food poisoning including hallucinations and projectile vomiting. I can't even smell duck being cooked in any form without feeling like throwing up, I can't imagine what I'd do if I tasted it, I imagine that whatever flavours where in your dinner triggered that memory centre of your brain that went this taste = bad things will happen, we threw up last time we had this danger abort.
posted by wwax at 8:50 PM on September 3, 2013

Response by poster: got it, fish sticks and tilapia; BAD
posted by silsurf at 8:54 PM on September 3, 2013

Seems like it could be the sugar in the recipe tonight. Maybe that plus the wine did the same thing.

Really, the only thing to do is go and buy some fish sticks and grape juice for tomorrow night's dinner and then come back and tell us all about it! (I really do want to know, but I'm too scared to try it myself.)
posted by dawkins_7 at 9:32 PM on September 3, 2013

For what it's worth, thinking about it i'm pretty sure i have a childhood memory of eating fish sticks and suddenly one of them being freaking DISGUSTING. As with the tilapia comment above, fishsticks are basically the four o street legal or earthquake of fish.

It's made with fish so low quality and "mechanically seperated" that you couldn't even buy it at the store.

I'd chalk it up to two random experiences of getting a fluke "bad" chunk of both before i'd assume it was some kind of potentially interesting, if disgusting, chemical reaction.
posted by emptythought at 10:44 PM on September 3, 2013

To my palate at least, fish and sugar together doesn't compute. Yuk. Could that be it? Grape juice in the first instance, sugar in the sauce in the second?
posted by fivesavagepalms at 10:54 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

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