Can a picky eater overcome a lifelong aversion to "branching out"?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

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Well this weekend was exciting!!  Three new food experiences!!  One obvious hit, one definite miss and one that was fun but not likely to be frequently repeated.

Shall we start with the obvious hit?  Fried snickers bars!!!  Why have I not tried this before?  Well, partially because I am not a huge fan of Snickers bars and partially because I enjoy not having off the chart cholesterol.  But my husband really wanted to try it, so I figured my arteries could take one for the team.

So good!!!  As you can tell by the fact that it was mostly gone before I remembered to take a picture of it.  First impression was that it tasted like roasted marshmallows.  Which then mixed with the delicious milk chocolate taste.  However, there were nuts in it.  I hate nuts mixed into foods.  It is just too jarring of a texture shift for me.  Like having little pieces of gravel in your food.  However, I think I could overlook that in order to eat more delicious fried Snickers.  So, again, a hit.  Likely not unexpected.  It isn't like it is hard to get people to enjoy fried candy.

Onto the miss of the day!

Barbequed oysters.  Due to conflicting schedules, I lucked out by not having to go to the oyster feed a few weekends ago.  Oysters freak me out.  But I knew I had to try them.  I mean...that is kinda the point of this thing, right?  I dodged the bullet earlier, but here they were again.  I couldn't put it off anymore.  I was scared, but also hopeful.  I have been pleasantly surprised before!  Maybe this would be another time!  Unfortunately, I made the mistake of looking too closely at it before I ate it.  Have you ever looked closely at an oyster?  They have these weird, spongy, foldy gill looking things on them.....Not the most appetizing thing in the world to look at.  So....I ate it.  And immediately wanted to spit it out or throw up.  Ugh.  The texture was horrible.  But I hung in there.  Mostly because I was standing right in front of the people who had made them and I thought it would be pretty rude to spit it out and then throw up all over their table....But it was a close call. 

Once the initial urge to puke passed and I had gotten over the texture, I got to experience more of the flavor.  That was....not pleasant.  It had a really muddy flavor.  Not delicious.  It reminded me of mushrooms which are one of my least favorite foods.  I have no idea if it was at all similar to what mushrooms actually taste like, but it tasted like what I imagine mushrooms tasting like.  They had cooked them in some sort of liquid.  I don't know what but it looked like butter was involved in a big way.  They then put a slice of cheese on it and melted it over the oysters.  I don't know what kind of cheese.  It was white.  I can't be anymore specific about either of those two aspects, largely because they had little to no effect on the flavor of the oysters.  They tasted gross and I don't care what you put on them. Unless it managed to completely obscure the flavor and texture of the oysters, it won't make a difference.

So let's move on to the main event!!!

Crawfish!!  Because we were at the Annual Crawfish Festival!!!  For $10 we got a pound of crawfish and a boiled potato and corn.  In case you were wondering, this:

is what a pound of crawfish looks like.  As a quick side note, the corn was really good!  Sweet and spicy!  I have no idea how they cooked it, but two thumbs up!  That potato just confused me.  I wasn't entirely sure what to do with it so.....we just ignored it.

Here is how to eat crawfish.  First, appreciate the creepiness of the crawdad!

Look at their creepy, beady eyes and their long, twitchy whiskers.  These are some seriously freaky little creatures.  Next step?

Play around with them for awhile!  Part of the fun of them is that they still kind of look alive, so by all means, play with them like they are puppets!  Make them dance!  Make them fight each other!  Make them steal your husband's beer!  It is all part of the inherent crawdad experience.

Then there is the actual eating.  This involves ripping their tails off and then squeezing the meat out of their tails!  And yes, it is just as fun and messy as it sounds.  Like lobsters, the inside of the crawdad is filled with icky, gooey yellowy substance. 

After caving to peer pressure, my husband sucked it out of the inside of the crawdad's head.  He described it as "Not bad for gooey crawdad stuff."  I thought about trying it until he also stated that it tasted "kinda fishy".  He may have been lying because he was concerned by the fact that I already almost threw up once today and that I may not be able to hold it back a second time.  Either way, I decided I had been adventurous enough for one day and settled for playing with more crawdads before devouring their tails.  They were good!  They were kind of like a blend between crab and shrimp.  Definitely seafood-y but not over the top!  I liked it but again, I don't see myself becoming a frequent crawdad consumer.

Finally, the best part:

Gloating over the carnage and destruction that you left behind....and...a random boiled potato.  I love food that you finish eating and you can look at the aftermath and feel a sense of accomplishment.  Maybe that is why I make such a mess in the kitchen when I cook....I just enjoy the visual confirmation of my efforts....

Anyway, it was a blast!  I really had fun sitting in the sun, drinking cheap beer in a plastic cup, listening to a local classic rock cover band, laughing with great company, and tearing my way through a pound of crawdads.  More than the chance to expand my palette, I really appreciate the fact that I got to enjoy that moment.  And without having undertaken this challenge, I might have let that opportunity pass by.  Again, it is the unintended side effects that have continually surprised me and give me a reason to keep on!

1 comment:

  1. It was fun sharing this experience with you. Thanks for letting me tag along.