Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Have Your Tastes Changed?

I saw an interesting posting on the Epicurious blog a few days ago. Click here to read it. The article was based on a simple question: Have your tastes changed?

I know personally, mine have. For example, growing up, I didn't like eating tomatoes, and now, I can't wait until heirloom season comes! When I was little, I didn't like brussels sprouts, but I don't even think I had ever even tried them. I think it was just something I thought I wasn't suppose to love. I heard other people say they didn’t like them, so I did too. Now? I crave brussels sprouts, even most recently trying my hardest to track some down in hopes that I hadn't missed the last of them for the season.

Other things? Cilantro? Yea, still not a huge fan, but I'm getting better. I can tolerate small bits of it (like in salsa for example.) I find myself trying it every now and again, in hopes that my taste buds will have grown up a little bit more. My dear friends Rick and Christy love cilantro. And I remember one slow day in the office years and years ago, Christy and I were naming our favorite spices/flavors and Christy even told me cilantro would be at the top of Rick's list. I remember letting out a big "YUCK". See, I'm already making some progress there.

I've always disliked pickels and really anything pickeled (kimchee? No thank you.) But then guess what happened recently? I tried a pickle, and I liked it! My friend Wendy is the reason I tried the pickle. She reassured me, "It's not too pickley, just try it!" Hmmm. Are we onto something here?

What about liver? Always been a fan. (All my chef friends would be so proud.) But seriously. I grew up eating roasted duck liver from the Chinese BBQ shops. YUM. I loved it with steamed rice (still do.) I'd mash it up into my rice, and look over at my dad with envy as he ate it with a beer (now that's become one of my favorite snacks!) Hmmm, guess that should have been a sign that I'd have a love and passion for food. My sister never did like it the same way I did.

I have never been a huge fan of gamey meats, and have grown to like them a little bit more. Lamb's a hard one for me (I have a theory. I think it's because I was born in the year of the Ram according to the Chinese zodiac...just doesn't seem right to eat one of your own, does it?)

Goat was another one I never particularly liked, until last year. I distinctly remember being at the Share Our Strength San Francisco Taste of the Nation event, and Chef Chris Cosentino was preparing goat. There was only two of us at our table, and I knew my friend Vanessa was not going to be digging into the large platter of goat that had just been put in front of us. I was willing to try it, and boy am I glad. I loved it. Absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed my goat.

Other silly things? I love mushrooms, but don't love portabellas. It has something to do with the size of the mushroom cap for me. And something about seeing the porous fibers. I know, I'm crazy. I can eat liver and other offal, and all kinds of meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, but you put a portabella mushroom in front of me, and I've got to cut it up into smaller pieces before I'll eat it.

All in all, I've become a more adventurous eater. Maybe it has to do with my job? I've learned, that if a chef puts something in front of you, you should eat it. At least give it a try. You never know. What's the worst that could happen? You just might like it.

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