During some email correspondence with my dear friend Jim at Suldog, we engaged in a tantalizing bit of conversation. Realize that we are quite good friends, as good as an online friendship can become, so we are pretty open with the things that we talk about knowing the other person won’t be put off with some of the tantalizing topics we might throw out at each other.
Recently, our topic of choice involved... food.
What? Did you think I was going to say something different? For shame! Get such thoughts out of your heads, you pervs!
Anyway, we talked about the types of food we enjoy or dislike. While going through my list of dislikes, I found an interesting factor that had a hand in choosing my eating habits. The human senses. And I’m not just referring to the taste, smell, or sight of the food. It was touch.
Touch? How can a person be put off by touch? What dastardly food could affect me so that the mere touch of it could send my knees quaking? Is it slimy? Is it sticky? Is it prickly?
No... no... and no...
This food is none of those things. To the eyes, it is the least most offensive type that a person can find. It is way better than fried liver on a stick dipped in powdered sugar and toasted coconut flakes. Yet (dare I say it?) there are times where I feel I might try the liver than have a heaping bowl of this food.
Green beans. String beans. Snap beans. French beans. Runner beans.
I won’t say I completely hate this vegetable. I can tolerate it, like a person tolerates a rash as they wait for it to go away. I can eat them fine if it is presented to me and I don’t want to offend the cook. But it is definitely on my list of things to avoid if I can help it.
Flashback to a simpler time: a child of eleven growing up country-style in an isolated valley. Imagine the farm life and everything that went with it: raising livestock, plowing fields, planting crops.
Yes, those plants don’t just up and pick themselves from the vine, stalk, or dirt bed. An actual person has to go out and do it. The worse memory I have is spending half my summer vacation from school out in those fields, picking green beans.
There is no other vegetable, in my opinion, worse than picking green beans. The sheer multitude of beans to pick on a bush had my fingers aching for rest. But that wasn’t the end of it. Oh no! A person can’t just pick this vegetable and be done with the chore. We had to break off the little inedible end bits away, and then break the longer beans in half.
Grinding. Mindless. Work. Even as I type this, I occasionally wring my hands at the memory. I can still feel the roughness of the outer shell of a fresh green bean, reminding me of a sandpaper surface, constantly over my fingers as I looked at the gigantic, green veggie mound sitting in the silvery bowl and knowing once I got to the bottom I would have to go back outside and PICK MORE! Buckets MORE! And if things couldn’t be that bad, green beans are so flexible that it was an entirely new chore just to get those damn end pieces OFF!
Now I know a few people could argue that there is a worse vegetable that’s harder to pick. And I have to grudgingly agree. Corn is a harsh taskmaster requiring the snapping from the stalk, shucking the outer coating, and then using a toothbrush to scrub off the little hairs in-between the kernels before breaking them in half and tossing it in the pot. We had garbage bags full of corn to do.
Yet I love corn. I love the silky softness of the large green leaves and tufted hair on top. I love the feeling that the bumps of kernels had made against my palms as I snapped the ears in half. And no matter the stiffening joints in hands, I had gone back outside with my black garbage bag while eager to pick more.
Weird how the sense of touch can affect a person. I love corn despite it being hard on the hands, yet I hate green beans for the same reason. Call me unpredictable.
No, dammit! I didn't say picky. I said unpredictable.
Anyway, is there a type of food that you could live without? Is there an interesting (meaning strange) reason why you dislike it?
(btw- here's a great post from Jim(Suldog) today discussing a love for a certain type of food, since my post focused on more of a dislike for one.)