Monday, August 4, 2008

Look, Ma!

Reading Chandelle's post about changing her mind on eggs reminded me that I too have changed my mind about certain foods. Vegetables in general and onions in particular.

It used to be that if an onion, even a tiny piece, contaminated any portion of my food, it was deemed unfit for consumption. Exclusions being onion rings and sauteed onions because they have been fried in so much oil and salt that they are no longer onions.

But a few weeks ago, I forgot to order my cheeseburger at the Appollo, sans oignon and surprisingly, I liked it. Initially, I thought it might just be that the crunchy-ness was masked by the lettuce and the flavor was drowned in the fry sauce, cheese and overall fat content.

So for fun, I kept experimenting with onions on my food discovering that they added something to it but not quite sure what it was. Until this past Friday, when I cut a sliver of a brown onion and popped it into mouth just to see if I could (because in my head that's really gross) and it was yummy. It was sweet and spicy but had just enough of each flavor to compliment each other.

Why is that? Did something happen to me as I've aged that changed how things taste to me? Or was it that some foods are considered "grown up" foods and I never grew up?

Or is that growing food, and being part of the process from seed to table, changes how I view things?

In the not so distant past, I would not eat (raw) carrots, cilantro, beets, sweet potatoes, eggplant, and many other things that grew out of the ground (except potatoes, of course) . But it seems now that standing in the sun and dirt and plucking an item right off it's vine is a signal to my brain that it's OK to try it. In fact, I feel obligated to try it because all that damn sunscreen burning my eyeballs has to be for a reason, right?

Now that I've grown fond of onions, it seems that a whole new world of food has been discovered, and I'm using and experimenting with the items from the community garden to create new meals except, I can't convince my family that the stuff that grows in the dirt is good to eat too.

What are the foods you dislike? And why?

What are some foods that you hated/ loved that you now love/hate?

What what would you love to eat but can't get your family to eat?

And if you are a magic parent, what have you done to get your kids to eat everything you serve them?


  1. aacckk! Anything that once lived in the water! The smell of fish triggers unwelcome physical responses.

    My husband eats anything I put in front of him, even some stuff that I won't eat.

    In the last four years we have cut back severely on our consumption of beef and pork products. But I still love, love, love an occasional burger, with onions!

  2. oh, hello.

    do i know you? do you post with another name?

    and you are right, the idea of eating fish grosses me out.

    there are some exceptions like shark and mahi mahi.

    oh and salmon. but everything else...

  3. I'm one of your fans at fMh. I have posted a few times under Darlene or Dar.

    My inlaws used to continually say to me "Just try it, you'll like it". Finally one day I walked out of dinner. They don't do that anymore. I have tried some types of fish in Hawaii but swore my husband to secrecy.

  4. I hate lots of foods:

    - Mushrooms. The smell is so repugnant that I can't stand to be around cooked mushrooms. I've forbidden my wife from cooking them when I'm around. Chinese mushrooms (the direct translation is "winter mushrooms") are probably the worst. On my mission, a member once asked me what I wanted to eat when I came to her family's home for dinner. I said "anything but winter mushrooms", and quickly became known as a picky eater in that ward. The fact that they appeared at just about every dinner I had in that ward was probably not a coincidence.

    - Eggplant. I can only eat it when it's in fresh moussaka. I ate some leftover moussaka my wife made the other day and almost threw up just thinking about the mushy texture of the eggplant.

    - Beets. Awful flavor.

    - Brussels sprouts. Ditto.

    - Tomatoes. I've learned to at least not gag when they're put on a sandwich, but if it's socially acceptable, I'll remove them from any food in which I find them. I love salsa, ketchup and tomato-based sauces, though. Go figure.

    - Bananas. Awful smell and mushy texture.

    - Cantaloupe. Odd flavor. I love Jones Soda's crushed melon soda, though. It's cantaloupe-flavored. Weird.

    I've learned to really enjoy a few foods that I hated when I was younger, including cabbage (only stir-fried or boiled in soup) and zucchini (only sauteed or grilled).

  5. hello darlene! welcome.

    steve-o, you are like me. it's a texture thing.

    mushy foods that grow out of the ground gross you out. i totally understand.

    in fact, moussaka is the only eggplant dish i will far.

    mushrooms, dirt. beets, dirt, brussel sprouts? what the hell are those bug infested things doing on my plate?
    and catalouple and or honeydew. no matter how many times i try it, no matter how much i want to like it, i can't.

    however, tomatoes on a sammy or hamburger are rood!

  6. ...and picky eaters should never serve asian missions.

  7. I'm not picky. I'm just very clear about what I don't like...or something like that.

    Now, foods I encountered in Asia I will definitely claim to be picky about:

    Coagulated pig blood
    Pig's ear
    Duck tongue
    Eels (the round kind are OK, the flat kind are vile)
    Round seafood things that squirt in your mouth

    The pig blood was the worst. Imagine dark red tofu--yum!

  8. Growing up, I was incredibly picky. There were few vegetables I would eat. Strangely, the few I liked were those kids are supposed to hate: spinach, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. As I've grown, I've become much more adventurous. Now I LOVE onions, legumes, asian food, peppers, etc.

    There are still a few things I find disgusting, but I realize that its mostly about texture. I don't like really mushy foods: No canned peas, no cooked carrots, very few winter squashes, yams, sweet potatoes, or even peach cobbler. I can't stand the really smushy texture. Blech!

    I've such bad memories of peas growing up, that I literally start to gag when I smell them. Unfortunately, they're my wife's favorite veggie, so I have to sacrifice on special occasions for her sake.

  9. I was a picky eater when I was a kid. I didn't like anything Mexican or spicy, and there were a number of other foods I wouldn't eat. Tomatoes were strictly off-limits for me, though I would on occasion eat cherry tomatoes from the garden. I also never ate any sort of fish, except canned tuna.

    At age 18 I decided to be vegetarian, and it didn't take me long to realize that if I wasn't going to eat meat, I better get pretty friendly with the vegetables. So I did. And I found I liked a LOT more of them than I would have expected. I also slowly got into Mexican food, and branched out into Thai & Indian food as well. When I went to Brazil for two weeks, there were three things to eat for most meals: beans, farina (I'm sure I spell it wrong, it's a tapioca relative like rice) and fish. I thought it was going to be a long two weeks on just beans & farina, so I tried the fish. And I liked them! After I married DH, we gradually came to a good compromise--we eat fish on occasion and he eats other seafood, but we stay clear of the other meats.

    Now I'd say that excepting the meats I don't eat, I eat most everything as long as it is well prepared. I do stay away from extremely spicy food, though.

    Our kids are really good at eating most things. My daughter has odd tastes for a 6 year old--she loves sour foods (like bottled artichoke hearts, cucumber vinegar salad, etc) and she also loves shrimp and most other fish she's tried.

    Children have a LOT more taste buds than adults, which is one reason they don't generally care for strong flavors--they taste so much stronger to them. That might explain why you like onions now but couldn't palate them when you were younger.

    (whew! that was long!)

  10. Great post! I heard once that the reason why kids don't like to eat foods like onions, and broccoli and other types of food is because (I don't remember what culture) but the children have such an acute sense of taste that they would be able to tell if the trive was eating anything poisonous out of the roots and flowers, and berries that they ate. Funny the adults couldn't tell, but those kids sure could, which makes me think that that hasn't changed. So... I guess there is some merit to it. They won't eat it because it taste yucky.

    The first time I tasted crab legs I wasn't impressed. A couple of years later...well, dipped in butter and salt anything is good, but I love them.

    and, onions, oh that is what makes a burger just right. I love onions.

  11. Mushrooms and onions - yuck. The smell of onions on a grill (which is a very popular smell here due to the popularity of sausage sizzles) always makes me gag, and the taste of mushrooms makes me choke. About once every 3 to 4 years I decide I'm really in the mood for eggplant and make an eggplant parmassan but three bites in I decide there's a reason I don't eat it more often.

    On the other hand, there's this really odd Australian food called a "dim sim" which is sort of a fake Chinese dumpling that I used to hate, that I now kind of like, as long as it is fried (not steamed) and drowned in soy sauce.

    But for my money nothing beats fresh peas eaten straight from the pods, preferably while standing barefoot in the garden in the cool dewy hours of a hot summer day.

  12. But for my money nothing beats fresh peas eaten straight from the pods, preferably while standing barefoot in the garden in the cool dewy hours of a hot summer day.

    ph quimby, what you describe is almost perfection.

    i loved it!!!! but the beans/peas are gone now and they've been replaced by corn. not so good raw. better grilled w/ butter and parm cheese.


  13. mindy, you and chandelle decided to become vegetarians really young.

    why? if you grow up on the standard american diet, what makes you decide one day that you are going to eat nothing but vegetables?

  14. You know, I forgot to add that I really hated pizza. Still kind of do, I really don't like eating pepperoni pizza caked with all that crap on it, but a good gourmet pizza I can stand every once in a while.

    I hate, hate, hate, brussel sprouts and lima beans...braaluck.. disgusting. Even the smell makes me want to gag.


What is your footprint?

Ecological Footprint Quiz by Redefining Progress