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Granted, I am a Culinary Adventurer. I’ll try most anything, if someone else is paying for it. Even with my last post about being change resistant, I do love to try new food. I am not, however, one of these people wearing black linen and a thumb ring, tkaing tiny tastes of various things and comparing them to other, better things from different restaurants. The fried pickles at Cock of the Walk are so completely different from the fried pickles at Zaxby’s, but both are delicious. Yes. I like the gnocchi soup at Olive Garden. I LOVE the tuna tartar at Emma’s, and the tuna salad at Walker’s Pharmacy and the tuna casserole at Ruth’s.
I like American cheeze. I like Pillsbury crescent rolls from a can. And orange sweet rolls from a can. And margarine on white bread with a sprinkle of sugar. And Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. And strawberry Poptarts (without the frosting, and toasted). I like chicken noodle soup from a can, and I LOVE creamy generic brand peanut butter with it’s slightly scorched taste, spread on cheap saltine crackers and eaten in bed while watching a 1970’s horror movie starring Christopher Lee as a heretic priest.
I like massaman curry from Zab-E-Lee, the dim sum and congee from The Oriental Pearl in Chamblee, and the jellyfishsalad from that Japanese place in that midtown mall in Atlanta. The name escapes me but it was delicious (and I thought, also
corageous coerageo oh heck…brave)
I’ve eaten salted fried grasshoppers (taste like popcorn but twice as crunchy), unidentifiable vegetables in an equally mysterious sauce in a country of which I was not a citizen, and drank something from a bottle labeled YamYam.
I am not afraid of trying new foods. Elk sausage (wow…delicious), wild pig (as long as it’s properly cooked), some colorful fish recently pulled out of the ocean, rock lobsters, crawdads, and even once…possum. Not the cute Australian possum, but the overgrown grey and black rat cousin foul garbage eating possums of the Deep South. Never again. Afterward it occurred to me that one should never eat something that buzzards refuse to eat. Bleh.
I love food. But the term “foodie” has become kind of…i don’t know…overused and even somewhat derogatory. I am not a hipster. I am not a snarky New Yorker with a thumb ring and overdeveloped sense of entitlement (Looking at YOU, Anthony Bourdain). I like to think of myself more like Andrew Zimmern, only…not as adventurous as that. I prefer my animal-based foods to be cooked, due to an ingrained fear of parasites. Mr. Zimmern is a nice man, someone I’d love to have in my kitchen. Mr. Bourdain would make me nervous, then cranky, then irritated and I’d want to put alum in his fermented YamYam juice.
Maybe I am indiscriminate, with my love of Pillsbury products and Kraft foods and General Mills. Maybe I’m just comfortable enough to be able to admit it, that crap foods taste good. There’s a reason why they’ve stayed in business for so long. And while I bake my own breads and make my own salad dressing and grow many of my own vegetables, I don’t do these things out of a sense of superiority (Look at my bread,I’m better than you because my kid’s school sandwich is homemade bread, homemade mixed nut butter, and plum jelly from the tree in the backyard!), I do it because I can, I enjoy it, and it is satisfying. The other mothers, the ones who throw a store bought Lunchables in their kids backpacks, they do other things,far better than I do.