Generally speaking, I am not a picky eater. Frankly, I’ll eat just about anything. Although, it wasn’t always that way. When I was much younger, there were a lot of things I avoided like the plague.
When it came to cheeseburgers and hotdogs, I would only use ketchup. For whatever reason, I decided I didn’t like mustard, relish, or mayo. As for other toppings, forget tomatoes, onions, lettuce or pickles, I didn’t like those either.
I used to be scared of eating sashimi. The idea of eating something raw didn’t make sense to me. I stuck to just California rolls and such for a time. No need for wasabi or the ginger either.
The only dipping sauce I would enjoy with my McNuggets was sweet and sour sauce. I didn’t even give hot mustard or bbq sauce a chance.
Certain combinations of Asian food made me not want to eat it; like peanuts in my Vietnamese dishes or pineapple fried rice.
I used to sit there and systematically pick out all the mushrooms on a pizza slice before I ate it. Even if it looked like this:
I found it hard to deviate away from familiar dishes when it came to ordering at restaurants. The All-American Spaghetti at Twohey’s, double cheeseburger at McDonalds.. I ate no other Chinese pastry other than the Char Siu Bao. The things I ate at dim sum were severely limited to Har Gao, Siu Mai and Cheong Fun.
But all that changed in 8th grade. It was a field trip day and we were at Olvera Street…
A couple of my classmates and I just bought lunch and we sat around to eat it. We all got some form of burrito, which came on a paper plate. Aside from the actual burrito itself, there was a salad on it. And when I say salad, I mean, it was literally a pile of sad looking shredded cabbage. In fact, it was probably just there to make the plate look a little nicer. As we were finishing up, I saw Brandon gobble down the “salad”.
The rest of us looked at each other and teased him a bit for eating the cabbage that tasted remotely like styrofoam. To which he replied with, “at least it’s food”. We all dismissed that, but I reflected on that statement later in the day. It gave me new perspective on food. As long as something is edible and/or safe to eat, why not just eat it (especially if I was still hungry)?
And so I began to try new things. I left the pickles in my burger. I ate the cilantro that garnishes many plates. I powered through the mushrooms on my pizza slice. I tried new condiments when ketchup wasn’t available for whatever reason. And that snowballed to where I am now; eats almost anything.