Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Food I Have Trouble With

     I'm a grown man. I should be beyond this sort of stuff. My tastes have matured and I should be able to enjoy the myriad of foods available to me. This is not the case. There are just some foods and ingredients that I can't handle. Sometimes it's the taste, sometimes it's the consistency, sometimes it's childhood scarring.
"Souffles don't rise down here. When you're down here with us, you won't rise too!"
      Here is a small sampling of some of the foods I can't get past:

Blue Cheese
I know I should like this. I LOVE cheese. I have a few problems with blue cheese. For one thing, it's too pungent. Every time I have it in a dish, it tends to overpower everything. I also have a problem with the fact that it's fundamentally moldy cheese. When I see stuff growing on the cheese in my fridge, the first thing to go through my mind is generally not "Oh boy! A gastric delight!" You'd be pissed if somebody threw a piece of fuzzy cheddar on your burger and told you it was supposed to be that way.

Cherry Tomatoes
This is almost embarrassing. When I was like five or six, there was a cherry tomato in my salad. I picked it up with my fingers and bit into it. It squirted me directly in the eye, nearly blinding me. To this day, something like 35 years later, I still can't eat a raw cherry tomato. True story.

Swedish Potato Sausage
My mother-in-law's side of the family is Swedish, and year after year she attempts to inflict these on me. She calls them "potato skorka," but if you do a Google image search, you don't see pictures of sausages. Swedish Potato Sausages are actually called "potatiskorv" which leads me to believe that the Swedes are afraid to say the sausage's true name. Possibly they fear they will summon an angry sausage god that will lay waste to their town.  Nevertheless, these are just horrible. Imagine a bratwurst made of nothing but salt and gristle. Then make it an unappealing shade of beige. 

Potatiskorv knows the gate. Potatiskorv is the gate. Potatiskorv is the key and guardian of the gate.
Past, present, future, all are one in Potatiskorv.
He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. 

Swiss Chard
Tastes like dirt. It doesn't matter what I do with it. I've steamed, blanched, stir-fried, boiled, pickled, baked it in with other things, left it raw. It just tastes like I'm eating chunks of my yard. It's very aesthetically pleasing though, and ends up in the garden more for cosmetic reasons than anything else. 

Whole Mushrooms
If a mushroom is sliced and cooked, I'm fine. If it's a whole mushroom, I can't do it. Even a stuffed mushroom cap. There's something about the consistency. When I bite into a whole mushroom I get this weird feeling that somehow Freud would have something to say about it.

Don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws to death, but they have some strange tastes. Normally I love Italian food. My father-in-law's side is Italian and they have great food. The desserts are wonderful. Except panettone. Every year these are secreted on my holiday table. I see that cardboard box and just despair. They are the consistency of a kitchen sponge and fairly devoid of notable flavor. They are useful in case of the apocalypse as they have a shelf life that would make a Twinkie envious. We opened one last December and it was largely unchanged into mid-March. 

Good times!

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