I remember people always telling me that my taste buds would eventually change. I wasn’t sure what that meant at the time. Was my tongue going to become a different color? Were my taste buds like my teeth, where the old ones would fall out and new ones would grow in their place?
Well, there eventually came a time when I understood what they’d been telling me.
Let Me Give You Just a Few Examples
- Artichokes – weird things as a child (think I’m kidding? Try to explain to a kid how it’s a really tasty thing to scrape a leaf across your teeth that you’ve just dipped in butter!)… I like them (a lot) as an adult though!
These probably fall into that “you either like them or hate them” category. There really isn’t a lot of flavor either way (like in you KNOW radishes are radishes kind of thing). It got to the point one year when they were in season, that I started to wonder if maybe it was just the butter I liked, and maybe I was using the artichoke as an excuse to eat it.
Nope!! I took a plain one to work with me one night and I wasn’t about to figure out how to melt butter, or eat it without wearing it if I did melt it… it was even better!!
- Mushrooms – could tolerate thinly sliced ones fully cooked on pizza as a child… now I eat them raw or cooked (but still only thinly sliced and with other flavors such as on pizza, in salads, in pasta sauce, etc… you can keep those whole ones!)
As an adult, I’ve heard people talking about those super large, brown mushrooms… Portabellos I believe? I haven’t even tasted one of those. Someday I may grab one and then look to see what the heck to do with it, but mushrooms aren’t on my top 10 list so it’s not a priority. 🙂
- Spinach – didn’t like it AT ALL as a child… and off the top of my memory, I don’t remember any of my friends ever saying they liked it either, so maybe as kids we just haven’t developed spinach buds. 🙂
Now, I eat it raw in salads and on sandwiches in place of lettuce, cooked, or juiced, although I do prefer it raw or juiced over cooked. The only way we ever had it cooked at home was from a can though, which is an ENTIRELY different texture!
I did go to a restaurant once that offered it fried so I gave that a shot since it sounded interesting and since I like spinach. All I can say is… I tried it once. 🙂
- Avocados – didn’t like the taste OR texture as a child… now I eat them daily, raw or cooked. They’re one of those things I kept testing my taste buds with, just because they’re so healthy for you. Unlike tomatoes… they made the cut!!
Whether I just add salt, put them on a sandwich, make them into guacamole, or slice and brown them in butter, they’re delicious!
- Carrots – I didn’t like carrots at all as a little kid. My grandma used to cut them up and add them to the Sunday pot roast (I didn’t like the pot roast either). 🙂
Somewhere along the way – I think I first ate raw ones as a preteen – I started liking them. I couldn’t tell you if it was the crunch or the sweetness (or maybe there was just some cute guy at day camp that talked me into them), but they were good.
Nowadays, I don’t really eat them at all because I follow a low carb way of eating, but I do know they’re good… raw anyway… still can’t stand them cooked!
- Celery – I won’t touch this stuff raw. I also don’t eat it mixed in other foods (not without gagging… literally). But I have learned to use it in my vegetable juices with no problem.
This is one of those vegetables that I doubt I’ll ever like except juiced and buried under some other flavor. It was one of those that the day care pushed regularly when I was a kid, so I’ve built up a pretty strong aversion to it. But I did used to eat the peanut butter out of it whenever mom stuffed some for the holidays! (#WaysToDriveYourMomCrazy).
Then There Are The REALLY Weird (& Tough to Explain) Taste Issues:
Tomatoes – I remember my brother eating cherry tomatoes by the handfuls as a child. They always looked really good, but after 5 summers of testing them, my taste buds and I came to an agreement that we just weren’t having it. Unless they were in the form of ketchup, my mom could leave them at the store and I’d be perfectly content. Thankfully, this wasn’t a food she ever forced me to eat.
- Pasta Sauce – I can eat them in pasta sauce if they’re cut small enough to not notice, and cooked long enough that they now taste more like the sauce than an actual tomato. Otherwise, please cut them large enough that I can remove them easily.
- Ceviche – Again, if they’re cut small enough, and soaked in the lemon/lime juice long enough to no longer taste like raw tomato, I’m good. If they’re too large, I’ll eat the ceviche sans tomato!
- Mexican Bean Dip – The first time my mother had me taste this, I was truly shocked at how good it was, especially given the fact that it contained SO many ingredients I couldn’t stand. Really! Green onions? Sour cream? Guacamole? Tomatoes? There was NOTHING about this list that screamed “eat me!”. But I did… and it was… and I now make it myself as often as I have the time and energy.
As an adult, I now eat any kind of tomato (although I do prefer the Roma tomatoes or the garden ones that come stemmed, but regardless of the type, I only eat them under specific conditions.
They must be chopped small (which is MUCH larger than super-tiny chopped), and they must be heavily masked by other flavors and/or textures such as:
And Finally – Onions – In a Class of Their Own in My Taste Weirdness!
Yellow Onions – When I was a kid, I had no idea how many different yellow onions were out there. 🙂 As far as I know, neither did my mom.
- Sweet Yellow Onions – When my son was in 2nd grade, I worked at the Piggly Wiggly in TN for a few months. One week, the wonderful southern ladies who shopped there regularly suddenly started buying tons of what I thought were the usual yellow onions. When I asked about the sudden onion cravings, they started explaining about Vidalia onions (grown only in Georgia) and Walla Walla onions (which are grown only in Washington)… and how super fantastic they are to cook with and how different they taste.
It was quite apparent that onions are NOT created equal!
I also learned that “sweet” yellow onions are used to make onion rings.
I didn’t know this. It could be why I liked onion rings as a child, but no OTHER types of onions. Of course it also depends on HOW they’re made. If made right… thinly sliced, non-greasy, with a crunchy coating and dipped in ketchup… I can eat them and even ask for more!
If they’re chopped small and combined with other flavors (salsas, ceviche, pico de gallo), I find them very tolerable. By themselves on a burger or something similar, no thank you! And while I’ve learned that they do add to the flavor of pasta sauces and certain meat dishes, I keep them large enough to remove after cooking… otherwise I find they’re more of an annoyance to my dinner.
It’s hard to believe I went thru my entire childhood unaware that there’s more than one type of yellow onion!
Purple Onions – These are the ones I always see served in Italian foods. I’m guessing that they’re used in other types of foods as well, but since they’re not a favorite, I admittedly have limited knowledge of them.
They seem to be much stronger than most onions I’ve had… as in a little goes a LOOOOOOONG way. I don’t go out of my way to add them to my meals, but if they’re mixed into salads in small quantities, usually the salads served with Italian food, and thinly sliced, they’re edible.
I did have a friend give me a recipe years ago (those Corporate days when we regularly found reasons to bring food to work) that uses them. They’re called Tortilla Rollups (I’ll have to get the recipe up here when I get a chance). If the onion is super-tiny chopped (yes, that’s my official chopping terminology), they really make a great flavor difference in the roll-ups!
Green Onions – My step-father would eat these raw, dipped in salt.
As for me? If they’re chopped very small (that would be larger than super-tiny and smaller than small), I can eat them in small amounts, but then only if they’re mixed with other flavors. For example, they’re GREAT in my 7-Layer Mexican Bean Dip, but can certainly become very overwhelming if there are too many.
The Lesson? Try New Things Even If You Hated Them Before!
Given my history in regards to food, I can agree with those who say (and have become one of those who tell others) that your taste buds WILL change. So no matter what my age, I’ll keep tasting new things as well as things I’ve tasted before, because I know now that I just may find something that I didn’t know I’d like!!
I hope you find foods you like and more importantly, love, throughout your lifetime!
Debi aka @GenXBrat
p.s. Are there foods you like now that you didn’t like as a kid? Or maybe stuff you DID like as a kid, but can’t stand as an adult (my brother no longer eats beets… and LOVED them as a kid!). Let me know in the comments below… maybe I’m not the complete oddball I think I am when it comes to food!