When you hear the word ‘beet’ do you cringe and think of your crazy old great grandpa, or does your mouth water as you think of a delicious home cooked meal? I myself think of a gross little veggie that tastes like dirt and stains everything a vibrant reddish color. During our little meal on Thursday, I realized from what people said about the food that maybe it was only a gross veggie to me. A lot of other students had eaten beets throughout their lives. Some of these vegetables I was trying for the first time in my life. It got me thinking, how does this happen?
My mom is the cook in my family. I wouldn’t say she is a picky eater, but she doesn’t like any of the vegetables we ate on Thursday. She probably didn’t eat them when she was little. That carried over to my food preferences or experiences because I often mimicked her when I was younger. Although my dad does like some of the things we ate, he isn’t picky and is happy with whatever my mom cooks. When I saw cooked greens like we made (that were delicious!) it was when my dad was the only one eating them and I thought they were disgusting. As I’ve gotten older, I have tried to be much more open to new and different foods I haven’t eaten before. I think part of my willingness to eat new things comes from what I saw Thursday. There are many foods that are foreign and even weird to me that are eaten often and loved by many others. I started thinking about the foods newer to my palate and where I first ate them.
I had not tried asparagus until I was probably 18 or 19 years old. In that same household, (a college friend), I tried summer squash, chickpeas, and avocado. (I love avocado and guacamole now!!!) My next-door neighbor growing up would put black olives on her fingers and eat them off. I now eat black olives on pizza (it’s a step). I have an Australian friend I met when studying abroad who never eats a burger without beetroot. ( I realized it just meant beets after a while..) I have a friend from college who has eaten them all her life with her mom and likes em’ hot or cold. Thursday was my first time trying beets, and I will definitely try them again!
It is so interesting the ‘normal’ foods in a person’s life and how much they can vary from person to person. I was so excited about trying new foods on Thursday that I finally went out with a group of friends and had sushi for dinner that night. It was FANTASTIC. So don’t be afraid of any foods you’ve never tried before. What might be quite icky to some could be someone's favorite treat.