An Ode to Uni

Oh uni, divider of papillae, personification of the phrase "de gustibus non disputandum," how I adore thee. To this humble epicurean and others like me, thou art a transcendent experience. A mysterious ochre orb of delight, imparting notes of hazelnut, the sea, and the tears cried by unicorns when they are filled with joy.

To the unfortunate souls who do not understand thee, thou art an irksome sight, a noxious-tasting and mucus-textured thing. It is good that many do not understand thee, for thou art at risk of being over-fished by the Japanese.

To the biologist, thou art merely the roe of the sea urchin. To me, that spiny globular echinoidea has given thou to us as a gift beyond comparison, though admittedly against its will. Thou art expensive, often $4 to $7 a piece at sushi restaurants, but thou art worth it. How delighted was I to find an entire tray of you at the local Asian market, for a paucity--only $14! For sixteen pieces! Oh frabjous day! How quickly I raced home, not even bothering to form nigiri, but merely scooping you up with a bit of sushi rice and savoring your briny alchemy. How secretly pleased I was that the missus felt ambivalence toward thou, for this meant more for me.

So are you to my thoughts a food of life,
Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground;
And for a piece of you I hold such strife
As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found.

(apologies for Shakespeare for modifying his 75th sonnet).

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