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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Picky Eater

Ever since I learned to like cilantro, I've had a theory that anyone can learn to enjoy any food they initially dislike.

I'm sure other people can relate to my original stance on cilantro. I knew I had to get over it, though, because it was in too many things that I otherwise would have loved. I came up with a strategy, to try it in as many things as possible. I spent two years trying out everything I could think of that had cilantro in it. It wasn't until I ate a peanut, cilantro and garlic sauce over noodles that I found a recipe that I liked. Just as I suspected, once I found one recipe that worked for me, I could eat it in anything. About eight years ago, when A. and I were working on the cookbook that I hope we will one day finish, I outlined a chapter on this method of overcoming disliked foods. I was going to call it "Break On Through".

Today I had an experience that challenges this whole theory. I went out for dim sum with one of my co-workers and she ordered chicken feet. I thought I might as well try them. My co-worker told me they tasted just like the rest of the chicken, you just had to spit the bones out.

Once a foot was on my plate, I got a little nervous. I didn't like the way the toes looked, but it seemed too late to change my mind. I tried them, and yes, they do taste just like the rest of the chicken. It was spitting out the bones and knowing I was eating a foot that prevented me from enjoying them.

I guess for years I've been so caught up in the successful implementation of my overcoming food dislikes theory that I forgot a key component that's applicable to all things, not just food. In order to overcome anything, you have to want to. I don't want to get past the low level of nausea I experienced eating a chicken foot. There are better things to focus on.

Bon Appetit_



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