Hi, my name is Nathan. And I am a recovering picky eater. *Hiiii Nathan.*
For most of my childhood, I ate nothing but plain buttered noodles or rice, a few types of lightly seasoned red and white meats, and a predictable rotation of frozen peas, green beans and corn. I didn’t actually use my salad fork for salad until my 20’s. Any and all fruits received an automatic “no” until the last few years. And as for sea food, forget it.
I was the kid at your 6th birthday party for whom your parents had to come up with an alternative meal because I wouldn’t eat pizza (I’d just flip the slice over and pick the bread off the bottom). Now, after rehabbing my taste buds during college and a stint of studying abroad, I’m continuing my recovery in the land of kimchi and bulgogi: South Korea.
I recently stumbled across a CNN article titled, “40 Korean Foods We Can’t Live Without.” Below are eight of those forty that, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m either excited (10!) or…let’s say, less than thrilled (1) about trying.
Rating on Nathan’s Picky Eater Meter: 5. As a self-confessed spice wimp, at first I was nervous that all types of kimchi would be flavored with great balls of fire. However, CNN tells me that more mild, tangy versions exist.
Nathan’s Picky Eater Meter: 10! What American doesn’t like fried chicken and beer?
Army Stew – The end of the Korean War brought a scarcity of meat in the country, forcing cooks to get creative with what was left in the kitchen at the American Army base in Seoul: Spam, noodles, American cheese, assorted veggies, sausage and rice cakes. Thus, Army Stew.
Nathan’s Picky Eater Meter: 8. I’m not wild about Spam, and uber processed American cheese isn’t my thing, but if a waiter placed it in front of me I wouldn’t go running out the door.
Nathan’s Picky Eater Meter: 2. Seafood is still one of those hurdles I’m trying to get over. And if I’m told up front that I may not like it, the chances of that happening go up gastronomically (buh-dum-ching).
Nathan’s Picky Eater Meter: 4. It sort of makes me want to cry for my Aunt Jemima, but as long as I don’t find any googly eyes staring up at me during my first bite I think I’ll be okay.
Nathan’s Picky Eater Meter: 10! Noms all around.
Nathan’s Picky Eater Meter: 6. Frankly, in my opinion, jello should never be brown. But the promise of blandness gives me hope.
Nathan’s Picky Eater Meter: 9! If there’s one meal course I’ve never had an objection to, it’s dessert.
The road to recovery is never easy, but I have faith that my taste buds will see me through. And if nothing else, I’ll eat a lot of rice.