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All posts for the day June 2nd, 2011

The Picky Eater’s Guide to Idiots

Published Thursday, June 2, 2011 by Chasing Neptune

This blog post began as I was drifting off to sleep as an entry entitled, “5 Oddly Specific Things that Annoy Me.” However, after contemplating one of my irritations, I realized that it is aggravating enough to warrant its own complete entry. Hang on; let me kick off my heels so I don’t wobble on my soap box.

I am a Picky Eater. There are just certain foods that I absolutely cannot eat because of their taste, texture, smell, etc. Unfortunately, there is a
world full of ignorance out there that wholeheartedly believes that I am simply a spoiled little brat who pretends not to like certain foods for the mere purpose of gaining attention. Yeah, that’s my game. Anyway, after a lifetime of experience dealing with these hypocritical trolls, I have decided to compile a list of their most common assertions about my taste buds (because clearly my acquaintances are experts on my tongue) and how to refute these ignorant statements.

You haven’t even tried it.

Most of the time, I try a food before I pass judgment on it. However, there are certain instances when the food just looks and smells repulsive, to the point that it makes me slightly nauseous. Forgive me for not wanting to stick the innards of a raw shellfish into my mouth. I don’t try to shove it down your throat, so don’t try to force it down mine.

It may taste different in this form, with this other food, when cooked this way, etc.

Let’s say that you do not like mandarin oranges, nor do you like cottage cheese. However, your friend insists that you try the two mixed together, because apparently fruit and cottage cheese taste best when combined. I believe anyone with half a brain cell will realize that if you do not like mandarin oranges, nor do you like cottage cheese, you will probably not like the two flavors mixed together. Similarly, I do not like caramel. I do not like it in Snickers, on ice cream, on apples, with nuts, or plain. So what in the world makes you think that I would like it on a brownie? Of course, there are exceptions to this. But from a logical standpoint if A & B are gross in situations 1, 2, 3, & 4, they will be gross in situation 5. 

You’re just picky.

Yeah, no shit, Sherlock. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. Get your damn fork out of my face.

If your mom would have breast fed you, you wouldn’t be so picky.

Hmm. Well, considering I was an infant and had no choice in my primary means of gaining nourishment, I hardly see how you can hold me responsible for this. If you would like my home address so that you can lodge a formal complaint with my mother, I’m sure she would be delighted to hear that she raised me inappropriately and ruined my palate with her poor parenting. It’s a miracle I have survived this long under such negligent care.   

It’s because you’re an only child, your parents just spoiled you.

Wait, just a minute ago you were about to call Child Protective Services…This assertion is ridiculous for several reasons, but I will stick to food. No, my parents did not spoil me. They gave me certain foods for dinner, and I either ate them or I didn’t. As long as I tried everything once, my parents would trust my judgment when I said I didn’t like it, and then they wouldn’t force me to eat it again. We would just have green beans instead of broccoli. I still ate my veggies before dessert, just like every kid with siblings. The lack of additional procreation did not change our dinner routines.

Your taste buds change over time.

This is true, and I will concede this point to a certain extent. Taste buds do change and mature as humans grow older. However, I do not like tomatoes. I did not like them when I was four and tried one for the first time. I did not like them when I was nine and my grandmother forced one down my throat. I did not like them when I was seventeen and my ex-boyfriend held one in front of my face until I ate it in its entirety (In fact, I got sick that night. Coincidence?).  Therefore, I am going to be logical and say that if I have not liked tomatoes in the three times that I have been forced to eat them, I will probably never like them.

Why don’t you like it?

There is no answer to this question. I am not a tongue expert. I have no idea why the sensation of certain foods causes my taste buds to send, “Gross” messages to the nerves in my brain. It’s not like I choose to be disgusted by certain foods. Don’t you think that my life would be a hell of a lot easier if I did not have to order my sandwiches without tomatoes, onions, pickles, and peppers? Besides, you cannot tell me that there is not at least one food that you do not like like. Oh, you do not like carrots? Well why not? Yeah, that’s what I thought you dumb hypocrite.

You can’t even taste it.

Yes, I can, or I would eat it. Any other picky eater will back me up on this. When I peel a soggy slice of tomato off of a savory bacon cheeseburger, I can still taste the flavor of the repulsive vegetable in the juicy excretions that it leaves on the lettuce. I am sorry that the complexities and sensitivity of my palate offend you.

You’re the only person I’ve ever met that doesn’t like it.

Didn’t you watch Barney or Sesame Street? Everybody is different. Everybody is special and unique. Maybe your mother didn’t fondly remind you of your individuality, but that’s okay, I’m here now. Just as we all look different and act different, we all have different likes and dislikes. This is the same when it comes to food. Just because you and your family and every other person on the goddamn planet likes tomatoes, that doesn’t mean that I have to like them.

If all else fails, I have the ultimate strategy for ending the belligerent stream of ignorant assertions. In middle school, I simply adopted the practice of telling people that I am allergic to nuts, tomatoes (raw, that is, the processing of ketchup and salsa dilutes the poisonous toxin), etc. For some reason, people do not ask me why I am allergic to foods. Instead, they simply say “Oh, I’m so sorry,” as if a relative has died (and I am not exaggerating), and then they stop trying to force me to eat foods of which I do not like the taste.

Hopefully, my fellow super-tasters, these suggestions help you navigate the world of culinary ignorance. In turn, I hope that I have at least made my point and you “non-picky” people (or food whores, as I affectionately refer to you behind your backs) will think twice and try to “put yourself behind someone else’s plate” before you try to force someone to eat a food or badger them about the particulars of their taste.

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