Mouths Wide Shut

Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?

Food and I have an odd relationship.

When I was little, there were three things that I simply would not eat (or rather would refuse to eat and then begrudgingly eat after being scolded): steak, oranges, and fish. 

Steak and oranges had nothing to do with taste, don’t worry. My teeth had just grown in horribly wrong, so that I had gaps on either side of my mouth where my teeth didn’t connect, making things like steak and oranges very difficult to chew. Jeez, and for the longest time I thought that my throat was just really tiny and that’s why I couldn’t swallow fist-sized chunks of half-chewed meat. Gross; I’ll stop now. But I will say I am actually so happy I had braces. I literally cannot imagine my life without steak now.

Fish was a related issue, but there were some other aspects involved too. I had this nearly irrational fear of swallowing fish bones growing up (and I still kinda do), so every time I would be served fish I would ask my mother if there were bones in it. Of course, trying to be reassuring, she would tell me “no.” Of course, being a fish, there would be at least three bones in there, waiting to impale my intestinal lining and leave me to bleed internally to death. Dark, no? I can’t watch those movie scenes when someone bites into a raw fish. Yes, I see that you are out in the wild and need sustenance but good sir, you need to take out those bones. Right now.

Even after having braces, though, I would still be picky. It’s a running joke in the family that whenever we go to a restaurant, my parents can just go ahead and order for me and my brother: “My daughter will have the cheapest thing on the menu and my son will have the most expensive item.” Give me fettuccine alfredo at the Italian restaurants and the fried rice at the Asian restaurants and I’d be all set. My brother, on the other hand, would pretty much dive for the specials menu.

That all changed when I got to college. Having a few foodie friends and living in the most diverse city in the world, I was naturally more inclined to try a few new things. I hadn’t even noticed anything until I came home for a holiday break. When I started ordering off of the specials menu, my family thought I had simply developed a more sarcastic sense of humor. No guys, I didn’t lie to you about eating chicken feet; yes guys, I really do want the monkey brains. (I’m only kidding about one of those things)

Unfortunately, as I became more adventurous with my food, food became less adventurous with me. Along with pineapple, avocado, and banana, I had to add to the list of foods I may or may not be allergic to after having a sushi dinner with one of my roommates last night and realizing that those bumps on my face were definitely not bug bites.

I’m taking it as a sign that I should just stick with carbs and steak.

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