The Joy of Eating or Why I Never Met a Food That I Did Not Like

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Mexican food, Chinese food, Thai food, French food, Mid-Eastern food, Indian food, I have never met a food I did not like.  From street venders with their push carts to five-star gourmet restaurants with sommeliers in tuxedos, I have eaten food fit for the gods.  When Karen and I travel we love to explore markets and discover new foods to cook.

We love purchasing foods in foreign markets that we cannot recognize and taking them back to our abode to cook.  Cooking our own foods has gifted our palates with some wonderful tastes that I could not begin to describe.  I still do not know what some of the things we ate were, but I am alive to tell this story.

nintchdbpict000307002046I have met people who say, “I never eat Mexican food.”  They say this as though it were some badge of honor.  I want to ask what type of Mexican food do they not eat?  Does their exclusion of Mexican food extend to deserts like fried ice cream or drinks like Tequila or is it simply tacos and burritos that they do not eat?  I have met people who say, “I never eat fish.”  I usually ask them why and I often hear the reply “they taste too fishy.”  I want to ask them if they ever eat meat that tastes too meaty, but instead I usually ask them if their antipathy extends to crustaceans, mollusks, and cephalopods.  I can see the disapproval in my spouse’s eyes when I pursue this line of questioning.

Other people tell me that they never eat from street vendors.  The reasoning I hear most often is that you can’t trust the food since you do not know where it came from.  This is a really funny reason since I feel the same way about grocery stores, but I will give you ten to one odds they eat food from grocery stores.

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The lowly potato is one of my favorite foods.  Simply slice a potato and fry it in a little olive oil.  Place it between two slices of harvest bread with a dash of mayonnaise and you have a taste treat that you will never forget.  I love tripe and when I was young my mother would cook tripe (cow stomach) in a big pot of spaghetti sauce.  You eat the tripe and sauce in a bowl and dip Italian bread into the sauce with the tripe.  I get hungry just thinking about it.

download (1)menudo-a-classic-mexican__85101.1588116574After exploring the vast variety of Mexican foods, I discovered that the tasty and hearty Menudo soup is chock full of tripe.  Many Latinos as well as Gringos in the Southwest will not eat Menudo.  Several years ago, after I started dating Karen, I was introduced to Lutefisk.  At first I found the texture somewhat off putting.  Over time, by adding butter or cream sauce I discovered the joy of eating Lutefisk around the holidays.  It is a Scandinavian tradition in homes much like Menudo is in Mexican homes.  Paradoxically, many Scandinavians loath Lutefisk.  The derivation of such foods leads many to disavow them.  I confess to the same attitude towards an Italian dish known as Pasta a Fagioli which my mother loved to make.  I left home swearing to never eat any again.

Show_2_Pasta_e_Fagioli-4-e1494876950597Some of these low-cost and nutritious peasant foods have become quite popular now as people look back to their early roots.  An example of such a food dish is the Italian Pasta e Fagioli which I mentioned earlier.  This is a dish comprised of beans and macaroni.  Beans and macaroni form a “whole protein” which means you get all the amino acids you need without having to eat meat.  A protein is considered “complete” when it has the nine essential amino acids in somewhat equal amounts.  Almost every country in the world has some staple food items that provide whole protein.  In poorer cultures, livestock was valued for its ability to help farm crops and produce milk.  In places like India, livestock was made sacred as a way to prevent killing a valuable resource.  Cows were more valuable alive than they were dead.

why-we-should-eat-insects-infographic-3A few years ago, at the annual Gustavus Adolphus Nobel Conference the subject was on food production.  A number of experts claimed that the day will come when we will no longer be able to afford a practice so barbaric and wasteful as to slaughter animals for meat eating.  There is an abundance of insects on this earth that could provide an almost endless low-cost supply of protein and minerals to our diets.  Most people respond to thoughts about eating insects with something like “I could never eat bugs.”  My retort is “well you don’t eat bloody chickens or bloody cows do you?”  The insects would be processed, and they would provide a grain that could be used in various ways like we use wheat or corn meal.  I get blank stares.

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In the future, you may go into a grocery store and have a choice of “ground insect burgers.”  You can choose from spider burgers, cock-roach burgers, ant burgers and termite burgers.  Today there is a daily special on worm-burgers.  Bees are off the menu and are a protected species due to their value for crop pollination, but wasps are selling at premium prices.  Nothing tastes as good as a wasp-loaf with a little tomato sauce on top.

Bon Appetit

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wayne Woodman
    Jul 08, 2021 @ 09:21:30

    Great article and I love your way of looking at life, adventure is life!

    Like

    Reply

    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Jul 08, 2021 @ 15:34:59

      Thanks Wayne, I guess you have to have some fun in life and food is one of the great opportunities for fun. I like your thought that “adventure is life.” That is something I can share with some of my friends. John

      Like

      Reply

  2. blogbyA
    Jul 12, 2021 @ 11:44:56

    Hi, what have you tried in indian food ? I’m Indian wud love to know

    Like

    Reply

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