I’m a very picky eater. You wouldn’t know this if you met me (Oh, hush up, Mom. I know you know it!), but that’s for a few reasons. First of all, I eat a large variety of foods prepared a large variety of ways. In any given week, I’m likely to eat from at least three of my staple six cuisines: Italian, Japanese, Greek, New Mexican, French, and good old American. It’s hard for me to be considered picky when I’ve invented a whole new sauce just to enjoy modern Italian food, and I’ll turn around and make stir fry for dinner just to feel less guilty about that ice-cream filled crepe I had for lunch. The second reason I avoid suspicion as a picky eater is that 90% of the time, I do my own cooking. You don’t hear much about the foods I don’t like, because I don’t make them. Finally, I’m not picky in “normal” ways. I won’t try a new candy bar until I’ve analyzed its layers for weeks and possibly made a homemade version to see if I approve, theoretically, the flavor combination. Seriously, I didn’t try Twix until I was 23, because I (foolishly) doubted that the caramel would be good enough, the milk chocolate rich enough, or the cookie crisp and flavorful enough to impress me. But I’ll eat a plateful of greens cooked, raw, dressed, or plain and beg for more. Most picky eaters hate veggies, so I have you all tricked with my love of kale and artichokes and aubergines.
But it’s time to let you know, because I’m sick to my stomach and grumpy and tired and I did not make chicken noodle soup. Because with certain rare exceptions, I hate soup. Oh, I’m getting better. I’ll eat matzo ball soup and miso soup and even take a few bites out of soups that look rich and creamy and of uniform texture. But a bite or two of liquid food is about all I can handle. Even matzo ball soup. I have a bad habit of just plucking out the matzo balls and leaving the broth behind, making Mr. B wonder why there’s half a gallon of broth in the fridge with two sad little dumplings floating in it. Bwahahaha.
I hate one other thing even more than soup. It’s one of the most common ingredients and used in every cuisine I know of, and you can prepare it any way from fried to grilled to boiled, alone or used to flavor almost anything. Especially soup. That’s right, I hate onions. The throwing of objects and shouting of curses may commence.
I would like to say, in my defense, that I have tried to like them. I have no problem with the flavor of onions and am happy to chop one up to flavor my roasting potatoes or chicken stock and just toss it into the plants when the cooking is done, but the texture makes me cringe. No matter how raw or cooked it is, I feel like I’m eating bugs when I eat onions and it makes me gag. Not that I’d know what it was like to eat a bug. Yecch.
The rest of my list of no-no foods? Mushrooms of any kind, large amounts of hot or spicy ingredients (I’m fine with chile, but I want to be able to taste the corn and beans of my enchilada, too), and black pepper, and the dreaded coconut. Which isn’t even half of the foods I don’t eat, because I’m also horribly allergic to tomatoes and strawberries and I keep kosher (Well, mostly. I’ve broken that meat-milk rule on a number of occasions. Bad Corvid, I know.) which cuts out pork, rabbit, crustaceans, shellfish, eel, alligators (um. I ate alligator once, too. It was not so good.), turtles, jellyfish, shark, catfish, and lamprey. Although, honestly, have you ever seen a lamprey? It looks like something designed by Giger and has about 80,000 teeth. Do you really trust its flesh not to usurp your cellular processes and come back to life and maybe horribly possess you from the inside, or worse, bust out of you gut Alien style?
So maybe you’re wondering how my non-kosher husband handles all this pickiness. First of all, I’ve discovered that everyone is picky about some things. Seriously, even people who say they’ll eat anything and are willing to appear on Fear Factor to prove it are a little squeamish. Raw eyeball. Pressed duckling. Haggis. I could go on, but I feel it would be a little unfair, considering that you came to a food blog and got that horror show of a fish’s mouth to look at instead. Secondly, Mr. B is allergic to pork. We also cook in such a way that he can have his beloved shellfish and eel if he wants. He sometimes adds shrimp to his stir fry, after I’ve cooked my own vegetables. I have beans in my tacos, he has beef. Mostly, though, it all goes back to variety. We try new things often, cook different kinds of food, and generally eat as well as we dare. It’s quite nice actually.
Now, aside from lamprey, what are you picky about?