Monday, February 28, 2011

The Biggest Shame of a Foodie

Most foodies don’t like to admit to not eating certain foods just because they don’t like them.  Somehow they think that this lowers their credibility, and granted if your list is very long it will, but for the most part we can’t all like the same things.  If we all had the same taste experiences with every food I doubt that there would be nearly as many different types of food.  So, for that I am grateful. 

The color won me over
My mind has always been intrigued by this concept, that although two people may be eating the same dish and enjoying it, they are both having a completely different meal depending on how their taste buds work.  I believe it was in Mimi Sheraton’s memoir, Eating My Words: an appetite for life, where she discusses actually having her taste buds tested, and was relieved to find out that her taste receptors were average, exactly where you would want them to be as a food critic.   I have the feeling that if my taste buds were tested I would not land in the comfortable average area.  

The dish is mine the glass is Robs
Through the last few years I have made it my goal to go through every food that I thought I did not like, and make sure that I still did not like it.  For the most part this project has been successful, I now have no problem eating fish, and have discovered that I like Pacific Salmon much better than Atlantic.  I love cilantro, and my dislike of Hollandaise Sauce was the fault of a bad cook not a bad recipe.  I am still not a fan of red peppers, I feel they take over the dish, but now I don't avoid eating them as I once did. 

I have two things I still have not been able to cure myself of.  Growing up my parents did their best to get me to drink milk, and I did my very best to get out of it.  From knocking over my glass, to leaving a bit of broccoli floating in it making it undrinkable, I would do anything to avoid drinking that disgusting stuff.  My parents finally gave up and added orange juice with calcium to the nightly ritual.  I still have no interest in drinking milk straight and honestly don’t feel that I am missing out on anything.

Proof for my parents, I do
actually enjoy Salmon
Spicy foods are a whole other matter.  I know I am missing out some of the time, and it drives me nuts.  Believe me I have tried, and though I can take slight spiciness now, I have not been able to get myself very far with this one.  I have mostly accepted that this is just the makeup of my taste buds and there is not much I can do about it.  There are so many dishes, and sometimes entire cultures, that I am missing out on and if there is a way to train my tongue to like spicy foods I would really like to know about it. 

So there you have it, I have admitted my dislikes, and I still have the nerve to consider myself a food person.  You will have to forgive me if you never see a recipe or reference to glasses of milk and spicy foods on this blog, but you can trust me to always go into eating with an open mind, and to try everything I don’t like more than once. 

Will any of you admit to your food dislikes?  Are there foods that you thought you hated that you ended up loving?

Some books you might like:
Are you Really Going to Eat That? Reflections of a culinary thrill seaker by Robb Walsh
Fork it Over: the intrepid adventures of a professional eater by Alan Richman
Hugh Fearlessly Eats it All: dispatches from the gastronomic frontline by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
How We Eat: appetite, culture, and the psychology of food by Leon Rappoport