Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Eating weird foods

I have some picky, vegetable-challenged eaters in my family. Several won’t eat mushrooms, or tuna salad which I adore. When I make German potato salad, Christian picks out the celery because he doesn’t want crisp in the middle of soft potato salad. One daughter doesn’t like white things—mayo, cream cheese, sour cream, goat cheese. I could probably go on with a long list of things my family doesn’t eat, but the main point is that they think I eat weird foods. And today I proved them right.

For lunch, my friend Melinda and I went to Nonna Tata, my favorite country Italian tiny restaurant, and I had braseola—the beef equivalent of prosciutto. It’s served with greens, sliced grana cheese, and a lemon vinaigrette, sided by good vinegar-based potato salad. Wonderful. If I asked most of my friends—or family—to eat braseola, they’d look at me like I was crazy. But it’s so good.

For dinner, friends Subie and Susan and I went to the Clay Pigeon. Their husbands are out of town, headed for the chili cook-offs in Terlingua, so we had a girls’ night out. I ordered beef marrow, which I always do. So good! I ate it as a child and have fond memories of it—we used to fight over the little bit of marrow in a round bone. Now you get a split bone, about three-to-four inches long, with broiled marrow. Had a pear/frisee salad to go with it and was perfectly content.

I eat other things that my family and most friends won’t touch. My neighbor looked at me one day and asked, “Where did you learn to eat all these strange foods?” I told him I guessed it was two sources: the home of my childhood, and my marriage to a Jewish man. 

I like liver, sautéed or in pate or chopped liver, though I hated it as a child. I can cook it now so that it’s really good but no one will eat it with me. I grew up on kidneys and bacon. Wanted to try them again recently but the market says you have to order a case. Uh, no thanks. I know I don’t have that many friends who would eat them with me. At the deli, I love a corned tongue sandwich or pickled herring.
I can eat escargot, though they’re not my favorite. I’d really just as soon have the French bread and buttery garlic sauce without the actual snails. I tried mussels, haggis and neeps (mashed turnips) in Scotland and liked them all, though I would not want haggis too often. Calamari? Often too chewy, but I’ll try. I love anchovies and sometimes I mash up sardines with onions and lemon for a sandwich spread. I make a killer caviar spread sometimes for Christmas, and I love oysters, raw or fried. (Won’t touch oyster stew—my folks always had it on New Year’s Eve.)

As a child, I disliked potatoes, eggs, and pickles—the latter mostly because we never had them at home. Now, I only wish most of the good ways to fix potatoes weren’t fattening and eggs didn’t raise your cholesterol, because I love them almost any way you can cook them. And pickles? There’s nothing better to me than a crisp kosher dill. But olives? Nope. I really don’t like them, no matter that they’re passion food.

What about you? What do you eat? What do you avoid? Are you adventuresome or do you stick to “safe” stuff?






Anonymous said...


Beef tongue slow-simmered with peppercorn and aromatic herbs, then rendered down to a buttery tenderness :: you haven’t eaten at a taqueria until you’ve had lengua

Salsa Limon
3005 S. University Dr.
Fort Worth, Texas — 76109
(across from TCU)

Judy Alter said...

I'll have to try that. Love corned tongue.