Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Food Phobias

On Monday I decided to make some guacamole for lunch. As I was dicing up the green goodness of the ripe hass avocados a wave of sadness swept over me. How many years of my life did I have to live without guac simply because I was afraid of the bright colored dip? The first time that I encountered this yummy Mexican treat was in Juarez Mexico during the summer of 2003. There is no real explanation for while I had such an aversion to quac, but I think that I was simply afraid of the color. Who eats things that are that color? The first taste was a trace of the dip on a chip. I was shocked at the creamy goodness that delighted my taste buds. It was salty, creamy, a bit spicy, and fantastic all over the place. From the first bite I was hooked and have lived the rest of my life regretting my decisions to give into my phobia of oddly colored food.

The other major food that I have discriminated against throughout my life as a result of my fungus phobia is mushrooms. I was the kid who would mine for the itty bitty pieces of mushroom in any dish and discard them as if they were land minds awaiting the destruction of my palate. Beef stroganhof? NEVER! As I have matured in my late twenties I have discovered what a treat these multifaceted decomposers are. They come in so many shapes and sizes that make the culinary possibilities endless. I will eat them on about anything now. I like them raw sliced paper thin, or simply quartered and sauteed in some olive oil. These little gems can take any ordinary dish and elevated it in a few quick and easy steps, not to mention the fact that they pack an amazing punch of vitamin D. This vitamin that we so often associate with the sun abounds within the walls of mushrooms. Mushrooms are the second most potent food for this essential vitamin. So skip that 15 minutes in the sun and eat some more shrooms!

I have had other food phobias as well that I have overcome and am disappointed about how much I missed out on throughout my life. Chilli beans, cheesecake, blue cheese, Gorgonzola cheese, asparagus, squash, the list could keep going. The point of this epiphany is that I know there are food phobias that are hindering your culinary experiences. Sure there are going to be things that you do not enjoy even after trying them, but you have to at least try. Not all of the things that you eat will be your favorite, just as not every book you read will be one that resonates with you. The point is to look beyond your phobias and embrace the delights that await you on the other side of your pearly whites. Try something new and you never know, you might just have a new favorite food.

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