I was fortunate to grow up in the U.S. as part of a family from another country. That means I was automatically exposed to multiple foods. But back when I was a child in Northeast Ohio, there wasn’t so much ethnic food variety beside Italian food and Chinese food. There were hardly any Thai or Middle-Eastern or Greek restaurants around. Fancy “boutique” fruits and veggies weren’t available fresh and we somehow made do. I grew up eating mostly regular American food interspersed with dinners of Gujarati Indian food. Now that I know how good of a cook my mom is, I should never have complained. As I kid, I may have done so anyway. I preferred chicken nuggets over home-cooked Indian food. My parents policy was that we had to try everything. We did so, (even if accompanied by a chaser of Coca-Cola or orange juice that hid the flavor of foods we found unpalatable.)
But now, I love blueberries, pecans, olives of all kinds, blue cheese and especially eggplant. It may be partially be true because taste buds become less sensitive as we get older but I attribute this new-found love for these foods on the fact that I ate fresher, higher quality versions or the foods in recipes that I just like better. I can eat a pint of fresh blueberries in two days. Pecans are good on lots of things minus that oversweetened store bakery gelatinous pie filling. There is a wonderful world of what I call “free range olives,” ones that aren’t canned or jarred and come fresh at a Middle-Eastern or high end super market. They are just so delicious. Gorgonzola on pizzas got me into liking stronger blue cheeses, especially on salads. As for eggplant, it is just so good in so many ways with so many different ethnic dishes and on sandwiches. It is now one my favorite vegetables.
I’m dedicating this post to readers who swear off certain types of food just because they tried it once and didn’t like it. Give a type of food at least two chances and try it in different ways. It could lead to a lifetime of taste satisfaction.