I tried it but I don’t like it.
Those familiar with a picky eater wouldn’t believe this statement for a second. Yes, I am a picky eater. Yes, I’ve never tasted an egg (outside of a cookie, cake, or muffin) and I don’t intend to anytime soon. Yes, I said that I ate an egg and didn’t like it just to avoid eating it. I don’t understand eggs for many reasons, one of which is their inconsistent consistency. Sometimes they are runny, other times they are solid, and they can also be runny and solid. Saying that “I tried an egg but I don’t like it” is an easy excuse to avoid eating something that I know I won’t like.
At the same time, there are lots of foods that picky eaters want to like but our taste buds have other ideas. In this case, I’m not lying when I say I tried kiwifruit and I don’t like it. [Are you confused yet?? Welcome to the life of a picky eater…] I want to like this fuzzy, green tropical fruit so badly that I actively engage in the process of transforming my taste buds. I eat it plain (cut in half with a spoon as well as skinned like an apple) and try it in strawberry kiwi smoothies but I do not like kiwifruit no matter how it is served.
Then, there are the times where my taste buds are totally in tune with my cravings. My mom and brother love sushi and always order edamame before their meal. When I tag alone, I order teriyaki steak and used to pray that the edamame – and their empty, soggy pods – stay on the other side of the table. The questionable “beans” have an uncanny resemblance to tadpoles (conjoined-triplet-tadpoles to be exact), which freaked me out.
As time passed, I developed an interest in edamame but accepting new foods is a long and enduring process for picky eaters that requires a perfect mixture of confidence, determination, and persistence. We have to work to accept foods that our taste buds reject. I started by trying an occasional bean and learned to enjoy the process of squeezing the beans out of the pod with my teeth. I worked my way up to eating an entire pod or two, but that was enough for me.
It wasn’t until I searched for my first apartment in Las Vegas when I appreciated edamame. My life changed when my mom ordered it as an appetizer on the night I signed my lease. The restaurant drizzled teriyaki sauce over the young soybeans. I silently scolded myself for not thinking of that in the first place. I love teriyaki sauce so much I would stick my face in anything smothered with teriyaki sauce, if that wasn’t a weird and socially unacceptable thing to do. It’s my favorite of the four sauces I eat (teriyaki, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and French dressing). I never turn down an opportunity to eat teriyaki sauce. Putting it on top of edamame was a brilliant idea that made all the difference. I almost ate the whole bowl while my mom watched and practically fell off her chair in disbelief.
Now-a-days, I uphold my mom and brother’s tradition by ordering edamame with a side of teriyaki sauce before my meal whenever I visit a Japanese restaurant. Next up: incorporating soybeans without the pod into my diet. I’m not going to hold my breath…
Pickin’ Your Brain:
- What’s your “I tried it but I don’t like it” food that you’ve never tried?