We, humans, often take wonderful parts of our lives for granted. One thing I have taken for granted is the delicious, fresh seafood I was brought up on.
I was born and raised on Hilton Head Island and my parents often served fresh seafood for dinner. I had not realized just how lucky I was to be eating this fresh and local seafood until I ventured out of the low country.
When I was eighteen, a few of my friends and I decided to go to Aspen, Colorado for the six month ski season. Being raised in a small community on a twelve mile island, it was just time for us to get away and see another part of the country. My plan was to work, attend a semester of school, and see what life was like outside of my little island. I did expect to experience a lot of new things however, snow was not the only new thing I experienced.
Food is a big part of southern culture. This is not a notion I had not put too much thought into until I moved away. It turns out, sweet tea is not a drink served at every restaurant across the country, (blasphemy!) and apparently artificial seafood is quite common unless you live near the ocean. While sweet tea was something I could make at home and still enjoy, the whole seafood thing was truly an issue. I simply was not prepared for the artificiality I was about to experience when I ordered a seafood dish (at a restaurant that shall remain nameless).
I am still unsure of what was placed on my plate that evening. I do know that the rubbery texture and eerily fishy flavor did not resemble the sweet and savory shrimp from my homeland that I had expected.
Now, I am twenty two. I am back working for the best boss in the world at the best grocery store that carries the freshest seafood one can get their hands on. I even enjoyed fresh, local shrimp during my lunch break (as pictured)... see what I mean? Totally spoiled. :)
Colorado was an experience that I am thankful for taking part in. It taught me that there is a beautiful world beyond my little island, but nothing quite beats the peaceful ocean and the delicious creatures that live in it.
In conclusion; Eat Local, Shop Local, & Stay Big On the Pig!