Weekly Check In: Changing Taste Buds

I haven’t written about last summer’s trip to Ireland yet.  I’m not sure if I’m going to either, mostly because I have been making a more concerted effort to focus on the whole “PA” part of “PAWeekendFun,” and partly because I’m lazy. Maybe I’ll just do some photo-based posts. We’ll see.

Anyhow, I mention this because when there, we visited the Tullamore Dew distillery at the behest of my father, who fancies himself something of a whiskey connoisseur.  I was all excited thinking that maybe I’d have some of this premium Irish whiskey straight from the source and finally like it; I’ve been trying to make myself enjoy whiskey for some time now. I almost only drink beer, and think maybe I should have a go-to spirit.  Anyhow, the tasting came, and instead of tasting the notes of vanilla the nice Irish guide was telling us existed, I basically gagged through the entire process.  I bitched about this to my father later, and he told me what he always tells me.  He didn’t like whiskey when he was my age.  He didn’t start appreciating it till he was in his 40’s.

I was thinking about this today, because I just had a snack of some pita chips (I’m trying to be healthy after the disgusting binge I put my body through Easter Week) with salsa, and up until about 5 years ago, I did not like salsa. Weird, right? It’s spicy tomato dip. I love spicy food. I like tomatoes. There was no reason for me not to like salsa except for youthful ignorance (I still don’t love super chunky salsa, but that’s more a preference then an outright dislike).

In fact, the older I get, the more adventurous I am becoming with food/drinks. It’s nice, and makes for easier, and more unique eating out scenarios, and routinely makes me an idiot when I look back to as recent as just a couple of years ago, and realize what I was depriving myself of.  Has anyone else experienced that? I know that our taste buds are constantly evolving, but when I look back on my list it borders on the ridiculous. Here’s just a smattering below. Let me know what yours are. I find this very amusing.

Foods I like that I used to hate, a list by Pat Brothwell:

  • The aforementioned salsa.
  • Mustard- I did mustard it steps. First, I started enjoying some Dijon on sandwiches. Spicy brown mustard was next. Then came the whole grain. I still don’t love yellow mustard, and think it’s a sin to put it on a hotdog (Come at me Chicago!), but I don’t detest it with the same vitriol I once did.
  • Mayo- Seriously, who did I hate mayo? It’s so versatile!
  • IPA’s and Other “Hoppy” beers- This blog is old enough that there’s plenty of examples of me talking about the “hoppy beers” I find gross. I’m never going to be a straight IPA guy, and still do think they’re overrated, but do now appreciate them.
  • Leafy Greens-For years I only ate ice berg lettuce. Now I find it bland.
  • Wine- I don’t know that I hated wine, but I didn’t like/drink it. I still will always pick beer, but have been known to stop by Mailtesis’s and grab myself a bottle of their blackberry wine.
  • Whole-Grain Bread- I detested this. Now, I don’t remember the last time I had plain, old store bought white bread.  I do still detest whole grain pastas.
  • Sweet Potatoes- I vividly remember one time as a child my mother gave me a raw sweet potato, and told me it was a carrot. I ate half of it, and then she told me it was really a yam. I wept. I didn’t touch sweet potatoes for years afterwards, which is a travesty because as of writing this sweet potato fries are probably one of my top 5 favorite foods of all time.
  • Potatoes- This one goes a bit further back, but I used to actively hate any potato that wasn’t a fry (I’m fully aware how little sense this makes).  I had a special hatred for mash potatoes, and while they aren’t ever going to be my favorite, I’ll happily scarf them down at say, a wedding when they are already on my plate.
  • Oatmeal- I had a real problem with consistency I guess. I loathed oatmeal.  In the winter, I now eat it almost every morning. Maple oatmeal? Sign me up.

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