Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bucs' Bye Week Food Ramblings

The Bucs have a bye this week, so instead of posting about how horribly depressing it is to be a Bucs fan this season, I figured I would just ramble a bit about food. First, some whining for context: I've been having some semi-debilitating back pain for about the last week and a half, to the point where my surgeon made me go waste 9 hours in the emergency room having tests run (well, mostly waiting for people to run tests) to rule out infection and whatnot. When I got home around midnight I still had no diagnosis (just a nice long list of everything that wasn't wrong) to go along with all of my super-fun pain. "Hey, great news! You're extremely healthy! ...except that it constantly feels like you are (non-metaphorically) being stabbed in the back..."
Anyway, this has led to a considerable amount of time sitting in a reclining patio chair or lying in bed, much of which has been spent reading random stuff on the interweb. While catching up on some amusing threads over at Chow, I particularly enjoyed this one about picky eaters. Like many obsessive food-lovers, I tend to look down with utter disdain upon picky eaters, and often have to remind myself that it's not something I should necessarily use as a moral compass. That being said, I know, for example, that Steph and I started to become such good friends when we started cooking together, and it's hard to imagine that we'd have nearly as much fun together if one of us was a picky eater... so it's not completely irrelevant, either.
For full disclosure, I will admit that there are two foods that I LOATHE and instinctively tend to make faces at the mention of. The first, which I've complained about here before, is caraway seeds. Caraway seeds are so completely nasty, man. They are a horrible, horrible spice and ruin everything that they come into contact with. Blech.
As I've mentioned here before, it is extremely upsetting to me that Costco puts caraway seeds on their "Everything" bagels. (WTF, Costco?) This is especially true since Costco arbitrarily does not offer Onion bagels, so the Everything is as close as you can get to Onion, and thus your friends who like Onion bagels and don't realize that caraway seeds are evil always want to buy them. Arg. And as long as we're on this tangent: Speaking of Everything bagels, at WD-50 they ask when you order the tasting menu if you have any foods that you're allergic to or just don't enjoy so that they can modify the menu for you accordingly. Steph and I both said "no" but, as soon as the waitress walked away, Steph looked back at the menu and said "Oh, no: Everything Bagel!" Fortunately for me, Wylie Dufresne is so awesome that he doesn't include caraway seeds on his Everything Bagel Ice Cream... (Thanks, Wylie!)
The other food I absolutely cannot abide is sweetened coconut. As a kid I thought that I hated coconut in general because the only time I ever encountered it was the (nasty) sweetened coconut on most people's birthday cakes. (My mom always made me Strawberry Shortcake instead for my birthday, which was far more awesome anyway...) Mounds and Almond Joy are thus pretty disgusting to a kid like me, as well. (*shudder*) When I got a bit older and discovered Thai food, though, I realized that I actually LOVE coconut, I just hate icky artificially sweetened coconut. (This was also a valuable lesson in re-trying foods every now and then even if you think you don't like them...)
To be clear, though, if you were to serve me either of these items when I was a guest in your home, I would graciously accept and (try to) enjoy the meal, because that's how Stanley and I were raised. (Thanks, mom!) Anyway, all of that is leading up to the fact that I was sitting here feeling quite pleased with myself for not being a picky eater, when I came across this fairly insightful comment in the thread:
"I guess it's all a matter of perspective: I am a discriminating foodie; thou art picky and fussy. I am tenacious and determined; thou art stubborn and pig-headed. I am intellectual and witty; thou art a boring know-it-all. (etc...)"
I've been realizing lately that I put so many qualifiers in front of the word "snob" when describing myself (beer snob, tea snob, coffee snob, literature snob, music snob, cheese snob, etc...) that it would probably be more efficient to just admit that I'm a bit of a snob. But, as the quote above suggests, I tend to think of myself as "discerning," rather than picky or snobby. If I go to a store and they try to tell me that Kraft singles are a valid kind of cheese, or that I should just use dried red chilies because they don't sell fresh and it's all the same, I am likely to get downright hostile. I once spent 5 hours searching the Melbourne suburbs for (what ended up being $50/kg) fresh horseradish because bottled just isn't appropriate, and this struck me at the time as a perfectly reasonable thing to do. But I'm not picky, right? Umm... right? I think what it comes down to with us "discerning" types is a belief that since we have (what we consider to be) rational reasons for our pickiness, we're not picky... not like those people. Heh. Something to think about...


Micahoe said...

How can you not like Almond Joy? It is the nectar of The Gods.

emmo said...

If by "nectar of The Gods" you mean "excrement of Satan," then we are on the same page. =)