When I was a kid, I was a tremendously picky eater. For many years, for example, I would only eat any pasta that was being served to me with butter. This meant just mac, no cheese; plain spaghetti, no sauce thanks. Then I got a bit older and liked the sauce, but loathed the noodles.
Vegetables were another victim of my distaste. I did like a few – carrots were OK, and I never minded broccoli, but I pretty much loathed every other savory plant-product that came my way. No cabbage, no spinach, and never, ever peas.
I can’t really put my finger on when this began to change, except that I’m pretty sure that it had something to do with reading. I have always been a big reader, even at my pickiest and brattiest, the sort of kid that you had to work hard to convince to STOP reading. At some point in my late teens I started reading restaurant reviews, among the other fluffy bits of the newspaper that I enjoyed. The descriptions of food were captivating. Descriptions not just of taste, but of look and texture. I started to become curious about food I’d never tried. Around the same time, I began dating someone who had, at the time, much more sophisticated tastes than I did. Little by little my resistance to most foods began to fall away.
Fast forward to 2009. The picky child has grown up to be an omnivore of the most complete proportions. Vegetables? Love ’em. Every single blessed one, even my long-time nemesis, the pea (provided it’s not of the frozen variety. Gross.) Offal? Let me at it. Heck, I’m even willing to try bugs! I feel like this openness, the willingness to try new things, has been reflected in the rest of my life as well. It’s about trying things instead of prejudging them. It’s about being willing to take risk. It’s about variety and all the world has to offer, and it tastes pretty sweet.