My unsophisticated palate.




I’m almost embarrassed about how unsophisticated my palate is.

Tonight I ate a strange salad consisting of raw spinach, strawberries, Teriyaki sauce, plain yogurt, and grated romano cheese.  I pretended to like it, but I actually hated it.  It was just…weird tasting.    I would have preferred a boring ol’ tossed salad with Italian or ranch dressing.

Mind you, I liked all the individual ingredients in the salad (except the yogurt, which I have never liked), but they just didn’t go together.  It was like eating a steak with chocolate sauce.   I couldn’t finish it.

I know some foodies are really into exotic combinations and contrasting tastes, but I’m not a culinary daredevil.  I’m not even a big fan of sushi, which is no longer considered that strange or exotic and everyone but me seems to love.    I’m way too fond of things like macaroni and cheese and spaghetti and meatballs.   I prefer my burgers with mimimal condiments or none at all.   I prefer my BBQ on the mild side.  I like my pizza without weird toppings like pineapple or balsamic strawberries.   I am not a fan of most seafood, apparently a requirement to be a true foodie.

I have the culinary taste of an 8 year old.  It’s kind of embarrassing.

There are a few exceptions though, especially when it comes to chocolate and sweets.   I adored salted dark chocolate before it was a thing.  I always put dark chocolate in my chili (it actually cuts the acidity and you don’t taste the chocolate).   I really can’t stand most mass marketed candy, with the exception of Fifth Avenue bars, which are fucking delicious and almost impossible to find (I can’t stand the much more common Butterfingers, which they’re often compared to).   I prefer marzipan to fondant, I like spicy brown or stoneground mustard better than the yellow kind, and I love pine nuts in almost anything.


13 thoughts on “My unsophisticated palate.

  1. I’m from the Midwest, land of meat and potatoes and corn and the tater tot casserole, where my relatives tend to make every dish creamy, so you’ll get no foodie snobbery from me. You should see how limited our fast food/restaurant choices are around this town. Half the names of restaurants I read online or hear on TV, I’ve never heard of.

    Hm…Tator tot casserole…I haven’t made that for a while….Better make that soon….

    Hubby’s family includes a lot of Filipinos, so I’ve occasionally found things more exotic than turkey and stuffing at Thanksgiving. Usually I’m like, ooookay, and prefer the turkey and stuffing.

    I like some adventure in trying out new foods, but for the most part, if it’s too weird, too spicy, has a face, or is in any way seafood, I tend to hate it.

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    • You sound a lot like me. Coming from the NYC area originally, you’d think my taste in food would be a lot more exotic than it is, but it’s not and I guess that’s okay. My son is definitely more adventurous than me when it comes to food. He’s really into Asian food of all kinds, especially Vietnamese food. The first night I went to see him in Florida, he took me to a Vietnamese restaurant and I tried some things on a sample plate, but really didn’t care for it. The flavors seemed strange and oddly sweet to me.

      Still, it’s always good to be willing to try new things, but more often than not, I’m just trying them to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, and have already decided I’m not going to enjoy this new food I’m trying. So of course I don’t enjoy it. I’m more adventurous and openminded when it comes to other things.

      Sorry, but I don’t think I’d care for Tater Tot casserole. It just looks way too starchy. I feel the same way about macaroni and cheese pie. Why does anyone need to put a starchy dish inside a starchy pie crust? To me, it’s overkill!

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  2. I’ll have to try adding dark chocolate to chili (There are few things dark chocolate cannot improve.) Food preferences are so individual that it is hard to know how we come to them, although a lot of people rarely go beyond whatever they grew up eating, while others (I’m one) try all manner of unfamiliar things.

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  3. I like trying new things, especially when I travel… But I don’t like when eating almost becomes a daring game. Eating still alive baby octopus sounds more like a college initiation gone bad, than a fancy dinner!

    Like you I don’t like sushi (tried it once to prove that it wasn’t just because I didn’t want to like it, it cost me a fortune, and I really didn’t enjoy the experience), and seafood. I always joked about being “a cheap date” because I’d much rather have a good conversation over hot dogs, than spending my evening in front of a lobster bathing in garlic butter!

    I am guessing you must get this too from people… You know the “try it again, you’ll get used to it!” It makes me laugh. Why should I want to get used to stuff I don’t like? To be part of some select club of fancy eaters? No thanks 😉

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    • I do get that “try it again” thing too. I just makes me shake my head. If I didn’t like it the first time, there’s little chance that my taste buds will suddenly change if I try it a second time. I do like to give most foods at least one try though (with a few exceptions — I will never eat an insect or any kind of meat that came from a “pet” kind of animal).

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      • 🙂 Ever watched one of Andrew Zimmern shows? I am always curious to watch him travel around the world, trying the weirdest local meals… But the ratio of “Oh no! No no no no! Not unless we are post nuclear war, and this is the last thing left I could fill my belly with!!” is pretty high 😛 Mouhahahahaha

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        • I LOVE HIS SHOW! While I would never try even a fraction of the strange things he eats (and mostly enjoys), I love watching someone else eat those things (and watch their reactions). He’s also very entertaining and educational.

          I can say the same thing about Anthony Bourdain’s shows, and also loved the stories he told about his foreign hosts. I was so sad when he died last year and I still miss him. The world needs more people like him.

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          • I agree about both of them!

            It is weird how Anthony Bourdain’s death also affected me. I still feel somehow uneasy when I see one of his shows on tv now. There’s always a “what a shame” feeling floating in the air when I watch him. I realize many people I watch on tv are dead, but it always strikes me when he is on the screen. Weird.

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            • For some reason, to me, Bourdain’s death was one of the saddest and most shocking. I mean, here was a guy who had a dream job and a dream life, got to travel all over the world and tell stories about it, and meet all kinds of people. He always seemed so happy and so friendly to everyone, but he still must have been in unbearable pain inside he just never showed. I got the impression he was a highly sensitive person (HSP), and sometimes it’s people like that who suffer the most emotional pain.

              My reaction to Robin Williams’ death was similar. One of the funniest men alive, was secretly one of the saddest…but you’d never know from his demeanor. I read somewhere there is a very high rate of suicides among comedians. I think they handle their pain by making jokes about it…and that helps them survive. But sometimes the pain gets to be too much…

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