When I was about 13 or 14, one of my mum's best friends admonished me for constantly saying, "yuk".
She convinced me that it was much more polite to say, "that's not to my taste," instead of rudely declaring that everything was "yuk". This bit of advice has served me well over the years, especially when confronted with some of the more exotic dishes that I've experienced here. Thanks Sabine.
There were a lot of things I didn't eat, but it's funny how ones tastes really do change as you get older. I was told that I would change all the time when I was younger, but you don't really believe such words of wisdom until you actually experience it. Being in another country probably opens my mind as well - I'm a different person, in my head, my heart, so it is only logical that my palate follows suit. Who would have thought, six years ago, that I would enjoy eating snails and foie gras? But it's not all exotic stuff - oysters, rare steaks, olives and cheeses-other-than-cheddar have also been added to the list of Stuff Katia Is Willing To Eat.
The most recent addition to this growing list is Coriander (cilantro). I have long disliked this herb, shying away from the smell and refusing to eat certain parts of meals that had even been touched by coriander - it just didn't taste right. But I always kept a little powder in the spice drawer for certain indian dishes, and it all began when I realised that I didn't die of revulsion when I added a little more coriander powder to such dishes, then all of a sudden, I liked the green leafy stuff!
Now, like a rabbit on crack, I can't get enough. I exclaim more! more! more! as I enthusiastically chop up the coriander for the tikka masala I made for dinner, and make choo choo noises in excitement as the spoon heaped with saucy chicken and flecks of green herbs heads towards my mouth. Tonight I scoured my cookbooks for all the recipes that I had previously discarded for containing the forbidden herb.
Who knew that it could suddenly taste so fabulous? Or that the discovery that now I really do like this little bit of herby goodness could be so exciting?
What could possibly be next? Coconut milk? I would like to like laksa, one of my sisters favourite dishes. Perhaps some asparagus? Then I could share in Sylvains or my parents excitement when they see asparagus appearing at the market. Imagine the possibilities!
Mushrooms, I hear you say? Surely not... I think that's one thing that will remain on the list of Stuff Katia Won't Eat for a good while. I do like picking them though... Maybe it's a start.