As I sat eating my fish, chips and mushy peas on Friday night, I had a flashback to being about 6 years old and sitting in the school dinner hall while a boy from my class flashed a luminescent green grin full of mushy peas. I’m not sure if that was the point at which I decided I didn’t like them, but it sticks in my head as the reason, for many many years, I always told people that I didn’t eat mushy peas. Everything about them seemed wrong to me – the colour (why were they so bright?!), the texture (so sloppy) and just the very concept.
Fast forward to probably as recently as last year, and the husband assured me that I was missing out. So, one night, I had a taste and he was right! I really liked the flavour. The texture, which I had been so against, was the perfect accompaniment for fish and chips and, was it just me or did they look less nuclear green too?
What changed? Was it my tastebuds? My perception? My greedy approach to life and fear of missing out?!
Here are some more things I wouldn’t eat as a kid, but have big love for now.
Probably my most favourite meal in the whole wide world is my Mom’s beef stew and dumplings, with boiled potatoes, lashings of Worcestershire sauce and fresh white bread for mopping up the gravy (mouth actually watering). When I was little, my Dad used to like parsnips in it. I hated parsnips. They were too perfumed and spoilt my favourite dinner. Taking the parsnips out of my bowl of food wasn’t good enough, I could still taste them! And heaven forbid they appear on a roast dinner!
These days I’m all for parsnips. My Mom doesn’t put them in stew, but that’s because other family members don’t like them. I’d wolf them down! Roast parsnips are an integral part of a roast dinner, and I’ve been known to make and eat parsnip mash in the past too (it’s nice on top of a shepherd’s pie). Beautiful.
Even getting a tomato seed on my hand used to freak me out, and they always tasted so bitter and wrong. I would only have tinned tomato juice on my English breakfast, not any of the tinned tomatoes.
Now tomato is an integral part of a good salad (especially sweet cherry tomatoes), delicious when it’s the tinned variety and a welcome addition to a juicy burger.
Going to McDonalds always involved opening the burger, removing the top bun and fishing out the gherkins to be thrown away. It could be a messy business in a cheeseburger or Big Mac, feeling about in the sauce for the offending critters.
I think the turning point must have been when I’d forgotten to take it off one time and wasn’t offended by it. Now I love pickles on a burger, and my go to Subway sandwich always has a generous handful on top.
I used to watch my Nan cooking black pudding for my Grandad’s greasy fry up breakfast and wonder why on earth anyone would want to eat it. It’s pigs blood and fat, for goodness sake! Then, at a wedding a few years back, the starter included of small pieces of black pudding, which I ate to be polite and found out I really liked.
It can be over powering, so best in small quantities, but is a REALLY good accompaniment as a burger topping, and also works well when dry fried on a none greasy full English breakfast.
How about you? Have your tastebuds changed over the years? Are there things you eat now that you hated when you were younger, or the reverse? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks, as always, for reading. x