A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had been eating fish eyeballs as a protective measure when Tiny fell ill with some virus. There were some shocked Hybrid Rasta Mama friends out there! But several of you were actually intrigued. So I thought…why not write a tell-all about fish eyeballs?
First, the million dollar question – how did I get started eating fish eyes?
My mother-in-law grew up in Sri Lanka. Eating the entire fish was standard practice. Waste not. Years and years ago, when my husband and I were just dating, we all went out to a Mexican restaurant and I ordered a whole fish. My mother-in-law was shocked that I did not eat the fish head. She told me how in her culture, the fish heads were the prized parts of the fish. People would literally fight over them. She knows that I am not at all picky about food and figured I was game for an eyeball challenge. Seeing that I wanted to impress my mother-in-law, I nibbled away at the head, avoiding those eyeballs at all costs. The various pieces of the fish head were quite tasty (especially the cheeks) so I figured I would just go for it and suck down those eyeballs. And I did. And they were delicious!
People all over the world enjoy eating fish eyes. North Americans have a hang up over offal (organs and the like). It seems we avoid them like the plague. The fact is, these are the MOST nutritious parts of the animal or fish to consume. They are the superfoods of the animal.
In my humble opinion, eating a fish head and the fish eyeballs, is one of the easiest pieces of offal to eat. Fish cheeks pretty much taste like the rest of the fish, only a bit juicer. Fish eyes are a little sweet and a little salty and once you get over the “ick” factor, you might find that they are the tastiest part of the fish. Sure, it feels a little weird at first to have an eyeball rolling around in your mouth but it really has a delightful crunch to it and the texture isn’t what you might assume it to be.
So why eat fish eyes?
Fish eyes, especially those from fish in the mackerel family, contain a rich quantity of DHA and EPA which are very rare unsaturated fatty acids. The most beneficial property of these natural substances is their ability to stimulate human brain cells, improving memory and thinking power. They are also very helpful in preventing memory decline, high cholesterol, and hypertension diseases. It has been suggested that eating certain animal parts would strengthen similar body parts of ours, and this has been proven correct by clinical experiments where fish eyes are concerned. They can help to reduce the deterioration of eyesight.
So what are you waiting for? Next time you pick up a fish for dinner, make sure it has its head then get to nibbling on those precious eyeballs!
Oh and by the way – if you would like to up your intake of offal, join in on the Offal Challenge this month. Lydia from Divine Health is hosting it and so far, I am loving it!