Monday, May 31, 2004


There are two things about me that I wish I could change (actually if I thought about it for more than two seconds, I'm sure I'd come up with a much longer list):

• my shoe size (it's very hard to find ladies shoes in size 10 1/2
• my squeamishness about various foods

I can’t do anything about the first, but I suppose I could at least work on the second. Despite the fact that I love cooking, I have a horrifyingly long list of “don’t likes”:

• seafood (canned tuna excepted)
• mushrooms
• organ meats
• Brie
• blue cheeses
• goat cheese
• artichokes
• avocado
• eggplant
• olives
• tofu
• butter brickle ice cream

As you can see, I have X’ed out huge swathes of the food world, in some cases without having so much as a taste. How can I say I don’t like seafood? What is “seafood”? All these animals (actually the idea of eating seaweed doesn’t appeal to me much either…) have in common is that they live in water. There must be hundreds of varieties of fish, mollusks, cephalopods, and crustaceans eaten by man and yet I can say that I don’t like any of them?

I recently had an opportunity to try a number of foods that I generally steer clear of. I was in a very nice restaurant with my brother and his partner to celebrate my brother’s birthday. A tasting menu was offered, but if one person wanted it, everyone at the table had to order it – including me. It helped that I was kept well lubricated throughout the evening – each course was paired with a specially selected wine. I have to say, while I didn’t relish many of the foods I tried, none was quite as scary as I anticipated, and it turned out to be a memorable and even enjoyable meal.

So the moral of my story is I’ve got to give new and different foods a fair chance before I pass judgment. I will try ever so slowly to do that. I’ll seek out recipes for foods that are foreign to me and at least give them a shot. I will not, however, ever eat butter brickle ice cream again.


Anonymous said...

just to let you know you're not alone with your long and strange list of food hang-ups... I, too, enjoy food, love to cook, and am even one-half of a restaurant critic twosome for a weekly newspaper--and my list of can't-eats is just as long! Seafood (especially shellfish! and including canned tuna!), mushrooms, olives, organ meats (some of these go without saying, don't they!?), eggplant... I can do the cheeses and tofu and even butter brickle ice cream, but don't come near me with celery or capers. And raisins and nuts are OK on their own, but never in bread or baked goods...
It's a strange phenomenon, isn't it? I've made baby steps in the fish department (I'm 35, btw) and now can occasionally almost enjoy steaky fish like blackened grouper, scallops if they're not too slimy, and oddly enough (this makes no sense to ANY of my fish-friendly friends) raw or seared tuna. Anyway, your site looks very nice, and I think the inclusion of photos of your recipes is a great idea. Good luck!

Cathy said...

Thanks so much Bess - I'm glad to have the company! I really do think that I have finally come to a point where I am frustrated enough with myself that I will really work on changing this. There are definitely some things on "the list" that I am more willing to work on than others, but maybe by the time I've tackled the easy ones, the others won't seem so bad!