My 2-year-old son was an adventurous eater right out the gates. This pleased his dad, an adventurous eater since childhood himself, to no end, watching him eat exotic and ethnic foods with enthusiasm and aplomb. I mean, do most kids his age gobble down lamb gyro meat like it’s going out of style? What about sushi rolls? Or curry? He loves all that stuff!
Most recently, though, he’s been pulling his “I’m 2” card, and foods he’s loved in the past he won’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Watching him stick his tongue out at buttery mashed potatoes had me wondering if indeed he was truly my son. But, all the parenting books and blogs predict this kind of behavior at his age, so I’m not too-too worried that he’s currently subsisting on crackers and air these days. When he’s really hungry, and he realizes his parents are not short-order cooks, he’ll come around.
In the meantime, though, I’ve been thinking about all the foods I didn’t like as a kid that I now love (or rather, tolerate) as an adult. I wasn’t exposed to any super exotic cuisines growing up, so it wasn’t until I was an adult that I even had the opportunity to try certain foods. And even then, it still took about 10 years for me to really learn to love sushi. The other day, I treated myself to a solo sushi lunch out, and I couldn’t help but smile, remembering the first time I tried it, when I was about 19, and how I almost gagged trying to eat sashimi on a first date. It was a full-circle food moment.
I think our tastebuds are forever evolving, and the foods we loved as kids (think: sugary sweets), we don’t necessarily love as adults, either. The older I get, the darker and more bitter I prefer my chocolate, the less sweetener I want in my coffee. And speaking of coffee, I remember watching my mom drink it black, and thinking that was the grossest-thing ever. Now I can’t imagine my mornings without a cup (or three) of strong coffee. Ditto my weekends without a tall, frosty glass of beer, another beverage I thought tasted yucky when I was a kid. (Not that I ever tried it before I was legally allowed to. Ahem.)
My son, being a Seattleite and all, already loves coffee.
(Kidding. It's apple juice.)
Other foods (and beverages) I didn’t know or expect I would love as an adult:
- Brussels sprouts
- Stinky cheeses
- Mushrooms (I mostly just tolerate ‘shrooms in my food)
- Onions, raw and cooked
My husband is partly to thank for helping me learn to love some of these foods, what with his stellar cooking skills, but I think it’s also that my tastes and preferences have matured as I’ve gotten older.
Still, I won’t touch olives or lamb with a ten-foot pole.
What foods did you hate as a kid, but now love as an adult, and vice versa?