When Amanda was having lunch with us this past weekend, it came up that she hates bananas. After we all lightly teased her a little (because come on, bananas are awesome), she mentioned how she really wishes she liked them. And that actually, her aversion has lessened slightly. She used to get grossed out just smelling them, but now she can at least tolerate being in the same room as them.
This made me wonder about the evolution of our taste buds at different phases of our lives. How, quite literally, our food-flavor preferences change as we get older. (It's illustrated by Amanda slowly warming up to bananas. I'd bet money that at some point in her life, she'll at least find the taste tolerable, if not enjoy them.)
Anyway, when I think about it, I can think of three foods off hand (but I'm sure there are more), where I've had a 180 degree taste-preference change over the years.
I said earlier that bananas are awesome, but I didn't always think so. According to my mom, I ate a ton of bananas as a baby. Like, they were my favorite food. But my earliest memory of a banana is a dislike. I'd say I spent ages 5-15 really, really disliking them. I didn't want to eat them, but I also didn't even want them near the other food I was eating.
I warmed up to them by adding them to smoothies with a ton of other flavors. By doing this, there would be a ton of fruity deliciousness, with a slight hint of banana in the background. I eventually worked my way up from there, and now I'm a banana fiend. I love them!
I wouldn't say that I hated tomatoes when I was younger. But I also didn't like them and would pick them off food I was eating. (I've always loved ketchup, as we all know, so I'm not sure if my tomato issue was a texture thing or what.) Anyway, I never really gave them a fair chance, because in my mind, "I didn't eat tomatoes."
Well, when I became a vegetarian after my junior year of college, I realized that I needed to start eating tomatoes. It was that simple. I remember being in a Lenny's with Katie's family, and I was ordering my veggie sub, and it just occurred to me, "I can't be a vegetarian and not eat tomatoes" - so I ordered them on my sub. I've been eating them ever since, and I'm definitely a big fan now.
3) Blue Cheese
I should start by saying that I love blue cheese now. Love. More than the average person. I will buy a container of blue cheese crumbles and eat them with a spoon. I put blue cheese on anything and everything it could possibly add flavor to. I love it.
But I didn't always. I think "stinky cheeses" might be one of those tastes that you grow into later in life (because really, how many little kids love a big slice of super moldy blue cheese?). Also, I'm not sure that my parents, even today, are big blue cheese fans; so I'm not sure I was ever exposed to it other than at restaurants when the options were ranch and blue cheese, and I was told, "you don't want blue cheese."
I remember I first warmed up to it when Sarah worked at Einstein's in high school and she would make my favorite sandwich, The Cobby, for me. (Side note - The Cobby was an incredible sandwich that should still be on the Einstein's menu.*) But anyway, one slice of bread of the sandwich was slathered in gorgonzola spread. I remember thinking that I didn't love the spread, but I also sort of liked the way it worked with the rest of the sandwich. It wasn't until college that I would just pile blue cheese on a salad at the salad bar, but when I did, it was instant love.
I'm wondering if I could eventually warm myself up to pickles, since I don't like them now, but really wish I did. I'm starting by first warming up more to cucumbers. All week, I'm planning to incorporate a cucumber into something that I eat. Thus far, I've been putting them on my salads at lunch. Baby steps.
Are there any foods that you guys love now that you used to hate when you were younger? Or any foods you hate that you wish you liked?
*Maybe you guys are wondering what was on The Cobby? This is how I remember it, Sare, correct me if I'm wrong...
-it was on a challah roll
-one side of bread had gorgonzola spread
-the other side had avocado spread