Just Eat It!

A coworker, mystified by the number of foods I wouldn’t even consider eating, once suggested that I might be a super taster. But if I had an overdeveloped palate, how could I ever put a hot dog in my mouth (which I do frequently) or suck down the burnt dregs of our off-brand office coffee with a smile?

Not a super taster, but maybe super pain in the ass. Anyone who spends time with me runs up against my fanatical finickiness sooner or later. Most folks quickly give over trying to make any sense of my likes and dislikes. It’s all based on a murky set of tenets–illogical and contradictory to the outsider, but so ingrained in my psyche that I can quickly size up and reject a dish without even thinking about it, let alone bringing it anywhere near my lips.

It would exhaust both of us if I tried to spell out every little prohibition and amendment, with clarification and footnotes, in my internal eatiquette book. So here’s the CliffsNotes: I hate out-of-context sweet. Cookies are good; sweet meat is an abomination. Also, over-the-top sweet. The worst culprit is cooked fruit, an obnoxious explosion of flavor with questionable texture. I hate raw cheese. Really, most cheeses are suspect, but I can choke down some melted varieties. I hate anything with a pudding-like texture, including pudding. And that rules out a surprising number of foods.

But with my 40th birthday peeking over the horizon, I’ve decided to rock my boat a little: one new food a day until I join the ranks of the oldsters. A last wild, youthful adventure (if you consider sampling common foods like banana bread or plums a wild adventure).

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15 Comments to “Just Eat It!”

  1. AH! Perhaps that is where our Isabella gets it.

  2. Prior to marrying my husband (with his fancy degree in “culinary arts”), I was not just a “picky eater”, I was a fussy, nose-pinching, take-these-off-my-plate kind of girl. With his talent (I make toast – that’s basically it) and coaxing, I have finally expanded my palate beyond cereal and turkey sandwiches (although). I applaud your efforts to try new things (and textures), and I can definitely sympathize. :]

  3. Wow! If I didn’t know better, I’d think my husband wrote this post! I do think he’s a super taster! I love your blog, & kudos to you for trying new things!

  4. This is a great idea! And who knows, maybe you’ll find some foods that you’ll end up loving and want to have more of than just a taste.

  5. This is very inspiring, I have had allergies to food additives my whole life and have a very hard time trying anything new. Like anxiety attack hard time. Good for you for being so brave and ambitious, maybe one day I will be too, as long as I know all the ingredients and where they come from….sigh…maybe not any day soon actually.

  6. good luck with your mission!

  7. Agree – sweetmeats are an abomination! I’ve definitely come across some… interesting eats (as evidenced here, http://thisishowieat.com/gallery/january-411/) Anyhow, it sounds like an awesome way to kick off a new decade. Looking forward to reading more about your culinary adventures – good luck, and definitely let me know if you’ll be factoring any durian into your plans. That’s one I’ve been curious about myself! Cheers, and happy birthday!

  8. Altho I am willing to try just about anything – and actually like most foods – I do have ‘texture’ issues. The few foods I don’t like, it’s because of the way they ‘feel’ to eat. (Fresh pears. Canned cranberry jelly. Gritty crap.) Today my husband made me eat a date… flavor – fine. Texture – I will never eat one again unless it’s mixed into something. Best of luck with your venture – you are doing great so far!

  9. Like I said, great idea! Can wait to see more.

  10. I love this idea! I used to consider myself a picky eater so recently started trying new things. I must say that your blog has kind of spurred me on. I am amazed at the things you had never tried before and even more amazed at some of the bizarre foods you are trying now. The latter inspired me to try a sweet potato chocolate brownie today. Yes, why would someone want to put sweet potatoes in a brownie, but it was surprisingly good. Perhaps another ‘bizarre food’ to add to your list of things to try!

  11. I have read a number of your entries and am intrigued–and love your sense of humour if not taste in food. I have a son who is in his twenties who has always been a picky eater so this blog is interesting to me on that level too

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