I’m a picky eater. I just started eating Mac & Cheese last year. I’m 25.
“Let that sink in.”
I’ve been this way for some time, and I don’t blame my family for enabling me. As a kid, I consistently ate bread, collard greens/kale, and corn. I started eating sub sandwiches about three years ago, but most sandwiches, aside from PB&J and Grilled Cheese, aren’t on my plate.
As I’ve gotten older, I got worse. I used to eat fish, and then I didn’t, which was a problem when you go to Japan at 15 years old. I was in the world of sushi and fried octopus balls and not once, did I go for it.
In Brazil, seafood was everywhere as well, and while I did end up trying acarajé (ah-car-uh-jay), a fried bean fritter typically stuffed with seafood, and moqueca de peixe (moh-kay-ka gee pay-shee), a fish stew, I didn’t go back for seconds unfortunately.
I can’t keep living like this! On the blog I started the tag, “Around the World in 80 Plates” to attempt to eat with some variety, but instead I just ate cuisines that I was used to! And in the How-To page you’ll find a boatload of fruits, but that’s playing it safe. Even then, I tried a peach, a PEACH, just last week (It was good, I’ll give it a 9/10, will try again). I’ve got to do better!
Among the many things I’m prepping for in Spain, one of them is expanding my palate. Spanish cuisine is going to be a challenge, and I want to be able to embrace it all. Eating is going to require some bravery. I might have to eat some shrimp, haven’t done that in….. nearly 10 years? Fish? Conch?
I’m a Marylander, I swear. I grew up with summers full of blue crabs and fish caught in nearby rivers. I have not so fond memories of crabs trying to escape their steaming hells and fish scales all over the kitchen. Maybe I’ve been traumatized?
So I’ve got a plan.
Try everything twice.
To start with, last week I tried that peach, right? I also decided to give a plum a try. No dice. The sucker was plain and kind of bitter.
But I tried it again, and …. I sorta get what the fuss is about? It’s okay. 6/10, would recommend to someone who has poor taste in fruits, but in a world with mangoes why would you bother with plums?
This is a super easy lesson, with fruit you’re comparing sugar with sugar, but it has some actual merit. You try something once and it just might not be prepared in a way that you enjoy. Avocados and eggs is atrocious to me, but avocados on their own are damned fine to me. I wouldn’t have known that had I just let that once experience be all I had. And so, whenever I’m presented with something different, I’m going to try it. And then I’m going to try it again, albeit, just a little differently.
Don’t ask questions.
This is something I practice pretty well, which is surprising considering how analytical I am. When facing a new food, I don’t ask what it is if I can help it (easy peasy when the menu is in a language you don’t speak), let alone what part of animal it’s from, who its parents were, whether or not it just got a promotion at its animal job, or if the fruit is a popular host for insects. I just take a bite. Only then can I let my mind wander, or let my hands get to Google Translate to highlight what on earth it was that I just ate.
If I overthink, I don’t try it, so you gotta bite the bullet… and ask questions later.
Chicken heart? Oh, great.
It wasn’t that bad. Nicely seasoned, juicy meat, 8/10 would eat again.
Eat what you know with what you don’t.
I enjoy tofu, but I didn’t always, but I’d like to send a big shout out to Chipotle for making me see the possibilities.
I normally got chicken and not much else, ’cause I’m basic, but when they came out with Sofritas, I gave it a try and…now that’s what I eat. My previous exposures to tofu had me thinking it was dooomed to be bland and strangely textured. But no, I just didn’t get the right bite. Now I’m emboldened to keep eating tofu in a variety of ways -which, by the way, is the whole point of tofu, it’s a chameleon. I even tried cooking it once.
Didn’t go well, but I tried!
Point is- I’ve got to put in the effort if I want to have a better diet with more variety, let alone experience the world with all of my senses. When I travel, one of the gifts I always bring is Old Bay, I literally bring a taste of home wherever I go. I have to return the favor, and bring a taste of my travels back with me.
It can’t just be all the sweet stuff. That’s way too easy!
Are you a picky eater? What are your tips and tricks to get out of that habit?