Monday, September 18, 2006

You are what you eat

I’ve been a picky eater all my life. And by picky eater I don’t mean there are some foods I don’t like – I mean there are a host of foods of various kinds that I won’t eat, whether it is because I don’t like the way they smell, or they have an odd color, or simply because they look at me funny. Sometimes I won’t eat a food because it is stalking me.

Generally speaking, my food choices are rather bland, dull – not necessarily in taste (I do enjoy very spicy food) - but in variety and type. For example – why make beef burgundy when I can just cook a steak or a burger? I don’t need fancy beef. When it comes to cooking meals my motto is don’t cook anything that requires more than three steps. I ain’t no Nigella Lawson.

Unfortunately, my lack of adventure with food means that most of the culinary delights Greece has to offer are lost on me. Sure, I enjoy some of the basics. Souvlaki (chicken, not pork), gyros, spanikopita, and my new favorite, kolokithokeftedes. I can eat moussaka or pastitio but I’m generally not going to request either, and I am sure as hell not going to make it myself (sorry darling). I was never really one of those people who “do” foreign foods, and now that I am living in a foreign country nothing has really changed. The one exception is Italian food – I can eat almost anything an Italian restaurant has to offer. Even so, I’d just as soon eat a pizza as goat-cheese stuffed ravioli with pesto sauce. I like a few Mexican dishes, and some of the basic Chinese foods. But branch out much further and I’d really rather not bother. Give me a hamburger or a pizza and I’m happy. Basically, I have the eating preferences of an eighteen year old college boy.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve discovered that there are a few things my digestive system just won’t accept anymore. My beloved pizza is one of them. If I so much as think about consuming a Spicy Lover’s Pizza from the Hut, I can expect at least three days of gastrointestinal backlash. Woe be the day when my stomach learns the concept of a preemptive strike, but since my internal organs almost never read Plato, I might be ok.

I’ve also learned that the number of foods that give you horrible, embarrassing, inescapable gas increases exponentially with age. Why can’t such things work in reverse, because when I was a kid my friends and I would do anything for a good, strong fart. Sure, it can be just as funny as an adult, but a bit less funny when your husband lets one rip in the supermarket, silently, and then runs away from you, leaving you stranded with the shopping cart amidst a noxious cloud of lime green gas. He will have to pay for such incidents one day.

Alas, there are even some desserts that instigate digestive meltdown. Most Greek desserts are heavily laden with a syrupy glaze, which prompts an immediate remark of “it’s too sweet!” Too sweet? Those are words I would have never dared utter as a child. Too rich is another problem – a problem you never quite recognize as a kid, so you’d eat it and then vomit in the car on the way home. You can’t really get away with that as an adult, unless of course you had some horrid food poisoning or an illness of some kind.

For now, I’m a terrible host to my poor stomach, because I’ll still eat what I want when I want. I figure I have only a couple of years of that left before I’m regulated to broth for every meal, so I better enjoy the foods I like while I can.

5 comments:

Dixie said...

I could have written this post. I too am an unadventurous eater and love the ordinary!

Anonymous said...

ZARDOZ SAYS :

SORRY MEL ,

I KNOW THE AGE THING ,

BUT ,

IF I COULDNT EAT

ALL OF THE ABOVE

THIS ARTICLE OF YOURS

WOYLD BE MY SUICIDE

NOTE..=Z=

GoldenAppleCorp said...

I think you're probably even more adventurous than myself. I dislike foods because of: smell, color, taste and texture. Like, I love the taste of lobster, but that squishy, fishy texture doesn't work for me.
It drives my husband nuts that he's pretty much relegated to a boring diet.
Our kids are pretty picky, too.

Tim said...

My god, woman! Here I thought my wife was bad with veggie tables (not the kind with glass tops). You certainly surpass her in miles.

I'll have to say, though, most people would probably gawk and my adventurous taste-tests and meals, since I love the spicy and I love the different, as long as it doesn't move and isn't the color of 60's hospital puke-green.

Now, everyone with me, say "kolokithokeftedes" 10 times fast while sticking your toungue out and crossing your eyes at the same time!

Ha, I didn't say "Simondelphiphedes says"!

melusina said...

Dixie, I guess it is a southern girl thing. I'm glad to know you are like this too!

Zardoz, well, there ya go.

Goldenapplecorp, I do the texture thing sometimes too.

Tim, that last was soo damn funny, I damn near spit all over my monitor. Thanks. =p