|Image courtesy of metrue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
I've been a picky eater for as long as I can remember and people have taken it personally just as long. No matter how I put it I come off as rude or ungrateful and although I understand it, it is a social minefield I have never fully mastered.
Some of my aversions are completely justified as I have an ever increasing black pepper allergy. Which oddly enough doesn't present the way you would think; so there are no outward signs just a good deal of pain that increases with every encounter. I also have IBS and a heart condition so caffeine, coffee, super acidic foods, and water rich foods bother me a great deal. I do not expect anyone to cater to me but I not expect to explain myself each and every social meal I am present at. It gets awkward and I will not apologize for not being able to handle spicy food and other foods that ruin my entire dining experience. Yet its what people expect from me. Which I find unfair as I chose to enrich the dining experience of any guest who enters my home and go out of my comfort zone to cook dishes I will never touch. If you follow my blog most of the dishes I have made I do not eat but I make them because I know my husband will enjoy them. When I cook with chili's I have to cover my face with a handkerchief so imagine if I ate them.
|Stuffed Pablano Peppers|
I always tell dinner guests what I am making and I have made two separate dishes before and even eaten salad before because the dish I made was something I disliked. I do not let my pickiness dictate cooking for my friends and family because I don't want them to be limited the way that am. I want my daughter to enjoy all types of food but I will not force her. I wish I could connect with my husbands Hispanic roots through eating food but I've only been able to do it through cooking it. My dislike of most Mexican food made it difficult to connect with his family and I felt very much like an outsider at the beginning. I think everyone eventually came round but even my own family can find it frustrating.
|Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography |
Going out to restaurants can be difficult as people can be either one extreme or the other. They will ask me to chose since I'm the picky one or ignore me all together cause I'm too picky. I'm actually fine most places I go and if I don't like what is on most of the menu I make a meal out of side item like fries or a bake potato. More often than not I order the same thing every time I return to a restaurant and it doesn't bother me one bit. When I find what I like I stick with it. I do not feel like I miss out in this respect. The only time I feel like I'm missing out is when I cannot adequately taste something due to my lack of a sense of smell otherwise I could care less.
The only thing extremely bothersome to me is people badgering me or trying to bully me into trying thing as if it will make me less picky. Say I do try it and you prove me wrong what have you accomplished. On your end you believe you've done me a service and introduced me into a brand new world of food. On my end you've bullied me, proved me wrong, and probably introduced a few feelings of embarrassment and shame.
|Spicy Mexican Eggs|
Just today I made my husband these Spicy Mexican Eggs. I sat at the table with him and ate my plain angel hair pasta with parmesan and I was content. I wasn't hassled and he enjoyed his meal just fine and he's learned to not feel guilty about partaking in such delicious food while I eat whatever I like. It works for us. Now don't imagine I do this every night or anything because my husband is the exact opposite of me and will eat anything you put in front of him and there are many meals we make that we both enjoy but some night we do separate things.
So I get why people like Ann Brenoff, Senior Writer of the Huffington Post, and many others are bent out of shape over picky eaters because so are many of my family members. But to be honest I'm over people who want me to consume food just to please them regardless if I enjoy my experience. You wouldn't want me to make you dress a different way because I thought your fashion boundaries needed widening. If I give you a hideous outfit should you wear it or be honest and say it isn't your style and if you don't does that mean you don't appreciate the fact that children in 3rd world countries do without? I don't think so. So I don't believe my pickiness reflects a lack of respect for children who are starving around the world which some would argue. I just think its time people let me be and if the chose to eat at my house I hope to make it thoroughly enjoyable regardless of their eating preferences.