I am a picky eater.
I always have been, I most likely always will. My list of things I won’t eat probably outnumbers the list of things that I do eat by a landslide. I’ll share a general consensus of the things that I don’t eat with you just so that you can get a ballpark estimate of the way things are for me at mealtime.
- Fish, shrimp, shark (I suppose that could be fish, but I just think it deserves its own spot on the list of things I don’t eat), mussels, oysters, clams, lobster, crab, sea urchins, porpoise (you never know)…pretty much anything that swims and/or dwells in saltwater or freshwater ecosystems. I can’t do it, it’s gross. And it smells. And I really loved The Little Mermaid and I don’t want to chance eating Sebastian or Flounder or one of Ariel’s cousins or whatever. Judge away, but you all remember what happened to that crazy French chef who tried to turn Sebastian into Ariel and Eric’s lunch. Just sayin’.
- Steak, shredded beef, cubed beef, anything that is essentially NOT ground beef. Not really sure how or why this quirk came into being, but I’ve tried steak and thought it was gross. It was too chewy. Perhaps I need to try a slab of cow that has been cooked medium well or better and slathered in cheese and bacon–the steak I had was medium rare or some shit, and was NOT delicious. Maybe I was too busy thinking about how reddish pink the piece I was chewing was, or maybe I’m just not fancy or cultured enough. I don’t know.
- Poultry. That includes chicken, duck, quail, grouse (whatever the hell that is), pheasant, Cornish hen, and turkey. Pretty much anything with wings that lays eggs. I do, however, eat eggs. But only scrambled and with cheese. No negotiations. I do remember that I used to eat Chicken McNuggets as a tot, that I adored them with sweet and sour sauce. I remember why I stopped eating them too–I was at a McDonald’s down on Euclid Avenue waaaay back when I was 4 or 5, maybe I was a little older, I’m not one hundred percent sure, but I took a bite of that crispy morsel of chicken dipped in that golden sauce and into a bone. I bit into a big hunk of chicken bone. I freaked out in a quiet fashion and spat it out into my McNugget box (I was very classeh). I remember telling my mom that I was full of chicken and just wanted my fries. But I never ever ate chicken again after that day.
- Pork. Well…I eat bacon, sausage, and bologna. And chorizo. Anything else…no dice, as Charles Bronson would say.
- Most vegetables. I will eat ketchup, potatoes, etcetera, etcetera…I’ve started this new thing where I blend up veggies and mix them with meat or whatever so that I get the nutritional benefits without actually having to see the vegetables on my plate. This goes back to an intense dinnertime showdown between five year old Me and my dad and a plate of cold and slimy Popeye spinach.
- Most fruit. I’m trying, though. I think if I can’t see it in its original form, I’m good.
I have reason to believe that I have an irrational fear of trying new foods or trying the foods listed above. I seriously freak out. I’ve smacked a fork away once or twice when faced with the seemingly inevitable prospect of trying pork ear or steamed kale or whatever. I like to think that I look like a lioness backed into a corner.
So, as I said, I’m picky. Insanely picky. My boyfriend, however, is not. He loves food, especially fish and veggies and fruit and weird grains that I’ve never heard of. We go to fancy restaurants and I think he gets embarrassed because I have to critically analyze the menu for something that I will remotely try. I unapologetically eat like a five year old. I love pasta, so usually they have something pastalicious on the menu and I just tweak it to my culinary whim. I’m sure I sound like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally when I order. I like going out with him to eat, but honestly I would just like to go to some seedy little Mexican restaurant that makes great tacos or a fabulous quirky place that makes amazing grilled cheese that rocks my world. I like simple comfort food. I may eat like a five year old, but it works for me. I like eating mac and cheese and burgers and pancakes and waffles and cookies and grilled cheese…And I do try new things, I just have to adjust them.
I’m sure it drives him crazy, I’m sure it drives everyone who has eaten with me crazy. I just like to think its another one of those quirks that makes me me. And I’m sure I’ll broaden my horizons more as I get older; I already have expanded my culinary horizons by leaps and bounds since I was five. I just need to do it on my terms.
Maybe one day I’ll just go ahead and try the Duck Meatball Soup.