Last night I attended the last wine club for 2013 at the Cellar Club I go to. The featured winery was Tarras Vineyards and all the wines had been matched with food. I’m a bit of a foodie. I like going out to eat and I enjoy cooking. I even like grocery shopping… I know, a little weird.
However, along with all of that, I also don’t like a few foods. Seafood being one of them. Mushrooms another. Pumpkin and Asparagus? yuk. My humble opinion, anyway. Of course, a lot of wine, particularly white, is matched with seafood. Last night was no exception. One thing I will do, however, is give something a go. A lot of our food likes and dislikes are formed as children and it’s only as adults we re-open our mind and palate to try things. For example my dislike of mushrooms comes from one of my first migraines as a teenager on a day when we cooked mushrooms at cooking class. The smell of raw and then cooked mushrooms lingers with the fact that I was ill later that day. Weirdly enough, I can handle mushroom flavour. Mum often made stews/casseroles with mushrooms. I’d pick them out, but eat the gravy or the rest of the dish. The texture of the actual mushroom though, turns my stomach. And that’s where a lot of my food problems like. Texture.
The way mum cooked food also impacted on me. We were taught it was manners to eat what was put in front of us if we were out visiting … even if we only attempted the dish. From here my dislike of fish pie has grown… but my love of broccoli also happened. Mum tended to cook broccoli until it was mush. It is quite disgusting when cooked this way. Staying at my brother’s as an 18 year old, my sister-in-law served up broccoli… so I attempted it “for manners’ sake”… and LIKED IT! Turns out if it’s not boiled beyond distinction, it’s fabulous and it’s one of my favourite vegetables now.
So down the years I’ve tried new things. As a student I started eating all sorts of ethnic dishes and my palate grew. My dislike of seafood remains, but I do believe you should try something before really deciding. Therefore, last night, when the first food match was scallops in garlic butter I tried it. The flavour (garlic and butter!) was divine. The texture however made my stomach turn! I think my face told the story as I swallowed the scallop. I won’t be trying another one in a hurry. The smoked fish bruscetta on the other hand, was actually quite tasty. The Salmon Roe nearly did embarrass me – not just the texture but the fishy icky smell/taste. Luckily I had a lovely Rose to gulp down and cover the taste. Phew… that one was close. I also ate the mushroom pie – simply by scooping out the mushroomy bits and leaving the tasty gravy! The rest of the evening was delightful – Wild pork, Spicy beef items with the red wines. A chocolate truffle to sweeten the night. The wines were all fabulous. In fact I bought a bottle of the Rose and of the Sav.
The Sav… that’s another thing. I learned after about 6 months of wine club not to say “I don’t drink [input variety] wine”. I drink ALL varieties of wine, but Sav is my least favourite. There are some really nice ones though – like last night’s. So it’s silly to say I’m not a Sav drinker when I drink it. I just tend to drink more Riesling or Chardonnay! My sister learned that lesson when we did a week in Cromwell and she declared she didn’t drink red wines. At the end of the week she bought a case worth of wine – of which only bottle was white!
As for the other foods? Well in the last couple of years I’ve tried a prawn – it wasn’t bad. I won’t rush out and order prawns if I’m at a restaurant, but if someone served them up at dinner I’d eat one or two. I’ve tried crayfish (texture and fishy-ness means this remains a no). I’ve tried asparagus cooked by a professional and still am not keen. I’ve learned I’ll eat a broad bean dip, but not broad beans generally. Then my friend made a green-bean salad and in this context the odd broad bean is also edible. I’ll eat my cousin’s pumpkin soup but still can’t do roast pumpkin. Some would say that’s weird when I eat kumara – but even with kumara I prefer the gold to the red. In Europe I discovered I’ll eat olives – if they’re marinaded with yummy flavours – but not on their own.
So what are your food things you’ll try? Or would never ever attempt?