Growing up, I wasn’t much of a picky eater. I was fortunate enough to live in a household where family dinners were a common thing. Both of my parents enjoy cooking and are good at it (which led me to be incredibly spoiled when it came to food, so cooking isn’t exactly something that I thrive at…I’m trying to learn though!). As a result of my parents love of food and cooking, I was exposed early on to a wide variety of foods and liked most of them.
That being said, like every child, I had those certain foods that I absolutely abhorred. The worst of those foods was the tomato. The tomato, which has suffered throughout the ages from an identity crisis of the highest degree (the poor fruit that is constantly mistaken as a vegetable) was getting absolutely no love from me. I absolutely hated tomatoes and, as far as I was concerned, tomatoes hated me.
I liked ketchup and salsa and tomato sauce and tomato soup. I remember people asking me how I could like these foods that very clearly had tomatoes in
them, but refused to eat the fruit by itself. I guess there was something different about the tomato when it was mixed with copious amounts of sodium, high fructose corn syrup, and other goodies. Plain old tomatoes, though, were absolutely disgusting. The thought of eating them on their own made me cringe.
Tomatos were, simply put, to be avoided at all costs.
Until about three months ago. I don’t remember why I was eating a tomato in the first place, given my known aversion to them. Perhaps I decided to try one just for kicks. Tastes can change, after all. Regardless, I ate at tomato willingly for the first time in forever. Yes, I ate a tomato willingly. And I loved it. If my parents end up reading this, I’m guessing their jaws are dropping right about now. What? Britta ate a tomato and loved it? Yes, I assure you that I really did.
Not only that, but I pretty much thought it was the greatest thing ever and I wanted more. I day dreamed of adding tomatoes to my sandwiches and my tacos and of eating them plain with a touch of salt and pepper. I dreamed of bathing in them (okay, but actually not). I did however wonder how in the world I spent so much of my life hating the mere thought of them when I now saw them as pretty much the greatest things ever.
I guess it’s true that tastes change as we grow older. Not just in foods, but in the way we prefer to live life. The clothes we wear, the people we associate with, the dreams we have.
I am understanding this more and more as I continue to learn and grow and prepare for post-college life. It’s an exciting journey and it’s a terrifying journey. Much like my recent discovery for the love of tomatoes, it will also be surprising. It wont always be easy, but in the end, I’m certain it will be worthwhile.
Wow, did you really just spin a story about you tomatoes into a commentary on life, Britta? Yes, yes I did. That’s what I aim to do here, if you didn’t get that already; after all, I am a twenty-something searching for a place in the world, and a lot of learning is happening on that search!
Have you had a pleasantly surprising experience with a food that you used to dislike? What was it and when did you realize you liked it?