I’m an introverted eater


One of the most interesting things about visiting a new place is trying new things. Culture, history, activities, people, food. I like them all, except that last one. To say I am a fussy eater is generous; I have absolutely no sense of culinary adventure.

When I was growing up, I wouldn’t touch vegetables, seafood, liver, tongue, pie, pastry, pudding, custard, venison, veal, duck, + 100 other things. I used to auction off the pastry top of my mother’s excellent meat pie to the highest bidding sibling. With soup, I’d eat the potatoes, meat, and dumplings and drink the broth. The closest I came to seafood was heavily-mayonnaised tuna from a can. Even most desserts didn’t tempt me. I did eat candy, most kinds of cake, and some cookies. (I didn’t like lemon anything, shortbread, butterscotch, or ice cream.)

Now that I am all grown up, I have expanded my eating repertoire to include many vegetables, but all the other stuff remains in my personal no-taste zone. It probably comes as no surprise that eating out is not my idea of a treat. I don’t like to cook either. In fact, I spent more than a year eating the same lunch every dang day. I’m boring as hell in the food department. This is unfortunate for Sir, who enjoys good food. With me for a wife, it means he eats out alone fairly frequently, and when home is treated to variations on the same 4 dishes that constitute my culinary lexicon. For our 25th anniversary, he took me to the French Laundry restaurant. Even there, the menu was changed slightly to accommodate my ‘particular palate,’ shall we say. My lack of desire to taste new things annoys even me.

Recently, people have been bandying about the term “supertaster” to refer to those who have an acute sense of taste. I thought that might explain why I don’t like nuthin’. As instructed on the interwebs, I put a drop of nasty-tasting blue food coloring on my tongue and swilled some water around, dying the whole bumpy landscape a murky blue with pink spots. I managed to drip the color down my fingers as well, where it lingered for several days making me look like a sloppy calligrapher. Anyway, after dying the tongue, you count the number of tastebuds in a small area.  I couldn’t see much of anything, and Sir claimed his color-blindness precluded his participation in my experiment. Comparing my tongue to pictures online, I’m pretty sure I’m not one. Shucks. I was hoping that would explain my proclivities.

So if my diet has changed little from when I was a child, and I’m not a supertaster, what am I? I mean besides squeamish, unadventurous, fussy, picky, childish, puritanical, particular, prudish, finicky, choosy, persnickety, selective, and eclectic. I feel perhaps the taste buds residing in my mouth are shy. Yeah, that’s it. They’re introverted. They don’t make friends easily, but the ones they like are for life. They’re loyal, aren’t interested in trends, and find parties exhausting. They learn by observation, rather than by doing, and tend to need time to be alone to recharge. Wait a minute. What am I talking about again? Me or my mouth? I need some peanut butter.

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