5/05/2008

Food: Changing Taste As We Age

There were certain foods, in my childhood, I absolutely detested. Number one on the list were turnip greens (those north of the Mason-Dixon are excused). I simply couldn’t bear the idea of putting “grass” in my mouth. That is what it appeared to be as I looked at it on my plate. I simply couldn’t understand how my sister, mother and father ate the stuff. My brother shared in my disdain for it. Like a lot of times, it was turnip greens and cornbread were all we had on the dinner table. So, it was either eat the turnip greens or go hungry. Most times I did the latter (well, unless my beloved father was at the table, which was rare).

Another one; Lima beans. Beside the fact they caused enough natural gas to fuel New York City for a month, I could see no reason to eat them. At that time, they seemed to have a taste of chalk (don’t ask) to me. I’m sure my mother meant well. Like turnip greens; Lima beans and maybe a pork chop was it for dinner (along with the ubiquitous cornbread). The smell alone made me nauseous (the Lima beans, I mean).

Chili. I know that is surprising with me being from the south. I should have enjoyed it since it was one of the few times we got meat during the week. But, again, it was those beans in my bowl staring at me. I didn’t want to eat them. And, apparently, they didn’t want to be eaten either. They always managed to find their way back in the cooking pot. Is it no wonder I was so skinny as a kid?

Now, I simply LOVE all the above foods as a middle-age kid. Turnip greens and, gasp, Lima beans are among my two most favorite foods in the world. As for chili; I’ll eat it, especially on a cold day. I no longer hate it like it would give me the bubonic plague. There are other foods I ate as a child that I will not eat as an adult. Cereal of any type, oatmeal (thanks to my beloved father, I hate it with a passion), pop tarts (Mama thought I would turn into pop tart one day) and pancakes. I know those are favorites of a lot of people. But, when you eat so much of them when you were a kid, maybe as an adult you can’t bring yourself to eat them any longer.

Oh, as for the pancakes; I won’t eat pancakes as I said. But I will eat waffles. Again, don’t ask.

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