Thursday, April 02, 2009

No Longer Picky

Did you know that being picky about food is like any other behavioral habit? While it is difficult to quit "cold turkey," you can try to stop over time. Or, you can use a substitute to the picky-ness to get you through the process.

For those of you who have ever had a meal with me, you know that I am one of those people who order food, then modify the order and ask for special sides. Then, when it arrives, I send it back if it is not precisely what I ordered. Being from the Midwest, I tend to be a "food racist" and only eat the white food (chicken, mashed potatoes, corn).

No more! I have decided not to be picky anymore. Now, before you pull out some butter sauteed mushrooms dipped in vinegar with a side of sushi for me to eat, there are limits. and they are basically that. I am still not going to eat fungus. It's not really a food anyway. And uncooked meat? I'll pass for now. Vinegar? I'll eat it if it is in a nice vinaigrette (previously avoided) which happens to come with my meal, but I won't go out of my way to eat it. I feel that these remaining restrictions are OK.

How did I come to this realization that being picky was just not worth it? It sort of started when I was pregnant in Japan. I got used to the idea that food was not going to magically appear in exactly the way I wanted. Now, this did not stop me, at that time, from buying super expensive chicken breasts at the store and cooking them to satisfy my white food craving. It also did not stop me from visiting many of the TGIFs in Tokyo or visiting the Best El Torito in the World in Omotesando (which I believe, sadly, now is closed). However, I got used to the fact that at official company dinners, the person in charge of ordering (Kishi-san) would order every chicken dish on the menu for me which were never made from white meat. And I would eat them anyway. Good thing I was pregnant and had that "excuse" to limit me to the non-fishy chicken dishes or I might have offended Dan's co-workers and caused International Badwill.

Since being back in the United States (for three years now), I have happily gone to Japanese restaurants to eat tempura, katzu dishes, soba, and sometimes teriyaki. Sometimes I want Korean bbq. And, since I now eat more fish, I sometimes order fish at restaurants, always cooked, of course.

And, with my recent decision to not be picky about food, I have even branched out into things like feta, olives, pine nuts, and other Greekish food type items. I am not rejecting goat cheese. I even ate a few onion rings last night at the Red Car Brewery in Old Town Torrance. While this might not seem extreme to you, since onions were not something I ever embraced, it was quite the step.

What next? Perhaps we will visit Japan again and I will actually search out different foods to enjoy. :) Until then, I will order things from menus. Without annoying modifications!

No comments: