Monday, March 30, 2009


Kids and taste buds share something in common: both can be cranky.
Food was never the first thing on my mind during childhood. At the same time, I was a picky eater and attached lot of detailing to the ingredients in a cuisine. Is this cooked in onions, ginger, or garlic? I never relished these, more so as they set my teeth on edge but accepted tomatoes in almost everything offered. Peas, those innocent sweet green balls, were a big no-no for me.

Falling in line were mushrooms as I mistook them to be the ones growing in our backyard as weeds. I wondered who discovered those ugly little umbrellas as edible since they were so bland and a torture to my palette as and when offered on meals. And come to think of it, literally chewed on yogurt as I could not muster enough guts to gulp it down my throat in one go. I still recall my dad giving me an earful for it, every now and then. Dinners at family get together and relatives were an event to look forward to but all along, my taste buds were screaming for mercy. Guess who pitched in! My sweet sister, wary of dad's watchful eyes, scooping up peas from my bowl and transferring into her own(she was a peas devotee). All said, I liked other vegetables which other kids at my age would resent. And here I am years later, appreciating sweet peas and bland -meaty -flavored mushrooms. Whatever happened to mom's claim that if I do not eat my peas in early formative years, it will never go with my system later on? She still finds it hard to believe that my taste buds have evolved, after all.
I still remember my mom always praising my passion for milk and eggs during early childhood. Come teenage and my tongue made a reverse gear. Somehow my senses failed to appreciate the aroma of milk, in any form. Mom in her urgency to stuff my brain with brain boosting proteins, laced milk with edible almond oil. Call for mercy again! But then came the unexpected. My taste buds starting accommodating and appreciating yogurt almost twice a day, for breakfast and lunch. It has been the happening part of our meals with varieties offered: mint yogurt, cucumber and tomato yogurt, potato yogurt, strawberry yogurt and list goes on. Dad is a die-hard yogurt freak and totally committed to having it three times a day!

Two foods have been always consistent with me: eggs and cheese. While expecting my first baby, I digged into cheese three times everyday and my husband always remarked teasingly that we were heading for a cheesy baby.

Fruits! Fruits! Fruits! Call me bone idle but I never liked peeling and cutting big sized ones meanwhile preferring small ones like berries, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, litchis, grapes and small mangoes.
Now a mother of two adorable little monsters, I see my childhood being relived every single day at the dining table when my 8-year old eagerly demands to know lunch or dinner menu . Apprehensive of his tastes, I announce "spicy peas and mushrooms curry" to which his face brightens up! The word 'spicy', I guess, brightened up his taste buds too because a week earlier he resented these foods. Now that mushrooms and peas have been shown green signal by his palette, bell peppers are waiting approval too.
By and large, my experiences tell me that our taste buds are ever evolving, even as we grow older. I wonder if I start appreciating sea food, some day soon.

Taste buds, listen up!


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