In the past six months, many interesting things have taken place in my life. One of the big changes has been my new interest in cooking; it is an interest that has shocked not only myself, but many close friends. Even my mother!
In addition to this, my taste buds have gone through an evolution as well. I suppose one could say that my buds have matured and are now more willing to try new things.
I spent 30 years hating all types of peppers and onions, not to mention raw tomatoes. I can recall countless meals full of sighing and frowning as I very carefully picked out every tiny scrap of offending vegetable (or fruit!…Yes, I DO know that a tomato is a fruit!) and shoved them to one side of my plate.
Over the past number of years, I have had the opportunity (well, sometimes no choice at all) to try a slice of pepper or onion and, when I have actually done so (Stubbornness? I have it in spades! *wink*), I have found that the offending taste was still…well…offensive.
But somehow, a few months ago, something changed.
I had started cooking with bits of onion or pepper, especially in a sauce or a stew because, although I disliked them, I could accept the fact that they add some lovely flavour to certain dishes.
I remember being in my kitchen, slicing up a green pepper and throwing the pieces into my slow cooker, when I paused, picked up a tiny piece and popped it in my mouth. It had been so long since I had tried it that I thought, “What’s the harm? If it’s as bad as I remember, I’ll just go brush my teeth.”
But I didn’t. I ate another piece. And another. Pulled out some ranch dressing and tried it with dip. Six months later, I always have peppers in my kitchen, of every size, shape and colour. I cut up veggies sticks to take to work and fresh peppers are always included. I get peppers added to my salads and subs when I eat out. They are lovely…so what the heck was my problem?
Onions…same thing. As a kid, I avoided them. I wouldn’t help cut them up (they make you cry, you know!) and I’d complain when my mom added them to our meals.
Although…of course, onion rings were eventually acceptable! I began by pulling the onion out and eating the crust, but eventually I sucked it up and would eat the whole ring, while still turning my nose up at onions in other contexts.
But…I still didn’t actually like onions. Child logic, I suppose.
These days, I’ve had a similar onion evolution. I don’t *love* raw onion…but I’ll eat them in my salad and I’ll add them to various dishes and sauces. One of my favourite salads includes caramelized onions! (Recipe to come!)
So, there is something to be said for the belief that a person’s tastes change over time.
Granted, some things never change. Raw tomatoes and I continue to be enemies and aside from tomato sauce and ketchup, or recipes where I know the tomato in question will be boiled, sautéed, squished into sauce…Sorry Mr Tomato, but stay away from my kitchen!