Picky Picky

My co-worker and fellow blogger shared this article with me in which the columnist challenged people, in the new year and the new decade, to look at a few things through fresh eyes. The writer listed 52 suggestions, one for every week of the year. This week’s topic is your taste buds.

I’m a picky eater, and I know it. For most of my life, I wouldn’t eat any food that was green. No beans, no peas, no broccoli, no green peppers, no lettuce, no turnip greens — nothing green. I don’t eat tomatoes (except fried green ones). Or mushrooms. Or chicken on a bone. I have issues with the way some foods smell and the way some foods feel in my mouth (aka, texture). For example, I like chicken that is battered and fried, but all those tendon-y things that hold the chicken to the bone? Bleh. I’ll take chicken tenders instead, please.

Most of these habits were formed as a child, either because these foods weren’t served at my home or my parents didn’t make me eat them. I’ve come a long way made progress since becoming an adult, but there are still a lot of things that are “off limits,” meanin’ “I ain’t eatin’ it.”

When I was about 17 or so I tried lettuce for the first time. Up until this point a trip to the salad bar for me resulted in a plate of diced ham, cheese, pepperoni, ranch dressing, croutons and bacon bits. For some reason, on this day, I decided to try a bite of my friend’s salad. It was all those same things from above plus lettuce. And, it didn’t totally gag me. Over time lettuce kind of grew on me and I came to really enjoy salads. I still don’t like lettuce with hot foods, however, such  as tacos or burgers.

Green beans I recently discovered I like, I just preferred them prepared a different way — steamed with almond slivers and a little butter. I’ve been more open to broccoli lately, but whether I like it or not depends on how it’s prepared and how it’s seasoned.

I also recently discovered banana peppers, but they’re a little much on the sandwich, so I get them on the side and eat them like pickles.

I know in my head I should try more foods, foods that I’ve never had but that I say I don’t like without ever having tasted them. But actually forcing myself to try something new is uncomfortable. I’m quite content eating the foods I like. But, so I’m told, the problem is I literally don’t know what good and tasty things I am missing because I’m not even giving some things a chance.

Ugh. I know they’re right but hot lettuce is all stringy and mushrooms are so squishy and broccoli stinks. My picky eater syndrome is not just about my tastebuds. I have to teach my eyes and my nose to like new foods too.


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