Saturday, March 01, 2014
"Crabby," Near Philadelphia
I was in my early teens when I learned I was allergic to shrimp. I had never really liked shrimp so it wasn't a problem. I loved other shellfish, though: oysters, clams, mussels; liked lobsters and crab and then discovered soft-shell crabs and for a few years was able to bask in their deliciousness. Then, gradually, the allergy spread and now I don't eat shellfish at all. Fortunately fish and calamari are still perfectly fine.
My allergy isn't the hives-breathing-eyes watering-throat closing variety. It is not life-threatening. It has a different manifestation: vomiting, diarrhea, and severe chill. It occurs six hours after I inadvertently consume shellfish. Not at all life-threatening, but an inconvenience and unpleasant way to spend the night.
The waiter can carry a platter of shellfish past me. My dining companion can luxuriate in scallops. No problem. But I cannot sample a sauce if there are shrimps in that sauce. And I never take a taste of anything from Joe's plate if he has something that is even topped with a shrimp. Usually, everything is just fine. But once every couple of years someone in a restaurant kitchen will handle a piece of shellfish and then handle my food. I have no way of knowing. Until six hours later.
Last night we used a gift card to try an upscale restaurant we'd not visited before. The food was impeccable; I had foie gras on parsnip latke and then a glorious lamb shank with creamy, cheesy grits and roasted brussels sprouts. I kept a respectable distance from Joe's meal, both courses of which involved shellfish of some sort. No problem.
Until 2:00 a.m.
Posted by Nancy Stevens on Saturday, March 01, 2014