I have eaten some weird things lately. Not weird to some, I’m sure…but, to me, a bit off the beaten path of the usual items I shove in my food-hole.
Not more than five minutes ago, I ate an Epic Beef/Habañero/Cherry protein bar. Now, I was sitting at a desk but, I had this primal feeling that I had killed and eaten an animal…made from meat…and I was then eating the meat. And, apparently, I’d grown cherries and habañeros in a field that I’d plowed with a mule that I’d raised from birth. It’s a hard life on the frontier some days. At least I got me some protein.
So, I like food. I like trying new foods. I grew up in a fairly meat/potatoes kind of family. While there was an excellent variety of home-cooked meals, and I loved my mom’s cooking, we didn’t eat out much, so I didn’t have the opportunity to try much cuisine outside the ol’ fashion home-cookin’ spectrum. My family isn’t all that adventurous food-wise, but I must have gotten a recessive trait in my genes that made me long for the culinary open sea. Or, something. I tried sushi for the first time as a senior in high school, and never looked back. Okay, I looked back plenty, but you never know these days who might be sneaking up on you. I like spicy ethnic foods, and I like raw fish, love oysters…anyway…I don’t consider myself a food-bore. I don’t have a food-borin’ illness–har har. Please don’t think of me as some Anthony Bourdain or Rick-Steves-with-a-fork, but I’m not averse to trying “weird” foods. There are lots of folks who are. No big whoop.
Last night I ate a can of sardines. My wife thought that was weird (and gross). To me, it was like salty tuna. My son–he’s four–thinks I’m weird already, so I’ll leave his opinion out of it. I was at the grocery store the other day looking for King Oscar Fish Balls. Sadly, I don’t think they make them any longer. My Grandpa used to fry those up in a pan, and occasionally share them with me. Gross? Absolutely. Do I still get an occasional craving for them? Absolutely. Not finding the KOFB, I decided to go for a can of sardines (in olive oil). Still not sure why. I hadn’t had sardines before that…maybe ever, at least in the last 30 years. So I had some, with toast. Not bad. Not sure I need to get them again, but I ate the whole can with no regrets.
For the record, I don’t search out “weird” foods as a rule. I just try things as they (usually not literally) cross my path. If you are a duck, do not cross my path; I will eat you. Food dares? Not really for me. Things like live octopus or balut or stink flipper don’t really interest me. What I’m saying is there may be “gross” things I’ll try or eat on purpose, but I don’t seek those things out because they’re gross…I eat things I find interesting or that I believe will taste good to me, I try not to dwell to hard on the ingredients. I think you get the idea.
In thinking about it, I’m probably not that much different than anyone else. Most folks (probably) like to try new things. Don’t they? I don’t know everyone in the world, or even all the people in a society like the U.S. with our access to everything under the sun, but I feel like I’m pretty normal. Not everyone has to be “vs. Food”, and neither am I. I guess I’m rambling at this point. I don’t want to beat a dead horse. Or eat one. Well, maybe with some onion, salt, pepper, and garlic.