Bittens, our tastes are changing.
Perhaps it's because we're just being fearless eaters (or -- gulp -- because we're getting older), but we've noticed lately that we're beginning to love some tastes we previously disliked, and becoming more tolerant of others.
And we're not talking about childhood food phobias of the "I refuse to try that" variety. We each had plenty of those. Clay had never tasted a fresh tomato until he went to college; Zach had a major aversion to creamy products like sour cream and mayonnaise. Both of these things have long fallen by the wayside as we've grown up and become more adventurous eaters.
Our changing tastes start with salt, which we can't seem to get enough of these days. We know, it's a terrible habit, but we're salting things pretty heavily. Perhaps this has to do with getting more physical activity and our bodies craving more salt. But then again, maybe we're just salt-fiends.
And Clay -- who has long been sensitive to overly spicy foods -- is suddenly a spice champ.
We just went for the second time to D.C.'s Little Serow, a Northern Thai restaurant started by the chef of one of our city's most lauded restaurants, Komi. Little Serow is unlike any Thai we've ever experienced. It's a tasting menu ($45 for 7 courses) and they serve you dishes that help you climb "the spice mountain," as our waitress so helpfully described it. For dishes 1 through 3, you're progressively warming up. By dishes 4 and 5, you're on fire. Six and seven, luckily, bring you down the other side of that mountain. But during this meal, and many others lately, Clay has been able to hang with the spice. We think this is a product of just eating spicy foods more regularly. More spice begets more spice tolerance? At least it seems that way.
Dill is another once reviled ingredient in our house. But suddenly, Clay's eating and enjoying dill without a second thought, in cocktails, and cucumber salads, or just tossed into green salads. So maybe that's over, too.
Zach continues to give mushrooms -- his food nemesis -- his best shot, but still isn't quite there. It's at the point of tolerating them but not embracing them. Still, we've made a few mushroom dishes this year, like Escorole, Kale, White Bean and Tomato Lasagna, that he gladly ate. Like the spiciness, perhaps this is a warm-up to eating more mushrooms. Maybe.
So what's still on our "we'll pass" list? Though we taste it every time it's presented to us, kimchi is still reviled in our house. Clay still struggles with the bitterness of grapefruit. Hmm...that might be it. That's a short list!
Have your tastes ever changed? Do you now love something you used to avoid? Abhor an old favorite? Please share!