I had a BLT for lunch, which got me thinking about all of the ‘normal’ foods it took me forever to eat and/or enjoy. I’m infamous in my family for being one of those kids who only ate chicken fingers, and that picky eating continued for quite some time. I have historically not been very brave about various textures and tastes of food, though I’ve gotten much better in my journey to adulthood. There’s not much I’m not willing to try, now, but if we look back on my history of food quirks…
Poutine – pre-kindergarten
Poutine is awesome. Obviously. French fries, cheese curds, gravy — can’t go wrong. If I see legitimate poutine on a menu these days (because for some reason cheese curds stop existing somewhere north of Thunder Bay), it’s what I’m getting. But before I was in kindergarten my mom briefly ran a chip truck, and I refused to entertain the thought of poutine, because the name sounded gross.
Mayo – pre-kindergarten+
I still remember asking my mom to let me try mayo for the first time. Instead of putting it on something that would taste good she put it on white bread with nothing else. It was gross. I don’t know if it was mayo or Miracle Whip, but I refused to eat both all the way through high school. Every BLT and chicken burger I ordered was dry. I think one day I accidentally tried it on a sandwich and enjoyed it.
I still don’t know if I like mayo or Miracle Whip (one’s gross but I forget which one); homemade immersion blender mayo is still the best.
Caesar salad – age 17, East Side Mario’s
I spent the last two summers of high school working at a fishing lodge. The last summer, my friend and co-worker had a car, and sometimes we’d take off after dinner shift and hightail it to the East Side Mario’s in Kingston and get there shortly before closing because a) we couldn’t leave earlier and b) they gave us all of their leftover bread. I finally tried Caesar salad and realized it wasn’t gross.
Pita wrap – age 17, Pilot Pita
On university orientation day our leaders took us off-campus to Pilot Pita. I had never eaten a pita/wrap before. I had studiously avoided the famously-delicious Caesar wraps in the high school caf (see above). But there was nowhere else to go and I was in a huge line so I ordered what the girl ahead of me ordered and found out that Caesar wraps, especially the ones from PP, are amazing. I spent a lot of money there over the next two years.
Cream cheese – age 17, university
I ordered a bagel with butter from the little food outlet on the ground floor of my dorm building. They put cream cheese on it. I was in a rush and starving. I ate it. I regretted not eating it before that.
Sushi – early 20s, Ottawa
My dad and sister took me to a sushi restaurant. I spit my piece of sushi out essentially as soon as it hit my mouth. Sorry, friends, but sticky rice and raw fish cannot be made into something appealing. I ate tempura fried things instead.
Runny eggs – age 20, British Columbia
I always, always ordered my eggs done in a manner that the yolk was not even slightly drippy. Then my boss introduced me to a hash on our breakfast menu that was topped with poached eggs and I suddenly realized that drippy eggs are AWESOME. I can even make my own, now.
Lobster – age 20, British Columbia
Tried it for the first time at a German restaurant. I still don’t get the hype over lobster.
Oysters – age 20 (?), wedding afterparty
I spent the evening drinking ciders, then found myself surrounded by chefs and raw oysters in the kitchen at the afterparty. Tipsy bravado won out. It wasn’t that bad but I probably wouldn’t eat one again.
Fried alligator – age 21, New Orleans
My sister insisted we order something else off the menu at Pat O’Briens because it was raining and we didn’t want to leave. I had enough Hurricanes that I was willing to try the fried alligator. It legitimately tasted like chicken. I realize this is not on the normal list of food for most people but it was a moment of bravery for me.
Coleslaw – mid-20s, home
Coleslaw, for the longest time, was that neon-green shit from KFC, found in a styrofoam container. Nasty (I’m presuming — I still haven’t eaten that stuff). Then I learned how to make my own and found out that shredded vegetables and homemade dressing is about thirty thousand times better than that strangely dish-shaped green stuff.
Nutella – mid-20s, home
And the kicker. Nutella. Delicious, delicious Nutella. A friend of mine had Nutella sandwiches all the time for lunches in elementary school and I thought it was the most appalling concept in the world. It turns out that chocolate + hazelnut + carbs is not appalling.
There are probably even more that I just can’t remember. Make me feel better? Tell me what normal foods you haven’t eaten/took forever to try. I can’t be the only one.